|From: Eric L||10/29/2013 5:01:39 PM|
|LG: Mobile Sales in Q3 2013 ... |
LG Electronics reported its first operating loss at its mobile unit in a year.
Android not so lucky for Lucky Goldstar.
• 12 million smartphones, down from 12.1 million QoQ.
• 18.3 million total handsets, up from 16.2 million total handsets QoQ.
• LG's mobile comm business up 24 percentYoY to ~$2.86 billion with a $75.3 million operating loss.
>> LG posts first loss in mobile unit in a year as competition intensifies
October 24, 2013
LG Electronics reported its first operating loss at its mobile unit in a year. The loss is likely due to intense competition and higher marketing costs for the company's flagship G2 smartphone.
The company maintained its momentum in the smartphone market, selling 12 million smartphones in the period, only down slightly from the record 12.1 million it had in the second quarter. LG spokesman Ken Hong said the company sold 18.3 million total handsets (smartphones and feature phones) in the quarter, up from 16.2 million total handsets in the second quarter and 14 million handsets in the year-ago period.
Overall, sales in the company's mobile communications business jumped 24 percent year-over-year to around $2.86 billion. However, the unit reported a $75.3 million operating loss, its first since the third quarter of 2012.
LG said that its profitability and average selling price were affected by increased competition and higher marketing investments. The company said it improved LTE device sales by 31 percent from the second quarter due to the launching of the G2. However, 3G-only device sales declined due to intensified competition in developing markets.
"What worries me is that although its mobile unit saw increased sales in the third quarter, it registered a loss," Choi Nam Kon, a Seoul-based analyst at TongYang Securities, told Bloomberg. "That's a signal the market is becoming increasingly competitive and difficult. LG has to slash handset prices further in order to survive in this cutthroat battle."
Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ), AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T), Sprint (NYSE:S) and T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS) are supporting the G2, giving LG an opportunity to get broad carrier distribution for a single high-end smartphone model, something it has not previously been able to do, and that its competitors have. Verizon and AT&T started selling the phone in September for $199.99 with a two-year contract; T-Mobile is offering it for $0 down with monthly payments of $25 per month for 24 months, and Sprint has the phone online for pre-order for $99.99 with a two-year contract and after a $100 credit promotion.
The smartphones has 5.2-inch 1080 IP IPS HD display and is powered by Qualcomm's (NASDAQ:QCOM) quad-core 2.26 GHz Snapdragon 800 processor. A key design feature of the phone is that its front and sides have no physical buttons, with the volume and power controls on the back of the phone, in what LG calls the "rear key." LG said this change gives users more control since the buttons are located where users' index fingers normally sit when holding the phone. Some reviewers have panned this feature.
Andy Kim, senior vice president of marketing at LG's mobile unit, told Bloomberg that marketing costs for the G2 were the biggest in company's history. Looking at the fourth quarter, LG said it will face intensified competition but plans to increase sales in the premium segment with the full-fledged global launch of the G2, while enhancing marketing for both mass market LTE and 3G smartphones "in order to maximize sales during the peak season and to improve brand power and market position." ###
- Eric -
|RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read|
|From: Eric L||10/31/2013 9:06:58 AM|
|Q3 2012 Tablet Unit Sell-In and Share (IDC) ... |
Table Note: Year-over-year growth calculations are based on preliminary shipment data and may vary from estimates based on rounded figures above.
“White box tablet shipments continue to constitute a fairly large percentage of the Android devices shipped into the market”
>> Android Growth Drives Another Strong Quarter for the Worldwide Tablet Market, According to IDC
San Mateo, Calif.
October 30, 2013
Worldwide tablet shipments grew to 47.6 million units in the third quarter of 2013 (3Q13) according to preliminary data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker. While slightly below the firm's forecast, the number still represents 7.0% growth over the previous quarter and 36.7% growth compared to the third quarter of 2012. Android products once again drove much of the shipment growth in the market as iOS growth stalled and Windows tablets continued to struggle to win over consumers.
With no new iPad product launches in the second or third quarter to drive volume, Apple experienced a quarter-over-quarter decline in shipments from 14.6 million in 2Q13 to 14.1 million in 3Q13. Year over year, iPad shipments grew less than one percent. Apple's slowing growth—caused in part by its decision in late 2012 to move its product launches from earlier in the year to the fourth quarter—has caused the company's tablet market share to slip to 29.6%, its lowest share to date. However, with the new iPad Air shipping November 1st and the refreshed iPad mini with Retina scheduled to roll out later in November, IDC expects Apple to enjoy robust shipment growth during the fourth quarter.
"With two 7.9-inch models starting at $299 and $399, and two 9.7-inch models starting at $399 and $499, Apple is taking steps to appeal to multiple segments," said Jitesh Ubrani, Research Analyst with IDC's Tablet Tracker. "While some undoubtedly hoped for more aggressive pricing from Apple, the current prices clearly reflect Apple's ongoing strategy to maintain its premium status. It's worth noting that Apple wasn't the only one to increase the price of its small-sized tablet during this product cycle: Both Google and Amazon increased the price of their newest 7-inch tablets from $199 to $229 to cover the higher costs associated with high resolution screens and better processors."
