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Contrary to our previous reports we got a tip that iPhone SE will continue using Qualcomm modems and not change to Intel.
The tear downs will start happening soon but our sources very close to the matter said with high certainly that all iPhone SE come with an updated Qualcomm modem.
Intel is still in the run but apparently Apple still felt confident to continue using Qualcomm even for this generation of the phone. A few analysts did suggested that iPhone 7 and beyond might get Intel LTE hardware, but not with iPhone SE.
Back in December, when we originally wrote that Intel got the iPhone SE deal, our sources did suggest that Apple can still change its mind if it doesn’t feel that Intel modem is ready. This might be the case, but in the future, we are quite confident that Apple will get a second LTE supplier at some point, just as it did with different manufacturing fabs.
Having two suppliers will drive the cost down, and for Apple every dollar or cent they save of components means millions more in its pocket. Apple claims “LTE up to 50 percent faster than iPhone 5s,” but it doesn’t give a real number. The iPhone 5S uses MDM9615 that was first introduced in 2011. This modem is at the technology range of Cat 4, X5 modem that Qualcomm ships in its entry level SoCs or as an external component.
We will have to wait for the first teardowns to appear as it is not easy to get to “ LTE up to 50 percent faster than iPhone 5s.” You would need a modem that is capable of 225 Mbps and the next of potential candidates for the iPhone SE is the MDM 20nm 9×35. Qualcomm calls this modem X7 these days, it use to call it Gobi back in late 2014 and this is a Cat 6, 300 Mbit per second download and 50 Mbit per second upload capable chip.
The fact that Apple continues the exclusive deal with Qualcomm is bad news for Intel, but we are sure that the team blue will keep working on getting inside of iPhone.
Comments Off on Is The Smartwatch Boom Really A Bust?
The bottom is dropping out of the smart watch industry as VC’s start to realise that the Apple dream is not making many people much dosh.
This week smartwatch maker Pebble CEO Eric Migicovsky blamed VCs for not giving him all the money he needs and laid off a quarter of its workforce.
Only a few years ago, Pebble was the darling of the crowdfunding crowd, having raised over $30 million on Kickstarter. This was when Apple was rumoured to be making one and the Tame Apple Press was claiming they were going to be the next big thing,
When Migicovsky confirmed the layoffs. He implied that VCs are now less keen on funding the dream.
Now Apple, which was said to be the market leader of smartwatches, has dropped the price of the Apple Watch by $50. It is probably not going to upgrade the next one with any serious bells and whistles. It looks like the only people who bought one were Apple’s hard core of fanboys who buy everything that Jobs’ Mob makes regardless of whether they need it.
The IDC sees wearable devices reaching 110 million by the end of 2016 which should be 38.2 percent growth. But it seems that this is not enough.
Fitbit was initially championed as an industry leader but this year saw its stock has been battered in 2016. It appears that Smartwatches haven’t set the market alight. Pebble’s rivals are Apple, Samsung, Motorola, LG and others. It also does not have any other businesses to fall back on.
Intel has created a new smartphone with a 3D RealSense camera that can recognize objects and detect motion and gestures, much like a Kinect camera.
The smartphone is being made available as a reference device for anyone interested in discovering new uses for 3D cameras in handsets. The 3D camera is a smaller and more advanced version of the RealSense cameras in PCs and tablets.
For $399, users will get an Android smartphone with a 6-inch screen that can display images at a 2560 x 1440-pixel resolution. The RealSense ZR300 depth camera, which is placed at the edge of the phone, can capture 10 million points per second. The phone also has a 2-megapixel front camera and 8-megapixel rear camera.
The phone isn’t for daily use, but more for capturing 3D images, taking cool selfies and experimenting with the RealSense camera. It has only 3G connectivity, so aside from the camera features it isn’t very useful beyond making basic phone calls. It has an Intel Atom x7-Z8700 processor, which is in Microsoft’s Surface 3, so don’t expect long battery life. It has 64GB of storage, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and an HDMI port.
Users can reserve the smartphone; Intel did not provide a shipping date. It will only ship to U.S. customers.
Verizon has rolled out ThingSpace, a development platform for companies of all sizes to create Internet of Things applications more efficiently and then later manage those apps.
The carrier also announced it is creating a new dedicated network core for IoT connections that can scale far beyond the ability of its existing networks with the intent to reach billions of sensors and devices.
