Home » Cloud client SW platforms » ASUS, China Mobile and Marvell join hands in the OPhone ecosystem effort for “Blue Ocean” dominance

ASUS, China Mobile and Marvell join hands in the OPhone ecosystem effort for “Blue Ocean” dominance

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Core information:

Follow-up: First real chances for Marvell on the tablet and smartphone fronts [Aug 21 – Sept 25, 2011]

Information about China Mobile’s related efforts on this blog:
OPhone OS (OMS) 2.0 based on Android 2.1 [July 5 — Dec 13, 2010]
3.9G TD-LTE rollout in 2012 with integrated 2G, 3G and 4G? [July 19 — Dec 14, 2010]
Could China close the gap in mobile Internet? It should! [July 21 — Oct 21, 2010]
IMT-Advanced (4G) for the next-generations of interactive mobile services, China is triumphant [Oct 24 — Nov 24, 2010]
Cloud Computing Strategy for Digital China: Taiwan is leading the way except IOT [Nov 8 — Dec 30, 2010]
Marvell beaten by Chinese chipmakers in sub 1,000 yuan handset procurement tender of China Mobile [Nov 15, 2010]

Follow-up: High expectations on Marvell’s opportunities with China Mobile [May 28, 2011]

Marvell and ASUS Team Up to Enable Mass Market Availability of TD-SCDMA Smartphones [Marvell press release, Feb 23, 2011] (emphasis is mine):

Marvell … today announced that ASUS has chosen Marvell as a strategic partner to launch a new series of TD-SCDMA (Time Division-Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access) smartphones in China. ASUS‘ new T10 and T20 series smartphones are powered by Marvell(R) PXA920 platform, the first commercially available single-chip solution which supports China Mobile’s latest version of OPhone OMS system. … delivers gigahertz speed, dynamic multimedia for mobile TV, live video, gaming and many exciting new applications, all to be unified by Marvell’s beautiful and easy-to-use Kinoma(R) software experience.

In fact there were additional three devices, T25, T60 and T Pad, as well. See the following Forbes blog article (and even more below, or a very detailed event report with plenty of photos in Chinese, or look at an English translation by Google):
Asus Brings Five Android [rather OPhone OMS, see later] Devices To China In Bid For Billions Of New Customers [Feb 23, 2011] (emphasis is mine)

On Thursday afternoon in Beijing, Asus plans to announce a wide-ranging partnership with China Mobile that will make four Asus smartphones and one tablet available to the carrier’s millions of customers.

The deal is the cornerstone of Asus’ newest strategy to boost its mobile devices business. Though Asus is widely known for its computer parts, laptops and netbooks, it remains a bit player in the global cellphone and smartphone markets.

The company hopes a tie-up with China Mobile, which is both China’s largest wireless operator and the world’s biggest carrier by subscribers, will raise its mobile profile. “China will be our biggest mobile market,” said Benson Lin, Asus’ head of mobile devices, in an interview. “China is very important to our future.”

The partnership will be something of a gamble for Asus. China Mobile, like all Chinese carriers, uses a unique technology standard (TD-SCDMA) for its 3G cellular network. That means the phones Asus is providing to China Mobile — known as T10, T20, T25 and T60 — can’t be offered to any other operator.

Lin said the potential is worth the risk. He declined to share specific sales goals, but noted that China Mobile currently has nearly 590 million subscribers. Capturing 10% or even just 5% of that audience is “still a huge number,” he said.

Though all handset makers are interested in China, many are waiting for the country to upgrade its networks to the 4G technology LTE, said Lin. Asus believes it will benefit from forging a relationship with China Mobile now, when other phone vendors “aren’t paying attention,” added Lin. Europe is currently Asus’ largest mobile market, but Asus anticipates China will replace it soon.

The opportunity has pushed Asus to customize its “T” series of phones to Chinese tastes. Instead of automatically connecting to Google for browsing, the devices will link to the popular Chinese search engine Baidu. And instead of Facebook, they will access the Chinese social network RenRen.

All of the T phones run on the 2.0 version of China Mobile’s Ophone operating system, which is a variant of Google’s mobile platform, Android [not a variant since it has a Linux core and another user interface, as the most different aspects, but compatible with Android through source code reuse – see much below]. They also utilize special processors from California-based chipmaker Marvell. The design, which combines a CPU and modem on a single chip, is more affordable, efficient and compact than systems that use two chips, said Lin.

