Home » 2012 » July

Monthly Archives: July 2012

Qualcomm’s critical reliance on supply constrained 28nm foundry capacity

KEY UPDATES: TSMC Board of Directors Meeting Resolutions [TSMC press release, Nov 13, 2012]

Hsinchu, Taiwan, R.O.C. – November 13, 2012 – TSMC (NYSE: TSM) today held a meeting of the Board of Directors, which passed the following resolutions:

1. Approved capital appropriations totaling approximately US$2.975 billion for the purpose of expanding advanced process capacity, construction of 12-inch GigaFabstm, and installation of facilities systems.

2. Approved R&D capital appropriations and 2013 sustaining capital appropriations totaling approximately US$209.5 million.

3. Approved the issuance of no more than NT$45 billion (approximately US$1.53 billion) in unsecured corporate bonds in Taiwan to finance TSMC’s capacity expansion.

4. Approved the subscription of NT$1.24 billion (approximately US$42.28 million) in new shares to be issued by TSMC Solid State Lighting Ltd. in 2013.
5. Approved the subscription of NT$636 million (approximately US$21.63 million) in new shares to be issued by TSMC Solar Ltd. in 2013.

TSMC sees orders returning for its 28nm process [DIGITIMES, Nov 8, 2012]

In first-half 2012, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) saw its 28nm process lacking enough capacity, forcing customers such as Qualcomm to shift orders to United Microelectronics (UMC), Globalfoundries, and Samsung.

However, TSMC has been seeing orders returning from tier-one customers such as Qualcomm as it solves the capacity issues.

According to TSMC’s financial forecast for the fourth quarter, revenues will show a single digit decrease compared to the third quarter. Market observers expected TSMC to see an on-quarter decrease of 15% in its fourth-quarter revenues. But due to sufficient 28nm capacity, orders have been returning and revenues are likely to be higher than expected. TSMC forecasts revenues from the 28nm process will exceed 20% in the fourth quarter.

UMC recently announced its 28nm process progress, which has been delayed due to lower than expected yield ramps. UMC noted that 28nm process gross margin has been lower than its average gross margin, and the firm originally planned to increase revenues from the 28nm process to 5% of total revenues by the end of 2012. But the firm has become conservative about the progress, and hopes that among total revenues in December, 5% will be from the 28nm process. Revenues from other processes such as 40nm will likely reach 15% of total revenues before the end of 2012, ahead of schedule, according to UMC.

China-based Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) plans to put 28nm process into volume production at the end of 2012. Despite the relatively slow pace on expanding 28nm capacity, the China government has been subsidizing local IC design firms. If local IC design firms enter the 45nm and 28nm process market, the government reportedly will subsidize up to 50% of reticle costs.

Note from the Reticle article of the Wikipedia: Photomask – plate with holes or transparencies used in photolithography integrated circuit fabrication also called a “reticle”

QUALCOMM Incorporated Management Discusses Q4 2012 Results – Earnings Call Transcript [Seeking Alpha, Nov 7, 20]

QCT had another strong year, with record revenues up 37% year-over-year, driven by record shipments of 590 million MSM chipsets, which were up 22% year-over-year. In the fiscal fourth quarter, we shipped approximately 141 million MSM chipsets, above the midpoint of our prior guidance.
Revenue per MSM was up approximately 9% sequentially, driven by a greater mix of multimode 3G LTE devices, which more than doubled quarter-over-quarter and made up approximately 1/3 of our shipments exiting the quarter as expected. Similarly, shipments of our new dual-core MSM8960 tripled quarter-over-quarter as demand for our integrated application processors continues to grow.
Demand for our 28-nanometer products remained strong, including significant design activity on our follow-on chipsets. As expected, we ramped our 28-nanometer supply significantly in the fiscal fourth quarter, and we remain on track to match our current 28-nanometer demand profile exiting the December quarter.
We believe our first 28-nanometer Snapdragon product, the dual-core MSM8960 with integrated 3G/LTE has become the global standard for combined performance and battery life, powering recent flagship devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S III, the HTC 8X, the Motorola RAZR M and the new Nokia Lumia phones.
As carriers deploy LTE networks, they are looking to Qualcomm as the leader in multimode LTE for smartphones. For example, KDDI, NTT DOCOMO and SoftBank announced 27 new smartphones in Japan in October, and 24 of those were powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon processors.
Since releasing the MSM8960, 15 OEMs have launched devices with this chipset across 19 carriers around the globe. The 8960 was our fastest integrated product to ship 100 10 [as later corrected in the discussion] million units.
Our OEM customers have also moved quickly to adopt the Snapdragon S4 Pro, which includes our latest Adreno 320 GPU, 4 Krait CPU cores and is paired with an MDM9x15 multimode LTE modem. Early reviews show that this product has set a new bar for multitasking and graphics performance. The first OEM devices based on this platform include the Google Nexus 4, LG Optimus G and Xiaomi MI2, and we expect more leading devices on this platform to be announced soon.
Smartphone demand in emerging regions is growing rapidly, and we continue to invest in our Qualcomm Reference Design program to help service a new group of emerging customer accounts. The program now has over 40 OEM customers and 100 commercially launched devices. And this quarter we expanded our road map to include the new Snapdragon quad-core MSM8x25Q and our new 28-nanometer based MSM8930 with an integrated global modem.
As we mentioned on the last call, we expect a strong December quarter for QCT as our supply of 28-nanometer chipsets continues to ramp and our partners launch a broad lineup of handsets for the holiday quarter. We are expecting record MSM shipments of between 168 million and 178 million units in the first fiscal quarter, up approximately 19% to 26% sequentially, with revenue per MSM also up sequentially.
Question-and-Answer Session
Q: … could you talk a little bit about what’s going on with ASP at the lower end? Obviously, MediaTek is starting to do a little bit better. Are you seeing more price pressure there? …
… On the low end, it’s pretty much playing out the way that we’ve discussed and/or described over the last year or so, which is pretty competitive market at the low end. It’s very crowded a bit competitively, and people are really pricing aggressively in order to get share or to maintain share. So we expect that to continue to some degree as we talked about for some time. …
Q: You’re upping estimates for emerging market devices in 2012 by $15 million. Could you talk about that? And do you have thoughts on how much of the China market can actually migrate to 3G and 4G? There is a bit of a negative case out there that EDGE plus WiFi is a sufficient smartphone experience for some, given the density of WiFi hotspots in China, and even like iPhones already on the China Mobile network.
… If we look at the EDGE smartphone market, I mean, we believe that‘s a transitional step. Obviously, people aren’t going to be satisfied with the EDGE experience when it comes to the kind of content that many people are consuming on their smartphones, high-bandwidth content like video. The other thing is WiFi is going to tap out because it’s going to be interference limited. And the nice thing about the licensed band technologies that you can cause the base stations to manage interference among themselves. And that’s the kind of technologies that we’re going to be bringing to the market over the next few years. And those, I think, will drive the kind of capacities of the network at very, very much decreased cost points. So the wireless operators are going to be in a position to really supply a lot better data experience, lot better quality of service over the 3G and 4G networks. And so while we love WiFi and we sell an awful lot of WiFi through Atheros, we believe in it for offload, it’s not going to be the solution for the mass of smartphones and tablets going forward.

Q: … You had said earlier that you would expect supply to only match demand later in the second half of the December quarter. Does that mean that you will still be working off demand in the March quarter? Is that the implication of that statement?

With respect to seasonality, let me clarify my comments. For the fourth quarter, we have been talking about how we thought that exiting the fourth quarter we thought supply and demand of 28-nanometer would be matched. By implication, the starting point or the beginning part of the quarter, meaning the October and September time frame, we are still burning off excess or not enough supply. And by the way, these are calendar quarters. So I’m talking about the December quarter. Now going into March, we feel that we have supply and demand imbalance. And we think that, that will be the case, really, exiting the December month. So hopefully that clarifies it.
Q: … I wanted to follow up on an earlier question related to device ASPs. I think Mike Walkley has asked about when we might expect to see the growth in emerging market start to have downward pressure on ASPs. At least, how we should think about that qualitatively? …
[William E. Keitel – Chief Financial Officer, Principal Accounting Officer and Executive Vice President] … On the device ASP, emerging markets having a larger effect on the total average. The — although emerging market units are growing faster than the developed markets are, the total dollar value of the developed TRDS [Total Reported Device Sales] is far greater than the emerging market TRDS. And so we’re ways away from that crossing over where emerging market dollar value is equal to or greater than the developed market. But I think we’re planning a little more color on this next week. So I’ll leave that point there. …
Q: And just to follow up on ASPs, my understanding is that the strong smartphone adoption that’s happening in the emerging markets has been driven in part because the smartphone ASPs have come down. I think, Paul [Jacobs, the CEO], you were talking recently about the price points getting to $100 and, at some point, maybe going down as low as $50. And I’m just trying to reconcile that with the comments around ASPs at the low end running up, and hence, supporting the outlook of flat to up ASPs in 2013.
[Derek K. Aberle – Executive Vice President and Group President] Let me just try to take part of that, and then if Paul wants to add on. I think there’s still — even though the pricing from smartphone is coming down tier, which obviously is a positive for driving growth, there still is a meaningful gap between sort of the lower-end smartphone and the low-end 2G or 3G feature phones that have been sold before those became available. So as we look out and we see the trends, I think we do continue to expect, even as the prices come down, a combination of more people buying at a higher price than they were historically on a feature phone as well as people migrating to even the higher-tier devices will provide some stability there.

END OF KEY UPDATES

Rumors came yesterday that Apple to postpone iPhone 5 amid undersupply of 28nm chips [Want China Times, July 26, 2012]. And the reason:

Apple’s leading chip supplier, Qualcomm, will be able to tackle the 28nm chip undersupply only by the end of this year, said Qi Fei, a spokesman for Qualcomm China. The problem arose during the second quarter of this year, as demand for 28nm chips has been growing alongside the popularity of smartphones.

QUALCOMM Incorporated Management Discusses Q3 2012 Results – Earnings Call Transcript [Seeking Alpha, July 18, 2012]

Paul E. Jacobs – Chairman and Chief Executive Officer:
In QCT, we’re continuing to see strong demand for our new Snapdragon S4, and other 28 nanometer chipsets, and that demand continues to exceed our available supply. We will continue to ramp capacity in the upcoming quarters consistent with our prior expectation. However, the constraints on 28 nanometer supply are continuing to limit our potential revenue upside this fiscal year.

Steven M. Mollenkopf – President and Chief Operating Officer:
We continue to be supplies constrained on our 28 nanometer products but are ramping supply with multiple foundries in the September quarter and again into the December quarter consistent with our prior expectations. We currently project that we’ll be able to closely match supply with demand as we exit the calendar year.

The reduced demand profile and ongoing 28 nanometer supply constraints, as well as our increased efforts to bring additional 28 nanometer capacity online and continue investments in our QRD and mobile computing programs in advance of the opportunities ahead are driving lower operating margins in the fiscal third and fourth quartersversus historical norms.

Looking ahead, we anticipate a strong lineup of device launches leading into the holiday season and believe QCT is well positioned for the December quarter, particularly with the increasing supply of industry-leading chipsets for high-tier devices.

Over 15 devices based on our S4 MSM8960 28 nanometer chipsets have launched to date, including the Samsung GALAXY S III, the HTC One S and One X, LG Optimus LTE2, Pantech Vega Racer 2 and Sony Xperia SX. There are now more than 420 announced Snapdragon-based devices with over 400 more in design, including 175 S4 designs. Third-party reviews and benchmarks again reinforced our product leadership this quarter, confirming that the Snapdragon MSM8960 outperforms quad-core CPUs-based handsets by using a complete multi-core system with our custom GPU, DSP and dual-Krait CPU cores. We also sampled 3 new S4 chips this quarter, including the APQ8064 and the MSM8x30. The APQ8064 includes 4 Krait CPUs. It is the first to use our new Adreno 320 GPU and will extend the performance expectations we recently established with the MSM8960. The MSM8x30 integrates a multi-mode LG or 3G LTE and is designed to enable 3G/4G smartphones at high-volume price points globally.

Our modem leadership also continues to be a differentiator for design wins in modem plus AP smartphones, in tablets, modules and WiFi personal hotspots, including over 90 designs in process based on our 28 nanometer 3G/4G LTE MDM9x15 modem. While many companies are still commercializing their first LTE products, we have already announced our third-generation LTE chipsetsand will continue investing in our modem road map to maintain our leadership.

In emerging regions, our QRD program, which provides turnkey designs for affordable smartphones, continues to expand rapidly. We continue to grow our QRD road map with differentiated technology, including our new [45nm] Snapdragon 8×25 1.2 gigahertz dual-core chipset, which began shipping commercially in July, only 2 months after first sampling. We are engaged with over 40 OEMs, many of which are now transitioning their platforms from 2G to 3G, and these OEMs have announced approximately 50 devices based on our chipsets for China and other emerging countries. In addition to the announced devices, we currently have 100 new QRD-based smartphone designs in the pipeline.

We also continue to invest in mobile computing and are pleased to see the momentum building around the new ARM-based Windows platform. As the only chipset provider supporting Windows on both PCs and phones sold commercially, we look forward to the availability of both Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 this fall.

Looking ahead, while we are forecasting sequentially lower MSM shipments based on midpoints in the September quarter consistent with the pause and re-profiling of demand, we expect a strong December quarter as new high-tier smartphone devices launch for the holidays and we have an improved supply of 28 nanometer products.

[Question-and-Answer Session]

Brian T. Modoff – Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division

Steve, on the 28 nanometer, can you talk a little bit about how you see demand in the current quarter? You’ve talked about hitting 1/3 of volume by September. Is that still feasible? In terms of the guide down sequentially, is this — a lot of this — have you seen cuts in the 45-nanometer demand trends as well? And then are you bringing a second source on for — in terms of meeting the demand as you get into the fourth quarter? And are you happy with the yields that you’re seeing on that second source at this point?

Steven M. Mollenkopf

Brian, yes, it’s Steve. The 28 nanometer right now, as I said, we’re supply limited. So it’s — and it’s going quite well in terms of bringing up additional sources. We actually have 4 sources that we’re now bringing up. If you track through the calendar year, we’re engaged with all of them now. And it’s going the way that we had thought. You had — you talked a little bit about the 45-nanometer products and such, and I think what you’re seeing a bit of is a little less of the backfill that we would have expected. And I think that’s consistent with what we were talking about, the re-profiling of demand. That’s really a little bit less of the backfill and a little bit more waiting for the new products to come out. So we’re just working very hard to try to get those products out the door.

Brian T. Modoff – Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division

So in terms of talking through the — just talking about a more positive December quarter, some of this is you’re getting demand. People want the 28 nanometer. So the push in demand is to that quarter is what you’re saying?

Steven M. Mollenkopf

That’s right. You — at the same time, you’re — we have a significant demand for the 28-nanometer products. And as you get into the December quarter, you now have a tier of products on 28 nanometer, which, I think, is a big advantage for our portfolio. And they’re moving forward. And you’re essentially in a situation where demand is increasing and supply is increasing, and we’re trying to match those 2 ramps. And it’s — we’re just in execution mode getting through that right now and engaged with 4 fabs in order to do that.

Simona Jankowski – Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division

Just a couple of questions. First, to clarify. With your comments on the 28 nanometer, suffice to say it’s alleviating in the December quarter, was that referring to the entirety of the December quarter? Or is it just for the exit run rate? In other words, would you still see inability to meet some of the demand in the entirety of that quarter? And then as it pertains to your chipset margin, is there any reason to think that in December, chipset margins should not be above your typical average margin given the volumes you’re expecting?

Steven M. Mollenkopf

Simona, it’s — this is Steve. The supply really exits the quarter on a matched situation. It doesn’t end — enter the quarter that way. So at the beginning of the quarter, we still have a gap that we need to deal with, but it improves throughout the quarter. We think it matches up toward the end.

Simona Jankowski – Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division

So then maybe just a question for Paul. In terms of looking strategically longer at some of your big customers who are becoming more vertically integrated, and obviously, we had the announcement yesterday from Samsung are buying some of the technology and connectivity from CSR, now how should we think about customers like that longer termfor fall coming in terms of your potential share of their silicon business?

Paul E. Jacobs

Yes. So we’ve had these same issues throughout the history of the company where internal efforts — people try to build the silicon for their own chipsets. And I think the key way to combat that, as we’ve done all along, is to continue to drive the technology hard. Obviously, we’re driving it very rapidly in a number of areas now, not just the radio. It used to be just the radio. But now it’s also processor and graphics technology. And we’ve seen — I’m sure you’ve seen a number of the benchmarks coming out talking about how, I think the latest one I saw was on graphics, how we were really winning on the graphics side but, obviously also, on the computing side, we’ve had great comparisons. So the key, as I said, is drive the technology hard. Do people for their internal uses have enough scale to invest at the same rate that we do? And the answer is generally no. And plus, we have just a level of experience that we can bring to bear, and I think that, that strategy will continue to work as it has in the past.

      • [from a later part]
        Jeffrey T. Kvaal – Barclays Capital, Research Divisio
        … first is to follow up on the internal production. I think we’ve seen the pendulum shift back and forth between internal and outsourced a bit over the years. Where are we in the current swing? Should we expect production to go a little bit more internal perhaps over the course of the next few quarters or years?
      • Steven M. Mollenkopf
        … I’m assuming the first question is really more about the vertical customers. I would say that it’s really consistent with what Paul said. I think it’s getting harder and harder to create chipsets moving forward. It’s primarily because in order to create particularly high-end products, you need to innovate across so many different technology vectors. And unless you’re fairly large and you have a fairly broad technology portfolio and you’re at the leading nodes, I think you’re going to have a difficult time producing the type of products that you need. So in our view, it’s actually getting harder to do chipsets and so, therefore, probably more favoring of our model.
      • [It is also worth to look at this video published just a day before the earnings call]
Travis Lanier, director of CPU product management, discusses in detail what goes inside Snapdragon processors and sets them apart from the competition. This video sheds light on the thought that Qualcomm puts into its designs—from thermal management, power efficiency and extending device term battery life to asymmetrical loading, multiple cores and more—resulting in a highly optimized chip.

Rod B. Hall – JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division

… on 28 nanometer, just one more thing. Can you quantify at all what kind of 28-nanometer shortfall you’re assuming in the fiscal Q4 guidance?

William E. Keitel- Chief Financial Officer, Principal Accounting Officer and Executive Vice President
Oh, in the shortfall. Well, let me say this. First of all, 28 nanometer, our shipment estimates both for the fourth fiscal quarter and what we expect for the first fiscal quarter, we’re essentially in line with where we were 3 months ago. So the QCT team is executing well on that aggressive ramp that we had talked about last time. But going out of this quarter, if we could ship all the demand that’s in front of us for this quarter, I would just say that our revenue and operating margin would be materially higher.

