Intel-Nokia Deal Could Mean Nokia Netbook Is Near

Updated: imagesIntel (s intc) is expected to announce today that will sell its chips to Nokia (s NOK) for use in the Swedish Finnish handset maker’s mobile devices, according to a report from Bloomberg. The deal may be a coup for Intel’s low-power Atom chips, which it hopes to provide in small computers, embedded devices and eventually, smartphones. Intel’s Anand Chandrasekher, senior VP and general manager of the firm’s Ultra Mobility Group, is scheduled to host a conference call today at 8:30 PT.

If the Bloomberg report is correct, my bet is it means Nokia is building out some type of netbook, not that Intel is making huge inroads into the smartphone market. Intel’s Moorestown chip, which integrates a cellular radio and the low-power Atom processor, is expected in 2010 and may be the star of the press conference. A deal with Nokia, even if it is for a netbook, would validate Intel’s strategy of moving into lower-cost mobile chips for computing and keep Intel’s x86 architecture relevant in a mobile world. I wonder if the proposed netbook will run Nokia’s Symbian operating system or Intel’s Mobilin. Update: The two unveiled “a long-term relationship to develop a new class of Intel Architecture-based mobile computing device and chipset architectures which will combine the performance of powerful computers with high-bandwidth mobile broadband communications and ubiquitous Internet connectivity.” Neither was to discuss any actual products that might come out of the agreement, however.