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From: Bill Wolf4/9/2012 9:38:51 AM
   of 147153
Verizon challenges other carriers' network speeds in '4G throw down'
By pgoldstein
Created Apr 5 2012 - 11:20am

Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ [1]) threw down the gauntlet against its largest competitors in a new video marketing its LTE network, arguing that its LTE network is by far faster than other "4G" networks from AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T [2]), Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S [3]) and T-Mobile USA.

In a video posted on its website, dubbed the "Ultimate 4G Throw Down," Verizon goes across the country and compares smartphones using its LTE network to those of other carriers using next-generation networks. The video shows Verizon devices consistently beating other carriers' devices in speed tests, and customers from other carriers ruing the fact that they don't have Verizon's LTE network.

"The video was made by our marketing team to showcase Verizon Wireless LTE against our competitor's and while we don't name a specific one, it is all those who say they have 4G," Verizon spokesman Brenda Raney told FierceWireless. "The purpose was to differentiate Verizon Wireless 4G LTE and to show real customers discovering that there was a difference in 4G LTE from Verizon Wireless and others who make claims to 4G."

Although competition among the carriers on network quality is nothing new, Verizon is pressing what sees as its advantages with its LTE network, which now covers more than 200 million POPs. Verizon has said its LTE network delivers average downlink speeds of 5-12 Mbps and uplink speeds of 2-4 Mbps. AT&T has said its LTE network, which covers around 74 million POPs, also delivers those kinds of speeds.

"This is not exactly a rigorous speed test," AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel told FierceWireless. "It is worth noting that when Verizon customers go outside an LTE coverage area, they fall back to 3G and experience a jarring drop in data speeds. With AT&T, when you leave a 4G LTE coverage area, you go onto 4G HSPA+. HSPA+ delivers speeds up to four times faster than 3G, which means our customers will have a much better experience on the nation's largest 4G network."

Sprint also had a response to the video. "We look forward to seeing the next ad where the spokeswoman gets her bill with all the overage charges for downloading too much data during her 'network tests,'" Sprint spokeswoman Kelly Schlageter told FierceWireless. "With Sprint's unlimited data plans that wouldn't be an issue."

Sprint CFO Joe Euteneuer said at an investor conference last week that Sprint's LTE network, which will be launched by mid-year, will be about as fast as the LTE networks of Verizon and AT&T, even though Sprint does not have the same amount of spectrum. Sprint announced last year that it will launch LTE by mid-year using the G-Block of its 1900 MHz spectrum, where it has a 5x5 MHz block of spectrum. Verizon and AT&T both are launching LTE in 700 MHz spectrum with mostly 10x10 MHz blocks. Euteneuer explained that Sprint's LTE speeds will be comparable to those of Verizon and AT&T because Sprint counts fewer customers than its two larger rivals, which will result in less traffic on its network.

Sprint's current 4G network is delivered via Clearwire's (NASDAQ:CLWR [5]) mobile WiMAX network, which covers 130 million POPs and delivers average downlink speeds of 3-6 Mbps, with bursts up to 10 Mbps.

T-Mobile has said its HSPA+ network, particularly its faster HSPA+ 42 network, which covers 184 million POPs, delivers LTE-like speeds. T-Mobile plans to deploy LTE next year.

"T-Mobile's 4G HSPA+ network delivers a competitive 4G experience vs. current LTE networks at a much more affordable price. They should have compared their 4G data bills!" T-Mobile said in a statement. "In testing, our HSPA+ 42 smartphones, the HTC Amaze 4G and Samsung Galaxy S II, have shown average download speeds approaching 8 Mbps with peak speeds around 20 Mbps. T-Mobile has seen average download speeds approaching 10 Mbps with peak speeds of 27 Mbps on the T-Mobile Rocket 3.0 laptop stick--the company's first HSPA+ 42 device."

