Moblin Mediaphone Illustrates Intel’s Smartphone Intentions

It shouldn’t be a big surprise that Intel wants back in the smartphone game, but if you doubted that thought, this video from MIDMoves ought to convince you. In it, you’ll see Inventec’s Mediaphone device built on the Atom platform and running Moblin. With that configuration, it should be a very capable web device, media player, and phone. Don’t expect to see such a handset until 2010, though, as it’s based on Moorestown (the next Atom platform with far greater power efficiency), which isn’t expected this year.

I think Intel has anticipated the mobile Internet market quite well, as it realized that its XScale ARM product wouldn’t be up to snuff for the web of tomorrow. That processor line powered the majority of Windows Mobile smartphones in the early and mid-2000s, but Intel sold the business off in 2006. The netbook craze took off about a year later and gave Intel a proving ground for what’s now the Atom platform. And its efforts with the Moblin project are timed just about right for next year’s debut of Moorestown handhelds.

MIDMoves plans for more photos and video of the Mediaphone device out of Computex, so stay tuned for more info. You know, we often focus so much on the “big and recognizable” names in the smartphone market — names like Apple, Microsoft, Nokia, Google, and recently Palm. I have a sneaking suspicion that many folks are overlooking the elephant in the room named Intel. 2010 is going to be a very interesting year in the smartphone world, I think. Will your smartphone have an “Intel Inside” sticker? Odds are, it just might.

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