Developing the T phones took a year and a half of intense development at Asus’ Taipei campus, said Lin. Asus already has some phones in the Chinese market, but they are at a smaller carrier, China Unicom, which uses a different 3G standard called WCDMA.

Asustek to sell new line of smartphones through China Mobile [Feb 25, 2011] (emphasis is mine)

Designed specially for the TD-SCDMA network in China, this chip [the PXA 920] will help bring down the cost, size, and power consumption of Chinese mobile devices, Asustek said in a statement by email.

The information technology industry is turning from personal computing to cloud computing, and mobile phones are expected to become the most important cloud computing devices due to a wide range of applications,” Asustek chairman Jonney Shih said in the statement.

This type of industry collaboration [with China Mobile and Marvell] represents a shift in Asustek’s strategy for its smartphone line. Last October, Asustek, which had been selling smartphones under the Garmin-Asus brand since early 2009, said it would not introduce any more co-branded handset models.

Media reports estimate that China Mobile will purchase a total of 12.2 million TD-SCDMA-based handsets this year. This includes 4 million phones designed for entertainment use, 3.2 million multi-media smartphones, 3.2 million entry and mid-level smartphones, 1.5 million high-end connected devices, and 300,000 dual-network phones.

ASUS Four New TD-SCDMA Smartphones in China [Feb 27. 2011]

The ASUS T10, T20, T25 and T60 smartphones are powered by an 806MHz Marvell PXA920 processor and known as the world’s first single chip supporting TD-SCDMA. These new handsets are utilizing a Marvell Avastar 88W8787 chip for enabling Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0, and FM radio.Asus Marvell TD-SCDMA Smartphone -- 24-Feb-2011

ASUS T10 smartphone has a 3.2-inch resistive touchscreen display with resolution of 320 x 480 (HVGA), 5-megapixel autofocus camera, front-facing camera for video calls, 512MB RAM, 512MB ROM, MicroSD card slot, and GPS.

The ASUS T20 similar the T10 handset, but it has 3.2-inch capacitive touchscreen display, TV tuner, CMMB and a more powerful battery. The Asus T25 comes with a 3.5-inch display, while the Asus T60 feature a 4-inch display.

Beside that, ASUS has also showcased the fifth handset that sports a 4-inch screen and support 4G TD-LTE network. All five smartphones are running on OPhone OS 2.0 which modified version of Android 2.1.

Marvell PXA920 Mass Market Smartphone Communication Platforms [Feb 17, 2011] (emphasis is mine)

The Marvell® PXA920 communication platform [also called Pantheon platform elsewhere, see the same Pantheon Platform Brief [Feb 17, 2011] as well] is an advanced, highly integrated 3G platform for multimedia-centric handsets. The PXA920 platform solutions incorporate the performance of Marvell’s mobile application processor with Marvell’s mature and proven 3.5G technology to provide low-cost Linux™ and Android™ handset platforms. The combination of Marvell’s advanced, high-performance, low-power application processor technology with Time Division Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access (TD-SCDMA)/High Speed Downlink and Uplink Packet Access (HSxPA)/Enhanced Data for GSM Environment (EDGE) communication support for next-generation cellular services enable breakthrough end-user experiences for imaging, HD video, music, games, and other popular handset applications.

With Marvell’s 3G technology, seamless wireless connectivity, application processing, and support for next generation cellular data services — the new PXA920-powered smartphones offer exceptional performance for browsing, instant live video, access to personal music, 3D gaming, and other popular handset applications at attractive price points. The PXA920 supports Android and other major mobile operating systems (OS).

Marvell PXA920 Block Diagram -- 17-Feb-2011

Tri-core, Shared Memory Hardware Architecture

  • Dedicated Modem and Applications Processor Cores
    – Modem RISC Core: Marvell-designed ARM9 [their pre-Sheeva core] with packet processing accelerators and L1/L2 caches
    – Modem DSP Core: Micro-Signal Architecture VLIW DSP core with L1/L2 caches
    – Marvell [Applications] CPU Technology with ARMv5 core [Sheeva PJ1 core, which is the less performant synthesizable Sheeva core, see: Marvell ARMADA beats Qualcomm Snapdragon, NVIDIA Tegra and Samsung/Apple Hummingbird in the SoC market [again] [Sept 23, 2010]] supports up to 806 MHz operation (1130 DMIPS)
  • Shared External Memory Interface

Multimedia (video, 3D, audio, imaging, display)

