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From: leochardonne3/16/2012 10:02:10 AM
   of 145581
Apple cements tablet market dominance with new iPad

By Pauline Askin and Ethan Bilby

SYDNEY/LONDON | Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:04am EDT

SYDNEY/LONDON (Reuters) - Apple Inc's newest iPad was looking like another hot seller on Friday, with hundreds queuing at stores across Asia and Europe to get their hands on a gadget likely to dominate the tablet-computer market well into next year.

The third-generation device has only a few new features, but the buzz helped propel Apple shares to a record high of $600 in New York on Thursday.

"I just got hyped into it, I guess," said David Tarasenko, a 34-year-old construction manager who was the first to pick one up from a Telstra store at midnight in Sydney.

Daniel Bader, a software developer who builds iPad apps and was queuing outside the Apple store in Munich, said: "You can't explain it."

Even in a tough economic climate in some parts of the world, many buyers, like 27-year-old Steve Henry in Paris, said they would scrimp elsewhere if necessary.

"I save money on my other purchases for high-tech shopping," said Henry, a systems engineer at a railway company who was hoping to buy his first iPad mainly to watch films and read during his more than two hours of travel per day.

The new iPad - Apple has refrained from calling it iPad 3 - has faster chips, fourth-generation wireless, a crisper display and a better camera, making it harder for competitors like Samsung's Galaxy, which also lack Apple's range of apps and content, to catch up.

On price, too, Apple's rivals will struggle to beat it. The new iPad starts at $499 in the United States, 479 euros ($630) in Germany and 42,800 yen ($510) in Japan. Only Amazon's far more basic Kindle Fire is significantly cheaper.

Analysts expect a strong start for the latest iPad and some even expect sales of the current model to overtake the iPad 2. So far, the company has sold 55 million iPads since it was launched, kicking off the tablet market, in 2010.

Apple will continue to sell the iPad 2 but has dropped its price by $100 to start at $399.

Tablet sales are expected to increase to 326 million by 2015 with Apple largely dominating the market, according to research firm Gartner, rivaling sales of desktop computers, which Gartner expects to total 368 million units this year.


The enduring popularity of Apple products, and stock, have provided Chief Executive Tim Cook, who took over after the death of Steve Jobs last year, with a good start in the job.

The share price peaked at just over $600 half an hour after the first iPad went on sale, extending the market worth of the world's most valuable company to almost $560 billion.

Only a month earlier, the stock price had crossed $500 for the first time. It has jumped 45 percent this year.

Canaccord Genuity analysts raised their target price on Apple stock to $710 from $665. Dickie Chang, an analyst with technology research firm IDC, said Cook will need to do more in future to keep up the firm's astonishing momentum.

"The iPad is already a pretty mature product and it's hard to revolutionize it any further," he said.

"Going ahead, with Tim Cook at the helm now, I think he may have to come up with another product to mark his stamp. That could come in the form of launching a smaller iPad with a longer battery life, for instance."

UBS raised its target price to $675 from $550, and said the expected launch of the redesigned iPhone 5 in October was the big catalyst ahead.


The new iPad goes on sale on Friday in 10 countries, including the United States, Canada, Singapore, France and Britain.

Most of those countries outside the United States do not yet have the faster, fourth-generation telecoms networks that the new iPad supports, but some buyers travelled from countries where it is not expected to be available for several months to get their hands on one.

"I've come from Russia to buy an iPad for my three-year-old son David," Oleg Konovalov, a newspaper salesman, told Reuters in Tokyo. "Everyone in Russia wants an iPad, but to buy it there I will have to wait several months."

"This reminds me of the time 30 years ago when I waited 8 hours in the cold to see Lenin's Mausoleum."

In London, 21-year-old Piotr, who works at noodle bar Wagamama, said: "It's not for me, it's to sell. I will bring them to Russia to sell them."

In the Chinese city of Shenzhen, people keen to get their hands on the new iPad waited for them to be smuggled across the border from Hong Kong.