“Continued innovation in smart cities, connected cars and wearables demonstrates that IoT is the future for how we will live and work,” said Mike Lanman, senior vice president of enterprise products at Verizon during an event held at Verizon’s San Francisco Innovation Center. He said Verizon is taking a “holistic approach” to help expand the IoT market from millions of connections to billions. The event was webcast.
Other major wireless carriers, including AT&T, are developing programs to offer a range of services to industries and cities for connecting IoT sensors to wireless networks and then to cloud services for data analysis.
At Verizon, Lanman said the company is working to lower the cost of connecting billions of existing devices that companies have used for years to Verizon’s network. Holding up a new computer chip made by Sequans Communications, an LTE chip maker, he said the chip will provide a “significant reduction in cost…that changes the game.” It will provide 4G LTE connectivity in modules connected to IoT devices to “make the wide-area network more accessible to developers.”
Also, next year Verizon will launch a new IoT core network within its LTE network to provide a “much lower cost” than with Verizon’s existing wired and wireless networks.
“The cost for an IoT module and the cost to connect will both drop dramatically,” Lanman added. “Whether you are connecting your dog or water meters and any other low-payload devices, we’ll handle it through a new IoT core.”
Qualcomm has continued its friendship with Microsoft by extending its latest LTE-Advanced modem, the X12, to Windows 10 notebooks and tablets.
The chipmaker was the only major chip provider to optimize its architecture for Windows Phone, and Microsoft’s Lumia devices, which run on Snapdragon 808 and 810 chips.
The Windows 10 devices which come to market later this year will have the option to integrate cellular connectivity with the X12, X7 or X5 LTE modems, which support the Microsoft operating system’s native Mobile Broadband Interface Model (MBIM).
Qualcomm said this would give business users, in particular, a similar experience on their large-screened devices as on their smartphones, giving the particular examples of location-based services and security driving LTE usage on PCs and tablets.
Integrated cellular connectivity has not been so important for notebook users, outside of a few scenarios such as WiFi-less trains, most wireless access from notebooks, and even tablets, is over a WLAN.
Qualcomm makes WiFi chips for portable devices but it does not have such a big market share. Working with Microsoft means it could have a higher presence and a far better chance of delivering mass sales. The Surface Pro and its new Surface Book, is getting good reviews and might even be popular.
Comments Off on Microsoft, Google Cease Fire In Global Patent Deal
Microsoft has been pursuing a more collaborative approach under CEO Satya Nadella, engaging longtime rivals like Salesforce, VMware and Apple. There hasn’t been much love between Microsoft and Google, but an announcement on Wednesday points towards an easing of those tensions.
Google and Microsoft have reached a broad agreement on patent matters, with a legal settlement ending some 20 lawsuits between the companies in the U.S. and Germany. Financial terms weren’t disclosed, but the deal brings a laundry list of lawsuits to a close.
“Microsoft and Google are pleased to announce an agreement on patent issues,” they said in a joint statement. “As part of the agreement, the companies will dismiss all pending patent infringement litigation between them, including cases related to Motorola Mobility.”
They also agreed to collaborate on patent matters and work together “to benefit our customers.”
The suits that have been settled include those related to mobile phones, video encoding and Wi-Fi technologies. That doesn’t mean Microsoft has given up its campaign to collect royalties from Android device makers for the mobile operating system’s alleged infringement of Microsoft patents.
It’s not clear from the statement what patent matters the companies will be working on together in the future, but changes have already begun. The two companies agreed earlier this month to work together (alongside other firms like Netflix and Mozilla) on a royalty-free video codec.
It remains to be seen if the settlement will lead to more work between Microsoft and Google in other areas. A major sticking point for consumers has been the lack of a Google-made YouTube app for smartphones and tablets running Windows.
Bittorrent and WD have teamed up to create a 1TB drive for the Raspberry Pi. The Pi Drive has been designed especially for the Raspberry Pi Model B+ and the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B, and offers a viable way to turn a Pi into a media centre, NAS and PVR all in one.
BitTorrent Sync makes it possible to sync content from all your devices straight to the drive, bypassing the cloud and making it an excellent backup device.
It differs from a standard hard drive, not least because it’s low-powered enough to be run off the USB port that charges your Pi, using a splitter cable supplied – no mean feat for a mechanical drive.