  • Video Playback 720p at 30 fps for H.264, WMV, MPEG-4, H.263; Video Capture D1 at 30 fps for H.264, WMV, MPEG-4, H.263
  • 3D Graphics capability up to 10Mtriangle/s sustained and 20Mtriangle/s at 50% cull rate; Integrated 2D accelerator; Supports industry standard APIs.
  • Marvell’s unique Audio Accelerator Subsystem offers low power audio playback via audio streaming
  • Image Sensor support for primary and secondary smart image sensors with MIPI CSI-2 and parallel interfaces; Supports one MIPI-CSI2 serial interface
  • LCD Controller supports parallel LCD displays over an 8/16/18-bit parallel smart panel interface or a 16/18/24bit parallel active matrix interface with sync signals; Primary/secondary display supports up to 4 simultaneous overlays with base + rotation scaling

All details about Marvell’s System-on-a-Chip (SoC) products and related strategies on this blog:
Marvell ARMADA beats Qualcomm Snapdragon, NVIDIA Tegra and Samsung/Apple Hummingbird in the SoC market [again] [Sept 23, 2010 — Jan 17, 2011]
Marvell ARMADA with sun readable and unbreakable Pixel Qi screen, and target [mass] manufacturing cost of $75 [Nov 4, 2010 — Jan 11, 2011]
Marvell beaten by Chinese chipmakers in sub 1,000 yuan handset procurement tender of China Mobile [Nov 15, 2010]
Marvell to capitalize on BRIC market with the Moby tablet [Feb 3, 2011]
Kinoma is now the marvellous software owned by Marvell [Feb 15, 2011]

Blue Ocean Strategy [Wikipedia] (emphasis is mine, see also: What is Blue Ocean Strategy? Ten Key PointsBlue Ocean Strategy book by W. Chan KIM and Renée Mauborgne

Blue Ocean Strategy is a business strategy book first published in 2005 and written by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne of The Blue Ocean Strategy Institute at INSEAD. The book illustrates what the authors believe is the high growth and profits an organization can generate by creating new demand in an uncontested market space, or a “Blue Ocean”, than by competing head-to-head with other suppliers for known customers in an existing industry.

Unlike the “Red Ocean Strategy”, the conventional approach to business of beating competition derived from the military organization, the “Blue Ocean Strategy” tries to align innovation with utility, price and cost positions. The book mocks at the phenomena of conventional choice between product/service differentiation and lower cost, but rather suggests that both differentiation and lower costs are achievable simultaneously.

The authors criticize Michael Porter‘s idea that successful businesses are either low-cost providers or niche-players. Instead, they propose finding value that crosses conventional market segmentation and offering value and lower cost. Educator Charles W. L. Hill proposed this idea in 1988 and claimed that Porter’s model was flawed because differentiation can be a means for firms to achieve low cost. He proposed that a combination of differentiation and low cost might be necessary for firms to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage.

China Mobile 2010 Interim Results [Aug 19, 2010]

China Seeks Blue Ocean Dominance in Mobile Internet [Borqs company news, Jan 8, 2011]

China Mobile is striving for blue ocean dominance in China’s mobile Internet, during which, the launching of OPhone has become an important milestone. At a recent conference, Xi Guohua, Vice Minister of Industry and Information Technology of China, recognized the development and achievements of OPhone over the past two years since its birth, and expressed his wish for introducing OPhone to the global market.

the mobile Internet is the largest breakthrough innovation in the communication industry in the 21st century. Those who have dominated any blue ocean of the industry will obtain the greatest benefits and lasting advantages. The strategy and development of the mobile Internet is essential to China if the country wants to win an appropriate industry position and take the power to reshuffle the communication industry.

With the help of iPhone, China Unicom has achieved great market performance in a very short time. However, the success of iPhone attributes more to the worship of Steve Jobs by millions of Apple fans than to the product innovation of Apple. … China Unicom has no say on iPhone and has not entered into any cooperation in technology during the cooperation with Apple. Therefore, in my view, a great risk may sneak in the success of iPhone since China Unicom rests its market on a single product from its partner. This is almost against the “Blue Ocean Strategy” of the mobile Internet industry.

Quite differently, China Mobile has avoided this dependency relation wisely. Based on Android, an international advanced operating system, it develops a technical platform within its control, further cooperates with upstream and downstream vendors, and creates a global system featuring complete industrial chain with its advantage of leading position in user base. That is the origin and development strategy of OPhone.