James E. Faucette – Pacific Crest Securities, Inc., Research Division

Just a few follow-up questions. First, back to Steve or Paul related to your partnerships with your foundries. I think, Steve, you said that you’re now sourcing 28 nanometer from 4 different partners. Going forward as we look at future geometry and process improvements, should we expect you to continue to be diversified at the outset across multiple partners? Or should we expect you to return to concentrating on 1 or 2 key partners for future transitions, firstly? …

Steven M. Mollenkopf

James, this is Steve. Our product portfolio at the high tier, we tend to be on the leading node; on the lower tiers or the mass-market tiers, we may be one node behind. So we tend to have a broad sourcing strategy to take account of the fact that we’re on leading node. And also, following nodes, we tend to engage with a lot of fab partners by necessity. On the leading nodes, I think you’re not going to see a big change in our strategy moving forward with the exception that we do, obviously, a much better job of matching our ramps, capacity ramps and demand ramps, as we drive leading nodes. For us, you’re going to continue to see us really taking advantage of the fact that you can play the integration game at the leading nodes. And there’s a number of different good road maps that we’re seeing from the industry through the fab — through fab partners, and we’re going to continue to drive the best ones that we can find.

QUALCOMM Incorporated’s CEO Discusses Q2 2012 Results – Earnings Call Transcript [Seeking Alpha, April 18, 2012]

Steven M. Mollenkopf – President and Chief Operating Officer:
Our QCT business delivered another strong quarter. We shipped 152 million MSMs, up 29% year-over-year driven by increased demand for our integrated smartphone solutions and advanced modems.
Smart — Snapdragon shipments increased by more than 70% year-over-year, driven by growth across all price tiers from Snapdragon S1 products to our latest generation of Snapdragon S4 processors. There are now more than 370 announced Snapdragon-based devices with over 400 more in design, of which over 150 are S4 designs.
As you know, we have made significant investments in recent years to establish a leadership position in LTE chipsets, and we believe we are succeeding. In parallel, industry adoption of LTE technology is growing rapidly. And with our strong portfolio of products, we are at the forefront of this technology transition.
As a result of these trends and as Paul mentioned, demand for our 28-nanometer chipsets continues to exceed available supply. To address 28-nanometer demand, we are increasing our related operating expenses and are working closely with our fab partners to bring up additional capacity.
Within this environment, it is worth noting that our current estimates for total 28-nanometer shipments this fiscal year are largely in line with our prior guidance, though our forecast for the June quarter is a bit lower. Our increased investment to bring up additional 28-nanometer capacity is expected to show results in fiscal 2013.
Across the rest of the business, demand trends are very strong, and we continue to drive our technology leadership. At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, several leading OEMs announced their first Snapdragon S4 dual-core devices, including ASUS, HTC, Huawei, Lenovo and Panasonic. We also demonstrated our new S4 quad-core processor, the APQ8064 running 4 separate HD video streams; and we announced our S4 Snapdragon MSM8960 Pro, which integrates our new high performance programmable Adreno 320 GPU for higher-end mobile computing devices.
We announced and demonstrated our new 802.11ac Wi-Fi solution and announced a broad family of 11 AC chipsets for mobile, computing, consumer electronics, as well as home and enterprise networking. Also, our new integrated connectivity solution, which includes digital Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth and FM, continues to be designed in by our customers in the vast majority of our growing S4 pipeline.
We continue to invest in our Qualcomm reference design program to support growth of lower-tier smartphones in emerging regions. Shipments into Chinese emerging accounts are expected to grow at a strong double-digit rate quarter-over-quarter while we transition customers to 7x27A. There have been 10 OEM designs launched on our reference programs over the last quarter with more to follow. We are on track to expand the reference design programs to include a new dual-core Snapdragon processor the MSM8x25. We will do this before the end of the June quarter.
We are increasing our investments to address incremental opportunities beyond traditional cellular, including mobile computing and Windows on Snapdragon. And looking ahead, our leadership position across multiple technologies, delivered to our customers with a tiered and expanding chipset road map, positions us well for smartphone and computing trends in both emerging and developed regions.
T. Michael Walkley – Canaccord Genuity, Research Division
Steve, I wonder if you could just elaborate a little more on the 8960 ramp. Obviously, some of your customers are worried about your ability to supply, given the demand’s greater than the ability to supply. So how do you manage maybe losing some share in the short term? And then also how do you manage maybe some double ordering that might come from customers trying to get that supply?
Steven M. Mollenkopf
Mike, it’s Steve here. A couple of things, one is we have taken approach to spread the supply across all of the customers as best we can, and so I think everybody is dealing with this issue. And obviously, it’s a pretty difficult issue to deal with. But in the near term, some of the OEMs have been looking at alternative chipsets, in particular our Fusion 2 lineup, which can be substituted in some cases. But other than that, it’s really a question where we are accelerating as best we can the supply, consistent with what I was saying and what Paul was saying. We’re really focused very much on getting additional supply throughout the year.
Parag Agarwal – UBS Investment Bank, Research Division
Steve, can you please explain the alternative your customer have, given that the supply is constrained? And then what has been the reaction so far? I mean what — I mean are these customers willing to go to older Snapdragon designs? Are they looking at alternatives? Are they trying to use their own set [ph] of solutions?
Steven M. Mollenkopf
Well, I think you see a combination of people. In any constrained environment, people look for any alternative they can in order to solve the problem. Now what you have, particularly in this case, is these are devices that primarily are using LTE type of chipsets, and so the alternatives are a little bit smaller than they would be, let’s say, in a general allocation scenario, maybe in another industry. And we’ve been helping customers to see how they can swap in our Fusion 2 chipset, which is the chipset that we have been ramping over the last 8 months in production. Now in some cases also, our OEM partners are, of course, working with us very closely to try to help us accelerate our own supply, and that is primarily what we’re seeing. And we do expect to see some alternative non-Qualcomm chipsets being used to solve that issue as well. But I will remind you that in addition to the 8960, right on its heels is the 8×30, as well as the APQ8064. So we’re continuing to drive our tiered road map throughout the year on the same schedule, again, gated by the supply here in the near term. But I think that’s a pretty attractive road map that people are interested in doing. So we need to solve the supply issues, and then we’ll move the business on.

Qualcomm chip shortage to continue [The Korea Times, June 21, 2012]

Qualcomm said Thursday that its chip supply will not likely meet high demand from its major clients, including Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics and Pantech, dampening their hopes that chip supply would improve in the latter half of this year.

“We are still struggling to meet an explosive demand for the latest MSM8960 chipsets and other chip variants using a 28-nanometer processing technology, though the production yields of our chip products have steadily been improving,” said Kim Jong-ha, a senior executive at Qualcomm CDMA Technology Korea, Thursday.

Industry sources said Qualcomm has been in negotiations with three and four chip foundries other than Taiwan’s TSMC to increase supply of the chips and stressed “visible results” to follow shortly. Kim was at the sidelines in the press conference to unveil Qualcomm’s updated business strategies at the Plaza Hotel, downtown Seoul.

Qualcomm had warned in April that it will have trouble meeting demand for some of its advance cellphone chips for the rest of the year due to manufacturing constraints and operating expenses will increase faster than expected.

The MSM8960 chipsets, which sport Long-Term Evolution (LTE) functionality, are currently being used in Samsung, LG and Pantech’s premium smartphones. Samsung’s Galaxy SIII LTE smartphone is also using the Qualcomm chipset.

But the Qualcomm executive said the chip shortage problem should soon ease, though he declined to say exactly when.

Qualcomm has attempted to appease its clients by offering an alternative in the form of the “Fusion 2” chipset; however the manufacturer is conceding; “We do expect to see some alternative non-Qualcomm chipsets being used to solve that issue as well.”

The executive said it will commercialize its quad-core one chip solutions from the latter half of next year and a smartphone that uses the latest chip solution will be released in July next year.

Qualcomm plans to put the VoLTE functionality on its upgraded MSM8960 chipsets in a goodwill gesture to help local carriers smoothly push their VoLTE services from September this year.

Qualcomm sources said the existing MSM8960 chipsets don’t support the VoLTE functionalities, which is impossible for consumers using Samsung’s Galaxy R Style, LG’s Optimus LTE2 and Pantech’s VegaRacer2 models to experience the VoLTE service.

During the conference, Qualcomm pledged business expansion to Internet-connected TVs, PCs and tablets and reiterated its bullish plan to support Microsoft’s Windows 8 software.

Globalfoundries to the “rescue”:

Globalfoundries to fab 28nm chips for Qualcomm, says paper [DIGITIMES, July 13, 2012]

Qualcomm has contracted Globalfoundries’ Dresden fab to manufacture 28nm chips, the Chinese-language Commercial Times cited unnamed equipment makers as saying in a recent report. The foundry chipmaker will start shipping the orders to Qualcomm in the fourth quarter of 2012, the paper said.

Commercial Timespreviously reported that UMC had secured orders for 28nm Snapdragon S4 chips from Qualcomm with volume production slated for the last quarter of 2012.

Rumors circulated earlier in the year that TSMC’s supply shortfalls at 28nm would likely drive its longtime partners toward other foundries. In addition to Qualcomm, Nvidia was identified as another TSMC customer considering a second-source supplier.

In fact, Globalfoundries has already entered into a non-binding MoU with Qualcomm to collaborate on leading-edge technologies. Globalfoundries said in a January 2010 company release that initially the firm intends to provide Qualcomm with access to 45nm LP and 28nm LP technologies, with an intended collaboration on future advanced process nodes.

In other news, IC design service company Socle Technology recently disclosed that the firm has developed and taped out its first ARM Cortex-A9 based 28nm ASIC design using Globalfoundries’ 28nm super low power technology (SLP) with HKMG. The ASIC design will soon be mass produced at Globalfoundries, Socle said.

Formerly a IC design service subsidiary of Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing, Socle now works closely with Globalfoundries.

GlobalFoundries Interview with Subramani (Subi) Kengeri [BrightSideofNews YouTube channel, May 22, 2012]

An interview with Subramani “Subi” Kengeri, Vice President of Design Solutions at GlobalFoundries. We discussed topics such as 28nm and future nodes such as 20nm and 14nm, the future of Silicon-on-Insulator (SOI), as well as relationship with over 150 GlobalFoundries customers.

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Extending Fab 8 to Meet Strong Customer Demand [GLOBALFOUNDRIES press release, July 24, 2012]

Cleanroom extension to add hundreds of new jobs and 90,000 square feet of manufacturing capacity
GLOBALFOUNDRIES today announced it is moving forward with the final construction for the extension of Module 1 at the Fab 8 campus in New York. The project will add 90,000 square feet of manufacturing capacity, bringing the total capacity for Fab 8 Module 1 to 300,000 square feet. Construction activities are scheduled to begin in August and work is expected to be completed in December 2013.
“During the construction of Fab 8, we extended the shell of the Module 1 building with the expectation that our business would continue to grow. Today we see increasingly strong demand from our customers, especially at the 28nm node, and we are excited to be moving forward with this next phase in the development of the Fab 8 campus,” said Eric Choh, vice president and general manager, Fab 8, GLOBALFOUNDRIES. “By continuing to expand our investment in the project, GLOBALFOUNDRIES is delivering more options to our global customers, while helping to redefine upstate New York as a premier hub of the global semiconductor industry, creating thousands of new advanced manufacturing jobs, and contributing billions of dollars to the regional economy.”
Consisting of approximately two million square feet, Fab 8 is being developed as the world’s most advanced semiconductor foundry manufacturing facility and is consistently hitting all major development milestones. GLOBALFOUNDRIES began construction on Fab 8 in July 2009 and began moving people and equipment into the facility in mid-2011. Initial wafer starts began earlier this year and the facility is on track to begin risk production by the end of the year, with volume production in early 2013.
Extending the Fab 8 cleanroom is expected to increase the Fab 8 capacity to approximately 60,000 wafers per month and increase the capital budget by approximately $2.3 billion, taking the total capital budget from $4.6 billion to approximately $6.9 billion, once tools and equipment are installed.
Since breaking ground on Fab 8 in 2009, GLOBALFOUNDRIES has created more than 1,500 new direct jobs, developing a unique and diverse workforce drawn from local talent in the region as well as experienced professionals from across the United States and more than 30 countries.
In addition, the project has created an additional 4,300 construction-related jobs and established the largest private Project Labor Agreement in history, generating hundreds of millions of dollars of economic development throughout upstate New York during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.
GLOBALFOUNDRIES has a total of about 1,800 employees across New York, including research teams at the IBM facilities in East Fishkill and at CNSE at the University of Albany, and more than 12,000 employees worldwide with additional manufacturing campuses in Germany and Singapore.

Execution, Innovation, Location: 3 Reasons to Choose GLOBALFOUNDRIES at 28nm [thefoundryfiles.com blog by Michael Noonen, Executive Vice President, Worldwide Marketing and Sales, for GLOBALFOUNDRIES, July 5, 2012]

Refers to: – Rory Read, 2nd gen AMD A-Series APU using HKMG – Rambus: Joe Louis-Chandran @[6:06] Fab 8 in Saratoga County, New York is: fully operational ramping ahead of schedule shipping products for revenue in early 2013

We recently attended the Design Automation Conference in San Francisco, where we showcased our wide array of foundry offerings and met with customers, partners, and industry influencers. All of them asked how GLOBALFOUNDRIES can address the increased demand for 28nm.  We answered that we have three major reasons why our customers can depend upon GLOBALFOUNDRIES for their 28nm needs: execution, innovation and location.

Execution

GLOBALFOUNDRIES has a tradition of rapidly ramping leading-edge technologies to volume production.  We delivered the fastest time-to-volume for the 45/40nm production ramp, and we are leading the foundry ramp at 32/28nm in volumes well ahead of others foundries. In fact, earlier this year we reached a major milestone by shipping our 250,000th HKMG wafer, and we have shipped many thousands more since. Overall, we have shipped more HKMG wafers than all the other foundries combined.

Not convinced? Just ask our customers. For example, AMD CEO Rory Read said, “In just one quarter, we were able to see more than a doubling of yields on 32nm, allowing us to exit 2011 having exceeded our 32nm product shipment requirements. Based on this successful ramp of 32nm HKMG, we are committed to moving ahead on 28nm with GLOBALFOUNDRIES.”

Innovation

Everyone knows our industry faces huge challenges as we move to more advanced technology nodes. At 28nm, we worked tirelessly to maintain true scaling and deliver an industry-leading technology in a System-on-Chip (SoC) design platform based on our production-proven HKMG technology. Here are a few highlights of our 28nm technology in comparison to the previous generation:

  • ~100 percent density increase.
  • Up to 50 percent increased speed and 50 percent reduction in energy/switch.
  • Sustains 40nm layout style advantages: Bi-directional Poly, Poly Jogs, Large Caps.
  • ~20% smaller die relative to 28nm “Gate Last.”

Here again, our customers are seeing the benefits. Thucydides Xanthopoulos, distinguished engineer at Cavium, says with GLOBALFOUNDRIES, his company received outstanding levels of in-depth technical support: “This was essential in addressing the new technical challenges of the 28nm process technology to meet our stringent power requirements and demanding frequency goals. This ensured our product design timeliness and success.”

Location

Not only is GLOBALFOUNDRIES now the second largest semiconductor foundry in the world, but with manufacturing plants located in Europe, Asia and North America, we are the only truly global foundry.

Designed for 32/28nm and beyond, our newest location, Fab 8 in New York, is one of the most advanced semiconductor facilities in the world. Fab 8 is the largest public-private sector industrial investment in state history and a cornerstone of New York’s burgeoning “Tech Valley.” Forbes magazine recently said the Capital Region could become the “Silicon Valley of Nanotech and even surpass it in economic importance.”

To paint a clearer picture of how advanced the nearly 2 million square foot campus is, here are a few more facts:

  • The clean room is larger than 6 football fields and has 7 miles of track for overhead transport vehicles.
  • Fab 8 took over six million man hours to complete – that’s more man hours than it took to construct the Empire State Building in New York City.
  • Fab 8 has over 60,000 cubic yards of concrete, enough to build a 105 mile-long sidewalk.
  • 75 miles of pipe total square footage exceeds the Chrysler building in NYC.

Fab 8 is fully operational, ramping ahead of schedule, and shipping products for revenue in early 2013. Once fully ramped, the first fab module will be capable of 60,000 wafer starts per month.

These are just a few of the reasons why customers should work with GLOBALFOUNDRIES on 28nm—and they are. We taped out our first 28nm product in Q4 2011 and we have dozens in the pipeline. To learn more about our complete value proposition at 28nm, check out this video we created for DAC.

More information: Globalfoundries Vows to Ramp Up 28nm Production Quickly. [X-bit labs, July 5, 2012]

ChipEstimate.TV interview with Mike Noonen, GLOBALFOUNDRIES at Common Platform Tech Forum [chipestimate YouTube channel, March 21, 2012]

Sean O’Kane, producer/host ChipEstimate.TV interviews Mike Noonen, Sr. VP of Worldwide Sales and Marketing, GLOBALFOUNDRIES at Common Platform Tech Forum 2012 For more information about GLOBALFOUNDRIES go to:http://www.globalfoundries.com/.

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Dresden Fab Ships 250,000th 32nm HKMG Wafer [GLOBALFOUNDRIES press release, March 21, 2012]

… based on 32nm High-k Metal Gate (HKMG) technology

On a unit basis, cumulative 32nm shipments for the first five quarters of wafer production are more than double that achieved during the same period of the 45nm technology ramp, demonstrating that the overall 32nm ramp has significantly outpaced the 45nm ramp, despite the integration of a number of new and complex elements in both design and process technologies.

“AMD and GLOBALFOUNDRIES worked in close partnership during 2011, and today’s announcement is a testament to the progress we have made together,” said AMD president and CEO Rory Read. “In just one quarter, we were able to see more than a doubling of yields on 32nm, allowing us to exit 2011 having exceeded our 32nm product shipment requirements. Based on this successful ramp of 32nm HKMG, we are committed to moving ahead on 28nm with GLOBALFOUNDRIES.”

At Fab 1 in Dresden, GLOBALFOUNDRIES recently completed construction of an additional wafer manufacturing facility designed to add capacity at 45nm and below, which has the potential to increase the overall output of the Fab 1 campus to 80,000 wafers per month once fully ramped. The expansion project is adding more than 110,000 square feet of cleanroom space to the site, making Fab 1 the largest wafer fab in Europe for leading-edge technology. More than 50 percent of Fab 1’s production is now on HKMG technology. In addition to the 32nm technology, the company’s 28nm HKMG offerings are qualified and ready for design-in today.

28nm Ramp Starts At Globalfoundries. [Manerisms blog on ElectronicsWeekly.com, April 17, 2012]: “We’re starting the volume production ramp on 28nm. With our experience at 32nm we expect less issues on the 28nm,” Rutger Wijburg, vice president and general manager GLOBALFOUNDRIES Fab 1, told EW.

Globalfoundries opens up 28nm, 20nm FD-SOI process to all-comers[ElectronicsWeekly.com, June 20, 2012]:

Globalfoundries is to manufacture FD-SOI chips for STMicroelectronics and ST-Ericsson at both 28nm and 20nm process generations which will be made avaialble to anyone wanting to use them. ST has a limited availability of FD-SOI from its line at Crolles. “This arrangement ensures our customers will have a secure source of supply, says ST vp Joel Hartmann. 28nm FD-SOI, is currently in the ‘industrialisation phase’, says ST and is scheduled to be available for prototyping by July 2012.