"We don't have iPad3s yet, but some will arrive later in the day when the students deliver them to us. We'll have more supplies over this weekend," said a store operator in Shenzhen.

"Customs has become stricter, but if you take one at a time across the border, that's still pretty safe. At most they'll ask you to take it out of the box to prove that it's for self use."

Online reviews of the new iPad overwhelmingly praised Apple for its improved screen resolution.

"My epiphany came when I placed my iPad 2 next to the new model, with the same text on the screen. Letters and words that had seemed sharp on the older model five minutes earlier suddenly looked fuzzier," said one online reviewer.

Shintaro Aizawa, 16, who waited 15 hours outside a Tokyo store: said: "After this, well, I'll first of all open it up and check it's as beautiful as I thought. Then I'll get some sleep."


As consumers lined up around city streets to buy the iPad, one firm that took the new device apart said Qualcomm, Broadcom, and Samsung Electronics had all held onto their prized roles as key parts suppliers.

Supplying parts for Apple's iPhones and iPads, the industry's gold standards, is considered a coup for chipmakers and other manufacturers.

The inner workings of the iPad are similar to previous models, based on a "teardown" by a tinkerer from California gadget-repair firm iFixit, who queued up in Australia to get one of the new tablets and quickly took it apart for a Web blog.

IFixit said the iPad's display appears to be from Samsung, Apple's closest rival in the tablet market.

The iPad includes a Qualcomm LTE cell phone chip and a Qualcomm wireless modem for 3G and 4G. Broadcom supplies a semiconductor handling wireless tasks like WiFi and Bluetooth, according to iFixit.

The iPad's new A5X application processor, with improved graphics horsepower, is based on energy-efficient technology licensed from Britain's ARM Holdings and is manufactured by Qualcomm, as in past Apple devices.

A NAND flash memory chip, used to store media like music and video, is supplied by Toshiba. Japan's Elpida provides the DRAM chips.

The iPad teardown also revealed chips from Avago Technologies, Triquint Semiconductor and Fairchild.

Analysts recommend caution in drawing conclusions from the teardowns because Cupertino, California-based Apple sometimes uses more than one supplier for a part. What is found in one iPad may not be found in others.

Still, teardowns remain a key source of information for investors interested in betting on Apple's suppliers, and the appearance of unexpected chips can move stocks.

"There are a whole lot of hedge funds out there that like to shoot first and ask questions later," said Alex Gauna, an analyst at JMP who covers technology stocks. ($1 = 0.7651 euros) ($1 = 83.2900 Japanese yen)

(Additional reporting by Lee Chyen Yee in Hong Kong, James Topham and Ruairidh Vikllar in Tokyo, Sisi Tang in Hong Kong; Jens Hack in Munich and Axelle du Crest in Paris; Writing by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by Michael Perry and Andrew Callus)

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To: leochardonne who wrote (110498)3/16/2012 10:08:46 AM
From: DWB
1 Recommendation   of 145581
The iPad's new A5X application processor, with improved graphics horsepower, is based on energy-efficient technology licensed from Britain's ARM Holdings and is manufactured by Qualcomm, as in past Apple devices.

Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmm, maybe not.

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From: Bill Wolf3/16/2012 10:22:12 AM
1 Recommendation   of 145581
Apple: UBS Ups Target to $675, Oppenheimer to $700, Raise Estimates
By Tiernan Ray

Shares of Apple (AAPL) are down $5.39, or 1%, at $580.18 this morning as the company’s newest iPad goes on sale, and as two upbeat analyst notes surfaced.

UBS’s Maynard Um this morning reiterated a Buy rating and raised his price target to $675 from $550, writing that Apple may “accelerate the number of initial carriers” to whom it offers its iPhone when it introduces an “iPhone 5? later this year, which he expects to be “still the Big Catalyst Ahead,” and in fact, “the biggest catalyst and launch in Apple’s history.”

