Intel made its official debut in the smartphone market Thursday with the launch of the Lava XOLO X900, the world’s first smartphone powered by its Atom Z2460 "Medfield" mobile processor.
Manufactured by Indian handset maker Lava International, the XOLO X900 will launch exclusively in India as part of a new partnership between the two companies announced at the Mobile World Congress event in February.
In addition to running Intel’s flagship smartphone processor, the 1 GHz Atom Z2460, the XOLO X900 also comes equipped with the chip maker’s Hyper Threading Technology, which increases the processor’s throughout and overall performance by enabling multiple threads to run on each core. The device also touts an 8-megapixel camera, 1080-pixel HD video playbook, and a 400 MHz graphics clock.
The 3G-enabled XOLO X900 has a 4-inch LCD touch screen display and runs on Android Gingerbread. Intel said an over-the-air software upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich, the latest Android operating system, will be available shortly after the device is launched at the end of the month.
While only available on the Indian market, Intel said that the XOLO X900 hints at the key features to come with future Intel-powered smartphones.
"The first smartphone with Intel inside is now available to Indian consumers," Intel Corporate Vice President and General Manager of the Mobile Communications Group Mike Bell said in a statement. "The boundaries of personal computing are expanding. As we enter the India market with our first smartphone from Lava, the device not only showcases the rich capabilities and user benefits of Intel computing, but also highlights the exciting possibilities of what’s still to come."
Along with India, Intel is slated to launch smartphones in China and Europe this summer though new partnerships with Chinese handset maker ZTE and French telco company Orange, both of which were also announced at the Mobile World Congress event.
On the U.S. front, Intel announced a multi-year, multi-device agreement with Motorola Mobility in January at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. The partnership will produce new Android smartphones based on Motorola’s hardware and Intel’s Atom chips. These devices are also expected to launch starting this summer.
Intel’s move into the smartphone space will pit it against U.K.-based chip licensor ARM, whose low-power processor architectures are leveraged in many of the smartphones and tablets on the market today. But Intel solution providers have already expressed their confidence in Intel’s ability to carve a space for itself in the lucrative smartphone arena. Between its new partnerships with handset makers and its long-standing reputation in the PC and server market, Intel will have a solid launching-off point, they speculated.
The XOLO X900 will be available in India starting April, 23 for approximately 22,000 rupees or $420.