Intel to invest $US100 million in mobile software, services

Intel takes another step to establish a footprint in the mobile device market

Intel will invest $US100 million in companies developing software and services for mobile device and PCs, a move to improve the chip maker's presence in the mobile device market.

The investments will go toward companies developing "innovative applications and digital content" for mobile devices and PCs, Intel said in a statement. The investments will made by the company's investment arm, Intel Capital, as part of a new AppUp Fund.

Initial investments of $US45 million will be made in 12 companies over the next two days. The company announced it was investing in Urban Airship, a mobile platform-as-a-service company and 4tiitoo, a German mobile software and tablet developer. 4tiitoo is best known for the WeTab tablet, an early competitor to Apple's iPad, and its operating system, WeTab OS.

As part of the AppUp Fund, Intel also plans to invest later in Happiest Minds Technologies and TeliBrahma in India; Outblaze Venture Holdings, Miartech and MakePolo.com in China; Neosem in South Korea; SNSplus and Insyde Software in South Korea; and OneBe and G-cluster in Japan.

Intel has virtually no presence in the smartphone market and is just entering the tablet market, which is ruled by ARM, whose processors are used in most devices. The fund will also invest in companies developing technology and software for ultrabooks, which is being promoted by Intel as a new category of laptops with tablet-like features. Intel in August announced a separate $US300 million fund for companies that develop new technologies for ultrabooks.

Intel currently runs the AppUp application store, where users can download applications to run on netbooks and tablets based on x86 chips. However, the store has found little adoption among users.

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