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.