New Intel VP Hints At Smartphone Push

Intel has fuelled speculation that it may be entering the highly competitive smartphone market, after it hired former Palm and Apple VP Mike Bell as its new vice president and director of the company's smartphone product development.

Bell has previously worked with smartphone maker Palm and has contributed to the design of Palm's Pre and Pixi devices.

He also contributed to the development of the iPhone while working at Apple.

The company confirmed that Bell would be working on a smartphone reference design for Intel, and would play a key role in developing Intel's Atom-based smartphone line.

Announcing the appointment on their website, Intel said: "Bell brings to Intel a broad range of technology experience and skills, including product development and design, hardware and software engineering and product strategy. In his new role, he will lead a team with the charter to build breakthrough Smartphone reference designs with the explicit intent of accelerating Intel Architecture into the market."

Intel, which had previously demonstrated an Atom processor-based Android smartphone, is also rumoured to be considering the acquisition of the wireless communications arm of Infineon.