Otellini: No Intel-driven smartphones until at least 2012

At Intel’s annual investor’s meeting today, CEO Paul Otellini admitted to further delays of their smartphone debut. Otellini now says the first smartphones with Intel processors will ship in early 2012.

The new timetable marks a departure from the ballpark figure tossed around at February’s MWC, when they said they’d be out before the end of 2011.

Engadget claims Otellini blames the delay on Intel’s Nokia partnership. Nokia bailed on the open source platform Meego–its joint venture with Intel—when they signed the deal with Microsoft to put Windows Phone 7 on Nokia handsets. Intel is still shopping Meego to other manufacturers with their co-developed device as a reference design.

Otellini said Intel is “absolutely” not building chips on ARM’s designs. Instead, look for future chips based on their new tri-gate transistor technology. Raymond James analyst Hans Mosesmann predicts it will give Intel an advantage moving forward; whether or not it translates into Intel challenging ARM’s mobile dominance remains to be seen.

“To be fair, process technology is just one important element of winning for Intel,”  Mosesmann said In a note to clients. “But it is a major advantage and one we suspect the Street is underestimating.”

Rumors had Intel considering designing chips for an ARM architecture, claims Otellini adamantly put to rest. “It would lower the overall profits.” he said. “I think we can do better.”

Intel also showed off a working phone and tablet based on its 32nm “Medfield” design, but understandably didn’t have much else to say about smartphones. Instead they focused on their major design shift, focusing their products on what they call “ultra-mobility.”

Using their tri-gate transistor technology to advance at twice the speed of Moore’s law, Intel hopes to eventually pass ARM in the smartphone/tablet space. But with repeated delays and ARM positioning themselves as possible competitors for other portions of Intel’s mobile business.

Author: Matthew Ismael Ruiz

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