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The LePhone -- an Intel Android -- is not expected to reach the U.S. market for some time, if at all

Intel Corp. (INTCturned in its latest financials and narrowly beat analyst expectations.  

I. Financials

The quarter's financials for the world's largest chipmaker were a bit quirky as last year's calendar quarter 1 had 14 weeks for Intel, while this one only had 13 weeks.  

While that would account for about a 7 percent drop in revenue, Intel's actual revenue dropped 13 percent to $12.9B USD (GAAP), compared to last year's Q1 results.  

Operating income, the company's non-interest earnings, came in at $3.8B/4.0B USD (GAAP/non-GAAP), while the net income -- which takes into account interest or depreciation -- was $2.74B/$2.9B USD (53 cents per share).  While this was down slightly from the $3.16B USD (GAAP) (56 cents per share) that Intel grabbed last year, it was a few cents better than the analyst consensus of 50.23 cents per share [source].

Intel sign
[Image Source: etechmag]

Intel predicts Q2 2012 revenue of $13.6B USD.  The company says it plans to spend $18.3B USD in 2011, to upgrade its plants and try to further its lead in chipmaking processes.

II. ARM Invades the PC Space, Intel Counters With Ivy Bridge

Intel is currently fighting a two-front war against ARM Holdings plc (LON:ARM) and its alliance of smartphone/tablet rebel chipmakers, the most prominent of which is Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM).  Qualcomm is moving to deploy Windows 8 RT powered ARM laptops this fall, leveraging its Snapdragon 4 platform's strong battery life and rich system-on-a-chip capabilities.  

Intel looks to counter with its Ivy Bridge chip line, which is expected to ship to market in June.  The new product was briefly delayed due to soft demand from system builders, which in turn was a result of components shortages attributed to 2011 Asian pressures from the Tohoku earthquake/tsunami which struck Japan and fall monsoon flooding in southeast Asia.

Ivy Bridge
Ivy Bridge is Intel's direct answer to ARM competitors in the PC space. [Image Source: Clubic]

Ivy Bridge is a die-shrink of the 32 nm Sandy Bridge.  The 22 nm chip will pack at least one major refinement, though, hosting a more powerful DirectX 11 capable on-die GPU.  The chips are expected to also boast much better power efficiency, thanks both to the die shrink and the company's new 22 nm 3D tri-gate (FinFET) transistors.

III. Intel's First Smartphone Creeps Quietly to Market

Meanwhile as ARM and Intel prepare their next generation offerings for battle in the PC space, Intel has just dropped it's first soldier into ARM's home country -- tablets and smartphones.

The K800 smartphone by Lenovo Group, ltd. (HKG:0992) that popped at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show is finally making its way to market, powered by a 1.6 GHz 32 nm Intel Atom Z2460 processor.  The phone is Intel's first, making good on the company's long overdue processes regarding its Medfield Atom sub-family.

The K800 (which will be branded "LePhone" in some markets) is expected to run Android Gingerbread at launch.  It features a 4.5-inch screen 720p (1280x720 pixel) screen and 8-megapixel camera.

Lenovo LePhone
The Lenovo K800 -- the "LePhone" [Image Source: TNW]

Long-time Intel CEO Paul Otellini, who said during a conference call that a launch would come “later this week”, delivered the launch surprise.  The American market is not expected to receive any Intel phones until much later this year, if at all.  The LePhone will largely target the European and Asian markets.

Intel is expected to step up its smartphone efforts in 2013, when it brings its 22 nm die shrink to the Atom line.  The dramatic power savings of the die shrink and new 3D thin-gate FinFETs will, in theory, make it more competitive with ARM's designs that enjoy certain advantages at present architecturally in terms of power efficiency.

Benchmarks have suggested that Intel's Atom Medfield smartphone chips may be more powerful computationally than ARM's on a per-clock-cycle basis. 

Sources: Intel Corp., The Washington Post [K800 story]

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RE: >.<
By Reclaimer77 on 4/18/2012 12:53:49 PM , Rating: 3
I thought the Le was short for Lenovo, and not French. But that's just me.

