Will Google seek to craft the Motorola Atrix 3 into a competitor to the iPhone 5 by ditching its TI chips for one of the new Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 chips?
The recent report of a supply shortfall among the new 28nm Qualcomm S4 Snapdragon chips and its possible implications for the iPhone 5 has spurred a few new stories — namely, what other 2012 smartphones might be vying for the same chips. Just today, we explored the possibilities that the Samsung Galaxy S 3 might soon debut with many of the hardware features that are rumored for the iPhone 5. The Samsung Galaxy series is often considered to be a natural rival to the iPhone, so all eyes are on Samsung starting today to see what the GS3 will deliver.
But what about the Motorola Atrix 3? After Google’s acquisition of Motorola, it has been assumed that the search engine giant would use the Motorola brand to design and manufacture their first truly in-house smartphone that could take on the iPhone from top to bottom. By having total oversight and control over the design and manufacturing, a model like the rumored Atrix 3 could live up the same quality, performance, and features that have propelled the iPhone to enjoy evergreen success.
Coincidentally, the Atrix 3 is back in the news, and guess what — rumors suggest it may use chips from the same set of Qualcomm S4 Snapdragon chips that are currently in short supply.
According to Droid Matters:
“. . . a recent GLBenchmark result for an AT&T Motorola device going under model number MB886 is showing that it will feature Qualcomm’s 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 MSM8960 processor- the same one found in the HTC One XL which is rumored to launch sometime next week on AT&T. The MB886 is rumored to be the Atrix 3 and will reportedly have a screen resolution of 1196 x 720- similar to the Galaxy Nexus, meaning that the Moto phone may get on-screen buttons.
With NVIDIA still in the process of designing their LTE-capable chips, Motorola opted for Qualcomm, because of their known compatibility with LTE networks. The S4 processor is already getting great feedback from the tech community and the recently leaked benchmarks for the AT&T HTC One X can prove it.”
This great report from Zack Nebbaki clearly reveals the Atrix 3 will be outfitted with the same rumored 28nm chips for the LTE iPhone 5. It is very possible that both Apple and Google/Motorola have managed to exhaust supplies of these chips in a production ramp-up for summer releases.
But what I also found interesting was Droid Matters’ mentioning of on-screen buttons for the Atrix 3. The home button issue for the iPhone 5 is long-running, with early speculation wondering if Apple might finally forego the home button. The inclusion of the home button on the iPad 3 seemed to have dissipated any fresh speculation about the iPhone 5 ending up with no home button, but with recent rumors of seamless bonding, edge-to-edge screens, and a LiquidMetal back, now the suggestion that a top rival like the Atrix 3 featuring on-screen buttons makes one wonder if the iPhone 5 could replace the physical home button with an on-screen variant in order to create a completely smooth, seamless form factor. To be sure, the proposed longer screen would allow for this functionality. In any case, it will be interesting to see what happens with the Atrix 3 — whether it’ll be released before or after the iPhone 5, and if it will be able to live up to some of the hype surrounding it as Google’s eventual answer to the iPhone franchise.
By Michael Nace