Um also thinks something called “account-based billing” could be a plus for Apple. Under that scheme, multiple Apple devices could share a single high-speed 4G bill, rather than each device spawning a new monthly commitment.

Um raised his estimates for fiscal 2013 (ending September of that year) to $180 billion in revenue and $50.43 per share in profit, up from a prior $175 .8 billion and $48.83 per share.

And Oppenheimer & Co.’s Ittai Kidron this morning raised his price target on the shares to $700 from $570, writing that the introduction of the new iPad “looks to be very strong,” and that his “checks” of sales of the iPhone 4S in the U.S. and overseas are “consistently positive.”

Kidron sees “ample reach” to extend the iPhone’s sales, in particular within China, he writes. He expects demand for the iPad to outstrip supply through Q3 of this fiscal year, which ends in June.

“And the iPad is also levered to a still developing market with Apple’s dominance yet to weaken even with many value options available.”

Kidron now models $171 billion in revenue and $46.70 per share this fiscal year, up from $168 billion and $45.78. For next year, he models $200.4 billion and $54.40 per share, up from a prior $193.7 billion and $52.38.


Copyright 2011 Dow Jones & Company

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From: Jim Mullens3/16/2012 10:45:04 AM
   of 145581
iPad Teardown with MDM9600 PM8028 RTR8600

iPad Teardown

iFixit has a teardown of the new iPad. They flew to a Telstra store in Melbourne, Australia to be first in line to get the iPad 3.

The chips on the LTE-enabled iPad include:

The A5X processor Texas Instruments CD3240 driver device Broadcom BCM4330 802.11a/b/g/n MAC/baseband/radio with integrated Bluetooth 4.0+HS and FM transceiver Broadcom BCM5973 I/O controller Broadcom BCM5974 microprocessor 2 x 4Gb Elpida LP DDR2 = 1 GB DRAM in separate packages in a 64-bit configuration Fairchild FDMC 6683 Apple 338S0987 (Cirrus Logic audio codec) Toshiba Y0A0000 Memory MCP Triquint TQM7M5013 quad-band linear power amplifier module Avago A5904 Skyworks SKY77468-17 front-end module Qualcomm PM8028 Power Management IC Qualcomm RTR8600 multi-band/mode RF transceiver for 3G and 4GLTE bands Qualcomm MDM9600 – 3G and 4G wireless modem Qualcomm’s MDM9600 chipset supports the Verizon LTE network with full backward compatibility to EV-DO Rev. A/Rev. B.

Reviews of the new iPad have been very positive, but The Verge confirmed FaceTime won’t work on the 4G network.

PC Mag explains if you’re looking for the cheapest possible monthly deal, AT&T has it, but you all you get is a scant 250MB for $14.99 per month – or a whopping $59.96 per 1GB. You’d be much better off doubling your investment and getting 12 times the amount of data with the 3GB plan for $30 per month. There’s not much of a reason to go all-in on the 5GB plan (for $50 per month), since overage charges are $10 per 1GB on the 3GB plan

On Verizon $20 gets you 1GB of data per month, which should be good for checking email and very light Web browsing. Verizon loses to AT&T is with its 2GB plan, which costs $30. That same price gets you an additional GB of data on AT&T. Verizon also offers a 10GB plan for $80 per month, which works out to $8 per GB—the least expensive option available. Verizon includes a mobile hotspot at no extra cost, while AT&T doesn’t offer that option. They both offer 5GB/month for $50.

Posted by Sam Churchill on Thursday, March 15th, 2012 at 9:30 am.

My add >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

MDM9600 supports both ATT and VZW (LTE/HSPA+ and LTE/EV-DO)


Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Processor and LTE Modem Power Connectivity Devices on Verizon Wireless’ New 4G LTE Network Flagship Snapdragon Processor and LTE Modem Will Power Devices Providing Download Speeds Up to 10 Times Faster Than Before to Verizon Wireless LTE Customers

SAN DIEGO – November 15, 2011 – Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) today announced availability of Gobi™ 4000, its latest addition to the Gobi family of embedded data connectivity platforms. Based on Qualcomm’s leading multimode 3G/4G wireless modems, the MDM9600™ and MDM9200™, and a common software interface (Gobi API) for connection management development, the Gobi 4000 platform allows customers to offer both LTE/HSPA+ and LTE/EV-DO designs to meet the growing demand for embedded 3G/4G connectivity in mobile devices worldwide.

