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From: Bill Wolf4/5/2012 12:34:43 PM
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HTC wants One to be its Nexus-like premium line

HTC wants its One series of smartphones to have the same cachet as Google's Nexus. But a more apt comparison maybe the Samsung Galaxy franchise.

news.cnet.com

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From: Bill Wolf4/5/2012 3:54:40 PM
1 Recommendation   of 122057
 
Microsoft Woos App Developers
By SHIRA OVIDE And IAN SHERR

Microsoft Corp., struggling to dent the dominance of Apple Inc. and Google Inc. in the smartphone market, is stepping up efforts to court app makers like Hemi Weingarten.

Last fall, Microsoft representatives aggressively recruited Mr. Weingarten to convince him to build his nutrition app Fooducate for Microsoft's Windows Phone. Microsoft proposed putting a Fooducate engineer in Tel Aviv through a week-long Windows Phone bootcamp, and offered a new Windows Phone-based Nokia Corp. device for software testing.

Yet despite the enticements, Fooducate skipped the bootcamp and chose not to develop a Windows Phone app. "We decided to focus our energies on the bigger platforms" of Apple's iPhone and Google's Android, said Mr. Weingarten, the 41-year-old chief executive of Fooducate.

His experience highlights how Microsoft is actively trying to woo developers to the Windows Phone—as well as the hurdles the software maker faces in getting app makers on board.

Last year, Microsoft hosted more than 850 sessions worldwide to coach developers on Windows Phone software design, more than triple the number the year before. Microsoft also has sped up the process of launching apps, expanded ways app makers can make money from selling their wares on Windows Phone and cut checks to some developers to help pay for apps.

Apple and Google also regularly cozy up to app makers. For example, Google said it recently began offering online classes and a training site for building apps. But developers say the scale of Microsoft's efforts is unprecedented.

Microsoft is desperate to break the stranglehold of iPhone and Android. Its 18-month-old Windows Phone, which powers devices made by Nokia and Samsung Electronics Co., has just a 3.9% share of smartphones in the U.S., compared with 50.1% for phones powered by Google's Android software and 30.2% for Apple's iPhone, according to comScore Inc.

Apps are a major attraction for smartphone buyers, but there are only about 70,000 available to Windows Phone owners, compared with a half a million or more for phones powered by Google's Android software and Apple's iPhone.

On a recent day, of 60 top iPhone apps, only 13 were also available for Windows Phone. The holdouts included popular apps such as Zynga Inc.'s Scrabble-like "Words With Friends" and Pandora Media Inc.'s digital-music service.

"Some of those apps I wish we have," said Terry Myerson, head of Microsoft's Windows Phone business who added that Windows Phone has alternative apps that parallel missing favorites such as Pandora. In some cases, he said, "we have a different brand that's better."

To promote that brand, the Redmond, Wash., company plans a significant marketing push soon of its Windows Phone devices to give developers reasons to create apps for the devices, Mr. Myerson said, though he declined to give details. The Windows Phone group recently hired an advertising executive behind Verizon Wireless's "Can You Hear Me Now" campaign.

Microsoft, Nokia and AT&T Inc. also are each starting significant marketing campaigns for the new Lumia 900 handset. This Nokia-made phone, which goes on sale Sunday, will be a key test of consumer demand for Windows Phone-powered devices.

"What we need to do is go invest in telling the Windows Phone story to people around the world...and we haven't done that," Mr. Myerson said. "When that is achieved, it will start a virtuous cycle with developers."

Plenty of developers doubt Microsoft can catch up to Google and Apple. They also say they're reluctant to commit to Windows Phone until Microsoft clarifies whether apps will work with future software releases, including Windows 8, the next computer operating system expected this year for desktops and tablets.

But many developers say Microsoft does have an edge when it comes to dedicated support. The company's app tools are easy to use, they say, and Microsoft is more attentive than are Apple, Google and others. Jake Poznanski and Sam Kaufmann, who quit their software-developer jobs last fall to develop Windows Phone apps, said Microsoft responded within a couple of days when they complained about a snag in Windows Phone's mobile advertising system.

Mr. Poznanski said when he reached out to Amazon.com Inc. about question with a try-before-buying feature of that company's app store, Amazon never got back to him. Amazon declined to comment on specific conversations with developers, but the company said it has a team of people dedicated to answering developer inquiries from developers.