Samsung once again secured the second position with shipments of about 9.7 million units. The company, which owes a measure of its tablet success to its ability to bundle them with other successful Samsung products, such as smartphones and televisions, grabbed 20.4% of the worldwide market. ASUS, which makes the Nexus 7 for Google, shipped about 3.5 million total units during the quarter for a third place finish and 7.4% market share. PC powerhouse Lenovo moved into the number four tablet spot with shipments of 2.3 million units and a 4.8% share. Finally, Acer rounded out the top five with 1.2 million units shipped and a 2.5% share. Notably, vendors from outside the top five were responsible for over one third of the shipments in 3Q13. IDC tracks dozens of tablet vendors, and this quarter "Others" represents a combination of major vendors (such as Amazon, Microsoft, HP, and Dell) and lesser-known, so-called white box vendors that typically sell ultra-low cost Android devices at often unsustainably low margins.
"White box tablet shipments continue to constitute a fairly large percentage of the Android devices shipped into the market," said Tom Mainelli, Research Director, Tablets at IDC. "These low cost Android-based products make tablets available to a wider market of consumers, which is good. However, many use cheap parts and non Google-approved versions of Android that can result in an unsatisfactory customer experience, limited usage, and very little engagement with the ecosystem. Android's growth in tablets has been stunning to watch, but shipments alone won't guarantee long-term success. For that you need a sustainable hardware business model, a healthy ecosystem for developers, and happy end users."
About IDC Trackers: IDC Tracker products provide accurate and timely market size, vendor share, and forecasts for hundreds of technology markets from more than 100 countries around the globe. Using proprietary tools and research processes, IDC's Trackers are updated on a semiannual, quarterly, and monthly basis. Tracker results are delivered to clients in user-friendly excel deliverables and on-line query tools. The IDC Tracker Charts app allows users to view data charts from the most recent IDC Tracker products on their iPhone and iPad.
About IDC: International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. For more than 49 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting www.idc.com ###
- Eric -
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|To: Eric L who wrote (1615)||11/1/2013 12:22:46 PM|
|From: Eric L|
|Strategy Analytics Smartphones Sell-In by OS in Q3 2013 ... |
'Microsoft Hits 10 Million for First Time as Android Reaches Record 81 Percent Share of Global Smartphone Shipments in Q3 2013'
>> Android Captures Record 81 Percent Share of Global Smartphone Shipments in Q3 2013
October 31, 2013
According to the latest research from our Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service, global smartphone shipments reached 251 million units in the third quarter of 2013. The Android operating system reached a new record of 81 percent global share, mainly at the expense of BlackBerry and Apple. Microsoft Windows Phone doubled its marketshare and it is currently the world’s fastest growing major smartphone platform.
Global smartphone shipments grew 45 percent annually from 172.8 million units in Q3 2012 to 251.4 million in Q3 2013. Growth was driven by robust demand for Android and Microsoft models in developed and developing markets, notably Europe and Asia.
Android’s domination of global smartphone shipments reached a new peak in Q3 2013, with four out of every five smartphones now running Google’s OS. Android’s gain came mainly at the expense of BlackBerry, which saw its global smartphone share dip from 4 percent to 1 percent in the past year due to a weak line-up of BB10 devices. Apple also lost some ground to Android because of its limited presence at the lower end of the smartphone market. Android will need to take further shipments from Apple if it wants to keep growing in the future, but this is unlikely in the near-term as the new iPhone 5s model is proving popular and it will help Apple to regain volumes worldwide in the fourth quarter of 2013.
Microsoft shipped more than 10 million smartphones worldwide in a single quarter for the first time ever in its history during Q3 2013. Microsoft has doubled its global smartphone marketshare from 2 percent to 4 percent in the past year. Microsoft grew its smartphone shipments by 178 percent annually in Q3 2013 and it is currently the world’s fastest growing major smartphone platform. Microsoft’s growth is almost entirely due to Nokia and its steadily improving Lumia portfolio across Europe, Asia and the United States. However, Microsoft is clearly still at a low level of share worldwide and it is struggling to gain serious traction in several major markets like Japan, South Korea and Africa.
The full report, 'Microsoft Hits 10 Million for First Time as Android Reaches Record 81 Percent Share of Global Smartphone Shipments in Q3 2013,' is available to subscribers of Strategy Analytics’ Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service now. ###
- Eric -
|RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read|
|From: Eric L||11/3/2013 10:12:23 AM|
|Samsung to hold a rare analyst day on Wednesday ... |
"Though the share price has recovered [from an early June through mid-July slump], Samsung is trying to address lingering concerns in the market. It has invited 350 analysts and institutional investors to a special meeting Wednesday at a Seoul hotel for a rare gathering with the company’s top management. While other big technology companies routinely hold such sessions, it is Samsung’s first “analyst day” since 2005, and only its second one ever."
