We've detected that you're using an ad content blocking browser plug-in or feature. Ads provide a critical source of revenue to the continued operation of Silicon Investor.  We ask that you disable ad blocking while on Silicon Investor in the best interests of our community.  If you are not using an ad blocker but are still receiving this message, make sure your browser's tracking protection is set to the 'standard' level.

   Technology StocksSmartphones: Symbian, Microsoft, RIM, Apple, and Others

Previous 10 Next 10 
To: Eric L who wrote (1597)9/9/2013 5:34:14 PM
From: Jurgis Bekepuris
   of 1647
Lots of hype. But does it deliver?

Honestly, I haven't followed Moto inside Google. My guess is that the company is in downside spiral (but then who aside of Samsung and Apple isn't?). How much marketshare did it lose since it was acquired? How much money did it lose?

Of course, Google has money to keep it on life support and even engage in DARPA'y research. But ultimately: does it deliver? :)

Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last ReadRead Replies (1)

To: Jurgis Bekepuris who wrote (1598)9/10/2013 11:55:33 AM
From: Eric L
3 Recommendations   of 1647
Motorola Mobile: A Google company ...

Hi Jurgis,

<< Honestly, I haven't followed Moto inside Google. >>

I had not myself until very recently despite the fact that I've been adding chunks of GOOG on big dips to what was originally a very small position for about 8 years. Prompted to do so by the Microsoft bid for Nokia Devices and Services, I've spent time over the last week digging back through the quarterly reports of Motorola Mobility LLC (mobile devices and Home) from before the acquisition was completed in mid-Q2 2012, and of Google from Q2 2012 forward. I also went back to look at Interbrand's comparative annual brand rankings growth/decline for Apple, Google, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia and Samsung for the last decade and sales and share growth/decline for each.

Right now I simply have raw notes from the exercise that is about 80% completed, but I will probably attempt to put them together in reasonably coherent format and post an abstract here -- most likely in multi-parts but when I do so I'll link each part back to this post.

One thing I am convinced of is that Google did NOT buy Motorola Mobility simply for its patents. Like Apple (albeit on much smaller scale today) they are in the devices (and services) business as is Microsoft. Over time the business models of both will change to some degree as a consequence, and it's about time for both the young Google and the aging Microsoft, IMO.

<< My guess is that the company is in downside spiral (but then who aside of Samsung and Apple isn't?). >>

Since acquisition Google has been cleaning out Motorola's device pipes and stale Motorola designed products. They have also been house cleaning the subsidiary they purchased, shedding assets and employees. It's now lean and mean and free of the former parent's baggage and the Moto X is the 1st of Google's devices.

<< How much marketshare did it lose since it was acquired? >>

Under Dr. Sanjay Jha's leadership Motorola's quarterly device shipments increased from 8.5 million in Q1 2010 to a peak of 12.9 million in Q3 2011 and declined from there in each and every quarter since.

In the final quarter before acquisition (Q1 2012) Moto had ~2% unit market share, down YoY from 3% in Q1 2011. In the 2012 1st quarter Motorola Mobility sold in 8.9 million mobile devices worth $2.2 Billion ($247 ASP): 5.1 million Android smartphones (57%) and 3.8 million (43%) feature phones or entry level devices.

In Q2 2013 (according to ABI Research) Google's Motorola sold-in 3.5 million Android smartphones which translated to less than <1% (0.8%) unit market share of mobile devices and ~2% of smartphones shipped in the quarter. Motorola Mobile revenues from devices, accessories, and other was $998 million ($351 ASP).

I suspect we'll start to see slow Motorola unit share growth starting this quarter and I also suspect that growth will be choppy just as Nokia's Windows Phone growth was. At some time I suspect it could grow faster than the smartphone market just as Windows phone growth is now doing and should continue to do despite Nokia's transition to new ownership.

<< How much money did it lose? >>

Lots ... but I haven't added it up yet. I intend to on both a GAAP and pro forma basis and also look at what the actual net cost of the acquisition was after divestures and netting down cash acquired. That net cost of acquisition turns out to be less than $7 billion not including losses incurred in the last 5 quarters, or restructuring charges in that period and going forward. Motorola headcount has been dramatically reduced by Google and virtually all manufacturing eliminated.