RE: >.<
By geddarkstorm on 4/18/2012 12:55:49 PM , Rating: 2
Honestly I'd really like to see a thorough benchmarking of this things, just to see how Atom performs. Maybe there's hope for Intel in smartphones?

RE: >.<
By Reclaimer77 on 4/18/2012 1:36:36 PM , Rating: 2
Atom performs quite well I'm sure, the key is the efficiency. I'm curious as well to see how this phone does.

After Intel announced Tri-Gate, I stated here that it would be the game changer that allowed Intel to compete with ARM SOC's. Now that doesn't sound so crazy after all lol.

RE: >.<
By menting on 4/18/2012 1:40:42 PM , Rating: 2
i'm also quite interested in the power/performance ratio that these atom powered phones will have.
Won't be surprised if this first generation will lose to ARM processors, but if it is in reasonable range, the upcoming shrink with tri-gate will be very exciting.

RE: >.<
By NellyFromMA on 4/18/2012 2:11:11 PM , Rating: 2
If battery life is in any way worse than what the status quo is these days, it's hard to imagine how it makes sense for a phone at all.

In the scenario that battery life in hours is less than an ARM based platform, maybe it still has a chance in the harder-to-define tablet market.

As it is battery life on Androids (perhaps the iPhone as well) is too poor. I shouldn't have to have multiple chargers strategically located to use throughout my day to charge my device as it is IMO.

I'd definitely prioritize battery life over processing power. Now if we see gains on both ends, even better :)

RE: >.<
By Reclaimer77 on 4/18/2012 2:36:56 PM , Rating: 5
As it is battery life on Androids (perhaps the iPhone as well) is too poor.

As a blanket statement this is false. There is no by-design efficiency problem in Android. There are bugs and there are poorly written apps, yes. There is TRUE multitasking which can eat more battery, not crippled iOS/WP7 multitasking. But at the OS level Android is not inefficient.

This is pretty much the most advanced and powerful Android on the market. And it smokes the competition in battery life.

"While playing games and running stress tests with all of the bells and whistles going, the brightness maximized, and the speakers up to maximum levels, the HTC One X battery life was almost five hours. Five hours with everything set to warp speed, utilizing the four-core technology, while playing games and using the phone constantly is an above average number considering the processing power of this phone. However, with the settings down to a more average level, the battery lasted almost fourteen hours. "

Your problem is one that many have, you see battery life and computing power as being mutually exclusive. That's a problem that was solved long ago with gated cores and other advances. We already HAVE seen gains in both ends.

Now back to Intel's Lenovo, hey, it's about time Intel joined the game. They have a nearly unlimited budget and R&D resources. I certainly wouldn't bet against them that they can deliver a non-ARM solution.

RE: >.<
By FaaR on 4/18/2012 2:54:23 PM , Rating: 5
Doesn't matter if iPhone has "TRUE" multitasking or not, it has the kind of multitasking you need on a PHONE. I can run something else while listening to music via Spotify for example, what more could I possibly desire?

It's not as if I'm gonna be sitting there working on 12 spreadsheets and doing some video transcoding, photoshopping and maybe a bit of 3D modelling and rendering on the side as well; PHONES manipulated using blunt fingers smearing grease all over tiny touchscreens don't have the hardware resources or the ease of use for productivity work.

"REAL" multitasking is just a marketing bulletpoint, not anyone except for android gearheads actually care about.

RE: >.<
By Reclaimer77 on 4/18/12, Rating: 0
RE: >.<
By slunkius on 4/19/2012 1:06:41 AM , Rating: 2
now that is a solid argument in favour of real multitasking. bonus points for personal jab in same reply.

RE: >.<
By The0ne on 4/19/2012 2:45:45 PM , Rating: 2
He's still Googling, give him a day or two. We all know how informed he is on true multi-tasking. Hold on, can't help myself laughing.

RE: >.<
By Aries1470 on 4/19/2012 11:41:54 AM , Rating: 1
You mean something like this guy:

"This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls." -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg


"If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else." -- Microsoft Business Group President Jeff Raikes

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