More on the Samsung and Wireless board here: Message 29206170
- Eric L. -
|RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read|
|To: Eric L who wrote (1607)||11/4/2013 2:21:23 PM|
|From: Eric L|
|Latest Complete Kantar Worldpanel Sales Share Tables (9 markets + EU5) for 3 m/e September 2013 ... |
>> Nokia and Windows global momentum continues
Kantar Worldpanel ComTech
The latest smartphone sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, for the three months to September 2013, shows Windows Phone now makes up one in 10 smartphone sales across the five major European markets¹, has overtaken iOS in Italy, and is gaining momentum in emerging markets. Android remains the dominant operating system across Europe with 71.9%, an increase of 4.2 percentage points compared with the same period last year.
¹ The big five European markets includes UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain.
Windows Phone, driven almost entirely by Nokia sales, continues to make rapid progress in Europe and has also shown signs of growth in emerging markets such as Latin America.
Dominic Sunnebo, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, comments: “With the smartphone market in developed countries so congested, it is emerging economies that now present manufacturers with the best opportunity for growth.
“Nokia dominated in Latin America for many years, and while its popularity declined with the fortunes of Symbian it now has an opportunity to regain the top-spot. The majority of consumers in Latin America still own a Nokia featurephone and upgrading to an entry level Lumia is a logical next step. Price is the main barrier in developing markets and the budget Lumia 520 opens the door to smartphone ownership for many.”
In Britain, Windows accounts for 11.4% of the market. Android is still the number one operating system with 58.4% while BlackBerry now only has 3.1%. Apple’s iOS has dipped by 1.0 percentage point to 27.0%, although it is expected to strengthen at Christmas.
Sunnebo explains: “August is traditionally a quiet month for Apple as consumers wait for the release of new models, and strong sales of the iPhone 5S and 5C at the end of September did not manage to make up for the lull. The full impact of the new iPhones will be seen at Christmas when iOS is expected to bounce back strongly in Britain, the US and Australia.”
Local brands growing in China
China is increasingly dominated by Android which accounts for 81.1% of the market, up 14.6 percentage points from last year. Domestic manufacturers made up 44% of smartphone sales in the latest period, compared to just 30% the previous year. Huawei, Xiaomi, Lenovo and Coolpad handsets are particularly popular outside of China’s largest cities and represent a more value-for-money option than global brands.
Sunnebo comments: “Chinese consumers are prepared to make a huge investment in their smartphone, with some spending up to 70% of their monthly salary on a new device. With such a high investment, Chinese consumers want to get the best value for money and are increasingly opting for a high-spec local brand over a low-spec global equivalent. The message for global manufacturers is clear – Chinese consumers demand value, and overpriced entry-levels models no longer cut it against increasingly impressive local competition.”
Kantar Worldpanel ComTech: Urban China Smartphone Sales Data to Q313
Smartphone % penetration in Great Britain stands at 68% in September, with 87% of devices sold in the past three months being smartphones. ###
- Eric L. -
|RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last ReadRead Replies (1)|
|To: Eric L who wrote (1621)||11/5/2013 11:58:41 AM|
|From: Eric L|
|Kantar Worldpanel Comtech US Smartphone Sales Table and PR Report for 3 m/e September 2013 ...|
>> LG rockets to third in U.S. Smartphone sales
Kantar Worldpanel Comtech
November 4, 2013
LG grew to 7% of smartphone sales in the U.S. market in the 3 month period ending September 2013, marking its highest share of sales over the past year. With a growth of 2.6% points, LG was able to capture third place in U.S. sales, according to data released today by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.
The sales growth comes as a result of strong sales amongst first time Smartphone buyers on T-Mobile, Sprint and the MNVO’s. The Optimus L9 helped drive much of the sales growth on T-Mobile “no-contract” plans and the wider availability on Metro PCS. The Optimus L4 on Verizon also helped fuel the increase vs. Q213.
In smartphone sales, Android has retained its lead for the 3 month period ending September 2013, with a 57.3% sales share of the smartphone market. iOS follows with 35.9% sale share, an increase of 1.3% versus the same period a year ago.
Windows saw an uplift in sales share in the latest period with share up to 4.6%, with the budget Lumia 521 selling well on T-Mobile amongst consumers who do not want to be tied into a contract.
Verizon is the top carrier, with a 34.9% share of smartphone sales in the 3 months ending September 2013 (seeing growth of 6.8% points). AT&T maintained second at 22.0%, with T-Mobile and Sprint virtually tied for third with 14.4% & 14.2% of smartphone sales respectively.