Talking about OPhone, Mr. Li Yue, new President & CEO of China Mobile, defines the company’s short-term strategy as “Giving priority and building quality in par with competitors”. This strategy reveals the correct attitude and understanding of China Mobile in terms of the development of OPhone: The exclusive support policy used in China before shall be thoroughly abandoned to help OPhone become a powerful weapon for controlling mobile Internet. With priority given, OPhone must be built with the same and even higher quality than its competitors. OPhone, from its version 1.0 to 2.0, is reported to undergo an extensive rage of development and test in the aspects of web data processing, multimedia performance, graphic/entertainment performance, and full-range service processing. For China Mobile, whether mobile Internet is the “last ocean” in the communication industry remains unclear. But I believe that we will never act before it’s too late.

Guided by the idea of “Giving priority and building quality in par with competitors”, OPhone is breaking the monopoly of iPhone in mobile Internet. Thus, our understanding of mobile Internet is experiencing slight changes. … mobile Internet  users have no real “loyalty”: they have switched to iPhone from Blackberry today, and in future they may again switch from iPhone to OPhone. Sticking to the strategy proposed by President Li , OPhone will substitute for iPhone, and easier to use. Openness is the key to realize these two advantages. The first character “O” of “OPhone” does stand for “open”.

Other strategy related communication of relevance from the new CEO Li Yue:
China Mobile chief not optimistic on industry’s growth [Nov 18, 2010] (emphasis is mine)

“There are some who think the increase in data usage will lead to growth, but I am not so optimistic,” Li said at the GSMA Mobile Asia Congress conference in Hong Kong yesterday.

The head of the world’s biggest phone carrier by market value said operators need to offer services that integrate well with the daily lives of consumers and businesses.

Li is adding services such as a search-engine for mobile phones and wireless payments to sustain growth at China Mobile, where he took over as chief executive this year.

New China Mobile CEO builds bridges [Nov 17] (emphasis is mine)

There is a big opportunity for mobile operators to act as the bridge between different partners within the telecoms space and between the telco industry and others, and future revenue is to be found in penetrating the daily lives of mobile users, according to the new man at the helm of the world’s largest mobile operator, China Mobile.

“The mobile market will become the future channel for all walks of life,” said Li Yue, president and CEO of China Mobile, in his first international keynote speech since taking over at the telco in August.

He also highlighted some of China Mobile’s new services, including the mobile reading offering launched by the telco in May. The service has attracted more than 30 million users, and now has 6 million paying customers, Li explained.

In a bid to drive mobile data services forward, China Mobile has created a platform to engage with content creators and partners, including a pool of terminals and operating systems to aid applications developers. The company believes it can create a “win-win situation” in the mobile marketplace, where all members of the value chain benefit.

China Mobile aims to be “a bridge with all suppliers… and also a hub,” said Li, adding that the telco is working on signing up more partners.

“[The mobile Internet] is changing our traditional ecology as a mobile operator,” said Li, since it has changed the way end users collaborate. And changing customer behaviour provides “a lot of opportunities” for mobile providers, he said.

Those opportunities also include vertical markets.

“[We will] try whatever possible to penetrate into all kinds of industries,” said Li. “We are the connecting bridge with all kinds of industries.”

Related development: Government Drives New Chinese Search Engine [Feb 24, 2011]

Transcript by http://www.newsy.com

BY KELSEY WAANANEN

You’re watching multisource tech video news analysis from Newsy.
If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. That seems to be China’s approach to the Internet. State-owned news agency Xinhua and state-owned China Mobile – China’s largest phone carrier – are teaming up to run Panguso – China’s newest – and government-approved search engine.

This joint venture was announced last summer – right after Google decided to pull out of China because the search giant refused to continue censoring material. A CBS report details the repercussions of Google’s departure.

“Now when users in mainland China go on to use this site, like this, they’re automatically redirected to a different site based in Hong Kong, where Google isn’t legally required to censor itself. … China’s own filter, known as the ‘Great Firewall of China’ is still at work screening out sensitive material. In fact there are concerns that China could now clamp down even harder…”

And it certainly looks like they have. In terms of just what Panguso is leaving out, PC Magazine notes…

“According to Panguso, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo doesn’t exist. The same is true for the People’s University in Beijing, the first university founded after the 1949 communist revolution. “Dalai Lama” returns only tourism sites or state-sponsored criticism.”