Microsoft also is incorporating input from app developers into Windows Phone updates. In recent months, Microsoft said it was opening Windows Phone app sales in more than a dozen countries including China. Microsoft also has followed other app companies in paying developers upwards of $100,000, or paying a third-party company to develop a Windows Phone app on their behalf.

Some developers are starting to buy in to Microsoft, in part because they are growing disenchanted with struggling BlackBerry maker Research in Motion Ltd. (A RIM spokeswoman said "There has been a clear commitment from BlackBerry to developers.")

The Weather Channel said starting in November, it reassigned employees designing software for Blackberry to Windows Phone apps. Cameron Clayton, Weather Channel's executive vice president of digital, said just under 10% of the company's 100,000 daily app downloads are now coming from Windows Phone, up from less than 0.5% three months ago as Weather Channel inked deals to come pre-loaded on some Windows Phone devices.

"Versus a year ago, [Microsoft has] a shot now," Mr. Clayton said of Microsoft. At the same time, he conceded, "This is a war for developers time and attention, and Apple and Android are winning."
—Will Connors contributed to this article.

Write to Shira Ovide at shira.ovide@wsj.com and Ian Sherr at ian.sherr@dowjones.com

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To: Jim Mullens who wrote (110893)4/5/2012 4:21:42 PM
From: BDAZZ
3 Recommendations   of 122057
 
Jim and the rest of the board, pardon the ignorance. I was going to address this privately, but i think there may be a few here like me who are not familiar with anything in this article. Killer is a brand name for a WiFi card that uses Qcom Altheros tech? Why no mention of BRCM in this competition?

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To: BDAZZ who wrote (110898)4/5/2012 4:49:57 PM
From: badger3
   of 122057
 
this may help (from the article):


Almost three years later, we have Qualcomm Atheros, having purchased Bigfoot Networks and its Killer portfolio in August of last year 2011, making its first push into the world of Killer Wi-Fi. Qualcomm wants to make Killer Wireless-N the de facto mini-PCIe value-add choice for notebooks aimed at gamers and enthusiasts. However, the PowerPC-based NPU that formed the heart of Killer’s old sales pitch is nowhere to be seen on the wireless front. Instead, we’re given tweaked firmware and software layered on top of Qualcomm's AR9380 single-chip, dual-band radio. Is that enough to make any sort of difference?

Qualcomm is going up against Intel in this segment. Specifically, we’re looking at the Killer Wireless-N 1103, which features 3x3:3 MIMO. This means three transmit and three receive antenna chains, respectively, along with three spatial streams. The raw spec on this is 450 Mb/s—a far more impressive number than the 300 Mb/s found on more common 3x3:2 (two spatial streams) configurations. Intel was one of the first to release a decent 3x3:3 notebook adapter in its Ultimate-N WiFi Link 5300, and now there’s the Centrino Ultimate-N 6300.








tomshardware.com

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From: Bill Wolf4/5/2012 8:47:54 PM
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Microsoft Is Writing Checks to Fill Out App Store
By JENNA WORTHAM and NICK WINGFIELD

Nowadays, cellphones are all about apps. And Microsoft is so determined to have lots of brand-name apps for its Windows Phone app store that it is willing to pay for them.

All an app maker has to do is sign on the dotted line.

After years of struggling in the phone market, Microsoft teamed up with Nokia last year to challenge the dominance of Apple’s iPhone and Google, which makes the Android operating system. The latest fruit of their collaboration is a gleaming machine called the Lumia 900, which goes on sale in the United States on Sunday and is considered to be the first true test of how well the partnership will fare.

But the hundreds of thousands of apps that run on Apple and Android devices will not work on phones like the Lumia 900 that use Microsoft’s Windows Phone software. And many developers are reluctant to funnel time and money into an app for what is still a small and unproved market. So Microsoft has come up with incentives, like plying developers with free phones and the promise of prime spots in its app store and in Windows Phone advertising.

It is even going so far as to finance the development of Windows Phone versions of well-known apps — something that app makers estimate would otherwise cost them anywhere from $60,000 to $600,000, depending on the complexity of the app. The tactic underscores the strong positions of Google and Apple, neither of which have to pay developers to make apps.

