First Intel-powered smartphone debuts in China

US chip titan Intel on Tuesday announced it will move into the booming smartphone market with a China debut of a handset made by computer powerhouse Lenovo.

“The best of Intel computing is now coming to smartphones,” the California-based company’s chief executive Paul Otellini said during a presentation at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

“It is coming first to China, the largest market for smartphones in the world.”

Lenovo senior vice president Liu Jun joined Otellini on stage to introduce a K800 smartphone powered by an “awesome” Intel processor.

The smartphone featured a rich 4.5-inch multi-touch screen and could stream video wirelessly to Lenovo televisions. The smartphones will run on the China Unicom network.

Intel has created a “reference device” to show off the prowess of its smartphone chip technology.

Motorola Mobility, which is being bought by Google in a $12.5-billion deal, has allied with Intel to make an array of mobile devices based on Intel chips in coming years.

Motorola’s first Intel-based smartphone should in the hands of telecom carriers for validation by midyear, with handsets released to the market soon thereafter, according to company chief Sanjay Jha.

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