The data is derived from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech USA’s consumer panel, which is the largest continuous consumer research mobile phone panel of its kind in the world, conducting more than 240,000 interviews per year in the U.S. alone. ComTech tracks mobile phone behavior and the customer journey, including purchasing of phones, mobile phone bills/airtime, and source of purchase and phone usage. This data is exclusively focused on the sales within this 3 month period rather than market share figures. Sales shares exemplify more forward focused trends and should represent the market share for these brands in future.
Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Global Strategic Insight Director, Dominic Sunnebo states, “Q3 is traditionally a quiet quarter for Apple as consumers wait its new flagship iPhone and this has been no different-strong sales of the iPhone 5S/C at the end of September did not manage to make up for a dip in August as consumers awaited the new product release. The full impact of the iPhone 5S/C launch will be felt in the Christmas quarter, where share is expected to bounce back strongly in the U.S., with AT&T set to benefit the most.” ###
- Eric -
|RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read|
|From: Eric L||11/22/2013 2:00:21 PM|
|Google: Regaining Control of Android (Vision Mobile) ... |
It had become painfully clear to Android’s executives: they had officially lost control. Something had to be done. There was only one option: to strip Android naked. Senior Analyst Stijn Schuermans explains how Google made it tough for ambitious rascals to fork Android and dump Google.
>> The Naked Android
November 19 2013
It had become painfully clear to Android’s executives: they had officially lost control. The operating system had been forked by Amazon and too many Asian handset makers. Worse, it had become too easy to replace Google Play with a proprietary app store yet leverage existing Android apps; too easy to replace Google’s services (Maps) with 3rd party alternatives (Nokia’s HERE). Even the Android brand wasn’t the king of the hill anymore, being eclipsed by Samsung’s Galaxy.
Something had to be done. There was only one option: to strip Android naked.
And so that’s what Google did. It let go of control over Android-the-OS. Instead it consolidated control on the APIs needed to make apps, consolidating them within the Google Play Services app. If any rascals want to fork the Android operating system, let them: they can no longer take the entire app ecosystem with them.
Google’s control of Android is eroding
Several years ago we wrote a post criticising Google’s openness statements around Android. Our 2011 study on the Open Governance Index found that Android is the most closed of all mobile open source projects. We were also the first to document the Android control points in 2010, three years before the EU finalised its antitrust investigation. Android has been open to developers, but not to handset makers who have had to comply with Google’s draconian certification and bundling of their apps and data mining software.
Despite the open source and zero-priced nature of the Android OS license, Google could not easily be bypassed. OEMs needed Google for the trademark, Google’s killer apps that leverage its online services and identity (GMail, Maps, and many others) and the Play Store, to get access to the hundreds of thousands of apps that end-users demanded. By cleverly closing down those parts of Android that matter, Google had gained a large amount of control over those who wanted to make an Android handset. A reaction was inevitable.
Over time, Google’s control points were systematically attacked and eroded. Amazon and Yandex, to name just a few, successfully replaced the Google Play store with their own app and content stores. The One Platform Foundation (led by Yandex and Opera) attempted to liberate in-app payments and the app store packaging format from Google’s control, so that you can publish an app on multiple stores with a single click. Nokia HERE (formerly known as Navteq) provided a decent licensable alternative to Google Maps. Samsung spent a lot of effort in recreating all of Google’s services. Samsung also spared no expense in creating its own Galaxy brand, which is becoming as well-known as Android.
With Google partially losing control over Android’s app ecosystem, the advertising giant had to do something. It decided to strip Android naked (a term coined by Nicolas Sauvage). It did so by shifting the control points one level up.
Closing down the APIs
Instead of gaining control through operating system certification, Google moved more and more critical APIs out of the open source operating system and into its proprietary Google Play Services software. [Update: VM just learned Google will ship Android 4.4 without the Chrome browser or any other browser, just the WebView. The emulator has it but not real devices. It’s up to each vendor to create a browser app using the WebView (such as Samsung) or to get license to preinstall Chrome.]
This had an immediate advantage: it reduced the fragmentation problem that had been plaguing Android for years.
Google Play Services is a piece of software that Google can update silently (without the user’s action or even knowledge) and over the air. Google no longer depends on handset makers and operators to update the software that app developers depend upon. Many users might (and do) have old Android versions on their devices: 26% of devices still use v2.3 Gingerbread, released almost three years ago, while only 2,3% uses v4.3 Jelly Bean, released in July 2013 (source: Google, Nov 1, 2013). Over 99% of devices, however, can run the latest version of Google Play Services. It is this which matters most to app developers.
But this was just the start.
Controlling app development
Many developers will now be using a mix of OS and Google Play Services APIs; the former being available on any Android fork, the latter not. Before, the API gap between Google’s version of Android and forks of the OS was mostly in-app billing (the problem that OnePF was trying to fix). Now this gap includes many important services that a lot of developers depend upon: authentication, location APIs, messaging, to name just a few. Developers will now be forced to rewrite parts of their app for each Android fork they want the app to be distributed on.