The Rambus experience with GLOBALFOUNDRIES 28nm Super Low Power (28nm-SLP) technology see in the collaborative whitepaper: Designing into a Foundry Low Power High-k Metal Gate 28nm CMOS Solution for High-Performance Analog Mixed Signal and Mobile Applications [June 26, 2012]

Background video on GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ leadership in 28nm capacity:

Thomas Wong, Director Design Enablement, GLOBALFOUNDRIES. IP Talks speaker with ChipEstimate.com at DAC 2012 in San Francisco. Leadership in 28nm capacity.

Background video on Sand to Silicon [globalfoundries YouTube channel, May 9, 2012]

Have you ever wondered what goes in to making a semiconductor? Watch ths video.

Collaborative partner Samsung Electronics also joining the “rescue” effort:

Common Platform Technology Forum 2012, Ana Hunter, VP Foundry Services, Samsung interview on ChipEstimate.TV [chipestimate YouTube channel, Feb 13, 2012]

GLOBALFOUNDRIES and Samsung Extend Fab Sync to New High-Performance 28nm Technology for Mobile Applications [GLOBALFOUNDRIES  press release, Aug 31, 2011]

GLOBALFOUNDRIES and Samsung Electronics, Co., Ltd. broadened their collaboration, announcing plans to synchronize global semiconductor fabrication facilities to produce chips based on a new high-performance and low-leakage 28nm High-K Metal Gate (HKMG) technology. The technology has been specifically developed for mobile device applications, offering 60 percent of active power reduction at the same frequency or 55 percent of performance boost at the same leakage over 45nm low power (LP) SoC designs.

In 2010, GLOBALFOUNDRIES and Samsung announced a fab synchronization on low-power 28nm HKMG technology in collaboration with IBM and STMicroelectronics. This low-power technology is qualified and fully design enabled with standard cell libraries, memory compilers, and additional complex IP blocks. The high-performance offering announced today complements the low-power technology, extending the frequency of operation for high-performance smartphones, tablets, and notebook computers, while retaining ultra-low leakage transistors and memories to enable the long battery life needed for mobile environments.

The companies are proving the collaborative value of a synchronized platform by working with several customers to optimize processes and tooling for both the low-power and high-performance 28nm HKMG technologies. The synchronization process helps ensure consistent production worldwide, enabling customer chip designs to be produced at multiple sources with no redesign required, leveraging the customers’ design investments.

By virtue of the synchronization, the collaboration presents a “virtual fab” that derives manufacturing capacity from four geographically diverse fabs. Each company has two 300mm fabs that will qualify the technology: GLOBALFOUNDRIES Fab 1 in Dresden, Germany and Fab 8 in Saratoga County, New York; and Samsung S1 in Giheung, Korea and the company’s recently expanded fab, S2 in Austin, Texas. The four fabs represent a global footprint estimated to be the largest in the foundry industry for leading-edge capacity, offering customer choice enabled by close collaboration and an unparalleled de-risking of supply chain uncertainties.

The new high performance process is based on the 28nm “Gate First” HKMG technology utilized for the low power process announced in 2010. As with the low power 28nm technology that is fully design-enabled today, a comprehensive System-on-a-Chip (SoC) design platform will be implemented for the high performance offering to enable seamless customer design-in to the multiple global manufacturing sites.

Ana Hunter – Vice President of Foundry for Samsung Semiconductor Inc. [globalfoundries YouTube channel, May 29, 2012]

Qualcomm, Samsung to team up for chip [The Korea Times, July 5, 2012]

As part of efforts to solve a supply shortage Qualcomm will soon sign a deal with Samsung Electronics to produce chips used in the Korean firm’s smartphones, according to industry sources.

Industry and Samsung officials said Thursday that Samsung Electronics has “tentatively agreed” with Qualcomm to produce the latter’s Snapdragon S4 chipsets using Samsung’s 28-nanometer technology from the first half of 2013.

“The two companies have agreed in principle on chip production and are now trying to iron out details, including production volume,” an industry source said.

Samsung expects that the latest partnership will help the company strengthen its capabilities for non-memory chip management. The Korean technology giant plans to invest more in non-memory chips this year than in conventional memory chips for the first time since it started its chip-making business.

Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs has said his firm is seeing “very strong demand” for the S4 chipsets amid the rising popularity of data-intensive and speedier phones that also use advanced long-term evolution (LTE) networks.

Qualcomm’s MSM8960 chipsets are currently being used in the latest smartphones by Samsung, LG Electronics, Motorola and Taiwan’s HTC.
”Because Samsung is a long-time partner with Qualcomm for modem chips, it’s no surprise that the partnership has expanded to real chipsets,” said another industry source.

With the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) and Samsung producing the Qualcomm chipsets, analysts expect the supply will improve from early next year.

Qualcomm has also designated United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) as another supplier with the capacity to help cope with tight supply of the leading-edge process at TSMC.

”The contract with Samsung, as well as UMC, means that Qualcomm plans to lower its heavy dependence on TSMC. It also means that Samsung’s foundry chip-making has reached a competitive level to guarantee the capacity that Qualcomm wants,” said an analyst at Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI).

Samsung, which controls near 50 percent of the global memory chip market, is busy transferring its conventional chip lines to profitable non-memory lines such as foundry facilities.

Samsung’s global share for the foundry chip-making business was less than 2 percent as of the end of last year. However, market experts say Samsung is one of the few players that can threaten TSMC’s leadership as Samsung has abundant cash and top-class memory chip-making technology.

“It’s probable for Samsung to win more deals from Texas Instruments and Nvidia – which are key partners of TSMC. In the near future, Samsung will become a top-tier foundry chipmaker that could compete with TSMC,” said the SEMI analyst.

See also: Proven Track Record at 32/28nm [Samsung Foundry presentation, July 3, 2012]

A New Foundry Business Model [by Ana Hunter Voices@SamsungSemiconductor, June 26, 2012]

As we hit the half way mark of 2012, it’s been an eventful year so far.  Conversations swirl around:
  • The need for more 28nm capacity
  • Is 450mm wafer manufacturing really going to happen?
  • When will FinFET transistors become standard?
  • Will the foundry/fabless industry continue to thrive?
There’s no doubt we’re at a crossroads at the most advanced process technology nodes. In order to take positive steps forward, significant monetary and collaborative investments and resources are required from both the manufacturing and design sides of the equation.
The foundry/fabless semiconductor industry is not going to collapse or disappear as some have recently predicted. See the recent report from SEMI.org on equipment spending. But, a new approach to doing business is in order to stay competitive with pure IDMs [Integrated Device Manufacturer, like once Gobalfoundries was under AMD]. The foundry industry has taken huge strides on the ecosystem side to ensure that physical IP, libraries and design flows are all in place as a new process node comes online. That tight working relationship needs to be pushed beyond the partner ecosystem to include the customer’s design teams.
There is a lot to be said for mimicking a more IDM-like relationship between a foundry and its fabless customers. For faster product rollout and ramp to high-volume manufacturing at the most advanced process nodes, integrated relationships between the foundry and its strategic customers where quasi-IDM operating procedures are established is key to the health and growth of the foundry industry. Fabless companies and foundries need to collaborate on the factors that allow products to be manufacturable, crossing traditional customer and vendor barriers. This is already happening as leading fabless companies learn from experience that closer integration with foundry design flows and kits, starting very early in the development cycle, enables faster feedback and improvement to both the product design and the manufacturing process.
The industry is at an inflection point and the model is changing. A more simulated IDM environment will allow fabless semiconductor companies to be more competitive at the advanced process nodes. As an IDM foundry, Samsung is keenly aware of the advantages that can be gained by this approach. We strive to deliver these benefits to our foundry customers.

UMC is coming to the “rescue” as well:

Chip industry undergoing structural shift, says UMC CEO [DIGITIMES, July 27, 2012]

The semiconductor industry is in the process of structural change, and United Microelectronics (UMC) has a big growth opportunity in the advanced chip segment, according to Shih-Wei Sun, CEO for the IC foundry.

Sun said that he has observed some form of evolution in the IC sector which will likely lead to gradual changes in market leadership. UMC’s high-end foundry business has entered its next stage of growth, which will help strengthen its foundation for future growth, Sun claimed.

Sales generated from advanced process technologies are set to climb substantially and drive sales growth for the company in the second half of 2012, Sun noted. Growth momentum will continue into next year, when the fifth and sixth phase (P5 and P6) factories of its 12-inch plant in southern Taiwan are ready to come online, according to Sun.

UMC’s planned capex budget for 2012 of US$2 billion remains unchanged, said Sun, adding that the expenditure will be mainly used to expand 28nm manufacturing capacity and develop 20nm and more advanced technologies.

Sun indicated that 28nm process technology will account for about 5% of UMC’s revenues by the end of 2012. Moving forward, the foundry expects to start making small volume chips using 20nm process sometime in the second half of 2013, Sun said.

UMC also set a goal of moving 20nm FinFET process to volume production in the second half of 2014, according to Sun. The company has signed a licensing agreement with IBM to expedite the development of its 20nm CMOS process with FinFET 3D transistors.

UMC has long been ranked the world’s second-largest pure-play foundry, trailing only Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC). However, it now faces tougher competition from Globalfoundries, and has been aggressively ramping up its foundry business. Globalfoundries recently claimed that the firm narrowed its gap with UMC in the foundry rankings in 2011, and moved up to second in the first quarter of 2012.

In other news, UMC has reported better-than-expected results for the second quarter of 2012. The firm estimated third-quarter sales will grow only slightly on quarter, but did not provide its guidance for the fourth quarter of 2012 citing uncertainty in end-market demand.

UMC 2Q12 results beat guidance [DIGITIMES, July 25, 2012]

… UMC CEO Shih-Wei Sun, said in a statement. “For the upcoming quarter, we expect mild revenue growth, with 40nm percentage contribution increasing significantly as volume production begins for several new products.”…. UMC saw 40nm and more advanced processes account for 9% of revenues in the second quarter, compared to 9% in the first quarter and 6% in second-quarter 2011. …

UMC reportedly seeking investment from Qualcomm [DIGITIMES, July 13, 2012]

UMC has approached Qualcomm to participate its upcoming private placement with an aim to establish a strategic partnership with the chip vendor, according to industry sources.

In response, UMC said it has no specific target investors for the fundraiser.

UMC’s board of directors in April approved plans to issue up to 1.292 billion new shares in a private placement, which is aimed at bringing in new strategic partners as well as strengthening its capital structure. The resolution later received the nod from the company’s shareholders.

UMC reportedly to start building 28nm chips for Qualcomm in 4Q12, says report [DIGITIMES, July 2, 2012]

United Microelectronics (UMC) reportedly has secured orders for 28nm Snapdragon S4 chips from Qualcomm with volume production slated for the fourth quarter of 2012, according to a Chinese-language Commercial Timesreport.

UMC’s monthly output for Qualcomm’s 28nm chips is initially estimated at 3,000-5,000 wafers, equivalent to 20-30% of Qualcomm’s total orders placed with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC)for the fourth quarter, the report indicated.

The report comes on the heels of a Bloomberg report citing Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs as saying that the firm would not rule out owning a manufacturing plat or consider “writing big checks” to its contract partners to ensure sufficient supply.

Previous reports cited industry sources saying that the tight supply of chips built using TSMC’s 28nm process technology would likely drive Qualcomm and TSMC’s other major client Nvidia toward other foundries as a second source.

TSMC has reiterated that supply of 28nm chips will come close to meeting demand in the fourth quarter of 2012, and satisfy demand completely by the first quarter of 2013.

UMC Aligns With IBM on 20nm Process with FinFET 3D Transistors [UMC press release, June 29, 2012]

Engagement will expedite the development of UMC’s next generation technologies

Hsinchu, Taiwan, June 29, 2012 – United Microelectronics Corporation (NYSE: UMC; TWSE: 2303) (“UMC”), a leading global semiconductor foundry, today announced that it has licensed IBM technology to expedite the development of the foundry’s next generation 20nm CMOS process with FinFET 3D transistors. Under the terms of the agreement, IBM will license its 20nm process design kit and FinFET technology to UMC so the foundry can use these technologies in order to accelerate the availability of these processes for UMC customers.

Dr. IC Chen, vice president of Advanced Technology Development at UMC, said, “We are happy to engage with a recognized technology leader such as IBM for this technology advancement effort. UMC’s position as a world-leading foundry involves timely introduction of leading-edge processes to enable next generation customer chip designs. Leveraging IBM’s technology expertise to shorten our 20nm and FinFET R&D cycle will create a win-win situation for UMC and our customers.”

This agreement between UMC and IBM is only inclusive of IBM’s 20nm CMOS and FinFET. UMC’s internally developed 20nm planar process will be aligned to IBM’s design rules and process/device targets, while UMC’s FinFET will be offered as a low-power technology enhancement option for mobile computing and communication products. Implementation will take place at the company’s Tainan, Taiwan R&D site.

About UMC
UMC (NYSE: UMC, TSE: 2303) is a leading global semiconductor foundry that provides advanced technology and manufacturing services for applications spanning every major sector of the IC industry. UMC’s customer-driven foundry solutions allow chip designers to leverage the strength of the company’s leading-edge processes, which include production proven 65nm, 45/40nm, mixed signal/RFCMOS, and a wide range of specialty technologies. Production is supported through 10 wafer manufacturing facilities that include two advanced 300mm fabs; Fab 12A in Taiwan and Singapore-based Fab 12i are both in volume production for a variety of customer products. The company employs approximately 14,000 people worldwide and has offices in Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, Europe, and the United States. UMC can be found on the web at http://www.umc.com.

Comment on that by X-bit labs [July 3, 2012]

It is necessary to note that UMC does not currently enter the so-called “IBM fab club”, or Common Platform alliance between IBM, Globalfoundries and Samsung Semiconductor that develops common process technologies for all three companies’ semiconductor manufacturing facilities. As a result, UMC will not be able to align its manufacturing processes with CP members.

Nonetheless, licensing technologies from IBM demonstrates inability of UMC to design competitive process technologies fully on its own. Potentially, it means that going forward UMC may either join the Common Platform alliance or to continue licensing fabrication processes from others.

Comment on that by EE Times [June 29, 2012]

Though he declined to disclose the specific cost of the license deal, the spokesman described the terms as “reasonable and insignificant to our financial statements after expense amortization.” The deal will enable UMC to save the considerable costs that would have been involved in developing 20-nm and FinFETs on its own, the spokesman.

FinFETs are three-dimensional, fin-based multi-gate transistors. Intel Corp. is currently in production of 22-nm devices featuring FinFETs—known by Intel as tri-gate transistors. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd., UMC’s biggest rival in the foundry business, is not planning to implement FinFETs until the 14-nm node. Globalfoundries and Samsung are also planning to implement FinFETs at the 14-nm node.

While Qualcomm’s long supplier TSMC is declaring:

TSMC reiterates supply of 28nm chips to come close to demand in 4Q12 [DIGITIMES, June 13, 2012]

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has reiterated its previous remarks that supply of 28nm chips would come close to meeting demand in the fourth quarter of 2012, in response to speculation that companies lining up for the foundry’s 28nm process capacity had dispersed.

At its most-recent investors meeting, TSMC also suggested that demand for the foundry’s 28nm manufacturing capacity would be completely satisfied by the first quarter of 2013.

TSMC chairman and CEO Morris Chang remarked at the company’s annual shareholders meeting yesterday (June 12) that the foundry’s 28nm foundry capacity will remain tight through the third quarter of 2012. Company efforts in production expansion will help supply catch up and come near the total market demand in the last quarter of the year, according to Chang.

Chang admitted that TSMC had failed to make a precise estimate of demand for 28nm chips this yearand therefore, the foundry could not immediately provide the needed additional capacity.

In order to accelerate its pace of 28nm capacity expansion, TSMC has revised upward its 2012 capex to US$8-8.5 billion. The foundry also unveiled plans to ramp up 20nm production ahead of schedule.

TSMC Reports Second Quarter EPS of NT$1.61 [TSMC press release, July 19, 2012]

28-nanometer process technology accounted for 7% of total wafer revenues, meeting our internal plan. 40-nanometer accounted for 28% of total wafer revenues, and 65-nanometer was 26%. These advanced technologies accounted for 61% of totalwafer revenues.

“Due to continuing strong demand for our 28-nanometer technology, we expect to double the shipments of 28-nanometer in the third quarter. This increase in 28nm business will account for more than 80% of revenue growth in the third quarter,” said Lora Ho, SVP and Chief Financial Officer of TSMC.

TSMC Reports First Quarter EPS of NT$1.29 [TSMC press release, April 26, 2012]

28-nanometer process technology accounted for 5% of total wafer revenues, 40-nanometer was 32%, and 65-nanometer accounted for 26%. These advanced technologies accounted for 63% of total wafer revenues. …

TSMC Reports Fourth Quarter EPS of NT$1.22 [TSMC press release, Jan 18, 2012]

28-nanometer process technology accounted for 2% of total wafer revenues, 40-nanometer was 27%, and 65-nanometer accounted for 30%. These advanced technologies accounted for 59% of total wafer revenues. …

TSMC Reports Third Quarter EPS of NT$1.17 [TSMC press release, Oct 27, 2011]

40-nanometer and 28-nanometer process technologies accounted for 27% of total wafer revenues, and 65-nanometer accounted for 27%. These advanced technologies accounted for 54% of total revenues. …

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited, 2012 Annual General Shareholders’ Meeting Minutes [June 12, 2012]

… We became the first foundry to offer volume production of 28-nanometer, with the first-to-market 28-nanometer high-k/metal gate (HKMG) technology portfolio. …

… Based on a record number of customer product tape-outs, TSMC entered volume production of superior 28-nanometer Gate-Last HKMG logic technology.  Revenue from the 28-nanometer node contributed 2% of fourth quarter 2011 wafer revenue, and is expected to contribute approximately 10% wafer revenue in 2012.  …

TSMC plans to make as small as 7nm processors, 28nm is now in volume production [Charbax YouTube channel, Oct 25, 2011]

TSMC is the worlds largest independent ARM Processor foundry. Here’s a video about how TSMC makes the processors of the present and the future, they do them for many of the major ARM chip designers such as Texas Instruments, Nvidia, Qualcomm and others.

More background information: ChipEstimate.com DAC 2012 IP Talks presenter Dan Kochpatcharin [chipestimate YouTube channel, June 26, 2012]

Dan Kochpatcharin, Deputy Director, IP Portfolio Marketing, TSMC. IP Talks presenter with ChipEstimate.com at DAC 2012 in San Francisco. TSMC OIP and IP Quality.

There are 41 IP partners in TSMC IP alliance program and also have 20-25 IP partners directly supported but not part of the IP alliance program.

image

And here are the number of titles in TSMC IP portfolio also vs. other foundries:

image

After that the whole discussion is about the IP quality, which is also discussed in the following video: IP Quality — It’s Imperative! – Voices of DAC 2012 [synopsys YouTube channel, June 11, 2012]

TSMC offers some of the most advanced processes in the industry. They are used to manufacture many of the most complex semiconductors ever produced. Semiconductor IP is a key ingredient to successful System-on-Chip design. Both the processes and the IP face big challenges. Dan Kochpatcharin talks with us about the latest TSMC process technology, the challenges in designing in the latest technology, and why IP quality is imperative. Links of Interest: http://www.tsmc.com/english/default.htm http://blogs.synopsys.com/conversationcentral/

In this video TSMC 9000 IP library is mentioned as critical to the TSMC’s foundry operation. See additional information on extension of that as well, the so called Soft-IP alliance program: A Comprehensive Soft IP Qualification System (Atrenta) [TSMC page, Nov 3, 2011]

Abstract:
Knowing the quality, completeness and integration risks associated with soft, or synthesizable semiconductor IP is critical to meeting power, performance, area and schedule targets for complex system on chip (SoC) designs. In many cases, over 80% of the SoC design is composed of reused IP, much of it synthesizable.

