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Would you buy an Intel smartphone?

Intel concept smartphone and mobile Internet device designs are compelling. Will they be realized? And would you buy one?

Intel concept wide-screen mobile device
Intel concept wide-screen mobile device Intel

Intel smartphone and mobile Internet device concept designs have potential. So, as Intel prepares to enter the smartphone market with LG Electronics and others, will these designs be realized? And would you buy one?

One thing is certain. A re-badged Apple iPhone running Windows isn't going to upset the Apple cart (pun intended).

So, one obvious challenge is for Intel to get its considerable weight behind a new smartphone or mobile Internet device (MID) design that resets the market.

Just so happens there's a design that Intel has been brandishing for a couple of years now (see photos). It's essentially a high-end wide-screen smartphone or MID (choose your favorite device category nomenclature).

A series of videos demonstrating the Intel Moorestown-based mobile device pretty clearly show how--by virtue of the wide screen--the device would be different.

Intel concept device, with virtual keyboard
Intel concept device, with virtual keyboard Intel

Now, if that device could run a browser and basic applications faster than my BlackBerry Storm (which I gauge has circa 1995 PC performance) on a bigger screen, that would be enough for me to buy one.

At least one analyst expects big things from Intel in this market. Doug Freedman of Broadpoint AmTech upgraded Intel to a "buy" this week, partially on expectations that Intel may flourish in the system-on-a-chip market as a result of the chip production deal struck earlier this month with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing. Intel's upcoming Moorestown chip--the linchpin of the deal--is a system-on-a-chip that's targeted, not coincidentally, at high-end smartphones, among other devices.

Freedman had this to say in a research note about Intel: "The TSMC (deal) likely opens the door to highly integrated (system-on-a-chip) solutions for target markets such as consumer, wireless, communications and networking infrastructure, and automotive," he wrote. "Though we cannot assign a value to future business opportunities without specific customer announcements or end-market intentions...We note that a minor incremental opportunity would not have triggered a press release event for Intel or TSMC."

Translation: there's probably something pretty big in the works.