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Intel Processor Gets a Break in France Telecom's Smartphone Handset

After years of struggle, Intel finally got a break in smartphone handsets. This week at the Mobile World Congress, France Telecom SA's Orange (News - Alert) unit displayed a smartphone based on Intel processor.

According to Bloomberg Businessweek, France Telecom’s (News - Alert) Orange unit will start selling Intel powered smartphone in summer. As per the report, the Orange branded handset will first be sold in France and the UK. This has given the semiconductor giant a break in the mobile-device market.

The Orange-branded smartphone is designed by Intel and runs on Google's (News - Alert) Android software, wrote Businessweek. France Telecom said that it wants a high performing phone under its Orange brand to encourage more use of mobile Internet services.

Besides the France Telecom deal, Intel is also working on similar projects with Motorola (News - Alert) Mobility Holdings and Lenovo Group. Motorola and Lenovo are also developing Intel based smartphones, which are expected to be launched this year.

In an interview with Businessweek, France Telecom's vice president of services for Orange business, Patrick Remy said, “We are very happy about the way it came out.” “We really wanted to bring in this high-performance, high-speed element,” added Remy.

He further stated that the Intel powered smartphone will be offered at a price that appeals to those who can afford entry-level phone plans, ultimately helping the Paris-based telecom giant to target the 50 percent of its customers who do not use a smartphone. The executive said that pricing and the name of the smartphone will be released when it goes on sale.

In a presentation at the mobile conference, Intel CEO Paul Otellini (News - Alert) said that China's ZTE Corp. will begin selling phones and tablet computers based on Intel processors in the second half of the year. Similarly, in India, Lava International Ltd. will also begin using Intel chips to make smartphones, wrote Businessweek. Otellini described India as the fastest-growing large market for the smart devices.

Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli

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