Atrenta has collaborated with TSMC to create a comprehensive system to automate the process of soft IP qualification. Based on the popular SpyGlass® platform, the system programmatically analyzes soft IP using an IP handoff methodology consisting of TSMC’s Golden Rule Set covering various design aspects (risk analysis, integration readiness, implementation readiness, reusability etc.) for an IP. These Golden Rules can help to detect various types of design issues such as simulation-synthesis mismatches, unsynchronized clock domain crossing paths, electrical/connectivity related issues, testability bottlenecks and timing constraints not fully aligned with the design topology/configuration. This approach also provides in-depth analysis reports on various design parameters such as power consumption and optimization, stuck-at and at-speed fault coverage, clock-reset propagation and timing constraints coverage. The results of all tests are summarized in a concise, portable, easy to read HTML-based Atrenta DashBoard report. Once all errors are addressed, the IP is further profiled through an Atrenta DataSheet report that summarizes many aspects of the IP, including estimated power consumption, IO profile, clock and reset trees, gate count, testability and timing constraints. These reports are then posted on TSMC’s online IP databases for customer review as part of the TSMC 9000 IP library.

In this presentation, we will describe the process used to develop the qualification flow. We will provide details regarding what aspects of the IP are checked and how the information is used to assess IP completeness, readiness and integration risks. We’ll review the process to install, setup and run the software and share some results of its application on production soft IP.

Also: Atrenta and TSMC IP Quality Initiative Gains Broad Industry Acceptance [Atrenta press release, March 5, 2012]

Atrenta Inc., a leading provider of SoC Realization solutions for the semiconductor and electronic systems industries, today announced that 10 intellectual property (IP) providers have qualified their soft IP for inclusion in the TSMC 9000 IP library using the Atrenta IP Handoff Kit.

Those companies, part of TSMC’s Soft-IP Alliance Program, include Arteris, Inc.; CEVA; Chips&Media, Inc.; Digital Media Professionals Inc. (DMP); Imagination Technologies; Intrinsic-ID; MIPS Technologies, Inc.; Sonics, Inc.; Tensilica, Inc.; and Vivante Corporation. The participating companies are able to provide quantitative information to TSMC’s customers regarding the robustness and completeness of their soft or synthesizable semiconductor IP that is part of the TSMC 9000 IP library.

In May 2011, TSMC and Atrenta announced the Soft-IP Alliance Program, which uses Atrenta’s SpyGlass® platform and a targeted subset of its GuideWare reference methodology to implement TSMC’s IP quality assessment program. TSMC requires all soft IP providers to reach a minimum level of completeness, as documented by Atrenta DashBoard and DataSheet reports, before their IP is listed on TSMC online.

Atrenta integrated all the software and methodologies needed to implement TSMC’s IP qualification requirements to form the IP Handoff Kit, which uses the SpyGlass register transfer level (RTL) analysis and optimization product suite. To qualify for inclusion in TSMC Online, soft IP must be verified for language syntax and semantic correctness, simulation-synthesis mismatches, electrical and connectivity rules, power consumption, synchronization of clock domain crossing paths, stuck-at and at-speed test coverage and timing constraints. All results are summarized in Atrenta DashBoard and DataSheet reports that capture the results of these SpyGlass tests in an easy-to-read and track HTML format.

“Given the complexity inherent in today’s system on chip (SoC) designs, TSMC is proactively helping our customers mitigate risk and meet their time-to-market goals,” said Suk Lee, director, Design Infrastructure Marketing Division, TSMC. “The IP qualification flow with Atrenta addresses many of the quality challenges inherent in re-using third-party IP. We are pleased with the number of IP providers that are participating in this program and the measurable improvement in delivered IP quality available for TSMC’s end customers.”

“As designers face the challenge of finding quality third-party IP, this program – a collaboration between TSMC, Atrenta and IP providers – is a powerful example of what teamwork in the supply chain can accomplish,” said Mike Gianfagna, vice president of marketing at Atrenta. “TSMC customers can now make more informed decisions that improve the handoff of IP between members of the semiconductor supply chain. This is one way to drive more effective SoC Realization.”

About Atrenta
Atrenta is a leading provider of SoC Realization solutions for the semiconductor and electronic systems industries. As one of the largest private electronic design automation companies, Atrenta provides a comprehensive SoC Realization solution that delivers higher quality semiconductor IP, predictable design coherence, automated chip assembly and improved implementation readiness. Its SpyGlass® and GenSys™ products and GuideWare reference methodologies open the way for broader deployment of system on chip (SoC) devices in the marketplace, improving time to market, reducing implementation costs and lowering risk. With nearly 200 customers, including 19 of the top 20 semiconductor and consumer electronics companies, Atrenta enables the most complex SoC designs in the world. Atrenta, the SoC Realization Company. http://www.atrenta.com.
Atrenta and TSMC IP Quality Initiative Gains Broad Industry Acceptance
Partner Quotes

 

Arteris
“Based on our long-standing relationship with TSMC, Arteris is pleased to participate in TSMC’s Soft-IP Alliance Program and TSMC Reference Flows 11 and 12. By validating Arteris’ configurable NoC interconnect IP with the SpyGlass platform, customers can choose our IP and handoff their design to TSMC with even greater confidence.”
K. Charles Janac, President and CEO, Arteris
CEVA
“CEVA is committed to streamlining the SoC design process and supply chain through a robust ecosystem that improves the efficiency of how customers use our DSP-based solutions. The link to the manufacturing process is critical as we move into the realm of 28 nanometer and beyond. We are pleased to be able to work with Atrenta and TSMC to certify our IP using TSMC’s soft IP validation kit. This will result in faster and more reliable manufacturability for our customers.”
Moshe Sheier, Director of Product Marketing, CEVA, Inc.
Chips & Media

 

“As consumers demand a better experience from their multimedia devices, SoC designs are becoming more complex. By working closely with TSMC and Atrenta, Chips&Media is capable of delivering its leading-edge video processing technologies to customers more efficiently and effectively.”
Steve Kim, CEO, Chips&Media,Inc.
Digital Media Professionals

 

“In support of our advanced graphics IP technology based on industry-standard OpenGL ES and DMP’s proprietary Maestro extension, we are able to leverage excellent semiconductor process technology from TSMC and comprehensive assessment metrics from Atrenta. With a wide-range of leading-edge technologies and eco-system support, DMP will provide highly optimized and validated graphics IPs for embedded markets.”
Tatsuo Yamamoto, President & CEO, Digital Media Professionals Inc.
Intrinsic-ID

 

“As SoC devices become more prevalent and customer needs become increasingly more complex, Intrinsic-ID offers a wide-ranging portfolio of IP available in the TSMC 9000 IP library. Working with TSMC and Atrenta, the quality of our IP is demonstrated and customers will be more informed when using it in their designs, reducing the risk in the handoff to other members of the supply chain.”
Pim Tuyls, CEO, Intrinsic-ID
MIPS

 

“The Atrenta IP Handoff Kit can help assure customers of quality and consistency across the variety of IP available for use at TSMC. As a member of the TSMC Soft IP Alliance Program, MIPS Technologies is committed to working closely with TSMC to speed our customers’ time-to-market. Starting with our superscalar multicore MIPS32® 1074K™ coherent processing system, MIPS is leveraging the IP Handoff Kit to validate that our IP meets and surpasses TSMC’s expectations of quality for soft IP.”
Gideon Intrater, Vice President of Marketing, MIPS Technologies, Inc.
Sonics

 

“As the number of unique IP cores increase with each process node, the need for a reliable, high-performance on-chip network is critical for successful SoC execution. As a partner in the Atrenta and TSMC IP Quality Initiative, and a TSMC Soft IP Alliance member, Sonics gives customers complete assurance and support from the initial design to TSMC hand-off. Our partnership with Atrenta continues to help semiconductor leaders realize their broad range of SoC designs, and the SpyGlass product suite will continue to play an integral part of Sonics’ RTL flow.”
Frank Ferro, Director of Marketing, Sonics
Tensilica

 

“Tensilica is pleased to participate in TSMC’s Soft-IP Alliance Program after many years of producing successful tapeouts for mutual customers. By validating our IP against quality metrics established by TSMC and measured using the SpyGlass platform, our customers can choose Xtensa processors and deliver their designs to TSMC with even greater confidence.”
Chris Jones, Director, Product Marketing, Tensilica, Inc.
Vivante

 

“Vivante is pleased to be part of TSMC’s Soft-IP Alliance Program, offering customers our full line of high performance, power efficient GPU/GPGPU cores. By going through extensive validation of our IP on the SpyGlass platform to ensure reliability and quality, customers can be confident that selecting Vivante products will reduce their risk and expedite time to market of their designs.”
Wei-Jin Dai, President and CEO, Vivante Corporation

And here is a video with Atrenta CTO Bernard Murphy about the current changes:
DAC Retrospective [SperlingMediaGroup YouTube channel, June 13, 2012]

Is DAC really a design automation conference, or has it shifted to a design enablement conference due to rising complexity breaking down traditional barriers and silos? Low Power High Performance Engineering talks with Atrenta CTO Bernard Murphy about the changes.

Qualcomm and TSMC Collaborating on 28nm Process Technology [joint TSMC and Qualcomm press release, Jan 8, 2010]

Cutting-edge Semiconductor Technology Enables Mobile Devices to Offer Greater Functionality and Lower Power Consumption

Qualcomm Incorporated (Nasdaq: QCOM), a leading developer and innovator of advanced wireless technologies, products and services, today announced that the Company is working closely with foundry partner Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TWSE: 2330, NYSE: TSM) on 28 nanometer (nm) process technology. The advanced process node enables more features to be integrated into smaller chips with a high level of cost efficiency, accelerating the expansion of wireless into new market segments.

Small form factor and low power consumption are important features of Qualcomm’s next generation of system-on-a-chip (SoC) solutions, including the Snapdragon™ chipset platform. The two companies are capitalizing on their long-term relationshipas Qualcomm works on migrating directly from the 45nm to the 28nm node.

“TSMC prides itself on its ability to deliver cutting-edge technology platforms, including the related design ecosystems. Our 28nm platform supports the high-performance, low-power products that deliver next-generation experiences,” said Jason Chen, vice president of Worldwide Sales and Marketing. “We are pleased to be working with Qualcomm, a market leader in wireless technology, on bringing these new experiences to reality.”

“Qualcomm’s close collaboration with TSMC has always been a key part of our ability to deliver significant advantages to our customers through the industry-leading integration, power efficiency and cost efficiency of our products – enabling them to do more with less,” said Jim Clifford, senior vice president and general manager of Qualcomm CDMA Technologies. “Qualcomm’s integrated fabless manufacturing model and migration to smaller geometries will allow us to continue enabling the best mobile user experience possible on handsets, smartphones and smartbook devices.”

Qualcomm and TSMC worked closely on 65nm and 45nm technologies. They are continuing their relationship into low-power, low-leakage 28nm designs for high-volume manufacturing. Delivering up to twice the density of previous manufacturing nodes, 28nm technology allows semiconductors that power mobile devices to do far more with less power. Qualcomm and TSMC are working on both high-k metal gate (HKMG) 28HP and silicon oxynitride (SiON) 28LP technologies. Qualcomm expects to tape out its first commercial 28nm products in mid-2010.

Close collaboration with strategic technology and foundry partners is a key part of Qualcomm’s Integrated Fabless Manufacturing (IFM) business model, which delivers greater efficiencies and accelerated technology advancement to the industry.

Background video on Semiconductor Technology at TSMC, 2011 [AndrewatEML YouTube channel, March 26, 2011]

An up to date and current overview of semiconductor manufacturing technology from TSMC in Taiwan. Nicely produced and informative if you tune-out the voice-over slightly. Better access than any Fab tour. Recommended if you have any interest in how semiconductors are made/manufactured in volume right now.

Lowest H2’12 device cost SoCs from Spreadtrum will redefine the entry level smartphone and feature phone markets

And this is not a speculation but already a reality as the new Lenovo A288t came to market this month for ¥ 569 in retail [US$ 89] and as low as ¥ 479 in wholesale [US$ 75]. Such a breakthrough was enabled by Spreadtrum’s SC8810 SoC and Lenovo Mobile’s ability to exploit such an opportunity in only 5 months. Lenovo Mobile BTW became #2 behind Samsung on China’s smartphone market in June (just thanks to an earlier Mediatek based opportunity), aiming to become #1 in one or two years. So it is safe to say that with a number of other 1st tier vendors and even a kind of revitalised whitebox ecosystem soon joining the Spreadtrum (展讯处在) SoC opportunity, the H2’12 market in China will radically be redefined, with “earthquake-like” consequences for the global smartphone market as a whole. In this way the process indicated earlier in China becoming the lead market for mobile Internet in 2012/13 [this Experiencing the Cloud blog, Dec 1, 2011] will become even more dramatic.

SIGNIFICANT NEW UPDATE: Yes, indeed the revitalised whitebox ecosystem is doing the job, and in the most wonderful way, see $48 Mogu M0 “peoplephone”, i.e. an Android smartphone for everybody to hit the Chinese market on November 15 [Nov 9, 2012], which is the first “lead post” on my trend tracking blog because of such enormous significance.

Updates: Haier Adopts Spreadtrum’s Smartphone Platform [Spreadtrum press release, Aug 16, 2012]

Spreadtrum Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPRD; “Spreadtrum” or the “Company”), a leading fabless semiconductor provider in China with advanced technology in 2G, 3G and 4G wireless communications standards, today announced that Haier, one of the global leaders in home appliances, has adopted Spreadtrum’s 1GHz TD-SCDMA Android platform, the SC8810. The Haier HT-I617, a smartphone designed to address the needs of the mass-market consumer, has completed China Mobile’s certification testing, paving the way for commercial launch through China Mobile channels.

Spreadtrum’s SC8810 integrates a 1GHz Cortex A5 processor, 3D/2D Mali graphics accelerator, a 5 megapixel camera sub-system and supports resolution up to WVGA and wireless connectivity including Bluetooth, WiFi and GPS. The SC8810 delivers low power multimode TD-SCDMA/EDGE/GPRS/GSM operations with dual-mode automatic switching and supports TD-HSDPA at 2.8Mbps and TD-HSUPA at 2.2 Mbps. The SC8810 is delivered with turnkey Android and systems software.

Counterfeiters rebrand themselves in China’s smartphone market [Want China Times, Aug 5, 2012]

THL, the new face of a man who once sold counterfeit Samsung phones and decided to starting producing his own brand of smart phone.

After experiencing a major drop-off in sales, the makers of counterfeit cell phones in China, known commonly as “shanzhai” phones, are now breaking back into the market under their own brand names.

Previously reliant on co-opting the names of top leading to sell their bootleg products, the new generation of cell phone manufacturers are focusing on producing budget smartphones under their own brand names.

Stores for these new brands are proliferating in Huaqiangbei, a well-known consumer electronics market in Shenzhen. These new “shanzhai” smartphone producers mostly rely on supplies of chips from MediaTek in Taiwan.

After some initial mishaps, MediaTek belatedly rolled out its first-generation smartphone chip 6513T in the second half of 2011. The move has prompted many shanzhai phone manufacturers to switch to the production of smartphones, some with their own brands.

Shanzhai smartphone makers target mainly the lower and middle end of the market for products priced at around 1,000 yuan (US$156). Huang Jixian, a shanzhai cell phone producer in Shenzhen, opened 210 stores for his new “THL” smartphones throughout China in the first four months of this year. Huang plans to increase the number of his stores to over 300 to bolster the brand image of his products.

In addition to directly owned and franchise stores, Huang has also opened online franchise stores on the platforms Taobao and 360buy. Wang Xuekai, sales manager for THL, says that the different stores play a critical role in the company’s operations, since the shopping and user experience is essential in attracting business. Online sales channels play a supplementary role, Wang said.

Spreadtrum Communications’ CEO Discusses Q2 2012 Results – Earnings Call Transcript [Seeking Alpha, Aug 10, 2012]

Leo Li – Chairman and CEO

In the second quarter of 2012, we achieved revenue of $173.1 million, which is in line with the guidance we gave previously and 7.5% increase over the first quarter. I am very pleased to update you on the progress we have made with our smartphone products.

This quarter we achieved a strong volume ramp-up of our 1 Ghz TD-SCDMA Edge smartphone chipset, shipping more than 1 million units as expected. Customers such as Huawei, Lenovo, [Pryor], Hisense and others have completed China Mobile’s certification test, launched low-cost smartphones based on our products. Many are targeting a new [ratio] price in the range of RMB500 to RMB700 [US$ 79 – US$ 110], which is making TD-SCDMA smartphone even more affordable and attractive for mass market consumers.

We are seeing very strong demand for our smartphone products and are raising our shipment focus. We now expect to ship more than 10 million smartphone chipsets in the third quarter alone. In the high end of TD-SCDMA market, we expanded our business with the first-tier OEMs, growing shipment of our best-in-class TD-SCDMA-based modems. In our customers, our customers use these modems in very high-end smartphone designs.

Our baseband and RF transceivers are shipping in flagship handsets, that is recently launched, including Samsung’s Galaxy S3, HTC One XT and the other devices from first-tier China OEMs.

With the continuing growth in our smartphone chipsets and modem business, we have firmly established our leadership position in TD-SCDMA smartphone market. Our best-in-class modems are designed into top-of-line handsets and our smartphone chipsets are in neighboring 1 Ghz devices at a price of as we low as RMB500 [US$ 79].

Recently, China Mobile has taken steps to speed up TD-SCDMA handset sales in the second half of this year. At a recent conference, China Mobile discussed a plan or plans to increase their investment in TD-SCDMA. In addition, they also encouraged handset makers to sell their TD-SCDMA product through open market with China Mobile providing support with the quality monitoring.

With the China Mobile’s handset replacement market now approaching 100 million units per year, this shift in distribution model will make the TD-SCDMA devices even more broadly available and help speed up the 3G adoption in China.

Looking ahead to the remainder of 2012, we have some exciting product introduction on that. We will be introducing our 1.2 Ghz single-core and dual-core smartphone platforms, our new WCDMA and connectivity products. These products will increase our total addressable market in China and overseas regions and position us for continuing business expansion in 2013.