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From: Bill Wolf4/9/2012 9:42:43 AM
   of 147153
7 myths about quad-core phones (Smartphones Unlocked)

Smartphones with quad-core processors are always faster than dual-core processors, right? Only if you believe the myths.

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From: Bill Wolf4/9/2012 9:50:24 AM
1 Recommendation   of 147153
Apple: Whoa! BTIG Analyst Cuts Rating To Neutral From Buy
+ Comment now

Well, you don’t see this happen very often.

Citing concerns about the growing toll subsidies are taking on wireless carriers, BTIG analyst Walter Piecyk this morning cut his rating on Apple to Neutral from Buy. The analyst note that the move comes despite the fact that he thinks the company will report a blow-out March quarter: he’s looking for revenue of $40 billion and profits of $10.75 a share, well ahead of the consensus at $36 billion and $9.81. His view is that investors should “take a breather during the expected strength of this quarter,” given some potential trouble ahead.

Of the 54 analysts following Apple tracked by Thomson/First Call, just 5 rate the stock a Hold, while just 2 rate Apple Underperform or Sell.

Among his concerns:

The changing dynamics in the post-paid wireless industry, which has seen margins squeezed by the frequent upgrade activity of iPhone customers.

The sustainability of a $600 iPhone and possible need for a price cut.

The elevated expectation that the company will deliver another revolutionary product into the market.

Piecyk writes in a blog post that he expects post-paid wireless operators ”to remain firm in their plan to stunt the pace of phone upgrades in 2012 and we expect to see some initial evidence of their success in the current quarter.” The analyst contends this will increase the need for Apple to grow its business in the pre-paid dominated emerging market space, “in which handset subsidies are a rarity and the $600 ASP of the iPhone represents a big chunk of a household’s monthly income.”

The analyst concedes that his thesis will not be on display in the current quarter, “as the pent up demand in China and the launch of the iPhone in 30 additional markets is likely to drive strong sales that will offset the sequential declines in other markets.” He thinks the company sold 33 million iPhones in the fiscal second quarter ended March, but he expects a drop to 27.5 million in FY Q3, which would means revenues $1 billion below current consensus.

“We continue to maintain our view that Apple is the primary beneficiary of an accelerating growth trend in the global adoption of smartphones, considering global penetration of smartphones has not yet even reached 30%,” the analyst writes. “However, given the run up in Apple’s stock and the consensus estimates, we think now is a good time to more carefully consider how it will capitalize on the next and likely much larger leg of growth in the industry and prepare for the inevitable bumps that may occur on the way.”

In particular, he thinks subsidy cuts are coming, and soon.

“Subsidies by post-paid wireless operators have fueled the growth of Apple’s $600 iPhone since its inception,” he writes. “Even in the pre-paid dominant markets of China and Europe, heavily subsidized iPhone’s are available to users willing to sign up for a contract. Wireless operators have been happy to subsidize smartphones to new and existing customers in order to provide a lift to the average monthly bill of their customer base, a metric which had been falling for the past three decades.”

“The positive inflection point in ARPU was cheered by investors but the cost to drive that ARPU accretion is now starting to eat away at profitability and the performance of those stocks. Operators, unwilling to stall the pace of ARPU growth, offered generous upgrade policies including some that enabled a fully subsidized phone upgrade only one year in to a two year contract. We expect those policies to change as the faster upgrade rate of smartphones compared to legacy feature phones has been a costly surprise to post-paid and pre-paid operators, alike.”

AAPL this morning is down $8.43, or 1.3%, to $625.25.

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From: slacker7114/9/2012 10:35:48 AM
   of 147153
The big question for this earnings season for Qualcomm is how well they are able to meet demand. A good problem to have, but a problem nonetheless.

TSMC 28nm capacity in large shortage
Monica Chen, Taipei; Adam Hwang, DIGITIMES [Friday 6 April 2012]
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company's (TSMC) 28nm foundry capacity has been drastically short of demand from Qualcomm, AMD and Nvidia mainly, but the shortage is expected to relax at the end of the third quarter of 2012, according to industry sources.

