When looking at all those SoC chips on crippled minuscule motherboards for the phone it doesn't look like rocket science to build one. The SoC chips have everything prepared, all you have to do is to throw in some memory, a GSM/3G/4G module, a display and some ports and expansion slots etc and you're ready to go. To make and design a phone is a lot easier today than it was 10 or 15 years ago. So it seems that mobile giants such as Nokia, Motorola, Sony-Ericsson look more like software houses than hardware manufacturers.
So it wouldn't be much of a problem for Intel to sneeze out a whole line of MeeGo phones with little effort if they want to once the software is set and the drivers are solid.
I've been thinking that the ease of designing the hardware is threatening the significance of mobile vendors in a similar fashion as the record industry is threatened by the easy of making your own music and sharing it on the internet. How the mobile vendors are responding to such threats isn't that difficult to figure out now that we have observed how the record companies do.
I also believe that most of the big mobile vendors also make telecommunication equipment for the mobile infrastructure such as transmitters, slave stations, transponders etc (it's probably turnkey in most cases). These things are not easy to make, design and manufacture so I guess that they will have the upper hand for quite a bit of time to come.
i thought the whole linux os was a good idea back when intel started it as moblin, i used a beta of moblin on my netbook once that was a very early build of the os, i can see promise in it. I am not sure how much has changed since the merge with nokia, but now that nokias gone i think intel should rename it back to moblin (mobile linux) and finish developement
HappyBB: MeeGo is Nokia's answer to Google's Android. The difference is that MeeGo is fully open and it is a full-blown Linux system which Android is not. One very important part of a software environment is also the tools for developing applications on it.
Nokia has over the past few years developed the developing environment called Qt which has gained wide spread popularity not just for mobile phone applications but also for desktop applications. You see, everything you develop in Qt can be run in Windows/Linux/MacOS/*NIX/Symbian/Maemo/MeeGo. Examples of Qt based applications are VLC, Skype, Google Earth, VirtualBox. More info can be found here (qt.nokia.com). This cross-platform compatibility makes it a lot easier for an operating system such as MeeGo to transition into Tablets or whatever than it is for say Android as its developing environment does not have that strong cross-plattform support and it is not as well developed.
Since MeeGo is a fully-blown Linux build; with it comes the full Linux userland. This means that anything that you can run on Linux can be run on MeeGo. Sure you may not want to run everything on MeeGo and applications such as OpenOffice, FireFox, Gimp, InkScape or Blender may not be useful on a phone since they are built for a desktop computer. But many applications are skinnable so in most cases applying a skin or user interface adapted for phones will solve the problems with applications such as Mozilla Thunderbird or Firefox which is a lot easier than rewriting the whole codebase which is often the case when porting applications to mobile phones.
Also any application you can run on Android can be run in MeeGo. The following is a video of a guy who runs Android apps on a Nokia N900: