Indian handset manufacturer Lava today announced the imminent launch of what will be the world's first Intel-based smartphone to hit the consumer market, beating Lenovo and Orange to the punch. Dubbed Xolo X900, the device will launch Monday April 23 in India and will be sold at a street price of approximately 22,000 rupees, or about $420, through a national chain of megastores called Croma.

In terms of specifications, the Xolo X900 packs a 1.6GHz Atom Z2460 (Medfield) processor with a 400MHz graphics chip clock capable of full-HD video encoding and playback, HDMI-out, 1GB of RAM, an 8-megapixel camera with burst mode, 16GB internal storage, HSPA+ 3G connectivity, and a 4.03-inch 1024x600 LCD screen. It also supports Near Field Communication and additional storage through microSD cards. Intel claims battery life of up to 5 hours with 3G browsing and 8 hours of talk time.

Initially the phone will run on Android 2.3 Gingerbread, but an over-the-air software upgrade to the more recent Ice Cream Sandwich release of Google's mobile OS is planned "shortly," according to Lava and Intel.

With this, Intel has made good on its promise to launch its first smartphone in 2012. The launch marks a major milestone for the company, which has has been synonymous with the PC industry but struggled to break into the mobile segment while ARM licensees like Qualcomm and Nvidia took all the glory.

It's still too early to tell if their efforts will gain any traction in the short and mid-term, but for now at least they have a few other manufacturers lined up to release their own Atom-powered handsets, with devices from Lenovo, Orange, Motorola, and ZTE due in the coming weeks and months.