Intel Buys Its Way Into The Smartphone Market With Chip Acquisition

Intel (NSDQ: INTC) has purchased Infineon’s wireless unit for $1.4 billion in cash in hopes of gaining a foothold in the wireless industry, as portable devices, like phones and tablets progressively take off. While Intel has identified mobile as a hotspot for quite some time, it’s failed to make a big dent in the market. In contrast, the German chipmaker is a supplier to such mobile companies as Nokia (NYSE: NOK), Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) and LG (SEO: 066570).

Reuters reports that Infineon’s WLS mobile unit will continue to run independently once the deal closes in the first quarter of 2011.

While Intel is a huge chip supplier for PCs, its mobile chips, dubbed Atom, have been more successful in the netbook segment and less popular among smartphone vendors. Intel has made a couple of big wireless bets in the past that haven’t yet paid off. It invested heavily in WiMax by funneling millions into Clearwire (NSDQ: CLWR), hoping that market would flourish. Now, WiMax appears to be trailing more popular technologies like LTE. Intel has also teamed up with Nokia to create Meego, which is a combination of Intel