Randy Abrams – Credit Suisse
Okay. My second question is on your outlook for TD-SCDMA. I think, one, from just a market perspective, volume, maybe what you expect smartphone and feature phones, and how you expect your market share. And I think you did well on recent tenders, maybe how you expect your product positioning. [Marvel] has been talking about a new platform for early next year and with MediaTek and MStar, how you see your market churn positioning and then overall market.
Leo Li – Chairman and CEO
I feel very confident that the TD overall volume for this year, I think what I said before in the last earnings call, is around 80 million to 90 million total units, both including the so-called central procurement, which you mentioned, and open market, which is the non-mentioned. I think the open market in particular next year, I can see a stronger and stronger demand for TD-SCDMA market in China.
So I certainly know for sure or I think next will be well above 100 million units for the total TD demand. So we at the moment, I think we’re about more than 55% market share in TD-SCDMA business. We hope with the technology leadership and also with the business model and then the quality of the products and everything else, we hope that we’ll maintain the leadership position in the future.
Mike Walkley – Canaccord Genuity
Okay, thanks. One question for Leo. Leo, with the MobilePeak hitting the milestone, can you just update us on your WCDMA progress and how you see the competitive landscape as you’re coming to market with that product later in the year?
Leo Li – Chairman and CEO
Sure. Yeah, they’re making nice progress there. I think it’s mostly [inaudible] type of the milestones for their WCDMA. I think also combine the 40nm technology and some other 2.5G product rolls, EDGE, GPRS and GSM, I think we’re making the progress for both modem and smartphone products towards the end of the year. So I think at this moment all the development are on track, so I’m pretty happy.
Jack Lu – RBS
Yeah, hi, Leo. One question for you. Can you talk about your 2012 smartphone full-year target? Because I think last call you mentioned a figure of 15 million to 20 million. Now, given that you are shipping more than 10 million alone in Q3, what’s your thought on that number for this year?
Leo Li – Chairman and CEO
This is a kind of — yeah, we usually only predict for the next quarter, which I did, right, around more than 10 million unit smartphones. If you really put me in a corner, so if I have to say anything to that question, I would like to say at least 25 million units for the whole year. So, yeah, it’s up number from 10 million to 15 million, what I said in early Q2.
Jack Lu – RBS
Okay. One last question if I may, can you talk about expectations for ASPs going to Q3 for both TD feature phones and smartphone products?
Leo Li – Chairman and CEO
Yeah, feature phones, unfortunately the volume dropped sharply. I mean this is unexpected a little bit. The switching from feature phone to smartphone is so quick. It’s quicker than most people expected. But as the pricing there stabilizes, the volume drops very sharply. And at this moment actually for the ASP for smartphones, it’s there quite nicely. We — actually it’s not the pricing pressure issue, rather it’s a whole [inaudible]. There’s a huge demand there. It’s just so strong that it really surprised many of us.
Andrew Lu – BarCap Research
Thank you. Earlier you also mentioned WCDMA smartphone solution will be introduced next year. Did you say Q1 next year?
Leo Li – Chairman and CEO
Actually we will try to introduce production small customers first. You know that, right? With big customers, takes longer time. So, Q1, maybe it could be the right time, and then Q2, something, yes.
Donald Lu – Goldman Sachs
Good morning. Leo, can you give us more color on how can China Mobile help the open market? By open market, I mean mobile probably is not going to subsidize, but can mobile help with distribution or marketing or anything like that?
Leo Li – Chairman and CEO
Sure. Recently there are high-level executives went to Shenzhen, the headquarter [inaudible] right, several times. And then recent one is a very high level China executive went there, had meetings with — we don’t call them free market or [inaudible] anymore, we call them a small brand, right? And actually the meeting, the result is very encouraging, because down the road, you know that year over year subsidies will be reduced and reduced, not increased and increased. So the China Mobile very much encouraging the vendors and the makers of the handsets to engage with open market. Like I said, someone asked me the question, and then, some of my customers already shipping their products in open market without any subsidies. So this is encouraging.
But I think the reason it has been now, not only encouraged by China Mobile, also because the quality of the products and the price of the smartphones, more importantly, we are facing the major trend that the smartphone is replacing the features phones in big way, in such a big way in China that we very much encourage open market people to engage.
Donald Lu – Goldman Sachs
I mean, how — I man, can China Mobile really help? Because China Mobile really is the biggest carrier in China, but can — I mean, let’s say, China Unicom and China Mobile all are encouraging open market. I mean —
Leo Li – Chairman and CEO
Remember, China Mobile was not very encouraging, remember. I mean, like last year, it was totally you had to go through, any product go through the central procurement program, passing quality acceptance test and with the subsidies and this and that, and then whatever type of handset has been determined selected by China Mobile. And now actually I think with the leadership change and then with the new kind of a thinking, I think it’s really helpful that China Mobile has this open market engagement. So they are encouraging this to — okay. And also they say that TD-SCDMA over WCDMA, very much over 2.75G for that matter actually is making a lot of sense because, one, it’s cheaper than WCDMA; two, you don’t need to pay the royalties to the WCDMA. I like that, obviously many folks, right? So they are cheaper price, high quality, and the networks are much improved, and the products much more varieties and more attractive, and the pricing obviously much more affordable.
Leo Li – Chairman and CEO
… EDGE type of smartphone is important for emerging markets. What you said is true. However, for their shipments of other company, I think the majority unfortunately is still in China, not in emerging markets. For the emerging markets, take India and Africa for example, I think at this moment the huge majority is still the low-end feature phone, not even middle-end feature phones.
So that I agree with the statement that EDGE smartphones are very much needed for emerging market, and even Qualcomm come up with the so-called platform, that means the rest of the [inaudible]. However, the volume ramp-up may not be as high as people expected. Only in China that the smartphone demand is so strong. There are other countries, I’m talking about emerging countries, there’s a demand but not as strong as this. Still majority — even the economic situation in some of the emerging countries, they’re actually deteriorating, it’s not improving. In that regard, actually putting pressure to reduce the high-end handsets actually going towards the low end. And then the demand for smartphones is there but not as strong. And then I think it will be — need maybe a couple of years to see the stronger demand, yeah.
Hao Guo – CICC
Okay, thank you. So if I may, follow up two questions. I heard from the industry that Qualcomm going to launch very low-end 3.5G solution in Q3, maybe Q4. Maybe it’s targeting for MTK and for low-end competition. So do you heard about — something about this? And can you comment on this? …
Leo Li – Chairman and CEO
The first one, I don’t comment on other people’s the product introduction. But the thing is I heard a similar type of thing and that means this EDGE smartphone is kind of important. And then as I said, I think most of that type of things being shipped in China, not necessarily shipped in overseas markets. So I think — but also I said in my opening statement and then in my Q&A that in China I think with the TD-SCDMA, to compete with the 2.5G, 2.75G type of smartphones, at least the TD-SCDMA offers some kind of [inaudible] still offer some kind of better connectivity than 2.75G, compared with WCDMA, yes, it’s cheaper and without paying the royalty, right?

End of updates

Note: MediaTek has definitely something going against Spreadtrum in this newly opening space. See: this very online (www.veryol.com)  article of July 17, 2012:
Cottage “big change in the situation (translation by Google)
山寨”大变局 (Chinese original)
For Cheng Rainbow Mobile general manager Wang Zhongcheng, really hard over the past 12 months. As one of the hundreds of small and medium-sized mobile phone manufacturer in Shenzhen, Wang Zhongcheng these eight characters of the “dire straits, lean” to describe his current situation.
Wang Zhongcheng company an area of about seventy to eighty square meters, about 10 young people in this office, mostly for sales staff. … Sitting in the office of Wang Zhongcheng, he showed reporters the company’s newly developed intelligent machines. These new MediaTek 6513T chip, more than 800 frequency, 3.5-inch capacitive screen, Android 2.3.5 operating system, ex-factory price of 400 yuan [US$ 63]. The target consumer groups positioned second and third tier cities in the country. …

Spreadtrum strengthening cooperation with Samsung, threatening MediaTek market position [DIGITIMES, July 23, 2012]

China-based handset solution vendor Spreatrum Communications has stepped up its cooperation with Samsung Electronics and may double its shipments by the fourth quarter of 2012, threatening MediaTek’s leading market position in China, according to industry sources.

Spreadtrum, through the cooperation with Samsung, won a number of TD-SCDMA solution orders from China Mobile in the first half of 2012, while MediaTek secured only one order, the sources revealed.

Spreadtrum has expanded its cooperation with Samsung to include 2.5G/2.75G/3G solutions, and Samsung’s handset shipments to China in the fourth quarter of 2012 will nearly all adopt chipset solutions from Spreadtrum, the sources indicated.

Samsung is expected to ship 70 million handsets to China in 2012, the sources estimated.

Meanwhile, Spreadtrum’s development and trial production of quad-core and 4G solutions is also ahead of MediaTek’s by over six months, indicating Spreadtrum’s improving capability, the sources added.

Note that this Spreadtrum’s cooperation with now world #1 Samsung may have an even bigger impact on Windows Phone. According to a latest report Windows Phone shipments in June were just less than 200,000 units in China which accounting for only 1.6% share of the smartphone market there.
See this it.sohu.com article of July 24, 2012:
Acclimatized! Microsoft Windows Phone Chinese Long Way (translation by Google)
微软Windows Phone中国路漫漫 (Chinese original)

Spreadtrum Smartphone Chipset Undercuts MTK by USD 1 [Marbridge Daily, July 5, 2012]

Adopted from National Business Daily article of June 29, 2012:
Cost of smart phones “counter-attack” the chip manufacturers to bring down program costs to ¥ 300 (translation by Google)
智能手机成本“逆袭” 芯片厂商拉低方案成本至300元 (Chinese original)

Chinese baseband chipset vendor Spreadtrum (Nasdaq: SPRD) has announced that its 8810 chipset is priced at USD 7-8, approximately USD 1 less than MediaTek’s 6573 solution, lowering the price of a 3.5-inch smartphone chipset solution to RMB 450-500 [US$ 70-78]. Spreadtrum currently supplies the 8810 to several major brands, including Samsung, HTC, Lenovo (0992.HK), ZTE, Huawei, and Tianyu (K-Touch). Spreadtrum estimates that its smartphone chipset shipments will exceed 20 mln in 2012.

Taiwanese chipmaker MediaTek received orders from major brands such as Huawei and ZTE (0763.HK; 000063.SZ) in early 2012. MediaTek aims to capture 50% of mainland China’s smartphone chipset market, and expects 60% of business to come from brand clients, while independent handset design firms will account for the remaining 40%.

Qualcomm senior VP Jeff Lorbeck disclosed that many handset vendors, including Lenovo, TCL, and Longcheer, have begun offering 3.5-inch HVGA smartphones using the Qualcomm Reference Design platform priced at USD 50.

MediaTek and Qualcomm have signed an agreement to offer chipsets at market prices, not below cost, according to an industry source. China’s three major domestic chipmakers produce solutions for entry-level smartphones costing under RMB 300 [US$ 50] to produce and sold at a retail price of RMB 600 [US$ 94].

Indeed a week ago came official information on SC8810-based Lenovo A288t becoming available through online channels and retail stores at 599 RMB [US$ 94] list price:

Lenovo Smartphone Based on Spreadtrum’s 1GHz TD-SCDMA Android Platform Completes China Mobile Certification Testing [Spreadtrum press release, July 19, 2012]

Spreadtrum Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPRD; “Spreadtrum” or the “Company”), a leading fabless semiconductor provider in China with advanced technology in 2G, 3G and 4G wireless communications standards, today announced that the Lenovo A288t, which is a Lenovo TD-SCDMA smartphone based on Spreadtrum’s 1GHz Android smartphone platform, the SC8810, has completed China Mobile’s certification testing and is expected to achieve sales of more than one million units in the third quarter.

China Mobile’s certification test is a required step and important milestone in the operator’s procurement process and is used to confirm the maturity and stability of TD-SCDMA mobile terminal products.  Lenovo’s completion of China Mobile’s certification process with its Lenovo A288tsmartphone validates Spreadtrum’s 1GHz low-cost smartphone platform as fully compliant with China Mobile’s commercial requirements.

“China Mobile’s certification testing is a key milestone for manufacturers and a prerequisite for mobile phone purchasing by its provincial offices,” said Dr. Leo Li, Spreadtrum’s president and CEO. “The certification of the Lenovo A288t demonstrates its commercial readiness by China Mobile. China Mobile will kick off the purchase of TD-SCDMA phones after completing its certification testing, and this will build the confidence of handset manufacturers in the open market to design the Spreadtrum SC8810 platform into more low-cost smartphones.”

“Lenovo is committed to promoting China’s 3G terminal development.” said Feng Xing, vice president of Lenovo. “We recently completed China Mobile’s certification testing with the Lenovo A288t, which is based on Spreadtrum’s SC8810, and expect to achieve sales of more than one million units of this model in the third quarter, underscoring the popularity of low-cost smartphone devices. This is a milestone in our strategy of vigorously promoting 3G uptake in China by bringing Chinese consumers cost-effective mobiles that are comparable to the world’s top smartphones. The Lenovo A288t is commercially available to consumers now through online channels and retail stores at 599 RMB [US$ 94].”

Spreadtrum’s SC8810 integrates a 1GHz Cortex A5 processor, 3D/2D Mali graphics accelerator, 5 megapixel camera sub-system and supports resolution up to WVGA and wireless connectivity including Bluetooth, WiFi and GPS. The SC8810 delivers low power multimode TD-SCDMA/EDGE/GPRS/GSM operations with dual-mode automatic switching and supports TD-HSDPA at 2.8Mbps and TD-HSUPA at 2.2 Mbps. The SC8810 is delivered with turnkey Android and systems software that reduces the design time and resources required to deliver new handsets to market.

imageCurrently Lenovo A288t is sold for ¥ 569 in retail [US$ 89/94] and as low as  ¥ 479 in wholesale [US$ 75]. It has quite impressive parameters:

  • Network type: Mobile TD-SCDMA, GSM
  • Designs: straight
  • Screen Size: 3.5 inches
  • Resolution: (HVGA) 320 x 480 pixels
  • Touch ways: capacitive screen (multi-touch)
  • Pixels: 3.2 million pixels
  • Operating System: Android the OS 2.3
  • Memory: 256MB RAM
  • Body[?ROM?] size: 512MB
  • Type: Lithium battery, 1500mAh
  • Weight: 105.0g
  • GPS Module: Built-in GPS support A-GPS

Such aggressive exploitation of the SC8810 opportunity is no surprise as today came the report that China market: Lenovo takes up No. 2 in smartphone ranking, says Sino [DIGITIMES, July 26, 2012]:

Lenovo outperformed Huawei, ZTE, and Coolpad to capture the second-rank title in China’s smartphone phone market in June with a 13% share, trailing after only Samsung Electronics which took up a 15-16%share, according data compiled by Sino Market Research.

The launch of low-priced Android-based smartphones and cooperation with the top-three China-based telecom carriers contributed to Lenovo’s success in the smartphone segment, according to industry sources.

Lenovo’s capability to roll out a wide range of smartphone models targeting different price segments is also credited for its prevailing smartphone business, said the sources, adding that Lenovo plans to launch as many as 40 models of its Lephone lineup in 2012.

Following the steps of Lenovo, Acer has recently teamed up with China Mobile and China Unicom to promote its smartphones in China.

Note that Lenovo was probably the most successful vendor to adopt Mediatek’s MT6575 SoC that was leading the H1’12 smartphone market, see the Lenovo A60 related information in Boosting the MediaTek MT6575 success story with the MT6577 announcement [this Experiencing the Cloud blog, June 27, 2012] such as “China Unicom’s top selling handset in the sub-RMB 1000 [sub-US$ 157] smartphone category”. Today’s it.sohu.com article (of July 26, 2012) is providing further interesting details on that:
Lenovo mobile phone whether a flash in the pan? Liu [Jun] said that sustainable success (translation by Google)
联想手机第二是否昙花一现?刘军称可持续成功 (Chinese original)

In 2010, the company launched the “Music Fund”, support for native application development business growth. “Music Fund” first phase of investment of 100 million yuan, managed by Legend Holdings, the company’s professional investment team operations. “Music Fund”, as the angel investors will focus on the development of start-up and early business support in the mobile Internet applications and services.
Liu [Jun, senior vice president of Lenovo Group, MIDH (Lenovo Mobile Internet and Digital Home Business Group) president] said in the dialogue with the Sohu IT, app store has more than 70,000 applications, nearly ten million monthly downloads, the latest data is Lenovo music application store has been downloaded more than 100 million times. Referring to the strategy to build a music store, Liu stressed, Lenovo insisted Android+ strategy on top of the native system in Android, plus Lenovo’s own software.
Liu predicted that Lenovo Mobile [climb up to the market] will be completed within a year or two beyond, to become the leader of the domestic market share. “Speed ​​has become the core competitiveness of Lenovo Mobile, one of R & D speed. First, the speed of the supply chain.” Said Liu Jun, “smart phones than traditional mobile phones more like PCs, therefore, the product delivery time became particularly important, who first to enter the market who will have a head start. “
… Introduced, according to Liu Jun, Lenovo’s first best-selling models A60 color using MTK solution, from design to development to market in just five months, in accordance with the normal process, the same configuration of intelligent models often require 9-12 months of preparation time, Lenovo ahead of competitors in three or four months, in order to grab the opportunity, and accounted for the thousand Yuan machine market.
… Liu said Lenovo Mobile is already considering international expansion, and has taken a number of footsteps, such as Lenovo launched a smart phone in the Russian market. Accordance with the planning of the Lenovo Group, Lenovo will take the first emerging markets, after mature market strategy, the focus of this year, Russia, India, Indonesia and Vietnam.
At the end of the interview, Liu stressed that our primary task is to do the domestic market into the international market, Lenovo does not rule out in the interview a mergers and acquisitions strategy.
Previously, Lenovo executives repeatedly claimed that M & A has become the core competitiveness of the Lenovo Group. Look at the history of mergers and acquisitions from Lenovo, Lenovo has successfully completed and the integration of the United States IBM, NEC of Japan and Germany, Medion. Of course, the above integration is built around the PC expanded.

In the First Quarter 2012 Results Presentation[May 4, 2012] from Spreadtrum we could find the following slide:

image

and in the Q1 2012 Spreadtrum Communications, Inc Earnings Conference Call Transcript [May 4, 2012] (available via) the following remarks by Dr Leo Li Spreadtrum Communications, Inc – Chairman and CEO: [in]

I just came back from meeting yesterday from China Mobile. … Actually I was told by the Chairman of China Mobile that more than 60 million [will be] centrally procured — actually that’s a minimum number. The actual number will be much higher. So I am very confident my take from China Mobile for recent meetings, executives, yes they are expanded the activities into TD-SCDMA and then they will resume the phase five or phase six type of development, further invested into infrastructure of TD-SCDMA, they will ramp up a much, much higher volume.

Actually next year they — I was told by both China Mobile and other experts in the industry that there will be more than 100 million units expected for TD-SCDMA. This year 80 million to 90 million. So this volume is — I think it’s real and I am very confident that the China Mobile — I was told by China Mobile people, by the way. It’s not that I just say that. It is — TD — it’s here to stay and it will grow very fast.

I think for open channel [i.e. whitebox vendors] will be 20 million-ish or 30 million-ish, will be actually more than 50% of smartphones and for centrally procured — according to China Mobile — I mean, today there is 50-50. So smartphones actually is at or more than 50% of the total TD shipment.

The reason open market [i.e. whitebox vendors] wants TD-SCDMA, you will understand why they want EDGE but TD is very interesting because remember China Mobile has more than 600 million subscribers and then the TD market actually — if you want to use the smartphones obviously you want to have some kind of connectivity, Internet communication and then you have only two choices.