But Panguso isn’t the only search engine on the market. Baidu, the current prominent search engine, accounts for more than 75 percent of web searches. But as TMCnet notes, Panguso offers a platform that Baidu doesn’t.

“…Baidu only controls about 36 percent of the mobile search market. By partnering with China Mobile, Xinhua may soon have a leg up on its competition in the mobile space.”

But a blogger for Download Squad suggests the Chinese government might have an ulterior motive — trying to get a slice of the search engine market.

“China already has a very strict policy on censoring politically-sensitive material, which Baidu strictly abides by — so unless it wants to further extend its control of information inside its borders, why would the Chinese government be interested in offering an alternative?”

According to Xinhua, the search engine will primarily focus on news for now. Xinhua will provide the news content — and China Mobile – the mobile subscriber base.

Follow @Newsy_Videos on Twitter

Get more multisource video news analysis from Newsy
Transcript by Newsy

ASUS Joins Hands with China Mobile to Launch ASUS TD Smart Phones [Borqs company news, Feb 28, 2011] (emphasis is mine) 

On February 24th, ASUS held the ASUS TD Smart Phone Launch & Strategy Press Conference jointly with China Mobile and Marvell in Beijing. At this conference, the strategic cooperation of ASUS with China Mobile and Marvell has become the industry focus in addition to the launch of new TD smart phones and a TD slate.

Distinguished attendants at the conference include Mr. Wang Jianzhou, Chairman of China Mobile, Ms. Li Huidi, Chairman Assistant, Mr. Wu Wining, General Manager of Terminal Business Department of China Mobile, Mr. Huang Xiaoqing [also known as Bill Huang], President of the Research Institution of China Mobile, Mr. Shi Chongtang, ASUS President, Mr.  Pat Chan, President & CEO of Borqs (accompanied by some other vice presidents of the company), and Ms. Dai Weili, President of Marvell.

Mr. Wang Jianzhou, Chairman of China Mobile, comments that China Mobile is very pleased to work with ASUS for the TD industry; since the emergence of this industry, terminal vendors have helped drive China’s TD industry. All terminals launched by ASUS at this time use OPhone OS and Marvell’s chips with significantly reduced costs, meeting the demand of China Mobile for low-price smart terminals. Also, Chairman Wang says that China Mobile will promote TD terminals this year, and purchase middle- and high-end TD terminals following its purchase of middle- and low-end TD terminals in 2010, bringing more choices to consumers.

At this conference, ASUS launches five new TD-SCDMA smart phones, including T10, T20, T25, T60 and TD-LTE, and one TD slate [TD Pad]. Based on the latest OPhone OS, these products adopt Marvell PXA 920 – the first TD-SCDMA single chip solution in the industry as core processor. TD smart phones with a single chip-based processor feature a slim body, high efficiency, and low price. By applying single chip solution into TD smart terminals, ASUS has maintained a benign partnership with Borqs and Marvell. This helps them meet the market demands for both quality but price. Furthermore, ASUS has become the first TD smart phone manufacturer applying single chip solutions in the world.

ASUS TD Pad -- 24-Feb-2011

China Mobile has maintained a good share in China’s communication market and a great potential in OPhone OS system. This may be the main reason that ASUS has chosen to partner with it. As an open operating system developed by China Mobile, OPhone OS allows users to create personalized interfaces and install applications upon their demands, delivering users the operating experience of “My phone, my decisions”. By empowering mobile terminal products to deliver innovative, easy-to-use applications and enhanced experience, OPhone OS is a better choice for Chinese users.

The joining of ASUS has further expanded China’s TD camp, signifying a brand new beginning in the TD-SCDMA industry between the Mainland and Taiwan. This will promote and expand the development of the TD industry and OPhone-based terminals, also showcasing ASUS’s robust competitiveness in the Mainland market.

Borqs OPhone OS Roadmap [Feb 2011]

OPhone OS roadmap by Borqs -- Feb-2011

Greatest Shanzhai may prove to be an OS, not a handset [March 2, 2011] (emphasis is mine)

OMS is based on the Linux Kernel, and uses Android source code and integrated Java application framework to provide a complete software platform for application developers and users. … OMS is the first Android customization project where the developer (China Mobile and partners like Borqs) customized the entire user interface and applications of Android for a non-English language (in this case, Chinese).