ARS Technica has done a good job of documenting the end-user implications of this move. Yes, you have your photo, email and other apps in Android public codebase (AOSP), but they are poor cousins of their Google-supported versions. Google seems to prioritize APIs that add innovation and end-user value to their services, so that AOSP apps look outdated. But beyond the effect on end users, the implications for device makers are far more widespread and lasting.
Google’s move puts up the pressure on Amazon and other Android spinoffs to provide alternatives APIs on top of Android to replace those incorporated in Google Play Services. Some are trying: Amazon for example recently added analytics and split testing capabilities to a list of APIs including login, backend services, billing, push messaging, ads and of course the Amazon Appstore for distribution. Amazon and other are taking great pains to making migration to new APIs as easy as possible, e.g. by showing how to match the Maps APIs with theirs.
Even so, companies who fork Android will have to convince developers – who have limited resources and attention spans – that their version offers a large enough user base to be worth supporting. Only a few, if any, will succeed.
The endgame for Google: flatten, expand, mine
The “Android ecosystem” has become a misnomer. It really should be called the “Google Play Services ecosystem”. (Sadly, it doesn’t’ have the same ring to it.) Google has re-established firm control over the apps that drive Android’s success as a platform.
Android as an operating system is still important to Google in the light of its defensive strategy to flatten everything standing between the user’s eyeballs and Google’s ad inventory. Android has succeeded, and will continue to succeed, in preventing any mobile platform from becoming a monopoly in the way that Microsoft Windows was on the PC.
But Google’s strategy has two more pillars: to expand its footprint across the user journey with more services, and to increase the value of its ads by data-mining the user’s behavior. Not Android, but Google Play Services is now driving Google’s expand and mine imperatives.
Google has certainly shown mastery in making open source work to its advantage. Of course, we can’t assume that this is the end of this story. If you were Amazon, Yandex or Samsung, how would you react? ###
- Eric L. -
|RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read|
|From: Eric L||11/29/2013 10:22:42 AM|
|El Reg Company Feature: ARM Holdings and the silicon IP that powers smartphones, tablets, and ...|
The chip designers at ARM Holdings have turned the computing world upside down, shaken Intel to its core, pulled AMD into its orbit, and broadened its range beyond mobile into every nook and cranny of the digital world, from toys to servers.
But where did this UK wonder company come from? How does it earn its living? And how did Apple help create the company that helped Steve Jobs save Cupertino from annihilation?
At the recent ARM TechCon developers conference, ARM's training and education manager Chris Shore answered those questions and more – such as what "ARM" stands for.
"ARM doesn't stand for anything," he said. "Officially, it stands for nothing. It used to stand for Advanced RISC Machines, which was the company's first name on its foundation. Prior to that it stood for something else – it stood for the Acorn RISC Machine, because the original architecture was actually designed by another company, called Acorn."
However, when ARM joined the NASDAQ and London's FTSE stock exchanges in 1998, the name was officially changed to ARM – which stands for, well, just ARM.
Shore said that he continues to be asked whether ARM makes chips – which, of course, they don't. They create and license designs for a broad range of chips. "If you phone us up and say, 'I'd love to buy a Cortex-A9, how much are they, please?' we can't quote you for a single device or even 10,000 devices – you'll have to go to someone like TI or Freescale or Samsung, who actually license and produce the chips, in order to buy one," he said.
"But we could quote you several tens of milions of dollars for a license to build one of your own, if you wanted to."
He also said that many people are surprised that ARM is a UK company [Some anti-UK prejudice, y'think? — Ed.], seeing as how they play in an industry that's dominated by the US and the Asia-Pacific region. ARM was founded in Cambridge, where its headquarters remain today.
Another misconception that people have about ARM, he said, is that many believe that the company knows all about how its licensees use its designs. "People put those into all kinds of end uses," Shore said. "They go into fridges, toys, wireless baseband modems, network switches, servers, tablets, phones – goodness knows what they go into."
Not only does ARM not track what its partners – Shore's preferred term for licensees – do with their designs, some of those partners wouldn't tell them even if they asked.
"We produce a lot of products in secure marketplaces for things like banking cards," he said, "and our partners in those fields are quite rightly very secretive about what they do. They certainly don't tell their customers that they use our IP, and very often they don't tell us what they do, either. They prefer to keep that very quiet, and keep it to themselves."
From little Acorns...
The ARM architecture didn't originate from ARM, the company. About five or six years before ARM was founded, a Cambridge company called Acorn Computers, which made desktop PCs primarily for the education market, was casting about for a processor for the next generation of their machines. Nothing on the market at the time quite suited their needs, Shore said, so they decided to design their own.
"That processor was designed by a very small team of only four engineers," he said, referring to the group led by Sophie Wilson and Steve Furber. "One of whom designed the instruction set, one of whom did the microarchitecture, and two others who assisted with the designing of the supporting chipset." That tiny team produced the processor in 14 months, and it first ran code in Acorn's offices in Cambridge on 26 April, 1985. "And ARM still occupies that office."