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To: ggamer who wrote (110443)3/16/2012 10:47:42 AM
From: waitwatchwander
   of 145581

Is this market moving into Mirasol territory?

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From: leochardonne3/16/2012 11:19:03 AM
   of 145581
Even in Paris, buying an iPad can be an event unto itself By Stephen Shankland

For many, purchasing an iPad is a humdrum affair. But plenty of people in the City of Light come for an experience beyond just financial transaction.

PARIS--Why brave the chilly, early spring air of Paris for hours just to get the latest electronic gadget that you could also just order online?

Because, as Apple demonstrated today as hundreds gathered outside its store to buy the new iPad, there still can be more to it than a mere financial transaction.

"J'aime le Mac," said Zhuang Bin, shuffling slowly but steadily down a chicane of metal crowd-control barriers to buy a new companion for his first- and second-generation iPads.

The Apple tablet no longer is such a novelty, and buying one is mundane for plenty of people. But the consumer ritual of lining up outside the Apple store, which grew up with the iPhone and expanded to include the iPad, remains intact. Tourists come instead of visiting museums, and locals take time off work.

"It's amazing to come here and see the show. Apple is a big company, and they do the party well," said Marieke Loppin, a Parisian who's buying an iPad for her fiance and headed to the Apple store to "enjoy the moment."

Another gift-giver was Caroline Belin, who tiptoed out of the house early to get a 32GB Wi-Fi iPad.

"It was to make a surprise to my husband," she said. "He doesn't know. He thinks I came to work very early in the morning."

Her husband wants it to show what he's working on while on the job, but she expects her 8- and 11-year-old children will want it for games.

Just outside the Apple store, Amazon advertised its own Kindle, but Belin was only interested in an Apple tablet. When the family needed a second computer besides their Mac, they bought a Windows machine because it wasn't as expensive. "We bought a Windows PC, and we don't like it at all," she said.

Another iPad that will see use at work is the one Jonas Obeid plans to use in his dentist office to show patients their case information and photos. "It's easier to handle," he said.

Paris is a big, cosmopolitan city, and some people came from far away to buy iPads. Dmitry Krylov and his wife flew from St. Petersburg, Russia, via Finland and Germany, to get a pair of iPads--though they're also seeing the sights as Parisian tourists.

There was a lot of Russian audible in the line, and one security guard said he'd seen people also from Hungary, Poland, Greece, and the United Kingdom.

Simon Clay came all the way from Vancouver, Canada--and had a bit of an unfair advantage over many in the line accustomed to being awake at more ordinary hours. "I'm so jetlagged, I woke up really early. It'll take awhile for the family to wake up. I thought I'd spend the jetlag time in the line," he said.

Clay had solid technical chops, but he's interested in the iPad as a way to reach with elderly relatives in Devon, England, who aren't up to the challenges of ordinary computers but who want to see family photos. But he'd like to see iPads even easier to use, he said--and to be able to manage them from afar.

"The thing that's got to come from Apple is remote control," he said. "Getting a photo off it is just too difficult."

The third-generation iPads are available with just with Wi-Fi or also with LTE technology for fast 4G wireless networking--at least where network operators have built 4G networks. Vancouver has LTE, and Clay is buying a 4G model for its Wi-Fi hotspot abilities and a better resale value.

But in Europe, LTE remains relatively rare, and almost nobody I spoke to in line was getting 4G iPads. It'll still work on 3G networks, of course, but 4G isn't the selling point here that it is in New York or San Francisco.

"I can't use 4G in France," Bin said. Added Loppin, "It's a bit expensive."

