For Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), Android was once a major part of its mobile plans, but now, the company is paying much less attention to the OS. However, the company will continue to work with Google on Chromebooks, and IOT development, says a report from PC World.
Intel scaling back its Android efforts
Lollipop – an edition of Android version 5.1.1 – was the latest version of the OS made available by Intel last year, to the public. Intel-based mobile devices mainly run Android 5.0 or older versions.
Since Intel is scaling back from the device market, it has moved away from developing Android for x86 processors – used in the smart phones. This also raises questions over Intel’s commitment to Android developments for the tablets.
Nevertheless, Intel has still got a strong association with Google. “We will continue to work with Google on supporting their OS for different product lines including Chromebooks, tablets and IOT products,” Intel spokeswomen said in an e-mail to PC World.
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Intel refused to comment on the level of its commitment to developing Android tablets – a market with dropping device shipments. Also, Intel’s Android upgrades for tablets have been much less, suggesting the company is not focused on it as it once did. Dell won’t deliver OS upgrades to its now discontinued Android-based Venue tablets that run on Intel’s Atom chips. And like Dell, Intel too has shifted its focus from tablets to 2-in-1s, which operates mostly on Windows.
Intel also isn’t very sure about continuing the support for Android with its other processors like Celeron, Pentium and Core. The x86 version of Intel’s Android was mostly built with Atom processor, which the chip maker is phasing out from tablets and PCs in favor of new chips – code named Apollo Lake. According to Intel’s executives, most Apollo Lake systems will run on Windows, and it isn’t certain if they will support Android or not.
Strong association with Google
Nevertheless, there are some signs that Android will continue with Intel chips. For example, Asus announced to bring Android 6.0 version – code named-Marshmallow – to its Intel-based Zenfone2 handsets in the second-quarter.
Despite waning Android efforts, Intel’s association with Google is expected to remain strong with a focus on new target markets. In April, Intel said about dismissing 12,000 employees to pursue growth in other areas like IOT, servers, connectivity, 2-in-1s, silicon products and FPGAs.
Intel is a lead partner in Google’s Brillo – an embedded IOT-OS with the basics of Android. Brillo works on Intel’s Edison development board, and can be used to make smart home devices, wearables, robots, and more. But, the chip maker is missing out on some of Google’s exciting projects like Day dream, a VR platform for Android devices.