… In a short span of time, China Mobile has been able to rope in the world’s leading mobile manufacturers to launch smartphones in China based on OPhone mobile OS. Motorola, LG, Philips, Dopod, Lenovo, ZTE, Samsung, and Sony are just a few of the distinguished makers of China Mobile’s OPhone range.

The extensive range of phones running the OPhone OS, based on the OMS platform, supercharged the 3G business and value added services of China Mobile. The OPhone OS, although it’s a variant of Android, doesn’t support Android Market; however, it has been tailored to include a built-in mobile app market called Mobile Market (MM), and other exclusive applications like Flying Letters, 139 Email, wireless music players and many more value-added services.

China Mobile is happy with the progress of the OPhone OS and unlike the rumors of it being shelved [see: China Mobile’s Ophone is Dead [Dec 16, 2010]], they have plans to provide new upgrades in 2011. Lu Zhihu, a deputy director at the China Mobile Research Institute, confirmed new updates at the 2010 International Mobile Internet Conference in Beijing. Version 2.5 will be out somewhere in February or March 2011 and version 3.0 later in 2011, with advanced features like voice recognition and better connectivity to mobile services.

China Mobile’s partner, Borqs, has already rolled out an international version of OPhone, which has been used by Dell and will run on AT&T. China Mobile has also established an industry alliance, the OPhone Innovation Alliance, to encourage developers and manufacturers to the OMS platform and OPhone OS. Rumor has it that China Mobile now want to show more convergence with Papa Android and they are planning to bring support for Android Market and many Android features into future releases to attract more users.

Important and quite illustrative information about the significant user interface improvements in 2.0 version:
Mobile OPhone2.0 design documents Exposure: compatible Android2.1_China Mobile China Mobile G3 / TD-SCDMA [June 4, 2010]
All other details about Ophone (OMS) on this blog:
OPhone OS (OMS) 2.0 based on Android 2.1 [July 5 — Dec 13, 2010]

Asustek announces 4 TD-SCDMA smartphones [Digitimes, Feb 24, 2011] (emphasis is mine)

… and the Taiwan-based company noted that it will participate in telecom carrier China Mobile’s open bid for TD-SCDMA handsets in February with result announcement scheduled for April.

The smartphone launch marks Asustek’s first foray into the TD-SCDMA segment. The devices include the T10, T20, T25 and T60. At the press event, the company also showcased a TD-LTE smartphone, and indicated it plans to incorporate TD-SCDMA modules in its tablet PC for China Mobile networks.

Asustek’s TD-SCDMA line is based on the Marvell 920 chip. The T10 is Ophone OS 2.0 enabled.

AsusTek Announces New Handsets, Partnership with China Mobile [Feb 25, 2011] (emphasis is mine)

Taiwan’s AsusTek Computer Inc announced a strategic partnership with China Mobile in Beijing on Feb. 24 while unveiling several customized products for the Chinese telecom operator.

At a press conference, AsusTek launched five smartphones and one tablet computer, using the Chinese time division-synchronous code division multiple access (TD-SCDMA) standard for mobile communication, with China Mobile chairman Wang Jianzhou attending the event.

This is the first time that Wang has taken part in such a product launch, which market observers viewed as a move by China Mobile to show the importance of its cooperation with AsusTek.

Wang’s presence was also seen as a positive sign for the Taiwan company, which made a bid with three of its models — the T20, T25 and T60 — in response to China Mobile’s announcement on Feb. 23 that it wanted to place orders for 12.2 million smartphones.

While China Mobile is not expected to announce its decision on suppliers until April, Wang said that the company plans to purchase more high-end smartphones to offer better options to its customers using third-generation (3G) mobile services.

Meanwhile, Benson Lin, general manager of AsusTek’s hand-held devices business, said that the company’s T-10 smartphone will make its debut on the market in March.

China Mobile to procure over 10 million TD-SCDMA handsets [March 2, 2011] (emphasis is mine)

China Mobile will announce suppliers in the second quarter, with large shipments slated for the second half of 2011, the sources indicated.

China Mobile had previously placed more emphasis on low-end smartphones since international handset vendors lacked higher end devices supporting the TD-SCDMA platform. Smartphones represent less than 20% of China Mobile’s revenues versus 40% for China Unicom and more than 20% for China Telecom, according to the sources.

Since China Mobile plans to procure higher-end TD-SCDMA handsets this time, both international and China-based vendors will see orders, unlike last round of procurement when China-based companies dominated the mainstream segment.