When Microsoft offered to underwrite a Windows Phone version of Foursquare, the mobile social network, Holger Luedorf, Foursquare’s head of business development, did not hesitate to say yes.

“We have very limited resources, and we have to put them toward the platforms with the biggest bang for our buck,” he said. “But we are a social network and it is incredibly important for us to be available on every platform.”

Foursquare has in-house engineers working on iPhone, Android and BlackBerry versions of its service. But had Microsoft not offered to pay an outside company to do the work, Mr. Luedorf said Foursquare would “probably not” have developed an app for Windows Phone.

Ben Huh, chief executive of the Cheezburger Network, a collection of humor and entertainment sites, said Microsoft’s market share was too small to warrant in-house development of a Windows Phone app. But when Microsoft approached his company about making an application featuring funny photos of cats, he agreed. “They made it very easy for us,” he said. “They took care of everything.”

Casey McGee, senior marketing manager for Windows Phone at Microsoft, confirmed that the company offered an array of incentives for developers, but he declined to name the apps Microsoft had financed.

Mr. McGee conceded that there were still holes in Microsoft’s lineup. “We are by no means satisfied with our catalog,” he said. “That’s something we can get better at, and do better at, every day.”

Microsoft now has more than 70,000 apps in its app store, including big names like Netflix, YouTube, the Weather Channel, Amazon Kindle and the game Fruit Ninja. Apple, by comparison, has more than 600,000 apps, and Android has nearly 400,000. Analysts say that Microsoft does not need a million apps to appeal to phone buyers — just the ones that are so popular and mainstream that they feel like features of the phone itself.

“Once you get to 100,000, the number stops being important,” said Jan Dawson, an analyst at Ovum, a research firm in Britain. “I’m not saying they can take their foot off the gas pedal. They still need the apps that are dealbreakers for buyers.”

Despite Microsoft’s best efforts, a number of popular applications are noticeably missing from its store, including Pandora, the streaming music service; Instagram, the photo-sharing application; and games by Zynga. AT&T, the sole carrier of the Lumia 900 in the United States, has said that it will train its sales force to talk up the apps that are available and give demos of alternatives to curious shoppers.

The Windows Phone store has a version of the app phenomenon Angry Birds, but not the sequel from its maker Rovio, Angry Birds Space, which has also been a big hit. Rovio’s marketing chief, Peter Vesterbacka, said last month that it would not be worth the effort to bring the game to Windows Phone. But later that same day, Mikael Hed, its chief executive, said the company was “working toward” building a Windows Phone version. Rovio has not said when that might happen, and both companies declined to discuss what caused the about-face.

Often Microsoft’s problem is not outright refusal by a developer, but more that its platform is simply not a priority. Sonos, which makes apps for Apple and Android devices that allow customers to control its networked home audio equipment, does not yet know when it will release a comparable Windows Phone app.

“We’re definitely watching it carefully,” said John MacFarlane, chief executive of Sonos. “We believe it’s going to be a player.”

Microsoft has also approached news organizations, including The New York Times, about having a presence in its app store. Eileen Murphy, a spokeswoman for The New York Times Company, said that its Windows Phone app was built by outside developers, and that “Microsoft provides assistance to help ensure that the app is best in class.” Ms. Murphy declined to say whether Microsoft had paid for the app’s development.

Even Facebook did not build its own Windows Phone app, the creation of which was underwritten by Microsoft. Derick Mains, a spokesman for Facebook, said that for platforms other than Apple’s and Google’s, Facebook encourages companies to make their own apps, certifying them before they are released.

Microsoft’s weak position in mobile apps is in stark contrast to the clout it had with developers in the heyday of the PC era. Its success with Windows was partly built on an all-out effort it made in the 1980s and ’90s to get independent software companies to make Windows the primary operating system for which they wrote applications.

That influence began to weaken somewhat when the Web era took off and more companies began to design services and products that ran through browsers. But it has accelerated further as much of the creative talent in the developer world has shifted toward smartphone and iPad applications.

Sarah Rotman Epps, an analyst at Forrester Research, said Microsoft’s relative weakness was a function of not having a big enough audience of users. “Developers go where the money is, and the money is where people are,” she said.

