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Latest Intel Atom targets low-end smartphones

Posted: 18 Jan 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Atom? smartphone? Lexington? baseband? processors?

Intel Corp. has announced an Atom processor platform geared for low-end smartphones in emerging economies. The low-end spectrum represents the fastest expanding segment of the global smartphone market, with shipments to grow more than double from 2012 to 2016, according to research firm IHS. Low-end smartphone shipments will rise to 559 million in 2016, up from just 206 million in 2012, IHS predicts.

The new Atom processor based around the Lexington platform is designed for the developing regions of the world, where consumers are demanding low-cost smartphones that deliver high performance and a full feature set. Intel's share of the market for applications processors used in smartphones is minimal at present, which is now dominated by Qualcomm.

For the overall market for baseband chips governing all kinds of cell phones, Intel ranks third, behind Qualcomm and MediaTek. Intel held an 8.4 per cent share of global revenue for cell phone basebands in 3Q12. However, Intel's portion of the market represented only a sliver of the 52 per cent share held by Qualcomm.

Shipments of low-end smartphones will rise at a CAGR of 51 per cent from 2011 to 2016. In contrast, high-end smart shipments will grow at a CAGR of only 12 per cent during the same period, indicated IHS.

Emerging regions where low-end smartphones have the most appeal are the expected to generate the fastest growth among all regions for mobile handsets in the coming years. Shipments of all kinds of cell phones in China are expected to rise at a CAGR of eight per cent for the same five-year period, making it the world's fastest growing region. The next fastest-growing area will be the rest of the Asia-Pacific countries, which will rise at six per cent CAGR. Coming in third is the combined Eastern Europe, Africa and Middle East region, with five per cent growth. In comparison, the well-established North American region will grow only four per cent, IHS forecasted.

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