And Joseph Pinkasfeld, developer of the NesMusic app for listening to Nintendo videogame music, walked out of the store with 32GB and 64GB Wi-Fi models. Pulling out an iPhone 4S, he said, "I can access the Internet with my phone."

The phone's battery was almost flat, though--perhaps from killing time between arriving at the line at 6 a.m. and emerging from the store at 10 a.m. Why not buy it online? Because a few hours at the store is better than waiting three weeks for delivery, he said.

And there are worse places to fritter away the hours.

"It was quite calm. We just used patience," Belin said. "It was nice for the Apple staff to talk to us, and we had some coffee."

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From: Bill Wolf3/16/2012 12:02:48 PM
1 Recommendation   of 145581
Huawei seeks unique role in China’s mobile phone industry

By Sun Fenglei | March 16, 2012, 5:18am PDT

Summary: Chinese mobile giant Huawei became the largest Chinese smartphone provider by selling 20 million smartphones globally in 2011. But it has a more aggressive ambition–to climb to the list of world’s top three smartphone providers, making its mobile phone product line as successful as its base line.

Chinese mobile giant Huawei became the largest Chinese smartphone provider by selling 20 million smartphones globally in 2011. But it has a more aggressive ambition–to climb to the list of world’s top three smartphone providers, making its mobile phone product line as successful as its base line.

To achieve this goal, Huawei has been dedicated to accelerating the development of new mobile products. In Mobile World Congress 2012 held in Barcelona, Huawei showcased a series of new products, including MediaPad 10 FHD tablet, and Ascend D quad smartphone. However, apart from these products, Huawei was more eager to show off its other major achievement–K3V2 quad-core processor independently designed by itself.

K3V2 can be clocked at either 1.2 or 1.5GHz. The company said the chip delivers 30 to 50 percent more performance than the Tegra3 across a range of benchmarks. Huawei has billed it as the fastest quad-core processor in the world.

For a long time, the ability to develop a processor of one’s own has been a key indicator for the core competence of a hardware company in the industry. China providers once developed ark, Godson and other made-in-China CPUs; however, the performance was not very competitive.

But for a mobile phone provider, Huawei’s attempt was unprecedented in China. Chinese

manufacturers generally prefer to take advantage of the ripe solutions provided by other chip companies.

MediaTak’s lowcost Turnkey solution, for instance, has been the main technical support for many copy-cat mobile phone manufacturers. The high investment and high risk in the semiconductor industry has deterred any mobile phone producer from a rash entry.

But Huawei has been underlining its strength in R&D, distancing itself from any traditional mobile phone manufacturers in China. Secretary General of China Cellphone Union Lao Yao, who have been closely following the development of semiconductors, said as far as the global mobile terminal industry is concerned, it is a trend for a cellphone provider to develop its own chips. Apple and Sumsung have already been doing it, and Huawei is trying to catch up in its endeavor to become the world’s top-rated mobile product manufacturer designing chips by itself.

“Huawei started its cellphone design from the chip. The development of the most basic technique could provide a firm support for the variation of its mobile phones; in other words, Huawei is going to start from the bottom technique . “said Lao Yao.

Huawei has been in semiconductor industry for many years. Indeed, the quad-core K3V2 processor was developed by “Haisi Semiconductors”, one of Huawei’s affiliates. Haisi Semiconductors Co. Ltd was established in 2004, formerly the Huawei’s “heart” department – Huawei IC design center founded in 1991. Huawei Haisi products cover wireless networks, fixed networks, digital media, and other areas of chips and solutions.

Just about two years ago, Huawei Haisi launched a 600MHZ chip–Hisilicon K3, though it failed to win much recognition in the market due to wrong positioning or flaws. The recent return to the chip field shows Huawei’s firm resolve to compete in the chip market.

But even though Huawei’s technical strength has won wide recognition among other Chinese mobile phone manufacturers, it has a weak brand. The company formerly sold products directly to operators, with little direct contact with its users. It needs a new brand image now to present itself to enterprise and individual users.

