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Rumour: Intel to do a Google Nexus and release its own badged Android smartphones and tablets

Ice Cream Sandwich devices at CES
Rumour: Intel to do a Google Nexus and release its own badged Android smartphones and tablets
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There have been plenty of recent rumours concerning Intel's latest attempt to compete with arch rival ARM when it comes to chip designs for the fast growing smartphone and tablet business.

At the end of 2011, it demonstrated reference designs for smartphones and tablets running its new Medfield system-on-a-chip architecture.

There's also been news leaked from Korea that LG is involved as the manufacturer of a Medfield phone, which will be shown at CES 2012 next week.

Whatever Google can do...

So far, so good, but it seems the story has another twist - while LG is acting as the ODM, the smartphone and tablet that will be shown at CES will be officially badged as Intel devices.

After all, the best way to persuade other companies to use your smarts is to kickstart the market yourself.

Hence, following the example of Google's Nexus devices - which to-date have been made by HTC and Samsung - Intel will be pushing the devices to consumers through its own marketing channels.

Apparently, it also has a couple of North American carriers on board.

//Amended: We've since learned that the launch customers for the phone will be in Europe and India, not the US. 

As for the devices themselves, both will be running the latest Ice Cream Sandwich flavour of Android, as Intel looks to tightly aligned itself towards Google's OS, although no doubt there will Windows 8 devices later in the year.

First assault

Of course, throughout 2011 we've seen plenty of PC-oriented companies ranging from Dell and HP to Acer and Asus have a crack at the smartphone and tablet market, with results ranging from mediocre to disastrous.

Yet, with the mobile, tablet and ultrabook segments highlighted as critical to Intel's medium term future, as demonstrated by the merging for four previously separate units into a single mobile and communications division, this is going to be the first salvo in what will be a long war.

Indeed, with Intel sitting on liquid assets of over $26 billion, what's the betting on a cheeky attempt to acquire a sub-$10 billion RIM?