Intel is planning to launch affordable Android smartphones in India. Intel’s Managing Director for South Asia, Debjani Ghosh, proclaimed that the company is working with handset makers in India to launch an Android smartphone priced at Rs 7,000, according to a PTI report.
Intel has already partnered with Indian handset maker Lava for an Intel Medfield power smartphone called the XOLO X900. The new affordable smartphones are expected to ship in the second half of 2013.
The timing of Intel’s affordable smartphones coincide with similar plans from Qualcomm, which would be launching affordable smartphones with quad-core processors with its hardware partners under its Qualcomm Reference Design program.
Intel has also partnered with Google owned Motorola for smartphones that use the company’s latest single-core chipset clocked at 2.0GHz. Currently, the only model using this chip is the Motorola Razr i, which is available in the UK.
Intel chips historically have not been power efficient but they do have a performance advantage over ARM based chips that predominate the smartphone market. That said, Intel’s latest offerings are definitely promising as they are able to deliver comparable performance with quad-core ARM chips, without much of a disadvantage in terms of battery life.
Some of the technologies heralded in the Medfield chips have made their way to tablets. Intel’s new dual core Atom chip is powering a number of Windows 8 based tablets and hybrids, which points towards the company’s renewed mobile first approach.