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Wednesday, October 06, 2010, 08:00 pm PT (11:00 pm ET)

Intel hopes to court developers with iPhone app conversion tool

Intel is currently developing a tool to aid developers in porting iPhone applications to Intel-based devices in hopes of increasing development for and interest in Intel processors.

Intel vice president Doug Fisher revealed the tool in an interview Tuesday, Macworld reports. The tool will simplify the conversion process from an iPhone app to an Intel-based app by identifying the necessary changes, said Fisher.

"Getting people excited to develop to Intel platforms is absolutely critical to us,” Fisher said. Intel's strategy involves developer tools, competitions and improved monetization of apps.

Increased interest in app development for Intel devices would hopefully drive sales of the company's chips. Fisher sees applications heading to AppUp, Intel's app store for netbooks, first, then eventually to MeeGo and even Windows. AppUp was announced in January, but has failed to gain much traction.

The tool could draw developers to the fledgling MeeGo mobile OS. Earlier this year, Intel and Nokia announced a partnership to combine their work on separate Linux-based mobile operating systems into one platform: MeeGo.

Gartner predicts that MeeGo will remain a niche OS with only a small share of the worldwide mobile OS market. 2014 projections by the research firm placed MeeGo in fifth, slightly ahead of the Windows Phone platform.

Intel is pushing to assert itself after having lost ground in the mobile space to ARM Holdings. Although Intel still provides the chips for Apple's Mac line of computers, the Santa Clara, Calif.-company's chips are conspicuously absent from Apple's iOS offerings.

Apple's custom A4 processor, which employs a CPU from ARM, is found in the iPad, iPhone 4, fourth-generation iPod touch, and Apple TV. The new Apple TV in particular was a setback for Intel, as previous versions of the set top box had been based on an Intel processor.

In September, Intel CEO Paul Otellini called the Apple TV redesign a "step backward" while highlighting Intel's partnership with Google on the Google TV platform. Otellini touted Google TV as having the "full internet," unlike Apple TV or the iPhone.

In order to make inroads into the wireless market, Intel purchased German chipmaker Infineon's wireless division this summer for $1.4 billion. Infineon makes the baseband chip for the iPhone. After the purchase, rumors emerged that Apple would swap the Infineon baseband for a Qualcomm one on the next iPhone.