One is W, the other is TD and then the W[CDMA] is more expensive, TD is cheaper. So that’s why — and also TD has this clear advantage over W[CDMA], is that you do not need to change the SIM card. You only change your hand set. You keep your same 2.5G SIM card and then purchase a TD smartphone or TD feature phone. You can enjoy, utilize TD, the wideband or faster data service.

To some extent, even I was told that in the Shenzhen market, maybe it’s kind of like revitalized by the TD-SCDMA or EDGE smartphone type of product, maybe help them to regain so-called strength to engage with the domestic market. Remember in the second half of last year it very rapidly went down — collapsing of (inaudible) market, right. I think I we’ve been asked by many of our Shenzhen customers, asking for both TD products and EDGE smartphone products.

I think [in] the second half the ramp up will be very robust. … both through the carriers … and open channels in the second half of the year, in particular third or fourth quarter, maybe more towards fourth quarter for the open market because people are preparing for the design right now.

… the 8810 and the 6820, those are our so–called single core. I think by the end of Q3 or early Q4 we will offer the dual core 1.2 GHz type of product and then by the end of this year or early next year we will offer quad core, again 1.5 GHz products both of which will be based on 40–nanometers product.

Also it was mentioned in the previous, Q4 2011 Spreadtrum Communications, Inc Earnings Conference Call Transcript [Feb 29, 2012] (available via) that:

… from what we’ve seen, that the open market segment starts growing in volumes or demand is obviously there. I’ll give you examples. There was the WCDMA type of smartphones, right, in China. However, when we go into detail for the WCDMA users, smartphone users, we’ve found that 70% of them are actually China Mobile users, meaning they actually cannot even use the 3G features, WCDMA features for those smartphones.

So obviously there is a natural demand for TD-SCDMA type of low-end smartphones, because for the same China Mobile users they can enable the 3G high-speed data type of applications. So both for feature phones and for smartphones, we’ve seen — from our customer we’ve seen a demand for TD-SCDMA type of products.

we launched the — I think [in] Q4 of the — excuse me, 600 megahertz type of Android [see: World’s lowest cost, US$40-50 Android smartphones — sub-$100 retail — are enabled by Spreadtrum [in this Experiencing the Cloud blog, Dec 11, 2011 – Feb 27, 2012]]. One thing we didn’t anticipate was the market really don’t — they want the higher frequency one. I think we’ve seen an unusually fast market shift. I can tell you this. November, even October/November last year, even October, right, 600 megahertz type of Android smartphone was selling like hotcake. However, by November and then early December, all of a sudden the market demand for 1 gigahertz type of thing, because you want to have some kind of user experience with smartphones.

TD smartphones hasve become very attractive to general consumers and users of the TD type of — the TD market. For our TD-SCDMA 1 gigahertz Android, either Android 2.3 or later 4.0 type of things, ours are highly — maybe the highest level of integration. And like I said, maybe we are lowest cost structure in this segment.

That is Spreadtrum was able readjust its December 2011 strategy for the quickly changed market demand as is clearly visible from the following press releases as well:

Spreadtrum Introduces 1GHz Low-Cost Smartphone Platform For TD-SCDMA & EDGE/WiFi[Spreadtrum press release, Jan 4, 2012]

Spreadtrum Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPRD; “Spreadtrum” or the “Company”), a leading fabless semiconductor provider in China with advanced technology in 2G and 3G wireless communications standards, today introduced a 1GHz Android smartphone platform for TD-SCDMA (SC8810) and EDGE/WiFi (SC6820) and announced that both products are now samplingwith customers. With these two new solutions, Spreadtrum is redefining the performance standard for low-cost smartphones, enabling OEMs to deliver 1GHz performance at US$100 retail prices.

“Our 1GHz Android platform sets a new bar for low-cost smartphone performance,” said Dr. Leo Li, Spreadtrum’s president and CEO.  “The graphics and web browsing performance of the SC8810 and SC6820 compares favorably to one of the most popular smartphone models globally, delivering a high performance applications and gaming experience for consumers. This type of experience has previously been available only in mid- to high-end handset models and can now be delivered by OEMs in US$100 smartphone models.  This will reshape the definition of and consumer expectations for a low-cost handset.”

Spreadtrum’s 1GHz platform is the most highly integrated, lowest power smartphone platform for the TD-SCDMA market. The solution delivers the lowest chip count with a multimode single-chip RF transceiver supporting TD-SCDMA, EDGE, GPRS and GSM and integrates power management.  The platform’s Cortex A5 processor architecture delivers more than 40% lower power consumption compared to ARM11-based products and more than 70% lower power consumption than Cortex A9 products, delivering differentiated standby and talk time performance relative to other smartphone models.

Designed with 40nm CMOS silicon technology, the SC8810 and SC6820 baseband platforms are powered by a Cortex A5 1GHz processor and incorporate an advanced multimedia subsystem which includes a Mali GPU with 3D/2D graphics acceleration and supports high definition video playback, a 5 megapixel camera, a WVGA [800×480] touch panel and connectivity features including Bluetooth, WiFi and GPS. The SC8810 supports TD-SCDMA with HSDPA at 2.8Mbps, HSUPA at 2.2Mbps as well as quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE with dual-mode auto handover, while the SC6820 supports quad-band EDGE/GPRS/GSM.  Both products combine silicon hardware with turnkey Android software that reduce both the design time and design resources required to deliver new handsets to market.

Spreadtrum’s expansion of its smartphone platform coincides with rapidly increasing demand in China for smartphone products.  Industry analysts expect the smartphone market in China to exceed 100 million units in 2012, leading global demand for smartphone products.

Spreadtrum Announces Commercial Availability of its 1GHz TD-SCDMA and EDGE Android 2.3/4.0 Platforms [Spreadtrum press release, April 26, 2012]

More than 200 Smartphone Design Wins Lay Foundation for Second Quarter Volume Shipment

SHANGHAI, April 26, 2012 — Spreadtrum Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPRD; “Spreadtrum” or the “Company”), a leading fabless semiconductor provider in China with advanced technology in 2G, 3G and 4G wireless communications standards, today announced the commercial availability of the SC8810, Spreadtrum’s 1GHz TD-SCDMA Android platform, and the SC6820, Spreadtrum’s 1GHz EDGE/Wifi Android platform. Both the SC8810 and the SC6820 support Android 2.3 and Android 4.0 designs.

“We have now secured more than 200 design wins for our 1GHz TD-SCDMA and EDGE/WiFi Android platforms, and we are expecting to see volume shipments of more than one million units during the second quarter,” said Dr. Leo Li, president and CEO of Spreadtrum Communications. “With these designs, our customers are targeting a $50-100 retailsegment, unsubsidized.”

The SC8810 and SC6820 have been adopted by China and global OEMs on large scale to address the growing demand for low-cost smartphones in China and emerging markets. Both products support both Android 2.3 and Android 4.0 platforms, deliver best-in-class power consumption and demonstrate graphics/web performance on par with globally popular premium smartphone models, while supporting sub-$100 unsubsidized retail price points. The solutions are designed into handsets that are expected to launch commercially starting in May.

The company was also quick to rearrange its 2.5 offering for the feature phone market as there were quick changes as well:

Spreadtrum launches industry’s first 40nm 2.5G baseband [April 26, 2012]

SHANGHAI, CHINA: Spreadtrum Communications Inc. announced commercial availability of the SC6530, the industry’s first 2.5G baseband designed in 40nm CMOS silicon.

“The SC6530 is an industry first for the 2.5G market,” said Dr. Leo Li, president and CEO of Spreadtrum. “By leveraging the most advanced process node in the 2.5G segment, we are able to achieve higher performance at lower cost relative to competitive alternatives.”

The SC6530, in addition to its 40nm design, is the first 2.5G product from Spreadtrum to integrate its leading-edge baseband and RF transceiver technology into a single-chip, simplifying design and reducing overall solution footprint. The chip incorporates an ARM9 processor for high performance on a low-cost platform, and supports quad-band GSM/GPRS, triple-SIM function, HVGA display, H.264 decode and integrates an audio PA. The SC6530 couples its advances in performance, cost and integration with Spreadtrum’s mature, proven turnkey software.

The SC6530 is commercially available now. Spreadtrum expects to achieve volume shipments in May.

Spreadtrum’s three leading SoCs for the second half of 2012 products have the following parameters:

image

image

Source: the following Spreadtrum  product pages
SC8810 TD-HSPA/TD-SCDMA/EDGE/GPRS/GSM 1GHz Low-Cost Smartphone Platform
SC6820 EDGE/GPRS/GSM 1GHz Low-Cost Smartphone Platform
SC6530 GSM/GPRS Single-Chip Baseband/RF Transceiver for Multimedia Feature Phones
Notes:
1. WiFi and location technologies for SC8810 and SC6820 are according to Spreadtrum selects CSR connectivity and Location for Smartphone reference designs [CSR press release, Feb 27, 2012]. This is particularly relevant for SC6820-based EDGE/WiFi smartphones.
2. The ARM Cortex-A5 core has 1.57 DMIPS/MHz performance, while the ARM9EJ-S core 1.1 DMIPS/MHz performance. The former can be used in multicore SoCs as well with upto 4 Cortex-A5 cores (which Spreadtrum will exploit in its upcoming SoCs as well).
3. Dual-SIM Dual Standby solution became available as an option on Spreadtrum’s SC88xx series of TD-SCDMA basebands as well as future products, beginning in 4Q11. See: Spreadtrum Introduces First TD-Dual-SIM Dual-Standby Solution for TD-SCDMA [Spreadtrum press release, Oct 11, 2011]

Just this week came also the announcement of the – probably – highest end smartphone built on SC8810: Spreadtrum Powers Dual-SIM Dual-active TD-SCDMA Smartphone from Huawei [Spreadtrum press release, July 23, 2012]

Huawei T8808D completes China Mobile certification testing

Spreadtrum Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPRD; “Spreadtrum” or the “Company”), a leading fabless semiconductor provider in China with advanced technology in 2G, 3G and 4G wireless communications standards, today announced that Spreadtrum’s SC8810 1GHz TD-SCDMA smartphone platform is powering the Huawei T8808D, a dual-SIM dual-active smartphone for China Mobile consumers.

Huawei’s dual-SIM dual-activefeature provides consumers with maximum flexibility in how they manage operator service fees. The dual-SIM function allows consumers to choose the SIM that offers the lowest rate or the best network coverage given their location to make or receive calls, send text messages, or use data. Dual-active capability allows both SIMs to be used at the same time, enabling users to switch back and forth between two calls and use voice and data functions simultaneously.

Mr. Wang Weijun, Huawei Device’s president of its Chinese division, said, “T8808D, as Huawei’s first dual-SIM dual-active mobile phone, delivers experience innovation to China’s 3G TD-SCDMA market. In collaboration with Spreadtrum, Huawei will continue to promote popularization and development of smartphones to meet the diverse needs of Chinese consumers with a variety of high quality terminal products.”

“Spreadtrum is driving technology innovation with 2.5G/3G single-chip dual-card dual-standby technology,” said Dr. Leo Li, Spreadtrum’s president and CEO. “In cooperation with Huawei, we have enabled the first TD-SCDMA device based on Spreadtrum’s SC8810 smartphone platform with dual-SIM dual-active capability. This feature will enable consumers to select attractive 3G services while maintaining their original operator service packages. We believe that this flexibility provided to the consumer will help further promote the rapid development of China’s TD-SCDMA market.”

Note that Spreadtrum’s early December 2011 flagship SoCs were clearly inferior to its current flagships:

image

image

Additional source: the following Spreadtrum product pages
SC8805G TD-HSPA/TD-SCDMA/EDGE/GPRS/GSM 600MHz Entry-Level Smartphone Platform
SC6810 EDGE/GPRS/GSM 600MHz Entry-Level Smartphone Platform

Spreadtrum is also investigating alternative software platforms as shown by:

Spreadtrum Low-Cost Smartphone with HTML5 Operating System Demonstrated at Mobile Asia Congress 2012 [Spreadtrum press release, July 16, 2012]

Mozilla showcases Spreadtrum smartphone running Firefox OS, highlighting potential of HTML5 on low-cost smartphones

Spreadtrum Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPRD; “Spreadtrum” or the “Company”), a leading fabless semiconductor provider in China with advanced technology in 2G, 3G and 4G wireless communications standards, today announced that Spreadtrum’s SC8810 smartphone platform was selected by Mozilla to showcase its HTML5 operating system, Firefox OS, running on low-cost smartphone devices. Mozilla demonstrated the handset, based on Spreadtrum’s 1GHz SC8810 smartphone chip and running Mozilla’s Firefox OS, at its booth during Mobile Asia Congress 2012 held last month in Shanghai, China.

Firefox OS for mobile devices is built on Mozilla’s “Boot to Gecko project” which allows HTML5 applications to access the underlying capabilities of a phone, previously only available to native applications. “Firefox OS is another major step at Mozilla to bring its core values — openness, innovation and opportunity on the web — to users and developers on smartphone platforms,” said Dr. Li Gong, CEO of Mozilla Online Ltd and Mozilla Taiwan. “Our collaboration with Spreadtrum will help enable the power of this truly-open operating system to reach the billions of consumers in emerging markets who will be coming online as first-time smartphone users as well as existing smartphone users who are looking for greater value at lower cost.”

“We have been closely tracking the progress of the “Boot to Gecko project” since its inception and are very excited about Firefox OS as a concrete realization,” said Mr. Yi Kang, vice president of marketing at Spreadtrum Communications. “This type of solution has generated a lot of interest from operators, as the open-source HTML5 platform can provide them with complete control over the handset experience. We expect that the appeal of this platform to our customers will grow as the HTML5 application ecosystem expands.”

This is leading to speculations like: The Feature phone rises (again?) [EE Times, July 24, 2012]

Is it plausible? You bet. I already see signs that make such plots believable.

First is the emergence of Firefox OS. While the jury’s still out on yet another new mobile OS, this HTML5-based mobile operating system may have enough power to stir the debate.

$40 smartphone
Second, there is mounting market pressure (from handset vendors and operators alike) for low, low-cost smartphonesIn an interview with EE Times in early June, Spreadtrum’s CEO Leo Li was on the record by saying that “our customers are ready to roll out $40 ‘real’ smartphones this year.”Every chip company and handset vendor is in the market for a solution that makes all levels of smartphones possible at low cost.

Third, operators are hatching a plot to retain full control of the billing relationship with subscribers.  “Currently, operator billing is available for Android for only a handful of operators, all in developed countries,” according to Daniel Gleeson, an analyst on Mobile at IHS Screen Digest. “Otherwise payments for apps, games etc. go through credit card companies. Obviously operators would prefer that this goes through them as they would get a small slice of that pie as well.”

Fourth, as legal wrangling escalates on Apple iOS vs. Google’s Android IP front, handset vendors are surreptitiously looking for an alternative system – possibly something available for free.

Fifth, let’s not forget about a huge global market — beyond the United States and Europe — that hasn’t embraced smartphones yet. This creates big openings for developers of new technologies and new players on the mobile market.

Above all, I’m convinced that feature phones (OK, “entry-level smartphones”) are not going away, largely because the definition of smartphones vs. feature phones, in my opinion, is fundamentally phony. At best, it’s based on a self-serving marketing pitch by smartphone proponents.

image

Smartphone-like Asha Touch from Nokia: targeting the next billion users with superior UX created for ultra low-cost and full touch S40 devices

UpdatesNokia Asha 310 debuts with Dual SIM and Wi-Fi [Nokia press release, Feb 12, 2013]

Nokia Asha 310 smartphone ( http://nokia.ly/158MDjy) is all about doing more. Up to 3 times more internet browsing on your existing data bundle, thanks to data compression from the cloud-powered Xpress Browser. More time with your friends on Facebook, Twitter and eBuddy. More of the world outdoors with Nokia Maps, pre-loaded to save data, enabling you to get from A to B and discover nearby points of interest. And more fun, thanks to YouTube, Redbull and 40 free EA games including best-sellers like FIFA, Tetris and Need for Speed.
Nokia Asha 310: $102 (list) – a dual SIM enhanced version of the Asha 309: $99 (list)
+ Both Asha 309 and 310 are WiFi enabled, EGPRS and GPRS based versions with modest camera (2 MP), video (176 x 144 pixels H.263 only recording at 13 fps, playback at 15 fps) and processing power (800 MHz as indicated in India) capabilities. The top Asha 311 ($115 list price in India) is a 3.5G phone with 3MP camera, 640 x 480 pixels H.263 and MPEG-4 recording at 25 fps, playback at 30 fps, and a 1 GHz ARM11 processor.  The best retail price on the major Asha market, India: Asha 309 is Rs. 4349 [$US 80.5] and Asha 311 is Rs. 5349 [$US 99]. You can download a detailed comparison of these top Asha devices from here (PDF).
Swap SIM cards to suit your lifestyle
With Nokia’s built-in Easy Swap Dual SIM technology, consumers can use the external slot on the Nokia Asha 310 to insert a secondary SIM card, while keeping their principal SIM card in place behind the battery. The Nokia Asha 310 puts the user in control, with the ability to shift between SIM cards for personal or work use without turning off the phone. They can also swap SIM cards while on-the-go, to get the best available tariffs when commuting. Nokia Easy Swap Dual SIM makes it possible to assign and store unique profiles for up to five SIM cards. Users can designate SIM cards for text, voice and data and switch between them at their convenience.
Freedom to do more online with Wi-Fi
The addition of Wi-Fi in the Nokia Asha 310 gives users a fast and easy way to enjoy more online, including streaming videos from YouTube or downloading the 40 free EA Games from Nokia Store. The ability to connect to free Wi-Fi hotspots whether at home or on the go means users aren’t constrained by their data plan.
The Nokia Asha 310 comes pre-loaded with Nokia Xpress Browser, which delivers a fast and fluid browsing experience and support for thousands of web apps. Nokia Xpress Browser compresses Internet data by up to 90%, saving consumers money.

“The Nokia Asha 310 is the first-ever Nokia smartphone to offer both Easy Swap Dual SIM and Wi-Fi in the same device. It gives consumers the best of both worlds, allowing them to separate work and play, or speak with friends on other mobile networks more affordably,” said Timo Toikkanen, executive vice president, Mobile Phones, Nokia. “The addition of Wi-Fi support gives users the freedom to enjoy much more of the Internet compared to competitive devices at this price point.”

The newest addition to the Asha Touch family of smartphones, the Nokia Asha 310 features a 3″ scratch-proof, capacitive touchscreen that complements the sophisticated design. It features a 2 megapixel camera and comes with a 4GB* memory card included, with support for a further 32GB of external memory.

The Nokia Asha 310 will be available to purchase in Asia, India, the Middle East, Africa and Brazil starting Q1 2013. Suggested pricing is 102 USD before taxes and subsidies. Available colors include black, white and golden light.

*In Brazil, The Nokia Asha 310 will have a 2GB memory card included

How Asha got smart [Nokia Conversations, Jan 24, 2013]

… We talked to Jussi Nevanlinna, VP product marketing, to find out more. …

Nokia Xpress Browser – More browsing, less waiting [nokia YouTube channel, Jan 15, 2013]

Sometimes particular components in the Asha range are actually ahead of the curve. Take battery life, for example. People who use a smartphone have been taught not to expect a particularly great battery life – a day or two, perhaps. So a phone like the Nokia Asha 309 comes as a real revelation to them. This phone has a standby time of 42 days. You could leave it on the kitchen table, go off sailing round the world for a month, come back and still have several days’ work left in it.