Below is Google's GAAP and Pro Forma operating losses for Q2 2013 (and Q1 2013, and Q2 2012).

<< Of course, Google has money to keep it on life support and even engage in DARPA'y research. But ultimately: does it deliver? :) ??

Eventually I suspect it will deliver and as the Wired article stated it's a long term goal, not a short term one:
Building Motorola itself into a profitable entity is not an immediate objective. “Of course we can’t be a drain on the company forever,” says Woodside, “but the goal is not necessarily to make massive amounts of money in a short period of time—we have a much longer time horizon than that.”
On this general topic ABI Research had this to say about the commencement of the Google/Motorola device generation ...
Q2 2013 could be considered the quarter that Motorola cleared out its old device pipes to get ready for the its new "Google-designed" devices. The newly announced Moto X device does show some ingenuity and unique thought around what an Android OEM should be doing, yet the new Motorola devices will have much to prove. Luckily, Google is willing to support Motorola with a reported $500 million marketing budget for the new devices. ABI Research is not convinced that "Made in the U.S.A." and some gesture/voice UI innovations are game changers, and there is a risk that this new UI approach could end up like Apples Siri: interesting at first but not used in the long run.
It will be interesting to see if Nexus 5 will be a Google Motorola product (or LG's, or another's).

I personally find the GoogleRola and NokiaSoft integrations and the challenges and opportunities they present to be exceptionally interesting. Once a LT core hold since '94 I've been out of MSFT since 2000. Its now back on my close watch list.


- Eric -

Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last ReadRead Replies (1)

From: Eric L9/10/2013 12:06:26 PM
   of 1647
PCMag Business Choice Awards 2013 ...

Posted by Zax in nicely formatted fashion with graphics here: Message 29104203

I found this particular graphic from the above very interesting if not necessarily surprising ...

Thanks Zax.

- Eric -

Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read

To: Eric L who wrote (1599)9/10/2013 1:40:38 PM
From: Jurgis Bekepuris
   of 1647
Wow, great answer. You did all the work. :) Thanks a lot.

I personally find the GoogleRola and NokiaSoft integrations and the challenges and opportunities they present to be exceptionally interesting.

Yeah, they are interesting, but mostly to watch from aside. At least for me. :)

I sold my NOK position.
I don't have GOOG position for some time already, since I think it is too expensive. I do understand its strong position and moats in multiple areas, so I know that probably I am wrong in not holding it.
I have MSFT position. I am deciding whether to exit it before coming turmoil.
I also have a smallish AAPL position.

Overall, I think that I'd rather be in other places during the integrations, platform wars, etc. But I understand that people who make right decisions can make a lot of money in this field.

Regards :)

Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read

From: Eric L9/11/2013 10:16:16 AM
   of 1647
The Dawn of 64-Bit Mobile Computing using ARMv8 architecture: Apples A7

>> The real reasons Apple's 64-bit A7 chip makes sense

Don't swallow Apple's marketing lines that 64-bit chips magically run software faster than 32-bit relics. What the A7 in the iPhone 5S does do, though, is pave the way for Apple's long-term future.

Stephen Shankland
September 11, 2013

Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller touts the advantages of the A7 processor used in the iPhone 5S.
(Credit: Josh Lowensohn/CNET)

Apple injected a lot of marketing hyperbole into its claims about the wonders of 64-bit computing when it showed off the A7 processor at the heart of the new iPhone 5S. But there are real long-term reasons that Apple is smart to move beyond the 32-bit era in mobile computing.

Apple did indeed beat its smartphone rivals to the 64-bit era with the A7, and the processor may indeed vault over its predecessor's performance. The hyperbole came when Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller, speaking at Apple's iPhone 5S and 5C launch event on Tuesday, linked those two accomplishments.

"Why go through all this?" Schiller asked, referring to the new chip and 64-bit versions of iOS 7 and Apple's iOS apps. "The benefits are huge. The A7 is up to twice as fast as the previous-generation system at CPU tasks," Schiller said, and up to twice as fast at graphics tasks, too.

