Qualcomm said it will begin selling its Toq smart watch on Dec. 2--Cyber Monday, the day after the Black Friday holiday shopping bonanza--for $349. Although Qualcomm has made it clear the device is more of a proof of concept than a mass market attack on the smart watch segment (the Toq is far more expensive than other smart watches on the market), the effort by Qualcomm is nonetheless notable as it represents a rare straight-to-consumer business effort from the world's largest maker of mobile silicon.
China's Tsinghua Unigroup is not a well-known brand in the West, but its recent acquisition spree could make it a much more significant player among fabless chip companies targeting the feature phone and smartphone sectors.
"The modem is truly the foundation of the mobile experience," said Alex Katouzian, senior vice president of product management for Qualcomm Technologies in his keynote last week at the company's first modem workshop. The chipmaking giant invited press and analysts to the private modem event in San Francisco, where Qualcomm made a case for increased industry attention to competitive benchmarking of modem performance.
The first products with Nvidia's Tegra 4i chipset, which combines the company's application processor with an LTE modem, will be rolling into the market in the first half of next year, but likely will not be aimed at the U.S. market, according to CEO Jen-Hsun Huang.
Qualcomm, the world's largest supplier of silicon to smartphones, warned that its growth rate would slow next year due to increases in the sale of less expensive phones, among other reasons. The news sent the company's stock down slightly in trading this morning to around $67 per share. However, the company, in its just completed fiscal fourth quarter, notched significant increases in earnings and sales.
Qualcomm, which has made a business manufacturing chips for smartphones, is emerging as a "serious contender" in the market for set-top chips, IHS said in a research report released Friday.
Confirming rumors that a deal was in the works, a subsidiary of Qualcomm has acquired technology asssets and hired nearly two dozen employees from Arteris, a French firm that licenses network-on-chip interconnect IP technology.
"Intel Inside" now extends to multimode LTE modems aimed at tablets and smartphones as the vendor makes an impressive play for a part of the chip market currently owned by Qualcomm.
LTE Broadcast is probably still some way ahead in Europe as operators continue to focus on their macro LTE services launches, but the interest in the technology's potential is clearly there. While operators such as EE see cost savings through the optimisation of spectrum and backhaul as an early opportunity for the technology, other use cases are expected to emerge over time, with events currently expected to be the initial launch pad for service offerings.
SAN FRANCISCO--As interest grows in the wearables space, the current leaders in the market remain largely divided on how the segment will progress and where it is headed. However, most agree that the wearables space is poised to bloom.