And lastly, how is the Series 40 operating system holding up into the 21st Century?

Pretty well, we think. Again, we have to base this on what our customers tell us. The OS has an extremely high Net Promoter score – that’s a measure of how likely people are to recommend something to other people. They describe the user experience as “rich” and say that it “performs quickly”.

And, of course, while Series 40 was first conceived quite some time ago, it’s in a continual process of evolution. When we moved to touch, that demanded a whole host of technical improvements and redesigns for the interface and user experience.

Asha Touch devices are actually the leading smartphones in a number of markets. In China and Indonesia, the Nokia Asha 305 is the top-selling smartphone in its price band. In India and Pakistan, in fact, across the IMEA (India, Middle-East and Asia) region, it’s the top-selling smartphone overall.

One reason for this is the way we go about creating them. We don’t just take an expensive design and then shrink it down or chop things off until it hits the price point. Some of our competitors do this, and it can lead to phones that feel ‘cheap’. Our phones are built from the ground-up to deliver a particular set of user experiences. They are purpose-built, not cut-down.

Diwali Offer with Nokia Asha Smartphones TVC [NokiaIndiaOfficial YouTube channel, Oct 16, 2012], remark from Wikipedia: Diwali … known as the “festival of lights,” … observed by Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, Sikhs

This Diwali is going to get colourful with Nokia. Buy any Nokia Asha Smartphone and get Yatra.com travel vouchers worth Rs. 4,500 [US$ 84]. Watch as Pummy Aunty learns it the hard way. Please visit http://bit.ly/thisdiwalicelebrateholi for more information.

The Story of my Nokia Asha – Aditya in Jakarta [Sept 26, 2012]

The Me & My Asha video series tells the story of how different people around the world see Nokia Asha: http://nokia.ly/PqL3Ad. Aditya is a 20-year old university student who lives in Jakarta. For him, the Nokia Asha is fast, stylish and easy.

image

Nokia Corporation Q3 2012 Interim Report [press release, Oct 18, 2012]

… Mobile Phones Q3 volumes increased quarter-on-quarter to 77 million units; strong sales start for new Asha full touch smartphones, with volumes of 6.5 million units. …
Commenting on the Q3 results, Stephen Elop, Nokia CEO, said:
… In our mobile phones business, the positive consumer response to our new Asha full touch smartphones translated into strong sales. And in Q3, our mobile phones business delivered a solid quarter with sequential sales growth and improved contribution margin. …
Mobile Phones
Q3/2012
Q3/2011
YoY
Change
Q2/2012
QoQ
Change
volume(mn units)
76.6
89.8
-15%
73.5
4%
ASP
31
32
-3%
31
0%
… On a year-on-year basis, the decrease in our Mobile Phones volumes in the third quarter 2012 was primarily due to the decline in volumes of our lower priced devices that we sell to our customers for below EUR 30. Volumes of our higher priced devices also declined, partially offset by volumes of our newly launched Asha full touch smartphones.
On a sequential basis, the increase in our Mobile Phones volumes in the third quarter 2012 was primarily due to volumes of our Asha full touch smartphones. In addition, volumes of our devices that we sell to our customers for below EUR 30 increased sequentially, whereas volumes of our QWERTY devices declined sequentially.
… On a sequential basis, our Mobile Phones ASP was approximately flat in the third quarter 2012 as higher sales of our lower priced devices that we sell to our customers for below EUR 30 were offset by higher sales of our Asha full touch smartphones which carry higher ASPs.
THIRD QUARTER 2012 OPERATING HIGHLIGHT
– Nokia announced the Nokia Asha 308 and Asha 309, new additions to the Asha Touch family. The dual SIM Nokia Asha 308 and single SIM Nokia Asha 309 give consumers fast web access at low cost. Nokia also released a new version of Nokia Xpress Browser, which enables up to 90% more efficient mobile browsing and faster access to rich web applications compared to conventional browsers. The Asha 308 and Asha 309 offer a fluid ‘swipe’ user interface and an open environment for third-party application development, characteristics that have earned the complete Asha Touch range full smartphone classification from global market research companies and analysts such as GfK.
– Nokia unveiled Nokia Life+, the latest evolution of its widely-used Nokia Life service. Nokia Life+ is a Web application, which will provide millions of people with valuable information on education, health and “infotainment” topics. Nokia Life+ will be supported by the Nokia Asha 308 and Nokia Asha 309 smartphones alongside a wide range of Nokia mobile phones.

Nokia Asha 308 – Ready for everything [nokia YouTube channel, Sept 27, 2012]

The world is waiting. Dive in with super-fast browsing and social media, slick touch screen and data tracking. Do more, pay less with the Nokia Asha 308. Screen images are simulated and some sequences shortened

Nokia expands Asha Touch range to offer consumers smarter Internet experiences [press release, Sept 22, 2012]

… Nokia estimates the retail price for the Nokia Asha 308 and Nokia Asha 309 to be about USD 99, excluding taxes and subsidies, with shipping expected to start in the fourth quarter 2012. …

… In addition … Nokia introduced a new web-based tool that makes it even easier to build new applications. With Nokia Xpress Web App Builder, publishers can create appealing web apps for Asha Touch devices, and even novices can turn their web content into a fun and sophisticated web app for Nokia consumers. … Xpress Web App Builder is available at xpresswebapps.nokia.com

Introducing the Nokia Asha 309 [nokia YouTube channel, Sept 24, 2012]

The Nokia Asha 309 – http://nokia.ly/PQLo04 is the latest member of Nokia Asha Touch smartphone family. It brings you the fast cloud-powered Nokia Xpress browser, social networking, pre-loaded Nokia map, and provides you access to thousands of key apps including 40 free EA games. It’s ready to entertain with video and music, and the preloaded Internet radio application allows you to stream content via Wifi from thousands of stations 24/7 around the world. It fits into the range right in between the Nokia Asha 305/6 and Asha 311. Screen images are simulated and some sequences shortened.

Major improvements over the previous Asha Touch 305 and 306 as per the detailed specifications comparison:

  • Capacitive Multipoint-Touch vs Resistive Multipoint-Touch
  • 64 MB RAM / 128 MB ROM vs. 32 MB RAM / 64 MB ROM
    allowing max user storage of 20 MB vs. 10 MB
  • Camera focus range of 60 cm to infinity vs. 100 cm to infinity
  • Video recording frame rate of 13 fps vs. 10 fps
  • Bluetooth 3.0 +A2DP vs. Bluetooth 2.1 +EDR

while in some specification offering less, the most important one is:

  • GSM talk time is up to 9 hours vs. 14 hours
    (with the same BL-4U 3.7V 1110 mAh battery)

Came to India: Nokia Launches Asha 308 And 309; Prices Start From Rs 6200 [US$ 116] [TechTree, Oct 18, 2012]

Asha positioning vs. Lumia and Android, see: The BGR Show – Nokia’s Smartphones Guru [iamOTHER YouTube channel, Aug 9, 2012]:

[3:19] First of all what we’re working on with Windows Phone is to take it as low end price point as we possibly can. Having said that, the Nokia Asha devices have really been developed with the emerging market consumer in mind. We’ve brought a lot of smartphone like features to the user interface, as well as investing in making access to the Internet possible for consumers who have real affordability constraints, for data compression in our browser etc. We are working to continue to invest there so that Asha is a relevant competitor to the lowest end Android devices. [4:05]

Nokia Feature Phone To Dominate While Smart Phone To Fade: India Key [analysis by Seeking Alpha, Aug 12, 2012]

With the second largest population of any country in the world and the fastest growing mobile device market over the last year; India provides a vast amount of opportunities for Nokia (NOK). While The Microsoft (MSFT) partnership and its subsequent offspring, the Lumina smart-phone, keep garnering all the headlines, the “feature-phone,” will lead this stock out of the abyss!
First a little historical background; facing international pressure to liberalize the country’s telecom industry, the Indian government passed the National Telecom Policy of 1994. This resulted in the country being divided into 20 (There are currently 23) telecommunication circles for basic telephony and 18 circles for mobile services; each circle represented a geographic region in which a particular telecom operator would provide service. An auction was held to determine which telecom operator would receive a spectrum license for each circle; the license gave them the exclusive right to provide service for that spectrum within the specified area. A similar spectrum auction has been held each time a new wireless spectrum (2G/3G/4G) was introduced over the past two decades. To this end, on May 2010, an auction was held for 3G spectrum licenses and resulted in exorbitant prices being paid by a majority of the country’s largest operators, “The Indian 3G spectrum auctions ended after 34 days, 183 rounds and prices close to $15 billion.
Having spent such a significant amount for the licenses, these 7 operators were left with little additional capital to invest in 3G infrastructures; instead the majority focused their efforts on extracting revenue from the established 3G circles. As a result, many of the largest towns and significant pockets of the largest cities are still void of 3G coverage and this spotty service is greatly hindering the willingness of people to adopt 3G technology.
In a country with a very low per capita income and arguably the most cost-conscious consumers in the world, most are unwilling to pay significantly more for 3G services.

Nokia Asha 305 Price in India 2012 14th August valid in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai,Mumbai and Delhi:  Best Price: Rs. 4350 [US$ 78]

The Asha 305 was recently compared (Nokia’s masquerade [BGR, Aug 13, 2012]) to S Mobility’s (Spice Mobility’s) entry-level Android phone Mi355 “Stellar Craze” because of:

Spice is one of the new crop of Nokia’s lethal rivals in Asia, a nimble Indian upstart vendor that blindsided Nokia with its broad selection of dual-SIM phones in 2011 when Nokia still relied on a single-SIM product range.

  Stellar Craze Asha 305
Weight 120g 98g
Thickness 13mm 13mm
3G support Yes No
Camera 5 Mp 2 Mp
Display size 3.5″ 3″
Pixel count 480×800 240×400
Pixel density 266 155
Screen type Capacitive Resistant
Dual-SIM Yes Yes
Price in India Rs 6,600  [US$ 119] Rs 4,600

Nokia’s Asha 305 is in most ways far cruder device than the Stellar Craze. But it weighs less, looks sleek and has a snappy new UI. And in most parts of India, the lack of 3G support is not a problem.

Over the next four quarters, Nokia’s battle for survival is going to be waged in the streets of Rio De Janeiro and Mumbai, where blue-collar consumers will compare the Asha 305 to devices like Stellar Craze. Will they accept a sleek feature phone with a 3-inch screen and a low price that represents a big improvement in display and software quality over the previous budget phones? Or will they spend 40% more to reach for an Android device like the Stellar Craze, with four times the pixel count, 3.5G support and a fancy 5-megapixel camera?

S Mobility Q4 & FY12 Investor/Analyst Conference Call Transcript [May 16, 2012] is providing more insight into the entry-level Android smartphone market in India:

Pranav Kshatriya, Brics Securities, India
Big players like Samsung and LG are focusing lower end of smart phones pricing their Android phone in the Rs. 6,000 and Rs. 7000 [US$ 108 and US$ 126] category and is it really possible to give good quality handsets at a price which is lesser than that? Or how do you see the valid proposition for your smart phone as against the multinationals that are collaborating with Google and then launching their handset?
Sanjeev Mahajan, CEO of Spice retail
I think we can answer this in 2 parts, one we can try and give a retail perspective to it. I ask my colleagues to add their perspective from a Spice Mobile point of view.
The market is moving towards the price point that you talked about. So now you have a wide series of offerings for android phones  in the range of Rs. 5,500 to Rs.6000 [US$ 99 to US$ 108]. In India, if value is at the bottom of the pyramid, over time you will find the shift on the smart phone category towards a lower price point. Now having said that, I don’t think there will be a drastic change. You would find smart phones at Rs.6,000 or so but in my assessment you will not find smart phones at about Rs.

More about that:
Spice Mobility Launches Stellar, Stellar Horizon and Stellar Craze, Ice Cream Sandwich to boot [June 7, 2012]
Spice to Launch India’s First ‘Secure Android’ Handset Range [May 16, 2012]

End of updates

This quite remarkable achievement is coming amongst the deepest drop in Nokia devices quarterly performance, as well illustrated by the diagram below. Compare the YoY numbers over the last two years, and read the official Nokia explanations given for the last Q2 quarter (shown in red):

image
Source: Nokia Corporation, Quartely results as of July 19, 2012
image
Source: YCharts as of July 23, 2012
The related financial higlights for the last Q2 quarter (reported on July 19, 2012) were as follows:
– Net sales were 4.0 billion Euro, down 5 percent sequentially and 26 percent year over year
– Non-IFRS gross margin in Q2 was 18.1 percent, down 630 basis points sequentially primarily due to the recognition of approximately 220 million EURO of inventoryrelated allowances* in Smart Devices
– Non-IFRS OPEX was 1.1 billion Euro, down 3 percent on a sequential basis and 14 percent year over year
– Non-IFRS operating margin was negative 9.1 percent in Q2 down sequentially from a negative 3.0 percent in Q1
* Nokia: “In Q2, we recognized approximately EUR 220 million of allowances in Smart Devices related to excess component inventory, future purchase commitments and an inventory revaluation. These allowances relate to our Smart Devices product, that is, Lumia, Symbian as well as MeeGo. Because our internal sales outlook is now lower, we believe we will not be able to use some of the components which we already have on our books, as well as components we have committed to purchase. In addition, we have reduced the carrying value of some of our inventory.”
Note: There is a simultaneous substantial reduction in the Mobile Device segment. The whole next gen operating system effort, code-named Meltemi has been killed. See: Nokia scraps phone software to conserve cash: sources [Reuters, July 26, 2012]. It goes as far as Nokia Beijing Institute began layoffs [First Financial Daily, Shanghai, July 26, 2011]. But it is an important remark  in that article, that “layoffs mainly involved in the forward-looking technology departments and R & D personnel, and is not responsible for the outside world said S30 and S40 mobile phone R & D and assume Windows Phone Handset R & D tasks of R & D center in China.”

Regarding Nokia’s long-term competitiveness Stephen A. Elop, Nokia CEO made the following remarks to the analysts [July 19, 2012]:

During the second quarter, we demonstrated stability in our feature phone business. Our Mobile Phones Q2 volumes of more than 73 million were up quarter-on-quarter. During the quarter, we introduced new innovations to our feature phones such as Mail for Exchange, low-end full touch devices and very affordable multi-SIM devices. The feature phone market remains an attractive market, and we plan to improve our competitiveness and profitability in this space by further developing Series 40 and Series 30 devices.

In our Smart Devices business, we continue to see increased consumer support for Lumia and the Windows Phone ecosystem. Last week, a Nielsen survey confirmed how satisfied Nokia Lumia 900 owners in the U.S. are with their devices. The Lumia 900 earned a Net Promoter Score of 63 with 96% of owners extremely or somewhat satisfied and 95% willing to recommend the device to others. Through all of this, we are learning about new feature requirements that we plan to bring the market to improve our global consumer satisfaction. These results are no doubt enhanced by the progress that developers are making with applications. We were pleased to announce that the Windows Phone ecosystem has exceeded 100,000 applications.
Most importantly, we are seeing progress in our Lumia numbers. We sold 4 million Lumia devices in Q2, which is up from about 2 million in Q1, with growth driven by the expanded availability of the Lumia 900 and the Lumia 610 across markets. As we look ahead, we expect the launch of Windows 8 for PCs and tablets, plus the launch of Windows Phone 8, to be a catalyst for Lumia. Windows Phone 8 will share the same Metro user experience and the core operating system technologies as Windows 8, providing a similar platform for developer applications across devices. As Microsoft shared, the look and feel of the Lumia interface is to become familiar to millions of people through PCs, tablets and Xbox consoles. Plus, we anticipate that Microsoft will launch a bold and aggressive marketing campaign for Windows 8, which we believe will have a halo effect for Lumia. And as the lead mobile partner for Microsoft, we plan to deliver competitive smartphones with Windows Phone. We intend to broaden the price point range of Lumia devices to price points both higher for better gross margins and lower for volume. Additionally, we are investing in new materials, new technologies and location-based services for a great consumer experience.
For existing Lumia devices, we have already started the pattern of updates including WiFi tethering, flip to silence, media content streaming and exclusive applications like some from Zynga. As we anticipate the upcoming release of Windows Phone 8, we have worked with Microsoft on a release for existing devices. We are planning for all 4 Lumia devices to receive an update with some Windows Phone 8 features like the new start screen, like core camera experiences and updates to Nokia Drive, Nokia Transport and Nokia Music. This is one example of our continued commitment to enhance the existing Lumia products over time even after Windows Phone 8 ships.
However, to prepare developers for the new Windows Phone platform, Microsoft announced the Windows Phone 8 platform in June. As a result, we anticipate some impact to our Lumia business in Q3, although Lumia activations have been flat to up in the weeks following the announcement of Windows Phone 8. Thus, leading up to the introduction of the Windows Phone 8 products, we plan to introduce tactical measures and promotional campaigns. As we do throughout any product life cycle, we plan to pursue traditional marketing and promotional activities to encourage the adoption of Lumia devices.
We are committed to Windows Phone as our primary smartphone strategy. We have learned that it takes tremendous amount of work to break through as the third ecosystem, and we are viewing the launch of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 as an important moment in this journey.

These remarks show clearly (look even at the difference in the amount of remarks that are devoted to Asha vs Lumia in the above) that there is change now, with Less focus on feature phones while extending the smartphones effort: further readjustments at Nokia[on this Experiencing the Cloud blog, June 25, 2012] which had the following topics discussed:

  • Speculations about Nokia
  • Nokia and the Windows Phone Summit
  • Nokia Q&A conference for financial analysts and investors, June 14, 2012
  • Nokia announcements, June 14, 2012
  • Scalado acquisition
  • Asha Touch family of mobile devices

The last one gave detailed information about the new Asha Touch products from which I will highlight the following here:

These latest phones have been designed to provide an incredibly rich, smartphone-like experience to consumers who want to be set free from excessive data consumption costs and short battery life.
The new devices take full advantage of the Nokia Browser 2.0, a major recent update which uses Nokia’s cloud technology to reduce data consumption by up to 90%, meaning that consumers can enjoy faster and cheaper internet access. Web sites load up to three times faster in comparison to devices without cloud-accelerated browsing, making it simple for users to find and select from more than 10,000 web apps available for download. They deliver a richer and more interactive consumer experience whilst using less data than a stand-alone internet connected app.
Consumers can easily stay connected with friends and family at the touch of a button as well as share files and links across their social networks. Furthermore, the Nokia Browser’s Download Manager feature helps consumers to manage external content easily, saving music, video or pictures on a memory card, while surfing the internet.
The Asha family is also getting positive support from developers and consumers. Nokia Store has just broken the 5 billion downloads landmark. From January to April, 42% of all content downloaded from Nokia Store was delivered to Asha and other Nokia devices based on the Java ecosystem. Just one year ago, that number was 10%. Also, there are 410 Nokia developers with apps which have achieved more than 1 million downloads. India Games and Pico Brothers just passed 100 million [each].
As well as providing a great, social online experience, the Nokia Asha 305, Asha 306 and Asha 311 have been created with entertainment in mind. All users will receive an exclusive gift of 40 EA games to download for free* and keep forever. These games range across action, arcade and sports, and include titles such as Tetris®, Bejeweled®, Need for Speed(TM) The Run and EA SPORTS(TM) FIFA 12. The Nokia Asha 311 also comes with 15 levels of Angry Birds pre-loaded onto the phone, perfect for making the most of the touchscreen and 1GHz processor.
*Data costs may apply.
The estimated retail price for Nokia Asha 305 is EUR 63 [US$ 79] and it’s expected to start shipping in the second quarter of 2012. The estimated retail price for Nokia Asha 306 is EUR 68 [US$ 85]. The Nokia Asha 311 has an estimated retail price of EUR 92 [US$ 115]. Both devices are expected to start shipping in the third quarter of 2012. Above mentioned prices exclude taxes and subsidies.

