Orange announces the first Intel Medfield-powered Android phone for Europe, known as the Santa Clara

We heard some rumblings in the build up to Mobile World Congress that Orange would be getting set to announce a Intel powered device under their own brand and today, they've gone ahead and done just that. Codenamed Santa Clara, Orange is planning to have this device in the hands of customers in Europe by the time summer rolls around and while it comes preloaded with Gingerbread, there is a upgrade path to Android 4.0 planned for the future. Specs are calling for:

  • Processor: Intel® Atom™ processor Z2460 platform
  • Display: 4.03”, 600x1024 pixel
  • Camera - 8MP Front: 1.3mp rear
  • Video capture: 1080p with HDMI Out
  • Memory: 16GB
  • Mobile Features: GSM bands 1900 / 1800 / 900 / 850 MHz , UMTS bands: 2100 / 1900 / 900 / 850 MHz, GPRS / EDGE Class 10, Bluetooth: V2.1, A-GPS support, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Dimensions: 123 x 63 x 9.99
  • Weight: 117g

The device looks similar to the Intel reference device we saw previously at CES 2012 but with a more polished look to it. You can jump on past the break for the full press release and devices images.

Orange first to deliver exclusive new smartphone to Europe, powered by Intel technology

  • Orange celebrates the tenth year of its successful portfolio of own-branded devices by extending its range to include a new high-performance smartphone, powered by the Intel®  Atom™ processor, which will be offered exclusively to Orange’s customers in the UK and France
  • Orange is the first operator in Europe to launch this new smartphone offering the customer high-performance capabilities with a rich user experience and at an affordable price
  • This first Intel-powered Orange smartphone will feature a number of locally-relevant and unique Orange services including Orange TV, Dailymotion, Deezer, Orange Wednesdays,  Your Orange and Orange Gestures

Today, Orange announces that it will launch a new high-performance Android smartphone in Europe this summer. Powered by Intel® technology, the device currently codenamed ‘Orange Santa Clara,’ will deliver the latest in smartphone capabilities and rich entertainment experiences to more customers. The phone will first be available exclusively to Orange customers in the UK and France, where its commercial name will be unveiled at launch.

The launch of this smartphone marks a significant development in Orange’s long-standing and successful strategy to deliver phones under its own brand. Now in its tenth year, it has helped drive new device partnerships and support Orange’s customer and mobile multimedia growth by introducing more affordable feature phones and smartphones to its whole customer base. These phones are differentiated by being customised with simple and relevant Orange applications and services. Customer demand has led to the doubling of Orange’s own-branded portfolio in 2011, increasing volume from 7 per cent to 15 per cent of its total device portfolio. Orange aims to increase the volume of its own-branded device portfolio to 20 per cent in 2012 to better meet its customers’ needs, making innovative features, services and technologies more widely accessible.

Today, Orange is broadening its own-branded device portfolio with a new mobile partner, Intel, a world leader in silicon processor technology and computing innovation. At launch, the Orange smartphone will run Android’s Gingerbread platform with a planned upgrade to Android’s Ice Cream Sandwich platform shortly thereafter. The new Orange smartphone is based on Intel’s smartphone reference design and is powered by the Intel® Atom™ processor Z2460 and supports HSPA+ with the Intel® XMM™ 6260 Platform. Together, these Intel solutions deliver leading performance and energy efficiency while facilitating fast browsing and a responsive user experience. The phone has a 4.03” display, slender dimensions at 123mm x 63 x 9.99, 16 Gb of memory and weighs in at 117g.

In addition, high-definition (HD) video will support a rich entertainment offering together with mobile HD voice for outstanding audio quality. It also boasts a camera that can take 10 pictures in under a second with 8-megapixel quality to ensure customers capture all the action so they can choose the very best pictures to keep and share. Also pre-loaded will be a number of services unique to Orange, including Orange TV, Dailymotion, Deezer (France only), Orange Wednesdays Your Orange and Orange Gestures.

“The proliferation of smartphones has brought a wealth of new experiences. At Orange we firmly believe that all our customers should benefit from the smartphone revolution, and we remain committed to delivering innovative content and services across a wide range of devices to help customers stay connected and get more from their phone,” said Yves Maitre, Senior Vice President of Mobile Multimedia and Devices, Orange. “For ten years, Orange has pioneered a successful own-branded approach to delivering to its customers high quality, affordable handsets in all price ranges, packed with locally relevant and unique services and features. We are delighted to be partnering with Intel to add such an exceptional device to our portfolio.”

Today’s announcement builds on Orange’s long-standing and close relationship with Intel across its PC and tablet portfolio, and Orange continues to support Intel’s innovation and development on convergent platforms.

“The Orange device is a fantastic example of the innovation happening on Intel’s smartphone reference design,” said Mike Bell, Intel Vice President and General Manager of the company’s Mobile and Communications Group. “We are pleased to extend our close collaboration with Orange to Intel-based smartphones. Orange has a long and successful track record of innovation which has produced great mobile products and services for their customers. By combining Orange’s unique applications and services with an attractive high-performance Intel-based smartphone, Orange is once again demonstrating its wireless leadership while providing more value and customer choice.”  

Francisco Jeronimo, Research Manager European Mobile Devices, IDC, commented: "This announcement is a bold move from Orange. In today's smartphone environment it is extremely difficult to differentiate without compromising costs. This device pushes the boundaries of innovation and provides consumers with premium experiences at affordable prices."