IT analyst and Huawei-savvy Ji Yongqing said the majority of Huawei’s marketing personnel come from the departments of the operators and thus lack experience in brand marketing. He said Huawei needs more brand promotion campaigns especially in Chinese and Indian markets, where operators have a weak grip on consumers.

Huawei’s earlier sponsoring in Italy’s Super Cup, as Ji saw it, yielded little fruit in promoting the brand. “Huawei needs to introduce some talents in marketing from outside the company, to launch brand marketing with new ideas.” said Ji Yongqing.

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From: Bill Wolf3/16/2012 12:04:22 PM
   of 145581
Android Tablets and Windows 8: Let the Games Begin By Jack M. Germain
Part of the ECT News Network
03/16/12 5:00 AM PT

The release of Windows 8 will give Microsoft the chance to attack the tablet market that Android and Apple have basically owned for months. What effect with Windows 8 have on Android tablet sales? Will enterprises kick Android to the curb and scoop up Windows tablets by the fistful? Or is it too little, too late from Microsoft?

Windows 8 is on its way. In fact, it's already here, in a manner of speaking. Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) recently released what it called a "consumer preview" version of the OS.

When the final versions arrive, it will finally give Microsoft a leg up into the tablet market. That might take a bite out of the market share Android has managed to scratch out in tablets. It could also offer an attractive alternative to pricier iPads.

But the new line of Windows 8-based tablets might see its biggest impact on the larger use of tablets in the workplace. As more consumers adopt tablets to supplement or replace their notebook computers, they bring them into the work environment. That has put pressure on enterprise IT to find better ways to use tablets at work.

Specialized industries such as inventory control and healthcare have more successfully integrated tablets into their operations. But these dedicated devices do not necessarily display a recognizable Android or iOS face. Mainstream enterprise relies on Microsoft's Active Directory as a back-end on their corporate networks, noted Peter Lee, engagement manager and desktop deployment lead at SWC Technology Partners.

Integrating non-Windows platform use into enterprise often involves costly third-party solutions. Microsoft's introduction of Windows 8 on PCs and tablets could be a game-changer.

"We think Windows 8 will let enterprise integrate tablets into Active Directory. This will change the way that businesses use tablets. Now it will become part of the enterprise rather than just a consumer add-on workers are trying to bring in," Lee told LinuxInsider.

Thwarting Android Sales Windows 8 on tablets may arrive just in time to deter some buyers from supporting Android and Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) tablet sales. Despite earlier indications that the Android market is sluggish, sales forecasts are changing.

Global tablet shipments so far this year are stronger than last quarter's projections. Android tablets are showing a surge over the lead Apple's iPad showed at the end of last year, according to analysis from research firm IDC.

For example, IDC now calls for global tablet shipments to reach 106.1 million units this year. That revised forecast is up from earlier expectations of 87.7 million units.

Crunching the Numbers Consumer interest in using tablets to host e-reader apps contributed to the increased tablet sales. It is this market segment that contributed to the boost in Android tablet devices, according to the IDC analysis.

For instance, the Android operating system developed by Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) is used in Amazon's (Nasdaq: AMZN) Kindle Fire tablet as well as Barnes and Nobel's Nook tablet.

Still, Apple led the tablet sales charts by shipping 15.4 million iPads in the fourth quarter of 2011. But non-Apple tablets surged 56.1 percent in quarter-to-quarter growth worldwide in the final three months of last year, according to IDC's numbers.

Marketing in a Void Enterprise needs aside, the fragmented Android market is for some buyers less appealing. Another deal factor is often the more tightly controlled app marketplace that Apple maintains for its iPad users.

Performance is also a key buying factor, noted Miguel de Icaza, the chief technology officer of Xamarin. His company allows developers to build cross-platform mobile apps using C# and .NET.

He does not see the Android tablet performance measuring up to the performance available on the iPad. iPad apps add a definite value that is not equaled in the Android marketplace, he said.