Indeed, there's a reason the computer industry is shifting to 64-bit computing; the main benefit is memory capacity that can exceed 4GB. But just as we saw with 64-bit personal computers arriving over the last decade, 64-bit designs don't automatically improves performance for most tasks. In fact, there can be drawbacks: it's likely that 64-bit versions of programs will be bulkier than their 32-bit equivalents.

But Apple is smart to lay the foundations for 64-bit mobile computing now, for three reasons. First, large memory capacity is an academic issue in the mobile market today, but it won't always be. Second, the the 64-bit transition happens to come along with other chip changes that are useful immediately. And third, it gives Apple more flexibility to build ARM-based PCs if it chooses to embrace an alternative to Intel chips.

What is 64-bit computing?

A 64-bit chips can handle memory addresses described with 64-bit numbers rather than 32-bit ones, which means a computer can accommodate more than 4GB of memory, and that chips can do math with integers that are a lot bigger and floating-point numbers that are more precise. The 64-bit transition doesn't have any effect on a lot of computing performance at all.

With servers, 64-bit chips are crucial, because they often need gobs of memory for running many tasks simultaneously and keeping as much of it as possible in fast-response RAM. With PCs, 64-bit chips are useful to avoid bumping up against 4GB memory limits, which is about where the mainstream market is today.

On mobile devices, though, the 4GB limit has yet to arrive. Even though having more RAM is really useful, it's got big drawbacks in the mobile market: it's expensive, it takes up room, and most problematic, it draws a lot of electrical power and therefore shortens battery life. The Samsung Galaxy Note 3, an Android phone, has an unusually large 3GB of RAM, but it's also got an unusually large size to handle a bigger-than-average 3,200mAh battery.

Higher-precision 64-bit math is helpful for tasks like scientific simulations, but it's not a big deal on mobile.

At Apple's event, Epic Games executives were gleeful about the A7 performance playing Infinity Blade 3, and there's no reason to doubt their statements that they could draw a dragon with four times the detail. But that performance improvement is likely to come more from the new graphics abilities in the A7 and from its support for the richer OpenGL ES 3.0 graphics-acceleration interface, not from its 64-bit design.

Schiller touted processor performance improvements in the iPhone 5S, which uses Apple's new A7 chip, but didn't detail which speed tests he was using. (Credit: screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET)

Why bother with 64-bit mobile chips?

Even if 64-bit computing isn't some across-the-board speedup technology, there's a very good reason to adopt it: the future.

But here again, we have to splash a little cold water on Schiller's enthusiasm.

"The PC world went through the transition from 32-bit to 64-bit, and it took years," Schiller said. "Today you're going to see that Apple is going to move the mobile computing system forward from 32-bit to 64-bit in one day."

In fact, it only took a couple hours for Apple to announce the iPhone 5S and the A7 processor. But the full 64-bit transition will take years in mobile, just as it did in the PC market.

Indeed, the transition already has been going on for a couple years. In 2011, after four years of behind-closed-doors work, ARM Holdings announced its 64-bit ARMv8 instruction set for the chip designs it licenses to Apple, Qualcomm, Samsung, and many other makers of mobile chips. Apple's A7 uses the ARMv8 architecture.

The hardware change is only the first part. After that comes software. Apple has retooled iOS 7 -- the kernel a the heart of the software, the libraries of pre-written code that it and other software draw upon, and the device drivers the kernel uses to talk to hardware like the network and touch screen -- so it's 64-bit software. And it's got a version of its Xcode developer tools so that programmers can build 64-bit versions of their iOS products.

But it'll be years before the whole software ecosystem makes the move. Old software likely will never make the change, which is why it's good ARMv8 chips can run older 32-bit software seamlessly. And programmers will still need to build 32-bit versions of their software for older iPhones -- as well as brand-new 32-bit models like the iPhone 5C.

Given how long it takes to make the transition, it's important to lay the hardware foundation early enough that the software market can move gracefully. Even though adding more RAM is hard in mobile devices, it'll happen. It might well happen sooner on iPads, too, which can handle faster processors, bigger batteries, and more elaborate software. And it's possible that computing engineers will successfully commercialize some other form or memory that's not as power-hungry.