That architecture was called the ARM1, for Acorn RISC Machine, and went into a system that became wildly popular in the UK education market. "Everybody my age in the UK used one of those machines at school," he said – Chris is a middle-aged chap – but "they're long gone now."
Acorn is long gone, as well. "It split itself up towards the end of the 1990s, and eventually the final pieces of it were bought by Broadcom and it now forms the chunk of Broadcom's research group." Its legacy, however, lives on in ARM Holdings, which was founded in 1990, headquartered in a farmhouse 10 miles (about 16km) outside of Cambridge.
ARM's first CEO was Robin Saxby, who wasn't the founder of the company, but instead had been headhunted by the founders to run the show. Smart move, seeing as how Saxby came up with the licensing business model that has turned ARM into a global powerhouse.
That business model was born partly out of necessity. With only 12 employees, it didn't have the resources to turn its chips designs into products. "Very neat design," Shore said, "but putting it through a fab and actually turning it into a physical product was a huge risk and a very expensive thing to do, and they simply didn't have the resources to do that."
Those resources, by the way, were provided by ARM's first funders: Apple, Acorn, and VLSI. "It was well-funded, but not lavishly funded," Shore said, and so Saxby came up with the licensing model, which he essentially invented. "It's an industry that ARM has gone on to dominate. We effectively invented it, and for the last over 20 years we've been fortunate enough to dominate it."
How Apple helped create ARM, and how ARM saved Apple
Although Acorn was one of ARM's original funders, it was actually their chip design and Apple's ill-fated Newton that gave birth to the company. "Apple, looking for a processor for that particular design, hit on Acorn's processor and loved it," Shore said. "They wouldn't buy it from Acorn because Acorn was a competitor in the education market, so between them they cooked up this plan to found a separate company to give Apple access to the design."
That separate company was ARM. "It's interesting to see that ARM had three founding fathers, if you like, or three parents – Acorn Apple, and VLSI – and we've actually outlived two of those," Shore said. "Acorn and VLSI are no more, and we've arguably saved the third."
Shore is referring to the fact, as outlined in Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs, that when Jobs returned to Apple and shortly took control of the company in the late '90s, Apple was in dire straits financially. As part of the turnaround that he helped engineer, Jobs raised a boatload of cash, Shore said, "by selling Apple's stock holding in ARM, which was worth a considerable amount of money. So arguably we've outlived two of our parents and saved the life of the third."
According to Shore, although Apple's Newton was key to creating ARM, it wasn't the most important early licensee that the company snagged, "because the Newton wasn't a particularly successful product." That key licensee distinction goes to Texas Instruments, which licensed ARM IP for a mobile phone GSM chipset it was developing for Nokia, the first chip that combined both the application processor and baseband processor onto a single piece of silicon.
"Nokia back then was the king of the mobile-phone industry," Shore said. "Sadly that's not the case anymore. Unfortunately, we're watching the slow death of the company, I think."
TI's single-chip, ARM-based solution was so successful that Nokia soon adopted it across its product line. Soon, the chip was adopted by the rest of the mobile-phone manufacturers, and by the end of the '90s, ARM had a share of about 97 per cent in that rapidly growing market. "And that's a position that we still have," Shore said. "There are very few mobile phones that are not based upon our solutions."
We ... have ... liftoff
The year after joining the NASDAQ and FTSE in late 1998, ARM moved into its present Cambridge headquarters. Robin Saxby retired from the company after 10 years as CEO in 2001, and was succeeded by Warren East, who remained CEO for a dozen years. Simon Segars took over as CEO earlier this year when East retired.
Those years have seen explosive – and accelerating – growth. In 2007, ARM announced that its licensees had shipped 10 billion processors, and in the six years since then they have shipped over double that number. In the third quarter of 2008, ARM had its first billion-processor quarter, and 2.4 billion processors were shipped in the second quarter of 2013.
As of late October's ARM TechCon, the company had signed a total of 954 licensing deals, had 29 offices worldwide with major development offices in Cambridge; San José, California; Austin, Texas; and Bangalore, India. It was worth about £13.7bn ($21.9bn), and its partners had shipped 34.8 billion processors.
"We entered the FTSE 100 in 2010," Shore said. "The FTSE 100 is like the Standard and Poor's index, it's the index of the 100 most valuable companies on the London Stock Exchange. And we're currently – the last time I looked – we are about number 35 in the top-valued companies on the London Stock Exchange; we're slightly more valuable than Rolls-Royce and slightly less valuable than Sainsbury's, the supermarket."
ARM's IP – not just application processors, anymore – is everywhere. "If you look inside a typical ARM-powered product, whether it's a toy or a DVD player or a mobile handheld device, inside that you will find typically an ARM processor, possibly more than one – the average processors per mobile phone from ARM is approaching three these days," Shore said.
