Intel Mobile Phones & Portable Devices Driver

You can find out the Top 10 Intel Mobile phones by brands, by months and by category. Also choose your favorite from top 10 mobile phones and compare it with other competitor phones. Intel Mobile Communications (IMC), is the mobile research and development division of Intel. It was formed when Intel completed the acquisition of the Wireless Solutions (WLS) division of Infineon early in 2011 for US$1.4 billion. The Infineon subsidiary Comneon was also acquired by Intel and is now integrated into Intel Mobile Communications. Proper classification of mobile phones in terms of price, features is a good move. Itel is a company that is committed to providing the latest Android phones with the latest features and best models, but all this with the vision to promote your mobile phone at a reasonable price.

Intel was, and in some regards still is, the biggest name in the personal computer processor industry, but the company has failed to achieve this same level of success in the mobile market over the past decade. The company has seen a few Android products built around its Atom processors and modems, but has not had anything close to the industry wide success seen by some of its mobile competitors.

In the broader picture, Intel isn’t going anywhere. But the company has just announced that it is all but ducking out of the mobile processor market, having cancelled its SoFIA and Broxton platforms. However, the company has some grand plans for future industries and growth avenues. Let’s dive into what went wrong and where Intel is going next.

The cancelled 2016 mobile road map

Intel’s mobile SoC road map stated that the company’s mainstream and high-end Atom x5 and x7 processors would be launching sometime in the second quarter of 2016, to accompany the first batch of Atom x3 SoCs that arrived on the market earlier this year . Both of these were to be built on a 14nm manufacturing process, which would have likely improved battery life and device performance over the existing X3. The X7 would have set the clock up to 2.4GHz and would have came with LTE-A modem support built in. Although as you can see from the press slide below, Intel was focusing more on tablets and laptops rather than a wide range of smartphone types.

Intel Atom

Devices

However, Intel has announced that it is scrapping plans for its 14nm Broxton chips for tablets and smartphones, as well as its SoFIA 3GX, LTE and LTE2 platforms for entry level phones. SoFIA was being developed in collaboration with RockChip, so this partnership already looks to be in peril. Based on the comments, it seems that Intel’s Atom X3 range is bearing the brunt of the ax, but the x5 and possibly x7 14nm tablet releases also look to be cancelled. Only the company’s top-end Core m series of mobile processors look to be the ones remaining on track right now.

Speaking of which, the company’s ultra-high end Core m5 and m7 processors still seems to be in the works for the final quarter of the year, which are designed for the high performance tablet and lower end netbook market. The company claims that its latest Core m processors offer 40 percent boosts to graphics and CPU performance and will be targeting at 2-in-1 convertible devices and notebooks rather than regular tablets. Intel Core M processors have already appeared in a new HP Chromebook and the 12-inch Apple MacBook.

Related: Apple 12-inch Macbook 2016 review

The other half of Intel’s latest mobile hardware strategy was modems. The company has been working on an expanding range of XMM 7XXX series modems that offer fast LTE and LTE-Advanced data speeds for its own and other processors. Most rival mobile SoC manufacturers, including the two biggest Qualcomm and MediaTek, incorporate modems directly into their mobile processor packages, so this was key to bringing Intel on par with other industry players.

However, the company’s LTE and LTE2 mobile platforms have also be scrapped, so we will have to see what Intel has planned for its modem business going forward.

Despite its plans for mobile processing, Intel has struggled to keep up with its competitors and lately this has begun to take its toll on the company. In the closing weeks of April, Intel announced that it would be laying off 12,000 staff, which accounts for approximately 11 percent of its workforce.

The company is looking to save $1.4 billion a year once the layoffs are completed in mid-2017, after mounting losses from its mobile division. Interestingly enough, the company’s first quarter 2016 financial results appeared to be in a decent enough state, with a mostly flat gross margin, income, and net profit, and sales revenue that was virtually bang on analyst expectations.

