Qualcomm targets TVs, PCs in bid to expand beyond phones

LAS VEAGS--Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) CEO Paul Jacobs used his kickoff keynote here at the Consumer Electronics Show to both highlight Qualcomm's various business activities and stimulate the company's efforts to expand from the wireless industry and into the wider consumer electronics world. Specifically, the company highlighted the forthcoming e-readers, TVs and PCs that will be launched running its processors and display technologies.

Qualcomm ceo paul jacobs ces

Jacobs

Much of Qualcomm's business centers on the silicon it sells to phone and tablet makers, headlined by its Snapdragon offering. On that score, Jacobs said there are 300 devices in the market running Snapdragon and another 350 in development. And, for the future of Snapdragon, Jacobs detailed Qualcomm's new Snapdragon S4 product, the company's fastest and most powerful processor. He said Qualcomm's new S4 line is currently being integrated into more than 70 devices from 20 leading OEMs.

But, as Jacobs explained, Snapdragon in phones and tablets is just the start of Qualcomm's ambitions. For evidence, he highlighted Lenovo's new K91 Smart TV. The TV, bound for the Chinese market, runs Android 4.0 and is powered by Snapdragon S4. In a demonstration of the TV led by Lenovo's Lui Jun, the gadget ran live TV, video-on-demand TV and Android applications like Gameloft's Asphalt 6 game. That the TV runs Android mobile games like Asphalt 6 is notable because it could dramatically expand the addressable market for Android game makers beyond phones and tablets and into consumers' homes, via their TVs.

In a separate demo, Jacobs showed off a tablet running the ARM version of Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows 8. The device could also access AT&T Mobility's (NYSE:T) new LTE network, a feature Jacobs said was a first for the Windows 8 platform. That Microsoft added ARM support to its forthcoming Windows 8 operating system (Microsoft previously only supported x86 architecture on its Windows platform) is notable for Qualcomm because it opens the Windows 8 PC market to the company.

During Jacobs' keynote, he also touched on the wide variety of Qualcomm's business undertakings. He noted the company's efforts in augmented reality, wireless healthcare, Mirasol displays and home networking. In home networking, Qualcomm's new Atheros division today announced several new products--including a software package dubbed Hy-Fi that supports the IEEE 1905.1 standard; its new Wi-Fi Display technology based on the Wi-Fi Direct standard; and its new Skifta Media Shifting Platform--that are aimed at the home networking segment of the consumer electronics market. Qualcomm's goal is to get TV, computer and other electronics makers to integrate the technology into their products, which the company said will make it easier for users to wirelessly connect their various electronics together.

Finally, Jacobs made sure to explain to his keynote audience the importance of the mobile industry to the wider consumer electronics market. Mobile technology is "really transforming business models and creating new ones." He said the global wireless industry generates $1.3 trillion annually, accounting for 2 percent of the world's GDP. He said there are currently 6 billion wireless connections across the globe, and that half of them have access to 3G connections.

"We're really only at the beginning of what's possible in mobile," Jacobs said.

For more:
- see these four Qualcomm releases

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