Last week we reported that Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) had partnered with Motorola Mobility, now owned by Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), to create a new smartphone named the Motorola RAZR i. For Intel, landing Motorola Mobility as a customer for at least one of Motorola’s devices was a big step in penetrating the mobile device market. Given that PC sales are stagnant and tablets are increasingly eating into PC sales, this is an important move for Intel.
But Intel has turned things up a notch, including some mobile devices in its “Intel Inside” marketing campaign. Until now the name of the processer maker has largely been irrelevant to the average consumer except for a few specialty brands like Nvidia in gaming.
Including mobile devices in the “Intel Inside” adds to the risk/reward potential of trying to enter the mobile device market in a big way. On one hand, Intel is an extremely well-known brand and the “Intel Inside” branding could be an enticement for mobile device manufacturers to choose Intel. On the other hand, if consumers are disappointed in the products it could damage Intel’s hard-won reputation.
The Intel processor used in the Motorola RAZR which was introduced last week was fast and powerful. However, it doesn’t support 4G LTE so it’s not very relevant for the U.S. market. Presumably that’s a shortcoming Intel can overcome.
Other chipmakers are watching carefully and some are taking steps to brand their own chips.