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Russia's Megafon launches $550 Intel Atom smartphone

Intel fast, Rolex priced
Thu Aug 23 2012, 10:32

CHIPMAKER Intel has been chosen by Russian mobile operator Megafon as the chip supplier for its Mint smartphone.

Megafon is one of Russia's largest mobile operators and has followed in the footsteps of Orange in the UK to release a smartphone based on Intel's reference Atom design. The Mint smartphone has specifications that are almost identical to those of the Orange San Diego, with a 1.6GHz Atom Z2460 chip and 400MHz graphics core driving a 4.03in screen.

Intel is keen to point out that just like the Orange San Diego smartphone, Megafon's Mint device can take a burst of 10 8MP photos in one second. The two firms have been working on customising the Android interface for the Russian market.

Christopher McGuire, GM of reference devices for Intel's Mobile and Communications Group said, "Our engagement with Megafon is a step forward in accelerating the adoption of Intel architecture across new mobile market segments and geographies. We look forward to our continued collaboration with Megafon and to bringing consumers in Russia new device experiences enabled by Intel technology."

Megafon's Mint smartphone is the first one to use Intel's Atom Z2460 chip that is available to Russians, but judging by the pricing, which works out to $550, it might not set the sales charts alight. Given that Intel has stressed that the Orange San Diego, effectively the same device, is a mid-range smartphone, the Megafon Mint seems like an expensive bit of mobile kit for what it is.

Megafon said customers can buy the Mint immediately, though with the new Iphone just around the corner and Samsung's Galaxy S3 offering more features, the company might not find many takers. µ


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