With a 4.3 inch display and Google‘s Android platform, the Razr i is very similar to the Razr M unveiled earlier in September for U.S. consumers but its brain is an Intel processor instead of a chip made by Qualcomm.
Choosing Intel’s chips is unusual in the smartphone and tablet industry, where energy-efficient processors made by Qualcomm and Samsung Electronics using technology licensed by Britain’s ARM Holdings are widely favored.
Intel dominates the PC industry but has been slow to adapt its powerful processors to work well in battery-sensitive mobile gadgets. But the Santa Clara, California company is rushing to catch up.
The Razr M includes Qualcomm technology compatible with high-speed Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks in the United States, while the Razr i is limited to slower 3G phone networks relied on more in Europe, Latin America and other parts of the world.
The new phone which will launch in October uses a new version of Intel’s Medfield smartphone processor running at 2 Gigahertz, faster than the 1.6 GHz versions used in phones launched earlier this year by Orange in Britain, MegaFon in Russia and Lava International in India.
Those phone launches were Intel’s first significant foray into the mobile market, and the Medfield chips used in them have performed better than many sceptics expected.
Offering the similar Razr i and Razr M phones, powered by Intel and Qualcomm chips respectively, will create a new opportunity for investors to compare the performance of the two companies’ best chips.
The combined market for PCs, smartphones and tablets is expected to almost double over the next four years, but Intel’s share of the processors used in them will dip from 35 percent to 29 percent, according to market research firm IHS iSuppli.