ARMv8 benefits

A nearer-term reason the Apple A7 might appeal to programmers has nothing to do with its 64-bit nature: the ARMv8 architecture brings some real advantages.

One of them is a larger number of registers -- tiny on-chip storage areas where the processor stores data for very fast access. ARMv8 roughly doubles general-purpose registers from 16 to 31, which means the chip needn't fritter away as many cycles swapping things into and out of memory.

The ARMv8 architecture used in the Apple A7 chip brings several improvements in addition to a 64-bit design, including more registers to store data, better double-precision math, and built-in cryptography features. (Credit: ARM Holdings)

When AMD pioneered 64-bit computing on x86 -- a transition it pushed while Intel was distracted with its Itanium designs -- it got a big speed boost from increasing the number of registers. But 32-bit x86 chips were hobbled by having only four registers, while 32-bit ARM chips have a relatively abundant 16; that could mean the performance boost won't be as good with the ARM transition.

ARMv8 also has some other significant changes. It's got much better mathematical abilities, especially when performing the same operation on a lot of data. And it's got built-in encryption processing abilities, which should speed a lot of secure communications and cut battery usage.

New Apple options

Apple surprised the world when it moved its Mac line from PowerPC processors to Intel processors, and there have been rumblings it might move to or at least embrace ARM chips for Macs, too.

The A7 processor or its rumored higher-end A7X sibling might not have enough oomph for a full-fledged personal computer, but it was hard to miss Schiller boasting that the A7 has a "desktop-class architecture." And even if there's never any ARM-based Mac, it's still possible Apple could take iOS into something more laptop-like. The company, which made iWork free with new iOS devices and threw iPhoto and iMovie into the bargain, clearly likes the idea of customers creating content on iOS devices, not just consuming it.

If Apple chose to build ARM-based PCs, having more than 4GB of memory could be very useful. Thus, it would be a big asset to have a mature 64-bit ARM chip design with an accompanying operating system and app collection.

ARM-based Apple PCs would be a dramatic shift indeed. Intel is working furiously on lowering the power consumption of its x86 chips to compete better against ARM, and an ARM-based Apple PC would have serious difficulties running Mac software for x86-based machines.

We need not invent reasons for Schiller's 64-bit A7 enthusiasm besides that it makes a good marketing line, something that sounds like progress and that's easy to see missing from Android competition.

But even if it's mostly just an iPhone marketing line for now, Apple's change to 64-bit ARMv8 designs does make sense in the long run. ###

- Eric -

Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last ReadRead Replies (2)

From: Eric L9/11/2013 12:08:22 PM
   of 1647
Mobiledia: The Downfall of RIM and Blackberry in 3 Parts ...

... by Allen Tsai (September, 2013)

Long with several videos and definitely worth a read.

I. Origins: The Birth of BlackBerry |

II. Origins: A Nation of BlackBerry Addicts |

III. Origins: How BlackBerry Fell |

- Eric -

Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read

To: Eric L who wrote (1602)9/11/2013 3:11:15 PM
From: waitwatchwander
   of 1647
With 64-bit capability, you gotta figure Intel should now be concerned that Apple's preparing to use their own ARM processor inside their Macs and AirBooks. That certainly makes more sense than solely developing a 64-bit processor for use in phones and tablets.

Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read

From: Eric L9/12/2013 1:21:40 PM
   of 1647
5by5 Special Event (#22) Audiocast: The Apple iPhone 5c and 5s Launch Event...

Dan Benjamin is joined by Haddie Cooke (5by5), blogger/writer's Christina Warren Benedict Evans (UK), and Horace Dediu (Finland), to discuss their thoughts on the September 10th Apple Event announcing the iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, and more.

Duration is 1 hour and 30 minutes. It's one of the better discussions of the event and products that I've listened to.

- Eric -

Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read

To: Eric L who wrote (1602)9/14/2013 1:40:02 PM
From: Eric L
   of 1647
64-bit Processors for Samsung Galaxy Smartphones ...