"Microsoft is prepared to fill this void in its marketplace for apps fine-tuned for Windows 8 on the tablet," he told LinuxInsider.

Firing Up Competition Windows 8-powered tablets could bring ready-made solutions to enterprises and consumer needs alike. Tablets could be less costly to deploy than laptop computers. And IT departments would have a more seamless integration than Android now offers.

"The only real competition for Microsoft might be the success of the Kindle Fire tablet. If Microsoft can match that price, it will be fine," he said.

Microsoft can avoid the fragmentation and other performance troubles that Google has had with the Android devices, he contended. With a Windows 8 tablet, businesses will not have to worry about who the provider is.

"That is not exactly what happens with Android devices. Despite that, the Kindle Fire is a very good off-branch of Android," de Icaza said.

No Wow Factor In his dealings with Microsoft in discussing the Metro-driven tablet, Artyom Astafurov, senior vice president of DataArt, did not get much insight to how Redmond's upcoming release would address the Android obstacle. His company is a custom software development firm that builds advanced solutions for select industries.

He asked about how Microsoft was planning on competing against the Android market and claimed he did not get a response.

"I do not see consumers switching from their current devices to a Windows 8 device," Astafurov told LinuxInsider.

OS Shell Game? However, he said, the new devices will take market share from Android. From what he saw at the Consumer Electronics Show in January and what he is seeing now, Astafurov views Microsoft as taking its desktop OS and putting a tablet shell over it.

"It will probably increase their market share by attracting users who see the tablet as another form of a laptop PC in their briefcase," he said.

But more so than just another tablet option, Astafurov sees Microsoft's integrated tablet OS with its desktop platform as an attention-gaining approach that will change how enterprise adapts to tablets in the workplace.

Finger-Pointing Control For example, the tablet is fundamentally a new portable device and should not be considered as a replacement for the notebook in the briefcase, he explained.

"I've been thinking a lot about what I've been hearing about how the new Metro UI will force users to adopt a new approach to computing," said Astafurov.

Computer users have the keyboard and mouse to navigate. The Metro interface will have the full power of multi-touch. That will require users to adjust to using gestures for touch commands, he said.

Game Changer in the Making Having an integrated operating system for the Windows desktop and new tablet could offer a winning combination. If so, Microsoft could nudge both Apple and Android tablets out of further boardroom considerations.

"Absolutely this has the potential for being a game changer," said SWC Technology's Lee. "Now with Windows 8, Microsoft has a complete line operating on one platform. Windows 8 will run on tablets, desktops, mobile devices, etc. It's a seamless integration."

This will involve more than a mere software upgrade from Windows 7 for users, however. Adopting Windows 8 will be a big step up from the previous desktop OS, noted Lee.

Windows 7 is not primarily designed as a tablet operating system, and Microsoft is only in its infancy with phone technology compared to the Apple iPhone and the Android phones, Lee explained.

The App's the Thing One clear edge on which Microsoft can capitalize to compete against Android is how it deploys apps for its new tablet platform, suggested Lee. Microsoft is already working well with its third-party partners. So Windows 8 will have much less trouble utilizing other technology with the Metro interface.

"It's interesting that Microsoft is finally doing this tighter cooperation with its partners. But the growing competition has forced them to take this approach," he said.

The competition -- Google and Apple -- are way ahead with developing third-party app sources. That is one thing that Microsoft is going to have to catch up on. Over the last few years, Microsoft has opened up access to its platform, Lee added.

This now enables app developers to use different programming languages, for instance. That is going to be a key. Users are not going to adopt the Windows 8 platform if they do not have many applications, he said.

Not There Yet Just how forthcoming Microsoft is in this regard may still be a point of contention. DataArt's Astafurov is not sure just how seamless that process will be compared to working with the Android platform.

"As an app developer, I will have to jump through hoops to recompile my existing products to get them to run in both Windows environments. From my understanding, we will have to do much more tweaking in porting our apps from the Windows 7 phone to the Windows 8 tablet. That isn't the way it is in integrating apps between the iPhone and the iPad or Android phones and tablets," said Astafurov.

