ZTE will launch Nvidia Tegra 4-based smartphones, but not soon

Qualcomm's new Snapdragon processor lineup has cast a shadow over Nvidia's Tegra 4 ever since its CES 2013 unveiling in Las Vegas. Especially thanks to new smartphone releases such as LG's Optimus G Pro and HTC's One flagship, which both feature Qualcomm's Snapdragon 600 processor. So where does Nvidia fit in the new mobile scene?

Accustomed to having its Tegra products used in flagship Android devices generally unveiled with much fanfare, Nvidia's latest partnership with Chinese telecommunications company ZTE seems bland by comparison, and almost flew under the radar. On Thursday, ZTE announced that it will release "the first super phones powered by the Nvidia Tegra 4 mobile processor", without going into too much detail as to what prospective customers can expect.

The first smartphones to hit the market using the Tegra 4 processor will be released in China before the second half of 2013. He Shiyou, ZTE EVP and Head of the Terminal Division says: "This is a clear demonstration of ZTE’s ability to quickly develop, and bring to market, market-leading devices running the industry’s latest technologies". However "quickly" is not that quick -- it will take up to five months to release a Tegra 4-based device on the market.

Qualcomm unveiled the Snapdragon 600 at the same trade show as Nvidia and already there are two smartphones coming based on that processor. The LG-made Optimus G Pro launches this week in South Korea and the HTC-made One hits the market starting in March. Before the second half of 2013 sounds later than March.

ZTE also revealed that not all of its Tegra-4 based smartphones will feature the optional Icera i500 chipset, which delivers 4G LTE voice and data. The Chinese company announced that only one such device is in store, suggesting that the majority of Tegra 4-based smartphones will be part of a 3G-only affair.

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