"Our next smartphones will have 64-bit processing functionality.” - Shin Jong-kyun, Samsung -

>> Samsung's Upcoming Galaxy Smartphones to have 64-Bit Processors, Will Expand in China

Samsung wants to stay on its A game to beat Apple

Tiffany Kaiser
Daily Tech
September 12, 2013

Samsung sees that Apple is making an aggressive push into China, and will pump up the competition with powerful new 64-bit Galaxy products in order to keep Apple at bay.

Shin Jong-kyun, Samsung’s mobile business chief, confirmed that Samsung wants to expand its business in the Chinese smartphone market during a meeting in Seocho-dong, southern Seoul.

“Samsung understands that Apple intends to boost its mobile business in China, as well as in Japan, meaning that we should try harder in these countries,” said shin.

Apple will sell its latest iPhones through China Unicom and China Telecom while also talking with China Mobile, which has a customer base over twice the size of the U.S. population. In fact, Chinese regulators gave the final required license for the iPhone to work on China Mobile Ltd's mobile network this week.

Samsung plans to pursue the market with competitive products in hopes of swaying users from buying Apple's iPhones. For instance, Shin said the next set of Samsung Galaxy smartphones would feature 64-bit processors for more power and speed.

“Not in the shortest time. But yes, our next smartphones will have 64-bit processing functionality,” said Shin.

In addition, Samsung will hold a launch event for its latest 5.7-inch Galaxy Note 3 "phablet" in China.

Apple, on the other hand, just recently announced its iPhone 5S, which also features a 64-bit processor (the ARM-based A7). This will offer the market a high-end smartphone with enough power to run complex games and applications.

As of the end of the second quarter, Samsung was the top smartphone seller in China with 19.4 percent of the market while Apple’s share was just 4.3 percent.

Source: The Korea Times: ###

- Eric -

Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read

To: Eric L who wrote (1594)9/30/2013 11:18:09 AM
From: Eric L
   of 1647
Latest Complete Kantar Worldpanel Sales Share Tables (9 markets + EU5) for 3 m/e August 2013 ...

Windows Phone nears double digit share across Europe

>> Windows Phone nears double digit share across Europe
Kantar Worldpanel ComTech
September 30, 2013

The latest smartphone sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, for the three months to August 2013, shows Windows Phone has posted its highest ever sales share of 9.2% across the five major European markets¹ and is now within one percentage point of iOS in Germany. Android remains the top operating system across Europe with a 70.1% market share, but its dominant position is increasingly threatened as growth trails behind both Windows and iOS.

¹ The big five European markets (EU5) includes Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Spain.

Windows Phone has hit double digit sales share figures in France and Great Britain with 10.8% and 12% respectively – the first time it has recorded double digits in two major markets.

Dominic Sunnebo, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, comments: “After years of increasing market share, Android has now reached a point where significant growth in developed markets is becoming harder to find. Android’s growth has been spearheaded by Samsung, but the manufacturer is now seeing its share of sales across the major European economies dip year on year as a sustained comeback from Sony, Nokia and LG begins to broaden the competitive landscape.”

Dominic continues: “Windows Phone’s latest wave of growth is being driven by Nokia’s expansion into the low and mid range market with the Lumia 520 and 620 handsets. These models are hitting the sweet spot with 16 to 24 year-olds and 35 to 49 year-olds, two key groups that look for a balance of price and functionality in their smartphone’.

Across the globe

In the United States, Apple continues to grow strongly year on year and now makes up 39.3% of sales. This is set to spike in the coming months with the release of the iPhone 5S & 5C.

Apple and Android have recorded almost identical shares of sales in Japan – 48.6% and 47.4% respectively. However, news that the new iPhone range will be available on Japan’s largest carrier, NTT DoCoMo, for the first time, makes it likely that Apple will pull ahead of Android in this key market.

BlackBerry’s troubles continue; the operating system now accounts for just 2.4% of sales across the big five European markets and 1.8% in the United States.

Smartphone % penetration in Great Britain stands at 67% in August, with 85% of devices sold in the past three months being smartphones. ###

- Eric -

Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last ReadRead Replies (1)
Previous 10 Next 10