Both Taiwan’s HTC and Asustek Computer have already formed strategic alliances with China Mobile, the makers said, adding that the two companies should receive orders as long as their pricing and specifications match the procurement criteria.

Marvell Technology Group’s CEO [dr. Sehat Sutardja] Discusses Q4 2011 Results – Earnings Call Transcript [Seeking Alpha, March 3, 2011] (emphasis is mine):

Last year, we introduced the PXA920 [see: Marvell Drives $99 Smartphones to Market With New Pantheon Platform [Feb 12, 2010] and Marvell Empowers Mass Market TD-SCDMA OPhones with PXA920 Chipset [Sept 8, 2009]]. 920 is a single-chip solution enabling mass-market availability of high-end TD smartphone markets specifically to the China market. These solutions that we provide includes a modem, application processor, management and RF devices. We are the first and only suppliers in the world with the complete high-performance TD smartphone solution for this market.

At the Mobile Congress last month, we announced the follow-on of the 920 device. The 978 [PXA978] device is a single-chip solution of TD-SCDMA but now is combined with rigorous performance and advanced 3D graphics and 1080p multimedia, as well as the traditional 3G UMTS release [indiscernible] solution to address the requirements of the rest of the world. With these new solutions, cellphone OEMs will now no longer need to design separate development platforms to accommodate different wireless standards for the rest of the world and China. And they will be able to target markets around the world saving at the same time in development cost.

Now hopefully, you can see how our TD platform strategy unfolding. The 920 introduced last year initially targeted TD high-end and as well as medium-end smartphones. However, over time, as we reduce cost of the silicon, the wafers that used to build the 920, this platform will quickly transition to low-end and high-volume smartphones replacing the feature phones, which is the sweet spot market for many of the smartphones in this market. While the 978 will emerge as the new high-end TD-SCDMA phone, as well as high-end global phone.

… At Mobile World Congress, we, Marvell, introduced Kinoma, a software platform that is dedicated to dramatically transform the consumer interactions with electronic devices. Kinoma is a new foundation for creating and delivering fast, simple user experience for a wide range of devices and offers an experience and solution that is truly integrated of silicon to applications, creating new opportunities for OEMs and manufacturers.

…. Last year, when they [China Mobile] introduced the first-generation OPhones, the first-generation OPhones were selling for $300, $400, even $500, U.S. dollars. … In contrast, today, the 920 devices … are high-end smartphones targeted for prices the range of $100 to $150 smartphones. So now, we just need to figure out. The time will tell what will be the difference in the volumes of the TD smartphones when it’s priced between $100 to $150 versus when it was priced at $300 to $500.

Update: The PXA920 opportunity was realized only in September 2011, two years later than the September 2009 launch. See:First real chances for Marvell on the tablet and smartphone fronts [Aug 21, 2011]

ARM at MWC 2011 with Marvell – Kinoma [Feb 25, 2011]

All details about Kinoma on this blog:
Kinoma is now the marvellous software owned by Marvell [Feb 15, 2011]

Marvell Announces First ‘World Phone’ Single Chip Solution: 3G TD-SCDMA Baseband Combining High Performance 1.2 GHz Application Processor with Advanced 3D Graphics and 1080p Multimedia [Feb 14, 2011] (emphasis is mine)

Marvell (Nasdaq: MRVL), a worldwide leader in integrated silicon solutions, continues to build on its heritage of mobile communications innovations with the announcement of its world phone platform based on the Marvell® PXA978 communications processor with Marvell HSPA modem. Marvell’s PXA978 is the industry’s first single-chip solution to feature 3G UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) and China’s TD-SCDMA (Time Division Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access) standard with HSPA (High-Speed Packet Access) support and is intended to enable mobile developers to design 3G cellular devices and tablets that can be used and supported globally.

“… It’s truly amazing that a tiny chip like the PXA978 integrates both 3G and TD-SCDMA basebands, a powerful application processor, all advanced 3D graphics capability, with a very low-power profile and affordable cost structure ideal for mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets,” said Weili Dai, Marvell’s Co-Founder. “With the addition of Kinoma‘s elegant and intuitive software experience and integration of cutting-edge mobile technologies, Marvell has enabled the entire ecosystem – in both its depth and breadth – to convert conventional cell phones into multi-functional mobile gadgets ideal for gaming, video chatting, live news, and more. This small device has the potential to make a huge impact on our world. I envision that a true world phone will transform the global economy by lowering the cost and barriers to entry for billions more consumers and innovators.”