Ms. Epps noted that Microsoft and Nokia currently appeared to be going after customers who are not already using iPhones and Android devices, and so may not be as familiar with the mobile apps they cannot get on Windows Phones. To someone moving from a BlackBerry or an old-fashioned feature phone, the selection of Windows Phone apps is likely to be satisfying, she said.

Ben Lamm, who runs Chaotic Moon, an app development studio that developed Windows Phone apps for TripIt and Pizza Hut, among others, said larger companies were warming up to Windows Phone.

“We’re starting to get requests from firms that want a Windows Phone app,” he said. “It’s still only 5 to 10 percent of our total requests, but very different than a year ago, when only Microsoft was calling us to do work.”


nytimes.com

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From: Thehandle304/6/2012 12:05:18 AM
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Samsung Profit Exceeds Estimates on Smartphone, TV Demand


Samsung Electronics Co. (005930), Asia’s largest consumer-electronics maker, posted first-quarter profit that beat analyst estimates as gains from selling phones and TVs helped mask a slump in earnings at the chip business.

Operating profit rose to a quarterly record 5.8 trillion won ($5.1 billion) in the three months ended March 31 from 2.95 trillion won a year earlier, the Suwon, South Korea-based company said in a statement today. That surpassed the 5 trillion won average of 32 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.





Enlarge image
A Samsung Electronics Co. Galaxy Note smartphone. Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg





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April 6 (Bloomberg) -- Alvin Lim, an associate director at Fitch Ratings in Seoul, talks about Samsung Electronics Co.'s financial performance and business outlook. Samsung, Asia’s largest consumer-electronics maker, posted first-quarter profit that beat analyst estimates as gains from selling phones and TVs helped mask a slump in earnings at the chip business. Lim speaks with Susan Li on Bloomberg Television's "First Up." (Source: Bloomberg)



Enlarge image
The Samsung Electronics Co. OLED television at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas on Jan. 13, 2012. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg




Profit at the mobile-phone business probably more than doubled in the quarter from a year earlier after Samsung introduced the Galaxy Note and new smartphones to compete with Apple Inc. (AAPL), a key customer that it’s also fighting in a patent battle on four continents. Samsung is also bringing out 3-D and Internet-enabled TVs to counter falling chip prices that are eroding earnings at the semiconductor unit.

“Sales of new models of smartphones, such as the Note, were better than expected,” James Song, a Seoul-based analyst at Daewoo Securities Co., said by phone today. “They have a good line-up of new products, so they will be able to keep the momentum alive for two or three quarters, at least.”

Samsung rose 0.1 percent to 1,331,000 won on the Korea Exchange as of 9:09 a.m. while the benchmark Kospi index was little changed. The shares have gained 26 percent this year.

Galaxy Phones Operating profit may be 200 billion won higher or lower than today’s estimate when audited results are announced later this month, Samsung said. The company didn’t provide net income figures or a breakdown of divisional earnings.

First-quarter sales jumped 22 percent to 45 trillion won.

Operating profit at the telecommunications unit more than doubled to 3.5 trillion won, according to the median estimate of six analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News. Sales are estimated to have gained 75 percent to 18.6 trillion won.

Samsung probably sold 44 million smartphones in the first quarter, more than tripling from a year earlier, Matt Evans, a Seoul-based analyst at CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets, said in an April 2 report. That would exceed Apple’s shipments “by a significant margin,” making Samsung the top smartphone seller during the three-month period, according to the report.

The maker of Galaxy devices aims to double sales of smartphones and tablet computers this year, helped by new products, the company said in a statement in February. Including basic phones, Samsung expects to sell about 380 million handsets this year, after shipping a record 300 million units last year.

Samsung Versus Apple Global sales of the Galaxy S II reached 20 million in about 10 months since it went on sale, about seven months faster than shipments of its predecessor, Samsung said in February. The Galaxy phones and tablets compete with Apple’s iPhone and iPad.

The company sold more than 5 million units of the Galaxy Note, equipped with a 5.3-inch screen and a stylus, since sales began in October. Samsung expects to sell 10 million units of the model by the end of this year and plans to introduce more pen-equipped products with different screen sizes.