Qualcomm, in view of the shortage, has shifted some orders to United Microelectronics, but has been unable to meet its clients' demand for processors for smartphones and tablet PCs, the sources indicated.

AMD launched the 28nm-based Radeon HD 7970 in the first quarter of 2012, but has actually shipped a relatively small volume of the GPU due to TSMC's short 28nm capacity, the sources noted.

Nvidia launched only one 28nm-based GPU, GeForce GTX 680, in late March and has had to delay the launch of Kepler series GPU models due to the shortage, the sources said.

While yield rates of its 28nm process are slowly improving, TSMC is conservative about expanding 28nm foundry capacity in order to maintain gross margins, partly accounting for the capacity shortage, the sources said.

In related news, TSMC will start construction of the 5th-phase expansion of Fab 14, its 12-inch fab located at the Southern Taiwan Science Park, on April 9. TSMC's total foundry capacity in 2012 is expected to increase by 10% from 2011.

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From: Bill Wolf4/9/2012 12:14:40 PM
   of 147153
Apple: iPhone 5 Debut Could Be ‘Extraordinary,” Says Topeka
By Tiernan Ray

Topeka Capital Markets’s Brian White, who follows Apple (AAPL) and rates its shares Buy with a $1,001 price target, this morning writes that “the buzz around the new iPhone 5 is growing in Asia and speculation around the timing of the launch has begun,” he concludes, based on his recent swing through China and Taiwan.

White writes that the inclusion of a 4G wireless connection in what he expects to be a new, “sleek” iPhone frame with a 4-inch screen should lead to a December quarter debut that “could be extraordinary, dwarfing previous launches and driving the stock closer to our $1,001 price target.”

White thinks component production will start in June, but a formal introduction of the phone will not likely happen until August or September.

White also learned, he writes, that iPad sales were held back last quarter by some issues with manufacturing the device’s “Retina Display”:

During our meetings, we walked away with the impression that production of Apple’s (AAPL, $633.68, Buy) new iPad would have been higher during the March quarter if not for yield issues at panel makers driven by the new retina display that created a bottleneck in the supply chain. However, we believe the issue has largely been resolved and this should have an incrementally positive impact on the June quarter.


Copyright 2011 Dow Jones & Company,

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From: Bill Wolf4/9/2012 3:12:33 PM
   of 147153
ZTE and Huawei dive into high-end smartphone market in 2012
Luke Lin, DIGITIMES Research, Taipei [Monday 9 April 2012]

For the smartphone market, China-based ZTE and Huawei Technologies previously mainly focused on the low-price segment and their presence in high-end segment was rare. But they have changed their strategies.

Following Huawei's introduction of an ultra-thin model at CES 2012, both companies have been clearly keen to revamp their images by launching more high-end models. The displays, cameras, and processors of the high-end models from the two firms are comparable to those found in first-tier brands' smartphones.

In 2012, ZTE and Huawei will continue to develop low-price models but they will step up their challenge against first-tier competitors with products that have comparable quality but lower prices. Digitimes Research predicts that even though the 2012 smartphone shipments from ZTE and Huawei are unlikely to grow as fast as what they have seen over the past two years, they will still significantly outperform the market average growth of about 40%.

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To: Bill Wolf who wrote (110929)4/9/2012 3:35:26 PM
From: bigb
   of 147153
Does anyone know how “Retina Display” compares to Mirasol?Hope Mirasol is worth the investment we made?

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From: Bill Wolf4/9/2012 5:03:07 PM
   of 147153
NOK: RBC Sees Hope for Lumia, Canaccord Sees Challenges
By Tiernan Ray

A couple of Street observers offered differing points of view today on the health of Nokia‘s (NOK) “Lumia” smartphones that run Microsoft‘s (MSFT) “Windows Phone” operating system, a day after the latest model, the “Lumia 900,” went on sale in the U.S. at AT&T (T).

