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Steve Jobs 'very happy' at Intel's Infineon purchase, says Otellini

Intel’s $1.4 billion takeover of baseband chip maker, Infineon’s wireless unit, is being seen by some as a potential threat to Apple, but Steve Jobs doesn’t see it that way, at least according to Intel CEO, Paul Otellini, speaking to Fox.

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In fact it seems the two CEO’s are in touch with each other — Otellini even rang Jobs before making the acquisition, just to feel out the ground.

“Steve was very happy,” Otellini told Fox Business TV. “The industry was abuzz that this business unit was on the market, and there were a number of competing companies for it. I think they are very happy that Intel won the bid.”

The move puts Intel at the center of the mobile industry. These baseband chips from Infineon are used inside the iPhone as well as inside the Samsung Galaxy Android phone. Infineon is in the top five in its indsutry.

On the eve of Apple’s keynote speech this evening, it is interesting to look at what else Intel’s boss reveals, telling Fox that in future the Infineon purchase isn’t just about smartphones, but also about putting a little connectivity inside products like TVs and computers.

“We look forward to a period in the not-so-distant future where all of these functions can be on a single chip. Intel has great capabilities and applications processors today, but bringing in the capabilities for 3G and ultimately LTE (Long-Term Evolution) onto the chip, that makes a lot of sense to us from an economic and power standpoint.”

That focus on TV as the new consumer electronics battle ground is also interesting in light of Samsung’s move to launch a $500,000 apps for television development challenge this week.

Dubbed, ‘Free The TV’ the challenge offers up to half a million dollars value of cash prizes to firms developing applications for smart televisions. In another move, Samsung is developing a solution to make Galaxy S handsets work as remote controls for its family of smart televisions.

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