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Rumor: LG to Show Atom-Based Android Smartphone

By - Source: The Korea Times | B 17 comments

Reports claim that LG Electronics will showcase an Android smartphone based on Intel's Medfield low-power platform next month.

Citing a top-ranking executive, The Korea Times reports that LG Electronics will be the first to manufacture smartphones using Intel's Medfield platform for Atom SoCs, and will even showcase one Android-based model curing CES 2012 in the next few weeks. While LG declined to officially confirm the report, Intel Korea chief Lee Hee-sung verified that Intel chief executive Paul Otellini will release Intel’s first Android smartphone using the Medfield platform during the show.

But the Korean Times also points out Intel's lack of experience in the mobile sector, and that unnamed sources have raised doubts about the viability of the partnership. After all, prior to the release of the Medfield platform, Atom chips have reportedly drawn too much power to be used in portable gadgets smaller than a netbook.

"But one clear point is that Intel is spending heavily for more efficient mobile chips for phones and tablets," the unnamed LG executive reassured.

Even if the Intel/LG relationship report is true, this will be the couple's second attempt to present an Atom-based smartphone during CES. Back in 2010, LG revealed the 4.8-inch GW990 prototype smartphone that would have used Intel's MeeGo. The duo planned to release the device by the end of the year, but later decided it would be too impractical and reportedly scrapped the project instead.

But one LG executive disputes the current report, saying that the company will likely push reference models instead of a full-blown Android device. "Personally, I doubt that LG Electronics will release phones running on Android software based on any Intel platform," the unnamed executive stated. "It’s quite possible for LG to push Intel’s reference mobiles but with huge subsidies from Intel for promotion."

Another LG executive even added that Intel is getting nervous over the growing emergence of AMD in Korea, and that a partnership with LG would be a good thing. Last year AMD's Korean branch doubled its revenue compared to the previous year due to LG rival Samsung expanding its notebook lineup using AMD's CPU. AMD claimed 7-percent of the Korean market as of the end of November 2011, up from 4-percent in 2010.

If Intel and LG plan to introduce the first Medfield-based Android smartphone during CES 2012, then we'll get to see the unveiling sometime between January 10 and January 13, so stay tuned.

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  • 6 Hide
    gmax9000 , December 30, 2011 8:46 PM
    These people need to work on improving battery life! My Galaxy Nexus barely lasts 6 hours on the extended battery with moderate usage ie: web searches, and texting.
  • -3 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , December 30, 2011 8:49 PM
    gmax9000These people need to work on improving battery life! My Galaxy Nexus barely lasts 6 hours on the extended battery with moderate usage ie: web searches, and texting.

    This processor is low-powered. I'll admit I don't know how much power is consumes vs existing Smart Phone CPUs, but I'm actually excited to see what this chip can do for battery life.
  • 7 Hide
    gmax9000 , December 30, 2011 8:51 PM
    This is a low power CPU for a laptop! We all know how powerful these phones can be. The manufacturers are in a CPU power race. .
  • Display all 17 comments.
  • -4 Hide
    darkchazz , December 30, 2011 9:37 PM
    But what about app compatibility?
  • -1 Hide
    schmich , December 30, 2011 9:44 PM
    gmax9000These people need to work on improving battery life! My Galaxy Nexus barely lasts 6 hours on the extended battery with moderate usage ie: web searches, and texting.

    Web browsing and texing for a total 6hours is pretty alright, especially if you have the screen at max brightness and mainly viewing white pages.

    My SGS2 holds about 3hours of constant "proper" HD gaming. For average usage I should be able to get through a day no problem.
  • 4 Hide
    joytech22 , December 30, 2011 10:29 PM
    But.. I Kal-el is only 20% slower than a core 2 duo T7200.
    Compare that with Atom for a second.. See where I'm getting at?

    I'm sure that it will still be powerful, but I'm pretty sure Kal el will still be faster.
    Benchmark results (if the link even shows)
    http://news.softpedia.com/newsImage/Nvidia-s-Kal-El-Quad-Core-ARM-Chip-Is-Actually-Slower-Than-Intel-s-Core-2-Duo-T7200-5.png/
  • 0 Hide
    oafed , December 31, 2011 12:08 AM
    darkchazzBut what about app compatibility?


    Anything using just the SDK should be fine. If they used the NDK (native development kit) and didn't cross compile for x86 then those apps won't work until they do and release an update.
  • 1 Hide
    nebun , December 31, 2011 4:52 AM
    now that's one good looking phone....i would love to get one of those
  • 0 Hide
    nebun , December 31, 2011 4:52 AM
    darkchazzBut what about app compatibility?

    i am sure they got that covered
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , December 31, 2011 6:02 AM
    Intel needs to give up on HP and Dell in mobile and start working with Motorola and HTC. Nobody who makes Windows laptops is going to put an Intel Android tablet, and an Intel Windows tablet won't sell: we know that 17 years now.
  • 1 Hide
    JeTJL , December 31, 2011 7:43 AM
    Wonder if AMD's going to announce something soon about coming up with a new Tablet Cpu or even something that goes inside a smart phone. Last I checked AMD was pushing Android onto the x86 platform as well as having a Tablet apu based off of bobcat from earlier this year. Would be cool because Bobcat trounces Intel Atom.

  • -2 Hide
    araceltig , December 31, 2011 7:57 AM
    I believe Android is incompatible with x86 and all the apps maker would have to make 2Versions of those Apps. No Android apps for x86 will be dead on arrival. Enough time and manpower to support ARM and Intel? I don´t think so!
  • -2 Hide
    K2N hater , January 1, 2012 2:29 PM
    symbolsetIntel needs to give up on HP and Dell in mobile and start working with Motorola and HTC. Nobody who makes Windows laptops is going to put an Intel Android tablet, and an Intel Windows tablet won't sell: we know that 17 years now.

    You're totally right. Consumers don't really care about running MS Office natively, Flash Player or even HD video. All they like is hype and cool new things.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , January 2, 2012 2:57 AM
    Android uses a VM. You don't rewrite apps for a new platform. You rewrite android.
  • 0 Hide
    hector2 , January 2, 2012 12:45 PM
    Active power battery life is the big question. Medfield is 32nm, not the latest lower power 22nm stuff coming out from Intel soon. They may perform really well but still flop if the battery drain is not good
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , January 2, 2012 7:18 PM
    Well, Intel sure has come a long way, but we still have not seen any information relating to the performance/power usage of these Medfield chips.
  • 0 Hide
    GreaseMonkey_62 , January 3, 2012 5:26 PM
    "...but with huge subsidies from Intel for promotion." Isn't Intel doing the same thing for the Ultrabook form factors they're trying to get manufacturers to produce? So Intel's new tactic is to bribe manufacturers to use their products?