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Intel to Step into Mobile Apps

On Sept. 23, chipmaker Intel announced it will launch, in 2010, its own store peddling applications for mobile devices. The app store is expected to cater to devices ranging from netbooks to cars to handsets, and to look similar to the popular Apple App Store.

Clearly, Intel as a company is morphing. Once, it used to make chips that went into computers and other devices. More recently, with the acquisition of WindRiver, Intel has been moving to offer software and services, some of which it may offer to consumers directly. Essentially, Intel is removing the middlemen ?computer makers — to interact with end users directly.

Can Intel swing it? I don’t see why not. Thanks to its famed “Intel Inside” campaign, Intel is a household name. It’s already a consumer brand, and Intel is smart to capitalize on that.

Its PC maker partners will be able to promote the resulting apps in their own-branded stores. It looks like Acer, Asus and Dell have already signed up to participate.

One interesting bit: It looks like Intel is courting Windows developers. According to the announcement, “developers will be able to write applications once and have them run on Windows and Moblin — [that’s Intel’s software on which apps for the app store will be based] — devices.”

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