According to Eldar Murtazin, from Mobile Review, NVIDIA plans on partnering with various regional carriers to manufacture device that put Tegra on display by mid 2013. The same thing has been done in the past from manufacturers like Huawei, who made the T-Mobile MyTouch and MyTouch Q. They are called “White Label” devices. This is what NVIDIA would be looking to do initially to get the ball rolling. Build a smartphone, let a carrier put their name on it and sell it for a while. It would put NVIDIA in the mobile world, most likely using Android as the OS of choice, and lessen their one way business dealings with OEM’s who have to come to them for chips.
If things work out, NVIDIA could be putting out a couple of reference devices to various carriers. It would offer up some market share along with some profits for the mobile division beyond just selling chips to LG, HTC and the likes. Once the initial steps are out-of-the-way they could negotiate high quality parts and get them into devices with lower price points. Could be a win win for everyone. Think how well that is working for Google and ASUS with the Nexus 7.
Now, on to how I feel about the whole thing. It isn’t a terrible idea, but it could go in two totally different directions. If NVIDIA tosses out a slick-looking, high-powered Tegra 4 handset to say, T-Mobile, and they in turn label it as a MyTouch and cram it full of bloat and crazy custom UI elements, NVIDIA is going to lose out. Obviously the once popular and exciting MyTouch line has turned into an affordable alternative style device. I would personally hate to see Tegra labeled on a device that didn’t deliver what Tegra is notorious for. It is all up in the air as of right now though. I do expect them to give it a whirl and see what happens, but I doubt we will see anything concrete until late 2013. With hopes that it takes off and we get something that is a game changer.