The cost to vendors for doing this for Windows 8 tablets will be higher than what it costs them to work in the Android environment or iPad, for instance. Potentially, this can be a problem for Microsoft, he warned.

"I can see some companies being sluggish in porting their apps to the Windows 8 tablet. This is especially likely given how slow the apps market for Windows Phone 7 is," Astafurov said.

Time Will Tell At least at this point, the Windows 8 and Android-driven tablets are really two different markets. For people who want to be comfortable sharing files between their Windows PC and their tablets, Windows 8 tablets will be an obvious choice for consumers, de Icaza suggested.

All things considered, he thinks Microsoft has a much better chance with the tablet than it did with Windows Phone 7.

"It looks like Microsoft finally got its mojo back. I think it is going to be a very worthy tablet competitor," de Icaza said.

Microsoft is pushing its new Metro UI and Windows 8 against the inroads made by Android tablets. It will take the progress of time, added Lee.

"But eventually users will adopt the new touchscreen computing methods," he predicted.

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From: Bill Wolf3/16/2012 12:36:41 PM
1 Recommendation   of 145581
Why Qualcomm's Earnings Are Outstanding
By Seth Jayson, The Motley Fool Posted 10:11AM 03/16/12

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From: Bill Wolf3/16/2012 2:44:20 PM
   of 145581
Qualcomm Leads LTE Charge
Trefis 03/16/12 - 02:08 PM EDT
The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.

NEW YORK (Trefis) -- Ever since Apple(AAPL) announced that its latest iPad will ship in a LTE variant, Qualcomm(QCOM) shares have risen to new highs.

With Apple having officially standardized its baseband chips on Qualcomm's since the launch of the iPhone 4S, it is widely believed that the iPad will also sport Qualcomm's LTE chipset. This is adding more fuel to the bullish outlook supporting the stock since the start of the year.

Less than three months into 2012, Qualcomm's stock has already climbed by nearly 20% and is inching closer to our $67.15 price estimate now.

The iPad in itself may not be a very big value-add to the company since the popular tablet comes in two variants, the WiFi-only and the WiFi+4G, and it is only the later that may sport Qualcomm's LTE chipset. However we believe that the year ahead promises to be exciting for Qualcomm as it readies to lead the LTE smartphone revolution with its recently launched integrated chipsets. See our complete analysis of Qualcomm here. Until now, the LTE adoption rate in the U.S. has been sluggish, at best. Verizon, which has the most widespread LTE coverage in the U.S., recently said that only about 5% of its subscribers use LTE. The reasons for this response are numerous.

One, LTE networks have not been widely deployed yet. Two, LTE handsets are bulky, highly power-inefficient and much pricier than their 3G counterparts. The current handsets use separate app processors and baseband chipsets because the technology wasn't mature enough to provide an integrated low-cost solution. And three, as a nascent technology, LTE networks are also more prone to outages, as we have seen with Verizon's.

Having spent billions on their LTE networks, carriers such as Verizon are now willing to promote them heavily and launch nothing but 4G smartphones this year. It is also bringing down the prices of its LTE smartphones to drive LTE adoption. The latest Droid 4 offering from Verizon is available for only $199. In addition, the wireless carrier is currently promoting an LTE data plan that offers twice the usual monthly data allotment for half the price.

AT&T(T) has also started to actively promote LTE, launching a multitude of LTE smartphones at the CES in January. Sprint(S) has just started to lay out its LTE network and will have its first markets ready by mid-2012, but expects to aggressively complete the roll-out by 2013.

With the carriers increasingly looking to promote LTE, it was becoming highly essential for chipset makers to design low-cost integrated chipsets that conserve space and power. By being the first to bring to market an integrated 28nm LTE modem, Qualcomm has met those needs to a large extent and looks set to ride the carriers' widespread shift to LTE.

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