Samsung and Apple have been suing each other in the past year regarding patent-infringement claims related to mobile technology and design. Apple is Samsung’s biggest customer, buying chips and displays from the Korean company.

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To: Bill Wolf who wrote (110894)4/6/2012 2:35:46 AM
From: Maurice Winn
4 Recommendations   of 122057
 
"SIM" means subscriber identity module. If the operator wants to identify somebody, they could more easily [for the customer] do it with user name/password or iris scan/voice/PIN/fingerprint.

The idea of disassembling a phone to move a stupid little chip thing is so last century and stems from when phones cost a fortune and each phone had to have its own account. Roaming was a nightmare of expense. So one could buy a sim somewhere, put it in the phone and hey presto, no roaming charges. Just buy a local prepay service.

Mqurice

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From: mindy19684/6/2012 7:06:06 AM
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1 Dividend to Buy, 1 Dividend to Sell

By Brendan Byrnes | More Articles
April 5, 2012 | Comments (0)



fool.com

This video is part of our "Motley Fool Conversations" series, in which industrials editor/analyst Brendan Byrnes and technology and media editor/analyst Andrew Tonner discuss topics across the investing world.

In today's edition, Brendan and Andrew continue their series "1 Dividend to Buy, 1 Dividend to Sell." Today, the guys look at two companies in seemingly polar opposite industries: Qualcomm and Pitney Bowes. Andrew thinks Qualcomm is a great buy for its incredible future growth prospects and its exposure to the "mobile revolution." Brendan is wary about Pitney Bowes because of its exposure to a dying printing industry, and because of its dividend, which he believes will start declining in the future. The company was also late making its foray into the software market, which could hurt Pitney Bowes long-term.

We think Qualcomm is a solid play for the future, but if you're looking for companies with a higher yield, you're in luck. Our all-star team of analysts has compiled a special free report outlining our nine top, dependable, dividend-paying stocks. It's called "Secure Your Future With 9 Rock-Solid Dividend Stocks." You can access your copy today at no cost! Just click here to discover the winners we've picked.

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From: Jim Mullens4/6/2012 10:35:40 AM
2 Recommendations   of 122057
 
The Future of Mobile Henry Blodget

Slide presentation – 50 of ‘em>>>>

static.businessinsider.com



businessinsider.com


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From: BoonDoggler4/6/2012 11:50:24 AM
   of 122057
 

Android Device Makers Are Mutinying, Says Insider
Amazon showed device makers that they don't need Google to succeed

Google's Android device makers aren't happy. They're tired of making commodity devices that are merely vehicles for Google's Android OS, each indistinguishable from the other because of Google's rules about how Android can be implemented on them in order for them to qualify as "compatible."

These makers have seen the success of devices with custom OSes built on forked versions of the still kind-of open-source Android operating system, primarily Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet, and they're itching to release their own.

Ted Morgan, CEO of Skyhook Wireless, has a unique window onto this phenomenon, because his company provides geolocation services for these yet-to-be-announced devices.

"I'm spending a lot of time with companies forking Android," says Morgan. "Nobody wants to just be a manufacturer for Google. You see that with what Amazon has done, where they made it their own, and you also see a whole host of manufacturers taking Android down their own path."

Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet runs a modified version of Android 2.3, "gingerbread." Because Android's source code is readily available, companies can do what they want with it. The only thing keeping them tied to Google has been, up to now, the desire to be part of the official lineup of Android devices. Given how fragmented that space is, however, it appears that compatibility with the Android ecosystem is increasingly irrelevant.

Indeed, Morgan says his company is going to be part of a "major" new phone device that will be released at the end of this year. It will be based on Android, but not controlled by Google.

"They [Google] really do restrict anything a device maker can do to stand out, for their own purposes," says Morgan. "It's very unappealing to a device maker. They don't want to be just a commodity hardware maker because they'll all lose out to cheaper players in China. Everyone's emboldened by the success of Amazon. Everyone's saying 'we need to go our own way.'"

Paradoxically, this trend is positive for Android, just not Google's control over it. The more success device makers have in creating successful products based on the OS, the more its market share will continue to explode. It's just that even the consumer might not realize that the devices they're using are running code that ultimately came from Google.

technologyreview.com

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