A news agency has reported Intel Corp. is set to announce it has struck an agreement to supply wireless chips to Nokia Corp., the world's biggest mobile handset manufacturer.
Bloomberg News said Tuesday (June 23) Intel "landed Nokia as a customer for mobile chips," citing unidentified sources close to the transaction.
Intel stoked speculations Monday (June 22) when it sent out a statement saying it would "host a breaking news conference" Tuesday with Anand Chandrasekher, head of the ultra mobility group at the No. 1 global semiconductor vendor. The company did not provide details.
If confirmed, a chip supply deal between Intel and Nokia will represent a major breakthrough for the semiconductor manufacturer, which while holding more than a two-third share of the global IC market for PC microprocessors, has been trying hard to expand into the faster-growing mobile communication sector.
Chandrasekher headed the development of Intel's original Centrino chips and has reportedly been "trying to make the MID (mobile internet device) space happen with Atom—another Intel chip—for a while," according to Techinsights LLC microprocessor industry expert Rick Merritt.
Nokia executives estimate the company's global mobile handset market share slid in the first quarter to about 37 percent from 39 percent in the comparable 2008 quarter but the company noted in a statement that it expected its performance to improve in the current quarter.
Intel had previously tried and failed to break into the wireless handset market. The company in 2006 terminated its efforts in the sector after spending more than $5 billion over years but with its market share peaking in the PC segment, Intel has again been pushing to gain a foothold in other industry sectors, especially in wireless communications.
Intel is scheduled to make an announcement at 11.30 EST.