ARM, which dominates the market for processors that go into smartphones and tablets, has suddenly found itself with some serious competition from Intel. While Intel has had a weak presence in the smartphone processor space for quite some time, the world’s biggest PC chipmaker has decided that ARM shouldn’t have all the pie to itself.
Intel has just announced its entry into smartphone market with the Lenovo K800. The first Intel powered smartphone will initially launch in China.
The Lenovo smartphone will be powered by Intel’s Medfield-class Atom Z2460 processor. Intel’s chips are notorious for sucking a lot of power in small form factors like smartphones and tablets, which is the main reason behind Apple going with ARM technology and not Intel’s in the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. While there is nothing concrete yet, there are talks about Apple moving to Intel’s architecture for the iPhone and iPad. These are just unconfirmed talks, though. Intel might have to prove its success outside of Apple’s iOS platform first before Apple takes seriously consideres Intel’s new system-on-chip Medfield design. Lenovo K800 is just that kind of opportunity.
Specs and Features
Lenovo’s K800 comes with a 4.5 inch screen TFT touchscreen display. It measures 10 mm thick, but from the mugshots across the blogsphere, it looks thicker and probably heavier than other smartphones out there. The smartphone runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread, but is rumored to come shipped with Android 4.0 once released — which depends on how quickly Lenovo can customize its Android Ice Cream Sandwich implementation. Multimedia-wise, the K800 is fairly capable, with a 720p display and 8MP rear camera with LED Flash.
Lenovo K800 zips along at 1.6GHz with Intel’s dual-core Medfield-class processor. As the platform uses a system-on-chip design, the chip is meant to consume less power than its predecessors. There’s no word on the pricing yet.
First China, Then Rest of the World
Lenovo K800 will first be launched in China in Q2 2012, and will move on to the rest of the world. Just like iPhone 4S, the Intel-powered smartphone will be carried by China Unicom.
Now comes the difficult question. Are there any takers for Intel powered Lenovo K800? Whether a smartphone comes with Intel inside or ARM inside, buyers are concerned with what the phone can do for them. The K800′s specifications are nothing to die for. It’s not like it has packed in a quad-core processor or a 16 Megapixel camera. It all boils down to how the phone feels once in the user’s hand, and of course, how Android treats the buyers. The phone looks bulky and clunky — just from the pictures. As you can sense, I’m not itching to get my hands on it.
Agreed that it’s Intel’s first smartphone. But does Intel and in turn Lenovo don’t know what sells in the market?
Doing something for the first time isn’t an excuse for turning out a out-of-date and out of shape product. It’s an opportunity to create new markets and launch incredible products.
The Lenovo K800 might be a missed opportunity for Intel. As for Lenovo, it has launched a series of impressive products including the Bend it like Bekham Yoga tablet. Lenovo K800 might be a letdown if it doesn’t click with smartphone buyers.
In the end, will the Lenovo K800 be just like any other Android phone? Or is it something a little bulkier and a lot uglier.
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