"You will also find ARM physical IP in terms of cell libraries and memory compilers; and you'll also find ARM development tools and our modeling solutions that will have gone in to help the development of that product. So we produce more and more components that people use to produce ARM-powered products."
All that IP adds up to big bucks. "Here's a really big number," Shore said, "$913m – that is our revenue for 2012," he said, "the last full year that we reported. I'm sure we'll break a billion this year, but $913m..."
So where does all that mazuma come from?
If ARM doesn't sell actual, physical products, how does it rake in a billion bucks a year? "Everything we ship is essentially virtual," Shore said. "If you buy a licence from ARM, you get a massive tarball full of RTL," referring to the chip design's register transfer level description, which describes exactly how each circuit on the chip will behave and how each circuit is interconnected, "and from that it's your job to create a working processor design that can go into a working product."
ARM doesn't need to worry – as does rival Intel – about spending billions of dollars designing and staffing chip-fabrication plants, aka fabs. How and where their processor designs are fabbed is up to their partners, who then sell the chips to middlemen, OEMs and ODMs.
So how does ARM take its cut? "We make a large charge for the initial license – that is measured in millions, sometimes tens of millions of dollars for a licence to use one of our designs in a particular product or number of products," Shore says.
But that's not the only way that ARM makes money – in fact, it's not even where it makes the biggest chunk of its change. "Every time a company ships a device incorporating a bit of ARM IP," Shore said, "we charge a small royalty. That royalty is measured in cents per device" – averaging around 10¢ per device, he estimates.
But do the maths. With ARM's partners' shipments approaching 10 billion per year, all those dimes – excuse us, 10-pence pieces – add up quickly. And not only do those royalties add up quickly, they also allow ARM to project profits into the future, seeing as how it gets money up-front when it charges IP licence fees, then pulls in royalty fees after that IP is turned into chips that make their way into products.
Not a bad business model. Thank you, Mr Saxby.
But from Shore's point of view, ARM is a bit of a boutique outfit when compared with the rest of the semiconductor industry. "We're used to working with companies that don't just have tens of thousands of employees, in many cases they have hundreds of thousands," he said. "And they have fixed-asset registers measured in tens and even occasionally hundreds of billions of dollars. In contrast – although we're the centre of a kind of spider's web within the industry, at the centre of this great partnership – we are actually a surprisingly small company."
Only in the semiconductor industry could a company worth $21.9bn with annual earnings of around $1bn be considered "surprisingly small".
When discussing his company's 64-bit ARMv8 architecture, Shore revealed that ARM-licensee Apple's implementation of it in its A7 processor came as a surprise to many at ARM. "Our fruity friends earlier this year stunned the world, actually, and stunned most of ARM's employees, in fact, by releasing the latest version of the iPhone supporting and including a 64-bit processor," he said. "They'd done that incredibly secretly and ended up stealing a march on the whole of the rest of the industry. It was quite a staggering achievement, to be honest." ###
- Eric --
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|From: Eric L||12/6/2013 8:41:35 AM|
|comScore's US Smartphone Subscriber Base Share for 3/mo average ending October 2013 ...|
Reston, VA, December 5, 2013: comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today released data from comScore MobiLens and Mobile Metrix, reporting key trends in the U.S. smartphone industry for October 2013. Apple ranked as the top smartphone manufacturer with 40.6 percent OEM market share, while Google Android led as the #1 smartphone platform with 52.2 percent platform market share. Google Sites ranked as the top mobile media property, while Facebook was the top individual app.
- Eric L. -
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|From: Eric L||12/15/2013 9:01:48 AM|
|Samsung Integrates Smartphones and Camera Businesses within IM (IT/Mobile) ...|
-- Samsung’s Galaxy NX Camera --
Samsung Electronics integrated the Digital Imaging Business Division, in charge of cameras, with the Wireless Business Division. Samsung Electronics began to create synergies between smartphones and cameras in a bid to capture the largest share of the global mirrorless camera market in 2015. Also, earlier this year, the company created the Enterprise Business (EB) Team, and turned the global B2B Center into a quasi-business division. Its intention is to reinforce B2B sales as the consumer goods market is saturated.
Samsung Electronics executed the reorganization on December 11.
Samsung Electronics maintained the 3-company business system: vice-chairman Kwon Oh-hyeon (DS: Device Solution), CEO Yoon Boo-geun (CE: consumer electronics) and Shin Jong-gyun (IM: IT Mobile). Global economic recession continues, but they performed excellently. We need to keep an eye on the IM Company during this organizational realignment. Samsung Electronics removed the Digital Imaging Business Division in charge of cameras. Samsung Electronics reshuffled it into the Imaging Business Team, and plans to make full use of the Wireless Business Division which has the leadership in the global market.