It’s not perfect. It’s a standard 2.5in drive but with a USB connection rather than a SATA which means it’s bigger than the Pi and you’ll need to create a bespoke case or let it all hang out in true maker fashion.
Essentially, it’s the same type of drive that you would see if you smashed open one of WD’s external drives, but it would take a brave soul to do so and this way you get the right cable and software to make it all work together.
The tie-up between BitTorrent and WD comes as the former announces version 2.2 of the Sync service which we have been following since inception.
The new version offers a clearer delineation between home and pro users. Home users can buy a lifetime licence for $39.99 which covers all 2.x releases. This comes in addition to the perpetual free version which will no longer be limited to 10 folders.
Instead the monetized version will come from business customers who remain on a monthly fee, and pro user subscriptions for advanced features such as collaboration and file sharing introduced in version 2.1.
The Pi Drive retails at $80 with a 35 percent discount offer through BitTorrent with the code WDPIDRIVE1TB. UK sellers are yet to be confirmed, but will form part of the newly launched BitTorrent Sync reseller programme that launches with this edition.
Intel is taking its competitive game up a notch by investing in its own drones.
Intel has written a check for more than US$60 million to Yuneec International, a Chinese aviation company and drone maker.
This is not the first time that the Chipmaker has invested in drones. It has written smaller amounts for the drone makers Airware and PrecisionHawk. The Yuneec deal is its largest investment in a drone company yet.
Apparently Intel thinks that drones are potential computing platforms for its processors.
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said he believed in a smart and connected world. And one of the best ways to bring that smart and connected world to everyone and everywhere has been drones.
Amazon and Google are developing drones as they seek new ways to deliver items to consumers, Intel just wants to make sure that its chips are delivering the payload. There is no indication that it is building a secret airforce which it will use to take down competition – that would be silly.
Yuneec makes a range of drones built for aerial photography and imaging. Its technology also powers manned electric aircraft.
Qualcomm has launched its new Official Safety Car for season two of the FIA’s Formula E Championship.
For those not in the know, the Formula E Championship is for electric cars, and they are no longer the milk floats that English people get stuck behind in narrow streets.
The new Official Qualcomm Safety Car is the BMW i8 but it will be charged wirelessly with an advanced Qualcomm Halo 7.2kW wireless charging system.
The Qualcomm Halo 7.2kW wireless charging system delivers twice the amount of energy to the BMW i8′s batteries per hour as compared to last year’s 3.6kW system.
This halves the full charge time, enabling the vehicle to fully charge in one hour. Employing Qualcomm Halo DD technology, with magnetic architecture optimization, ensures higher coupling coefficients and drives lower system currents, higher inefficiencies and the ability to support higher power levels.
A Qualcomm spokesman said that an open championship has encouraged teams to develop their own powertrain tech.
This ensures that the racing remains highly competitive, and it supports the goal of Formula E to advance the development of new technologies for electric vehicles and to bring those technologies, vital to sustainable mobility, to the attention of millions of people around the globe, a spokesman said.
Qualcomm’s general manager of wireless charging, Steve Pazol said Qualcomm was excited to continue its support of Formula E in this second season.
Comments Off on Will Qualcomm Give Some Workers The Boot?
Qualcomm is undergoing major restructuring and one side-effect of the overhaul is that some 4,000 jobs might be slashed.
The company, according to our well informed industry sources, will announce this during the upcoming Qualcomm Q3 FY15 earnings conference call that Is scheduled for July 22. We could not find out which jobs will be affected, but we expect that the company will shad more light on it during the call.
In December 2014 the company announced that it would slash some 900 jobs and it ended up slashing roughly 1,500 jobs. This will be the first major announcement and it comes at a bad time, as the company’s sales numbers are not that great. Qualcomm lost its highest end customer, Samsung, and companies like HTC who are using the Snapdragon 810 are not too happy about company’s highest end SoC offering.
Qualcomm has around 31,300 employees, which is still not that much considering that Intel has some 100,000, but its main SoC competitor, MediaTek, has just over 10,000 employees making its operational costs much smaller.
If the number of employees 31,300 didn’t change in recent months, slashing 4,000 jobs would mean cutting the 12.8 percent of the workforce. This is a major adjustment, no question about it.
Still, we believe that the server division will start making some money in 2016 and the new Snapdragon 820 is expected to start shipping later this year. In the long run, the company is more than fine, it is just that the competitors have changed from Nvidia and Intel to MediaTek.