However, Intel’s 2014 financial results, the last one where the company broke down the profit of its various divisions, revealed a $4.2 billion loss at the mobile communications group at a time when other mobile processor companies were recording scorching profits, and Intel certainly isn’t performing much better today in this market segment. These losses have likely accumulated from a basic lack of market share, high R&D costs to keep up with competitors technologies, and a strategy of heavily subsidizing manufacturers to use its processors in devices, such as tablets, in a bid to break into the market.

Intel Mobile Phones & Portable Devices Driver

Mobile has almost certainly been Intel’s biggest missed opportunity.

Where did the company go wrong?

Ironically, Intel’s legacy in the PC market actually turned out to be its biggest weakness when it came to boom in mobile products. The company’s powerful x86 architecture was perfectly suited for mains connected high performance PCs, but the requirements of mobile are much different and far more restrictive. Reducing the company’s powerful x86 designs down into the typical sub-5W TDP limit of a smartphone has proven problematic, and something that the company has only recently been able to solve to a satisfactory degree.

On the other hand, ARM’s reduced instruction set computing (RISC) architecture turned out to be much better suited for low power products, even though they lack the peak processing power of Intel’s complex instruction set computing (CISC) designs. ARM’s experience with low power chips gave the company a huge edge when it came to designing processors for mobile all the way back in the early 2000s, and this trend has only continued since.

Not only have large architectural differences been an issue for Intel, but so too has the company’s manufacturing business strategy. Intel has always kept its technology close to its chest and has invested heavily in staying ahead of the curve when it comes to its foundries. ARM, on the other hand, doesn’t manufacture smartphone chips, in fact it even allows other company’s to design their own processors based on its licensed intellectual property, which can then be produced at any foundry partner.

ARM's RISC architecture turned out to be much better suited for low power mobile designs.

Furthermore, Intel’s lead in the manufacturing market has evaporated in the past couple of years. Samsung and TSMC can now match Intel’s 14nm process that it had planned for Broxton, eroding any energy or efficiency advantages that Intel had hoped to gain.

This competitive market place has given ARM based chip-makers a notable edge, as companies have been free to adapt and innovate their designs at will to suit whatever products their customers want. Chip designers can target specific market segments whenever they see an opportunity, and this competition has focused the industry into really catering for consumer needs across a very broad industry. Although this has come at a cost to profit-per-chip for the manufacturers, but ARM’s focus on POP IP has helped companies develop chips at reasonable costs.

It wasn’t exactly a lack of foresight that saw Intel miss out either, as its lower power Atom chip development began all the way back in 2004. Instead, the company was just too reluctant to move too far away from its highly profitable x86 PC chip business. For instance, Intel turned down an opportunity to design a chip for Apple’s iPhone, as the company didn’t think that the phones would sell enough to cover the development costs.

In addition, Intel sold XScale, it’s own ARM based chip developer, in 2006 for just $600 million, so that the company could focus on its own low power Atom processor. Clearly, that left Intel some way behind both in terms of power design and market reach, and the company has been unable to catch back up with ARM’s early lead.

Intel Mobile Phones & Portable Devices Driver

A new focus on the cloud and IoT

A revolution in Intel’s mobile fortunes has been written off with the cancellation of Broxton, but the company is planning big things for other future connected devices. As well as announcing its layoffs, Intel stated that it was looking to “accelerate its evolution from a PC company to one that powers the cloud and billions of smart, connected computing devices.”

Intel mobile phones & portable devices drivers

While we may instantly think about existing internet of things ideas like smart homes the automotive market, Intel’s plans for connected computing are much more heavily focused on the capabilities of the cloud and big data. Intel already holds 99 percent of the market for computer server chips, according to IDC, so there’s certainly a link here for the company to exploit if it wants to capitalize on the growth of connected devices and big data.

