Intel Inside Nokia Someday
“We would love dearly to win one of the big guys, that really is the smartphone game, it really is a concentrated set of suppliers,” Intel CFO Stacy Smith told Bloomberg earlier this year. “We’re lurking behind every bush and showing them our product line.”
Well, the ambushes to which Smith referred appear to have finally paid off: Intel (INTC) has landed a deal to develop chips with Nokia (NOK).
During a conference call this morning, Intel senior mobility VP Anand Chandrasekher announced a deal that will see the two companies developing something they ambiguously describe as a “new mobile platform beyond today’s smartphones, notebooks and netbooks.” Under its terms, they will work together on several open-source mobile Linux software projects and Intel will license Nokia’s high speed packet access technology.
“This Intel and Nokia collaboration unites and focuses many of the brightest computing and communications minds in the world, and will ultimately deliver open and standards-based technologies, which history shows drive rapid innovation, adoption and consumer choice,” Chandrasekher said in a statement. “With the convergence of the Internet and mobility as the team’s only barrier, I can only imagine the innovation that will come out of our unique relationship with Nokia. The possibilities are endless.”
The deal is a big win for Intel, whose last dalliance with the cellphone market ended in ignominy. The computing landscape is shifting from PCs to mobile devices and Intel must shift along with it in order to grow its business. And right now, 90 percent of its sales are PC-related. With the global market for cellphones at 1.2 billion units per year and growing, according to ABI Research, the chipmaker must figure out a way to dominate cellphones the way it has PCs. Allying with Nokia is one way of achieving that. But when will we see the first Intel-powered Nokia device? Intel and Nokia won’t say. “This is about technology collaboration and a licensing agreement,” Chandrasekher said in reply to repeated questions on the matter. “We are not commenting on specific products today, I’ll leave it at that. When we are ready to talk about products, we will.”
Incidentally, Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo was a speaker at our D7 conference. A video highlights reel of his appearance, below.