Samsung Electronics explained, “We will transplant the brand, sales networks, software competency and manufacturing competitiveness of the Wireless Business Division into the Camera Business Division, and integrate the technical know-how of the two business divisions into competency for differentiating our smartphones.” To increase its share of the camera market, it will take advantage of the networks and marketing know-how of the Wireless Business Division and enhance the camera competitiveness of smartphones at the same time. Under the Media Solution Center of the IM Company, Samsung Electronics created the Big Data Center. It looks like a measure to actively respond to changes in trends by means of Big Data analysis. Some business divisions, such as the Washing Machine Business Division, have already capitalized on the Big Data analysis technique to produce visible outcomes.
The DS Company will enhance its research competency. Its intention is to find future revenue generators like memory solutions, application processors (AP) and foundries. To this end, the Solution Development Office and the Modem Development Office were created in the Memory Business Division and the System LSI Business Division respectively.
Just a year after the establishment of the EB Team, the global B2B Center was elevated to a quasi-business division. It means that the company is reinforcing its overseas B2B sales and marketing. It looks like a measure to improve the profitability of the CE and IM Company. A Samsung Electronics insider said, “As it became a quasi-business division, manpower will be greatly increased.” Samsung Electronics, which has been concentrating on the consumer goods market, has been reinforcing B2B sales since 2011, and began to produce visible results this year. “The B2B Company is improving evenly in major markets around the world,” said a high-ranking Samsung Electronics official. “It is raising its market share by bringing B2B lineups to the market with a high level of reliability and brand awareness.” A representative example is that the Large Format Display (LFD) company saw its global market share go up from 12.0% in 2011 and 18.3% in 2012 to 25.5% in the first half of this year.
In the personnel shake-up, which was carried out on the same day, 5 out of 10 regional directors were transferred. Lee jong-seok, director in charge of North America (vice-president) will also serve as CEO of Samsung Telecommunications America (STA). Bae Gyeong-tae, director in charge of the Middle East (vice-president) will become director in charge of Korea, and Lee Chung-ro, executive director of the Digital Appliance Business Division, will become the director in charge of the Middle East.
Kim Seok-pil, vice-president in charge of Europe, will serve as head of the global marketing office and head of the global B2B Center, and Lee Seon-woo, head of the video strategy marketing team (vice-president) of the VD Business Division, will take charge of Europe. Lee Seon-woo will be replaced by Park Gwang-gi, vice-president in charge of Southeast Asia, who will, in turn, be substituted by Kim Moon-soo, executive director of Strategy Team 1 of the Future Strategy Office.
The vacant position of the HR Support Team will be filled by Park Yong-gi, executive director in charge of the HR Support Team of the Future Strategy Office, and Nam Gung-beom will become head of the Finance Team. Oh Gyeong-seok, vice-president in charge of the Development Office of the LED Business Division will take the helm as head of the LED Business Division. ###
>> Samsung Merges Camera And Smartphone Business Units For Tighter Synergy
There’s absolutely no denying that mobile phone cameras are more than just a check-box item but have actually moved to the forefront of a product’s feature set for many consumers. Apple's AAPL -1.1% iSight cameras in the iPhone have been sort of an industry watermark for quality and performance for a long time, while Android and Windows Phone devices have tried to play catch-up. More recently Nokia and Microsoft MSFT -1.42% have stepped up their game with the impressive optics and sensor combination of the Lumia 1020 and even the more standard setup of the Lumia 925 can offer imaging better than most Android phones on the market currently. However, it appears that Samsung has been taking notes and made a move just yesterday, to bring the company’s full resources to bear in an effort to make a better smartphone camera and potentially to sell a few more digital cameras as well.
In a news release at Korea’s etnews.com [above], Samsung announced that the company is merging their camera and mobile phone business units in order to cross-pollinate technology, IP base, manufacturing and marketing capabilities between the two divisions. Specifically, Samsung noted ” We will transplant the brand, sales networks, software competency and manufacturing competitiveness of the Wireless Business Division into the Camera Business Division, and integrate the technical know-how of the two business divisions into competency for differentiating our smartphones.” In turn, Samsung’s Camera BU will tap into the Mobile Phone division’s vast marketing resources to better push Samsung digital cameras in the market as well.
The move makes sense and Samsung has been tap-dancing around with the two product camps for a while, introducing devices like the Galaxy NX prosumer camera that merges an Android engine and large touch display into a single package for on-board image processing and easy social sharing. And of course there is the Galaxy S4 Zoom that basically sticks a 16MP sensor and 10X optical zoom lens on the back of Samsung’s darling top-end smartphone.
It will be interesting to see what Samsung brings forth in next-generation smartphone designs as the new combined entity, which is already up and running reportedly, pools its resources to improve Samsung’s mobile digital imaging experience. Point-and-shoot cameras are becoming more and more an endangered species it seems, as smartphone camera image quality and capability continues to evolve and improve. Regardless, you won’t see me letting go of my DSLR camera anytime soon. Smartphone cameras would have to come a long way before I’d trust special moment shots and real work photography to any device that fits in my pocket. That said, for “good enough” and on-the-go snaps, those compact point and shoot cameras are becoming less interesting every day.
- Eric -
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