“If you look at the journey the company has been on for the last several years, we’re transitioning away from being at the heart of the PC market to a company at the heart of cloud and a lot of difference devices, which the PC is one,” – Intel chief financial officer, Stacy Smith

Intel CEO Brain Krzanich echoed similar sentiments when he outlined his five core beliefs about the future of the company and how Intel will go about transforming itself from a PC company into one that powers the cloud and billions of smart devices. Here’s the list:

  • The cloud is the most important trend shaping the future of the smart, connected world – and thus Intel’s future.
  • The many “things” that make up the PC Client business and the Internet of Things are made much more valuable by their connection to the cloud.
  • Memory and programmable solutions such as FPGAs will deliver entirely new classes of products for the data center and the Internet of Things.
  • 5G will become the key technology for access to the cloud and as we move toward an always-connected world.
  • Moore’s Law will continue to progress and Intel will continue to lead in delivering its true economic impact.

Having seemingly abandoned the smartphone and tablets markets this year, Intel appears very much focused on becoming the provider behind cloud data, server centers, and the connectivity that ties all of this together, rather than just producing processors for smart devices. This is a very interesting and bold decision for Intel, as the company has traditionally been a client computing business, with consumer grade CPUs accounting for huge slices of its profit. When it comes to future growth though, Intel certainly seems to be looking elsewhere.

You or someone in your family needs or wants to buy a new mobile phone. Selecting the right one shouldn’t be too hard, right? Guess again. Regardless of whether it’s your first or your 15th, buying a phone today is a lot more complicated than it was just a few years ago. But you’ll have an easier time finding that handheld if you ask yourself these 20 questions before you shop.

1. Do I want a smartphone or “standard” cell phone?

This question is easier to answer now than it was a few years ago, when the so-called dumb phone still seemed practical for those who only used their phones to make and receive calls. But the various features available with smartphones — 4G connectivity, a better-resolution camera, texting, a bigger display and greater memory, among them — as well as shrinking variety of standard units, could make the basic cell phone all but obsolete in many consumers’ eyes. The price tag still carries weight, as smartphones can sell for up to five times the price of the basic versions. And, to enjoy all the features of a smartphone, you also need to pay for data service.

2. What’s the phone’s call quality like?

Individual phones can vary in reception, earpiece quality, transmission quality and even speakerphone volume. You’ll want to read user reviews for various models for a better idea of which ones work best. If you’re in a bricks-and-mortar store, ask to make a few test calls. Don’t be fooled by price: Some of the least-expensive phones have the best call quality, while some of the higher-priced models offer substandard sound.

3: How ergonomically friendly is the phone?

Check if the phone is actually comfortable against your ear, and whether you can hear callers without constantly adjusting the phone’s position in your hand. Moreover, can you use the phone in one hand? Although you should always use a hands-free earpiece or headset when driving, you’ll also want to check if you can comfortably hold the phone between your neck and shoulder if that’s ever necessary.

4: Does the design work for me?

Consider whether the phone fits comfortably within a pocket or purse, and the availability (and style) of protective carrying cases. Also, make sure the phone is durable enough for your lifestyle. If you’re the outdoors type or you’re accident prone, you may want a phone that’s more impact- and water-resistant.

5: Do I like the display?

Consider the size of the display screen (at least 3 inches in diameter; 4 or more is better if you’re going to edit documents or spend a lot of time on the Web), its type (touchscreen or QWERTY slider), and its resolution. The higher the resolution, the better photos and videos will look. Also consider the ability to adjust screen contrast and backlight settings, as well as contrast and brightness. Finally, you’ll have a host of types of screens to contend with, such as the low-end QVGA, the everyday TFT-LCD, and the eye-friendly Retina and Super AMOLED HD displays.

6: What operating system is the right one?

The two most widely adopted platforms are Google’s Android operating system and Apple’s iOS. But BlackBerry’s OS and Microsoft’s Windows Phone have their advantages as well. Take time to familiarize yourself with each before you settle on one.

7: How does it access the Internet?

In the United States, you basically have a choice between 3G (“third generation”) and 4G (“fourth”) wireless if you want a smartphone. 4G is generally faster, but still has fewer coverage areas. Also, exact speed comparisons between the two vary: Some 3G protocols can achieve 4G-like speeds. Keep in mind that 4G will definitely be faster than 3G only if they’re on the same carrier. Otherwise, you’ll need to gauge the way you plan to use the phone against service cost and availability.

