Today's Launch of the Lava XOLO 900 to Foreshadow Intel's Role in the Smartphone Market
While Intel’s brand continues to lead in the PC market, the evolution of today’s mobile marketplace has seen a strong majority of consumer smartphones adopt an ARM-based CPU. The ARM architecture was developed by ARM Holdings – a British semiconductor company that licenses its processor technology to today’s leading mobile vendors – including Apple, Freescale, LG, Marvell, Microsoft, Nintendo and Qualcomm. In contrast with Intel’s x86 processors, ARM technology has gained widespread adoption for its more reduced power output. The small form factor of today’s technology necessitates optimization of CPU performance at minimal power output.
The Lava XOLO 900 smartphone, developed by Lava Technology, will be released into the Indian market today – with vendors such as Lenovo, Motorola, and Orange lined up for future release of mobile devices employing Intel’s x86 Medfield CPU. This will be a significant win for Intel – a firm which has played a strong role in revolutionizing computing technology, but has not – until now – found traction in the mobile market. Beyond the shift Intel’s success would drive for the mobile hardware market, the launch of the XOLO 900 into the market will likely foretell the future of mobile software development for Android on x86.
Although Google and Intel have partnered to optimize Android for Intel’s mobile x86 CPUs – and most of today’s Android apps will function on these devices – it is important to recognize that Android will not run the same on x86 and ARM-based CPUs. For today’s IT leaders, this means further fragmentation in an already divisive market. We will also keep an eye on the efforts made by mobile developers and MEAP (mobile enterprise application platform) vendors to adapt to this substantial shift.