UPDATE June 23 15:15 GMT - Intel released a press release for its conference call, supposed to start in 15min from the time of this update - read the press release below the original story.
Last year, we asked several execs at nVidia why they didn't partner with Nokia for their Tegra SoC [System-on-a-Chip] parts. The answer was somewhat inconclusive and well off what Nokia's VP told us in March 2008.
Nokia is famous for using the same hardware platform and selling it in different forms and factors. Enter Intel - the chip giant from Santa Clara is going to officially announce the Intel-Nokia deal in a few hours, meaning their upcoming 32nm Medfield System-on-Chip processors and NAND flash memory should become an integral part of Nokia's netbook-smartbook-smartphone platform. This means that in the next couple of years, Intel could be inside not just every new BlackBerry, but Nokia's upcoming netbook-smartbook lineup, plus expanding it into smartphone area - giving it a commanding market share
Nokia is the world's largest cellphone maker, selling in excess of 450M units a year, with the goal of selling 1B phones as soon as 2013 [we saw Nokia's theoretical market development figures a while ago]. Out of those 450 million units, roughly 150 million are smartphones running Symbian OS. In 2013, Nokia wants to sell 400M smartphones, e.g. almost the equal amount of phones as they sold overall in 2008. Compared to this giant, Apple, Research-In-Motion and Palm are "also-rans", so forget about iPhone 3GS selling one million in three days, since Nokia sells 410,000 of its smartphones every day. And the key benefactors of Nokia smartphone dominance were Texas Instruments and Spansion, whose OMAP SOC and NOR Flash memory were used almost inside every smartphone Nokia made.
Watch out for very interesting news on the software that will power the upcoming smartbook platfom, as this is something that will evolve in smartphones of tomorrow.
If there are two companies who won't feel good when they wake up, those two will be Qualcomm and Texas Instruments. Intel was asleep in the handheld arena and woke up with Blackberry 9000 Bold, but with Nokia, Intel is looking to sell more SoCs than they sell CPUs. The biggest loser however, was nVidia. The company had a chance to go "from zero to hero", but they invested in Microsoft Windows CE and Google Android. But bad news for nVidia mean good news for their larger neighbor in Santa Clara.
Official press release
Intel and Nokia Announce Strategic Relationship to Shape Next Era of Mobile Computing Innovation
SANTA CLARA, CALIF., and ESPOO, FINLAND, June 23, 2009 – Further uniting the Internet with mobile phones and computers, Intel Corporation and Nokia today announced 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.
To realize this shared vision, both companies are expanding their longstanding relationship to define a new mobile platform beyond today's smartphones, notebooks and netbooks, enabling the development of a variety of innovative hardware, software and mobile Internet services.
Taking advantage of each company's expertise as leaders in their respective fields, these future standards-based devices will marry the best features and capabilities of the computing and communications worlds and will transform the user experience, bringing incredible mobile applications and always on, always connected wireless Internet access in a user-friendly pocketable form factor.
The Intel and Nokia effort includes collaboration in several open source mobile Linux software projects. Intel will also acquire a Nokia HSPA/3G modem IP license for use in future products.
The companies expect many innovations to result from this collaboration over time.
"This Intel and Nokia collaboration unites and focuses many of the brightest computing and communications minds in the world, and will ultimately deliver open and standards-based technologies, which history shows drive rapid innovation, adoption and consumer choice," said Anand Chandrasekher, Intel Corporation senior vice president and general manager, Ultra Mobility Group. "With the convergence of the Internet and mobility as the team's only barrier, I can only imagine the innovation that will come out of our unique relationship with Nokia. The possibilities are endless."
"Today's announcement represents a significant commitment to work together on the future of mobile computing, and we plan to turn our joint research into action," said Kai Öistämö, Executive Vice President, Devices, Nokia. "We will explore new ideas in designs, materials and displays that will go far beyond devices and services on the market today. This collaboration will be compelling not only for our companies, but also for our industries, our partners and, of course, for consumers."
Open Source Software Collaboration
The effort also includes technology development and cooperation in several open source software initiatives in order to develop common technologies for use in the Moblin and Maemo platform projects, which will deliver Linux-based operating systems for these future mobile computing devices.
The companies are coordinating their Open Source technology selection and development investments, including alignment on a range of key Open Source technologies for Mobile Computing such as: oFono*, ConnMan*, Mozilla*, X.Org*, BlueZ*, D-BUS*, Tracker*, GStreamer*, PulseAudio*. Collectively, these technologies will provide an open source standards-based means to deliver a wealth of mobile Internet and communication experiences, with rich graphics and multimedia capabilities.
Hosted by the Linux Foundation, Moblin is an optimized open source Linux operating system project that delivers visually rich Internet media experiences on Intel® Atom™ processor-based devices including MIDs, netbooks, nettops, in-vehicle infotainment (IVI), and embedded systems. For more information see www.moblin.org.
Maemo is a Linux operating system, mostly based on open source code and powers mobile computers such as the Nokia N810 Internet Tablet. The Maemo platform has been developed by Nokia in collaboration with many open source projects. For more information see www.maemo.org.
Enabling common technologies across the Moblin and Maemo software environments will help foster the development of compatible applications for these devices – building on the huge number of off-the-shelf PC compatible applications. The open source projects will be governed using the best practices of the open source development model.
Intel to License Nokia's HSPA/3G Modem Technologies
Building on today's announcement, Intel and Nokia have signed an agreement that will enable Intel to license Nokia's HSPA/3G modem technologies with the aim of developing advanced mobile computing solutions that deliver a powerful and flexible computing experience – combining the best-in-class 3GPP modem technology with the high performance and low power consumption of future Intel Architecture-based platforms.
Intel supports multiple mobile broadband standards on its platforms to address the needs of service providers worldwide, and to provide people with an always-connected experience.
The Nokia modem license complements Intel's broadband wireless technologies and will enable the company to extend chipset solutions incorporating Nokia's modem technologies across its mobility offerings in the future.
Nokia is continuing to develop its leading modem technology, which includes protocol software and related digital design for the full suite of 3GPP standards through WCDMA/GSM and its evolution, and then licenses the technology to chipset manufacturers to develop and produce chipsets for device manufacturers.
Nokia's licensable modem technology is the trusted connectivity choice, providing credible and reliable options for the industry based on Nokia wireless modems' embedded history and experience. The Intel license of Nokia's modem technologies is another step in executing Nokia's chipset strategy to create multiple, competitive chipset choices to the industry.