Unlike current technology on the market, the Marvell world phone development platform is the world’s first and only available solution of its kind featuring R7 3G UMTS and TD-SCDMA with HSPA. Additionally, the platform will feature the industry’s first Mobile MIMO, Avastar(TM) 88W8797, an 802.11n 2×2 dual-band Wi-Fi SoC designed to support high data rates for next-generation mobile devices.

Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) no longer need to design separate development platforms to accommodate different wireless standards and target markets around the world, saving months of design time and cost. Instead, they can focus on creating a wide portfolio of 3G UMTS supported phones that can be used globally with other UMTS carriers worldwide – all based on a single development platform.

Marvell’s PXA978 single chip solution uses advanced 40nm process technology and is designed to deliver 3G TD-SCDMA baseband combining high performance 1.2 GHz application processor with advanced 3D graphics and 1080p multimedia, ensuring a feature-rich, fast and exceptionally smooth user experience. Additionally, the processor’s extremely high power efficiency and true multitasking capabilities is intended to enable OEMs to design mobile devices that represent a significant leap beyond today’s most advanced smartphone and tablet devices. The platform will support all leading OS platforms.

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20 Comments

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  8. […] ASUS, China Mobile and Marvell join hands in the OPhone ecosystem … However, the success of iPhone attributes more to the worship of Steve Jobs by millions of Apple fans than to the product innovation of Apple. … China Unicom has no say on iPhone and has not entered into any cooperation in technology . […]

  9. […] build the much wanted by it premium value proposition over tablets from Apple and Google/Android) – ASUS, China Mobile and Marvell join hands in the OPhone ecosystem effort for “Blue Ocean” domina…[March 8, 2011] which is describing a different strategy for the fastest growing mainland China […]

  10. […] purchasing attitudes for consumer computing are leading to a new ICT paradigm [Jan 5, 2011] – ASUS, China Mobile and Marvell join hands in the OPhone ecosystem effort for “Blue Ocean” domina…[March 8, 2011] – Be aware of ZTE et al. and white-box (Shanzhai) vendors: Wake up call now for […]

  11. […] PC push [March 29, 2011] – ASUS Eee Slate based Windows marketing from Microsoft [March 21, 2011] – ASUS, China Mobile and Marvell join hands in the OPhone ecosystem effort for “Blue Ocean” domina…[March 8, 2011] – Be aware of ZTE et al. and white-box (Shanzhai) vendors: Wake up call now for […]

  12. […] 2011] Follow-up: Kinoma is now the marvellous software owned by Marvell [Feb 15, 2011] Follow-up: ASUS, China Mobile and Marvell join hands in the OPhone ecosystem effort for “Blue Ocean” domin…[March 8, […]

  13. […] in my previous posts Marvell seems to be on the high rise. See my previous posts as well: – ASUS, China Mobile and Marvell join hands in the OPhone ecosystem effort for “Blue Ocean” domina… [March 8, 2011] – Kinoma is now the marvellous software owned by Marvell [Feb 15, 2011] – Marvell […]

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  15. […] [June 18, 2011] – High expectations on Marvell’s opportunities with China Mobile [May 28, 2011] – ASUS, China Mobile and Marvell join hands in the OPhone ecosystem effort for “Blue Ocean” domina…[March 8, 2011] – Marvell beaten by Chinese chipmakers in sub 1,000 yuan handset procurement tender […]

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  17. […] TD smartphones. – High expectations on Marvell’s opportunities with China Mobile [May 28, 2011] – ASUS, China Mobile and Marvell join hands in the OPhone ecosystem effort for “Blue Ocean” domina…[March 8, […]

  18. […] for joining one of the new ecosystems under formation [Experiencing the Cloud, April 1, 2011] – ASUS, China Mobile and Marvell join hands in the OPhone ecosystem effort for “Blue Ocean” domina…[Experiencing the Cloud, March 8, 2011] – Be aware of ZTE et al. and white-box (Shanzhai) vendors: […]

  19. […] call now for Nokia, soon for Microsoft, Intel, RIM and even Apple! [Feb 21, 2011 – Aug 10, 2012]- ASUS, China Mobile and Marvell join hands in the OPhone ecosystem effort for “Blue Ocean” domina…[March 8, 2011- China Mobile repositioning for TD-LTE with full content and application aggregation […]

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