RBC Capital‘s Mark Sue reiterated an Outperform rating on shares of Nokia, and a $9 price target, writing that the company is “coming to America in a big way,” and that the two companies are “spending bucks to find relevance.”

Although Google (GOOG) and Apple (AAPL) dominate 50% of smartphone sales, and, with Samsung Electronics (005930KS), 75% of the profits in the market, Sue lays out some hopeful notes for Lumia, writing that “Thus far we would characterize the uptake of Nokia’s Lumia 710 and 800 as ‘decent’,” adding that “For the 900 series, feedback, while early, seems constructive on the hardware and start screen’s live tiles.”

And carriers, he writes, want to diversify away from Apple’s dominance, and they want to forestall Google’s encroachment on their revenue opportunities with its “Google Wallet” payment scheme.

Still, Nokia remains a transition in progress, he observes, as Q1 “may be another quarter of transition and the continued slide in the legacy Symbian business may mean Nokia may post units closer to our street low 90M vs. consensus of 92M.”

However, Canaccord Genuity’s Mike Walkley today reiterated a Hold rating, while cutting his price target by a dollar to $5, writing that this year “remains a challenging transitional year” for Nokia.

Carriers do want an alternative, he agrees, but it will take investment in the “ecosystem,” writes, and this is the “critical year” for that investment, he writes.

Walkley cut his 2012 estimates on both lower Windows Phone estimates, and lower sales of Nokia’s older platform, “Symbian“:

Our global checks indicated mixed Lumia sales with price declines helping sales trends in Europe. However, our checks indicated extremely poor Symbian sales trends and seasonally soft feature phone sales, resulting in our lowered Q1/12 Devices and Services sales estimate from €4.9B to €4.7B. We have also lowered our overall Windows smartphone estimates, resulting in us lowering our 2012 pro forma EPS estimate from $0.05 to ($0.03) and our 2013 estimate from $0.54 to $0.40.

Nokia shares today rose 3 cents, or 0.6%, to $5.14. Microsoft shares fell 42 cents, or 1.3%, to $31.10.

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To: bigb who wrote (110931)4/9/2012 6:35:37 PM
From: Maurice Winn
3 Recommendations   of 147153
Retina display is useless compared with mirasol, and uses tons more electricity too, so a bigger battery is needed and costs a lot more.

But it's all how you look at it.


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From: BDAZZ4/10/2012 1:06:06 AM
4 Recommendations   of 147153
Wow, we just might make some money from Nokia and Windows.

No Denying Strong Lumia Debut at AT&T

Bloggers got in a fair amount of digs at Nokia for launching the Lumia 900 flagship phone on Easter Sunday, when vast majority of AT&T stores were closed. Fair enough – the decision was odd.

But on Monday eve, the day after the Lumia 900 launch, the traction this phone has at is certainly better than anticipated.

Four points about Amazon’s Cell Phones with Service Plans sales chart.

Lumia 900 sales are split between two color variants right out of the gate. The black version is #1, the blue one #2. This is unusual – phones tend to debut in one color and early ranking reflects all sales consolidated by one model. Having the top two spots held by one model is rare. Having them held by a Windows phone is in my recollection unprecedented. It clearly seems that AT&T’s price aggression combined with Amazon’s extra subsidy is paying off.
Amazon is becoming a better mirror of US handset market. Consumer spending in general is shifting towards web stores. In the handset market in particular, the extremely aggressive pricing of Amazon is sucking in consumers who used to shop for phones at brick and mortar stores two years ago.
Next couple of weeks are going to be extremely interesting. Few expected both of the Lumia 900 color variants to beat Verizon’s powerful Android champion, RAZR MAXX – even during the launch days. This has happened, at least at Amazon. Now the question is whether the strong early sampling will turn into sustained surge of Windows smartphones in America. This is the last chance saloon – according to comScore, Windows smartphone market share in America plunged sharply to less than 4% in February 2012.<<

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