8: How easy is it to use?

Touchscreens are all the rage, as they make it very easy to go from one app to another. But some people find such little nuances as texting a nuisance. That leaves you with models that use QWERTY keyboards and standard push-button scrolling, which are slower but less prone to “pushed the wrong place”-type errors.

9: What cutting-edge features should I look for?

There’s always something deemed “latest and greatest,” and you’ll need to think carefully about investing in any of them. For one, they might not turn out to be something you really need. And, you might pay a premium for that ultra-hot item now but be able to get it for far less a few months later. Some examples of these are near-field communication (NFC), which enables data exchange between phones by tapping them together; wireless charging, which has been available for a couple years for various household appliances; and advanced Bluetooth hands-free audio, which allows mobile phone connection to items such as wireless stereo headsets and fitness trackers.

10: How much tech support can I get?

Not all manufacturers provide the same degree of aid when it comes to helping you actually use your phone. This is especially true in regards to third-party apps.

11: How much variety do I have in my phone?

You’ll want to think product selection. For example, in the United States, Android phones are available from seven major U.S. carriers (AT&T alone, for example, currently sells more than 20 different models). At the other end of the spectrum is Apple with its iPhone 4s and iPhone 5 models.

Intel Mobile Phones & Portable Devices DriverIntel mobile phones prices

12: What about apps?

If you’re buying a dumb cell phone or a feature phone, this question won’t mean much. If you’re shopping for a smartphone, you’ll want to think about the types of apps you might need, and from where to get them. For example, the Apple App store and Google Play each have more than 700,000 apps.

13: Does it have a good camera?

Today’s smartphones, and even basic phones, are almost on par with regular camera and video cameras when it comes to everyday photos. Bare minimum, you’ll want a phone with a 3-megapixel camera, although most are 5MP or greater now. If you want to post videos online, you’ll want a handset that captures at least 640-by-480 pixel videos at 30 frames per second or better.

14: How’s the battery life?

How long your phone can run between charges varies greatly: The more features you pack onto a phone, the shorter the battery life. Ideally, you’d want to be able to go 2-3 days between phone charges, but in some cases you’ll only reach that total through use of task killers and battery management apps (two things to check for when buying the phone). Also remember that a phone’s battery life will decrease over time simply through regular use.

15: How much do I want to spend?

Go into your shopping with a set amount in mind. Remember that you’re buying a consumable that is designed to last at least 2 years — the length of a standard phone service contract — so you may not want to bargain shop. Also remember that in addition to the phone, there are accessories, insurance plans and various apps to consider purchasing.

16: What will this really cost me?

Sure, the phone sells for one price, and it’s one that’s usually far below normal if you agree to a service plan contract. The phone itself could be a one-time cost of $50 to $1,200, depending on the system. As for the service plan, that could cost you $30 to $150 per phone per month, depending on exactly which plan you choose.

17: Which carrier do I choose?

No matter what phone you buy, it’s a paperweight without an actual service provider. For example, the U.S. Big Four — AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon — offer similar plans at comparable rates, although some differences exist when it comes to the type of network used for 3G and 4G service, the ability to stream videos, and availability of family sharing plans. Many smaller, regional providers are out there, too. Cellular markets outside the U.S. are characterized by vibrant competition, often between former wireline incumbents and new market entrants. Shop around for the best deal, and be sure to read the fine print.

18: Do I opt for a contract, pay-as-you-go or prepaid service plan?

Intel Mobile Phone

This depends on whether you’re going to need full-featured coverage nationwide (and worldwide), or if you can stick with mostly local coverage. Bigger players offer a variety of voice and data coverage plans for national use, but only if you agree to a multi-year contract. On the other hand, smaller, regional service providers offer month-to-month contracts, allowing you to change your plan as needed, but your overall rates are higher (especially outside your network). If you don’t think you need a plan with all of the bells and whistles, pay-as-you-go might be worth it. Another option: prepaid service, which allows you to better control how much you spend each month on your phone.

This content was originally published on the Intel Free Press website.