We get the feeling that Intel was the dumper and Nokia the dumpee in this Valentine's Day bust-up, but laptop users are certain to be the ones left sobbing over theirTim Tamsin the end.
Intel's plans to position its forthcoming Centrino platform (codenamed 'Santa Rosa') as the ultimate mobile mix have taken a beating with the deep-sixing of the 3G HSDPA module (codenamed 'Windigo') it was developing with Nokia (codenamed 'Finnish phone supremo').
First announced at Intel's IDF/Fall gabfest in San Francisco in late September last year, Windigo was a 3G mini-card module supplied by Nokia and intended to be an OEM option for Santa Rosa notebooks. It was never revealed if the radio would be built to the HSDPA 1.8Mbps or 3.6Mbps spec.
Intel's role in the relationship was to encompass overall platform design and integration plus client software and support, along with its flexing its sales and marketing muscle. Nokia promised to design and manufacture the module and be a sharing partner with its expertise in HSDPA and carrier relationships.
There was early speculation that HSDPA was a competitor to the high-speed WiMAX standard, which requires new 802.11-based wireless technology rather than tapping into existing cellphone networks.
However, Intel's move to add HSDPA to its mobile mix was welcomed as a more global approach for its fourth-gen Centrino platform, given the accelerated rollout of HSDPA around the world compared to the immature nature of WiMAX deployments.
Making HSDPA available on the expected launch of Santa Rosa in April-May of this year would have provided users with immediate city-wide and roaming-friendly wireless broadband to complement local 11n wi-fi networks under Santa Rosa's support for the Draft N spec.
WiMAX would finalise the wireless troika following its debut as an add-on card in the Santa Rosa refresh slated for late 2007 and an integrated component on the follow-up 'Montevina' notebook platform due sometime in 2008.
But that's all gone by the wayside since Wednesday's joint announcement by Intel and Nokia that they were scrapping the notebook HSDPA module.
"We have, together with Intel, cancelled the HSDPA module cooperation in the form we formerly announced," said Nokia spokeswoman Eija-Riitta Huovinen in a statement which surprisingly lacked Hollywood separation lingo such as 'mutual decision', 'remain very good friends' and 'still respect and love each other'.
However, it seems that Intel was the one who called off the romance, judging by the comments from Intel spokeswoman Connie Brown. As with so many soured relationships, it came down to money.
"After doing further analysis, we decided it wasn't a good enough ROI to bring that product to the notebook market now," she said. However, Brown affirmed that the removal of HSDPA "doesn't change the value proposition of Santa Rosa at all".
Nor did she close the door on future HSDPA dalliances. "We will continue to look into embedding 3G capability at some time. It's certainly on the table, but we're not ready to announce anything at this time".
Nokia also wants to keep an open mind. "We are still looking at the HSDPA module case from a technological point of view, but no decisions have been made on commercializing it," said Huovinen. She also said she hoped that Nokia and Intel would remain friends, with the company continuing to cooperate with Intel in other fields.