From this should be quite obvious that the Less focus on feature phones while extending the smartphones effort: further readjustments at Nokia [on this Experiencing the Cloud blog, June 25, 2012] statement in the title of that previous post should not be interpreted in a kind of simplistic way. Let’s quote Elop on that from the analyst call yesterday:

Sandeep Deshpande – JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division

Could you possibly talk about the products that you plan and when the new products will be launched for this, the low end market, which is where you’re seeing some of the problems in China for instance? And how do you see yourself positioning in that market? Is it on price? Or is it the difference with Windows Phone 8that you’re going to position yourself on?

Stephen A. Elop

So thanks. I can’t give you comments on specific products and announcement dates and so forth. But we have signaled very clearly that it is our intention to introduce products at lower and lower price points, and the plans are well advanced in that direction.

In terms of positioning in those lower-priced markets, it is the case that Windows Phone itself, as well as what we contribute as Nokia, are the principal source of differentiation. We do intend to present them as a different experience that we believe is superior, particularly on some of the topics that are of interest, not only all over the world but very heavily an emerging markets, things like social networking. And that doesn’t necessarily mean Facebook in a number of these markets. There’s a number of other environments or social environments that people are using. And clearly, we’ve demonstrated some of that with the early launch of products into countries like China, but you’ll see a lot more of that going forward.

The other thing I’d highlight as well here is on the Mobile Phones side, it is the case that just at the end of Q2, we introduced a new family of Asha full touch products. Too early to call sales results because they’re just moving into channels and so forth, just beginning the sales process. But for a number of people in those emerging markets, at the right price point, which may be below what a smartphone is selling for traditionally, they’re getting smartphone-like capability including Internet access, social networking access and a variety of other capabilities like our proxy browser [see explanation for that further down, related to the MWL topic], all designed to reduce total cost of ownership for those devices.

So it’s partially about Lumia devices coming down but also recognizing in what we traditionally call the feature phones space smartphone-like capability being introduced more and more.

… [much later, in response to a question about “too much and ‘asymetric’ reliance on Microsoft”] … as it relates to shaping our own destiny, we have substantial ability to shape what we’re doing, what devices, what incremental software we build in and around Windows Phone, as well as other platforms, including our Mobile Phones platform, including our location-based assets and so forth. …

And indeed as early as in the first half of July the first Asha Touch device, Asha 305 came to the market: second week of July to Pakistan, third week to India etc. (also available almost everywhere now, including Europe). The market of crucial importance for Nokia now is obviously India, where the brand new product is sold already as low as US$ 72 (INR 3,967) while on Nokia India on-line shop it is advertised for US$ 85 (INR 4668) vs. US$ 91 (INR 5,029) of list price. This is showing clearly that Nokia has quite a big price elasticity potential for the new Asha Touch products!

Stephen Elop made it quite obvious in his remarks yesterday that:

For Q3, with limited near-term visibility, we are providing guidance that has a conservatively broad range. We believe there are several drivers that could move us into the upper part of the expected range. As noted in our press release today, these include: continued improvements in Mobile Phones including strong sales of our Asha full touch products, which were just introduced to market at the end of Q2; lesser impact on Lumia sales during the transition to Windows Phone 8, which would lead to more normal demand for products; and better-than-expected progress against our structural cost savings actions.

On the cost side of the new Asha Touch devices I will further elaborate in a companion post (specifically investigating the “ultra low, manufacturing cost” aspect of them), and will only go through the “superior” User Experience (UX) question in detail here. For that let’s see first a video demonstration:

Nokia Asha 311 touchscreen phone [TheBestOfUppropfdr YouTube channel, July 12, 2012]

Then is the first detailed review from Pakistan as well. This is worth to watch because also showing that people used to review Android smartphones could quite underestimate the power of this new user experience: Nokia Asha 305 – Full Review (Most Indepth) [DrTech0logy YouTube channel, July 12, 2012]

Here is the most indepth review of Nokia Asha 305, Hope this helps you out. Follow me on Facebook [Worth indeed]: https://www.facebook.com/DrTech0logy For suggestions email me on : Dr.tech0logy@gmail.com

What this reviewer is right:

Nokia Asha 305 and 306 are not worth buying, the touch screen is awful, as it is a resistive touch screen, Nokia X2 is the best in this price.

Referring to the question put on her facebook site:

Can you tell me which is a good phone in the price 8,000 to 8,500???

She is also noting in the same thread that:

… we can’t play youtube videos we can only download them …

how’s the video quality and max length of video you can shoot? Wait for Nokia Asha 311 to come out..

[Indeed, before making premature product conclusions wait for the significantly better in those, and even other respects Asha 311 with a capacitive touch screen, Gorilla glass, 1 GHz processor, 3.5G instead of 2.75G of the 305/306, VGA video etc.!]

These are also told in her review video, where the general conclusion, nevertheless, is that this entry Asha Touch device is a good one for that price. [Plus consider the quite large price elasticity aspect (mentioned earlier) Nokia built into as well!] Nowhere, however, she is reviewing the device from the overall user experience point of view.

So let’s examine that in more detail, first with another video from the next to the previous source which is clearly evaluating the UX aspect aspect as well:

Nokia Asha 311 [TheBestOfUppropfdr YouTube channel, July 12, 2012]

… Nokia Asha 311 Review It can be concluded that the touch series is of great deal if you’re looking for a reasonably priced, fully featured and ‘usable’ mobile device. The notification bar and touch experience simply wins the heart of the consumers. The only thing that may dissatisfy the users is the operating system, because it doesn’t offer multitasking support; but, of course they can play music in the background. Plus users can check the notifications also. Nokia Asha 311 Review is beneficial for you then please comments in the below section

It is worth to add to that some technical documentation evidence:

UX overview [a section in the Essentials part of Series 40 Full Touch Design Guidelines, June 8, 2012]

Series 40 Full Touch UI

  • Intuitive, fast, and enjoyable to use.
  • Flexible and relevant personalisation to fit your style; have your favourite apps on My page.
  • Visually appealing; clear and eye-catching graphics and transitions in compact size.
  • Familiar and trustworthy UI, building on Series 40 UI heritage.

The lock [or title] screen is the topmost layer of the UI that people first see when the screen has been waken up. Lock screen is visible when the phone is in locked mode. Its main purpose is to prevent any accidental interactions with the phone while it’s not being used. A swipe gesture from any edge of the screen unlocks the phone and moves to the screen that was active before the phone was locked. On lock screen, people see the current time and date, the status of the phone, and notifications about incoming events at a glance. Lock screen is only displayed in portrait mode.

 
Figure 1. Unlocking the screen

Home screens

There are three home screens: My page, App launcher, and My app. People can swap between home screens by swiping or flicking horizontally.

 

Figure 2. Home screens: My page, App launcher,
and My app (in this case, dialler)

My page:

  • Can be personalised by the user.
  • Contains favourite contacts and shortcuts to apps.
  • Editing the content can be triggered with a long press on the screen.
  • Time and date is always visible on My page.
    • Tapping on the time opens Alarm clock.
    • Tapping on the date opens the Calendar.
  • My page can be scrolled vertically.

App launcher:

  • Shown at the end of the start-up process.
  • Shown when the user has exited an app by pressing end key.
  • Contains all phone apps, on one single page.
  • Also downloaded apps are placed here.
  • The user can reorder the icons by pressing and holding the screen to activate the edit mode.

My app:

  • Three possible apps to have here; dialler, music player, or radio.

Opening and closing apps

On home screen, apps can be simply tapped to open.

The notification baris accessible throughout the UI, but only in portrait orientation. The notification bar is a dynamic zone from which people can always access shortcuts, core functions, ongoing events and missed events. Any new notification takes the top position of the list as the most recent one. When open, the bar accommodates 3 rows of information with notifications and direct links to apps.

Figure 3. Notification bar with new activity, notification bar
after time-out, and open notification bar

Apps are closed with the back navigation path, or by pressing the endkey.


Figure 4. Open an app with a tap. Close it from the Back icon.
Return to the home screen where you opened it from.

More information:

other sections in the Essentials part of Series 40 Full Touch Design Guidelines:
Base layout
Touch strokes and gestures
Feedback
Send & end key
Font sizes
LCDUI universe
other parts of Series 40 Full Touch Design Guidelines:
Overview
UI components
UI patterns
Language and tone of voice
Icon creation
UX checklist
Be UX
Change history
Legal notice

Series 40 UI Component Demos [Nokia Developer project summary, July 20, 2012]

This simple example application demonstrates the basic use of LCDUI [Limited Connected Device User Interface] components. The example is meant for both designers and developers: designers get an impression of how the components actually look on the device and developers learn how to use the LCDUI UI components. The application does not have an engine or further meaning. The texts are “lorem ipsum” and icons are simple thumbnails or images.
Please check the ​Series 40 Full Touch Design Guidelinesfor more information.

Considering Metro UI or Panorama Style on Series 40 Full touch devices for designing UI [wiki article of a Nokia Developer project, started on July 16, 2012, not finished as of July 20]

Introduction

Ppp.png

Above picture shows an abstract panorama page. I guess you all used panorama applications on Windows Phone, Nokia Lumia. We use the same concept, but we need to consider the limitations of device like memory, processing power and optimization should be kept in mind.

Designing

UI Components
You need to create all these UI components in canvas on your own, using images and drawing on them. How about painting button on mobile, doesn’t sounds good.
LCDUI Canvas
You can think of an instance of canvas as an artist’s canvas on which you draw images that might include text.
Nothing is Impossible with S40 Full touch UI API

Get Inspired and Start Working

Mui1.png Mui2.png MetroUI3.png
Snapshoot1.png

UI components [a section in the Essentials part of Series 40 Full Touch Design Guidelines, June 12, 2012]

The UI components listed below are the Java components available with full touch styling. Please read the LCDUI Overviewfor a structural overview of the offering.

UI stencils

Series 40 full touch visual design stencils are a collection of realistic user interface views and components. The stencils can be used to create mockups which are close to the final visual result. With this set you can create more refined concepts for presentations to stakeholders. The set contains Nokia fonts and drawing files representing the Java components for Series 40 full touch. The visual design stencils are available for Adobe Illustrator CS5, Adobe Fireworks CS5, and Inkscape version 0.48 or above.

DOWNLOAD: Series 40 full touch visual design stencils

When creating icons for your application, please see theicon creation guidelines and the Nokia icon toolkit.

Java UI components

With such a superior UX design foundation comes an advanced SDK and a full fledged IDE for Java developers:

Introduction to the Nokia SDK 2.0 for Java [nokiadevforum YoTube channel, June 25, 2011]

Mike Arvela, Lead Developer at Futurice, provides a guide to the Nokia SDK 2.0 (Beta) for Java. Arvela discusses the new APIs delivered in the SDK, such as those providing multiple touch support. Then he looks at the new and updated features of the emulator, such as support for Nokia Maps in the route editor and the sensor simulator. This video will provide you with a good overview of what is new and what to expect when you start work with the SDK.

Introduction to the Nokia IDE (Beta) for Java ME [nokiadevforum YoTube channel, June 25, 2011]

Get an introduction to the Nokia IDE for Java ME. Based on Eclipse MJT, the Nokia IDE delivers features to make your apps development easier. These features include a set of welcome screens, the Device SDK Manager — which makes selecting the SDKs you need easy — and a Nokia specific JAD attribute editor among others. This video will provide you with a good overview of what to expect when you start work with the IDE.

New tools unleash the potential of Nokia Asha Touch phones [Nokia Developer News, June 25, 2012]

Beta releases of Nokia SDK 2.0 for Java and Nokia Web Tools 2.0 are now available. These new Series 40 development tools are your route to realising the extended Series 40 opportunity created by the introduction of the Asha Touch phones.

Nokia SDK 2.0 for Java
In addition to the usual tools — documentation, APIs, and an emulator — the Nokia SDK 2.0 for Java contains our first full featured, customised IDE. Based on the Eclipse platform, Nokia IDE for Java will streamline your development activities, with features such as the Device SDK Manager, Nokia specific JAD attribute editor, and a range of code templates.

Listening to user feedback we know that in the past developers have been frustrated with trying to find the right SDK for Series 40 development. With Nokia SDK 2.0 for Java, we are introducing the Nokia SDK Manager. From within the Nokia IDE for Java you can now specify a phone, screen size, form factor, or feature and instantly get a list of the SDKs supporting your choice. The SDK or SDKs can then be installed immediately, right from within the IDE.

Among the code templates you will find one with everything you need to implement an app with in-app purchasing capabilitiesand the JAR attribute editor makes targeting you app package at Series 40 phones simple and straightforward.

Finally, there are a number of updates to the SDK that are designed to take advantage of new features being introduced in Series 40 Touch. There is an updated Nokia UI API that gives you features such as multi-point touch and an implementation of the Mobile Sensor API (JSR-234). The emulator has been updated too with an orientation simulator, the integration of Nokia Mapsinto the location simulator, and useful links built into the emulators menu.

Nokia Web Tools 2.0
Series 40 web apps are the best way to deliver great experiences to Series 40 users that leverage your existing web assets
. With the release of Nokia Web Tools 2.0 you now have the ability to enhance those experiences with features such as file upload and download, password management, and the addition of in-app advertising to your web apps. In addition, there are several improvements in HTML and CSS support, enabling you to deliver richer UIs.

Nokia Web Tools 2.0 enables you to code web apps that take full advantage of these features, and test them on your computer — Nokia Web Tools 2.0 is available for Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac OS X and Ubuntu Linux. The Web App Simulator offers support for the full-touch screen resolution and has been updated to provide a more phone-accurate rendering of web apps.

Within the Web Developer Environment there have been a range of improvements such as enhanced validation — which is now tailored to Series 40 supported HTML, CSS, and JavaScript APIs. There is also a wider range of templates, examples, and code snippets to get you started with common web app content layouts and interaction paradigms, such as sharing on social networks and file transfers. While small, improvements such as keyboard shortcuts and incremental uploads will help speed up your development.

Series 40 represents the single largest opportunity for you to deliver Java and web apps to mobile consumers worldwide. The introduction of Nokia Asha Touch phones delivers these users a near smartphone experience and the updated tools enable you to take full advantage of this in your apps. With accelerating download rates, there has never been a better time to target Series 40.

Indiagames, Psiloc and Liverpool FC have already used these tools to create apps for the new Asha Touch phones and share their experiences in this video:

This video provides an insight into how developers from around the world are taking advantages of the Java and web apps technology in the Nokia Asha Touch phones to deliver great experiences to their users. Hear Indiagames, Psiloc, and Liverpool FC and InfoMedia explain the benefits of developing for the Series 40 Developer Platform and the success they have achieved. Also discover how the latest tools — Nokia SDK 2.0 for Java and Nokia Web Tools 2.0 — have aided with development. Create your Java and web apps for Asha Touch phones:http://www.developer.nokia.com/series40

Psiloc create World Traveler for Asha Touch using the latest Java tools from Nokia Developer [nokiadevforum YoTube channel, June 25, 2011]

Wojciech Nowanski, COO, and Muhammad Ahmmad, Creative Programmer, at Psiloc talk about developing World Traveler —an app for business and leisure travellers — for Nokia Asha Touch phones that was created using the latest Java tools from Nokia Developer. Nowanski explains how the application arose from the frustration of not being able to get information about a delayed flight. Now World Traveler puts flights, currency, and world time information at Nowanski’s fingertips. The app took a small team four months to produce. In addition to the features of the Nokia SDK for Java, the LWUIT was of particular benefit in speeding up the development ‘because it has a wide variety of UI components and we don’t have to worry about implementing from scratch,’ says Ahmmad. The most significant aspect of the development was that ‘Series 40 devices are getting smarter and more powerful, allowing us to create richer applications,’ according to Ahmmad. Create your apps for Asha Touch phones using Java:http://developer.nokia.com/java

In addition to the support given to the Java developers the opportunity is a great now to web developers as well. They can develop rich and responsive, true smartphone-like web applications for the new Asha Touch devices:

MinesFinder [wiki article of a Nokia Developer project, July 19, 2012]

This article explains how to write a highly responsive Series40 WebApp. It uses a Minesweeper clone as example.

Note: This is an entry in the Asha Touch Competition 2012Q3

Introduction

If you are writing a Series 40 Web App, you are prepared to cater for the low end of mobile phones. Knowing that the devices which will run your app are very basic should not stop you from trying to deliver a high-end user experience. It is more the other way around, knowing that those phones have limited capabilities should encourage you to use every trick to provide your user with a premium feeling.

In my eyes user experience (UX) has three big topics:

  1. Function – what does the app do, how bug-free is it, etc…
  2. Design – how does the app, and the UI, look
  3. Responsiveness – how does it feel using the app, how fast is it
Of course, there fields have no 100% hard borders. They affect each other and you have to think about all aspects, but I will concentrate on number 3, the responsiveness. And within this part, I concentrate on the speed of the application. To be even more concrete, I’ll talk about reducing these so called “browser round-trips”.
Reducing those round-trips has the highest priority if you try to speed up your app. A round-trip takes almost as much time as opening the app. If the user has to wait 2-3 seconds after every single click the does, he won’t be very satisfied with the experience. In addition, every round-trip is a possible point of error. If the user has a bad internet connection, a round-trip can break the app.

To make sure that this is not only gray theory, I created a Minesweeper clone, MinesFinder. You can find the source in the Nokia Project . I try to get it into the Nokia Store. Until then you can visit [[1]] with your Nokia Browser to play it.

You can play the game without a single round-trip. You can flag fields, dig for mines, get a “You Loose” message if you hit a mine and a “You Win” message if you have flagged all mines correctly. In addition there is a counter, showing how many flags you have already planted.

1. Use MWL [Mobile Web Library, explanation see below] where ever you can.

2. Use JavaScript like a server-side scripting language.

3. Use CSS instead of program logic.

Summary

The Nokia Web Tools, the Mobile Web Library and the Nokia Browser are highly capable tools which enable you to create very responsive apps for a very big audience. But you have to master MWL and you have to think sometimes outside of the box.Using MWL where ever you can, using JavaScript like a server-side scripting language and moving on-demand logic into CSS and the app start will reduce your server round-trips and increase the responsiveness of your application.

Gallery


Main game view.


Settings and info screen.


Cheat mode activated.


You loose.


You win.

 

Overview – Web Developer’s Library [Nokia Developer library page, June 19, 2012]

This topic contains the information you need to develop web applications on the Series 40 platform. Web apps for Series 40 run on mobile phones that lack the processing power and memory to run a conventional browser directly on the device. Therefore, the web browser for Series 40 devices, known as the Nokia Browser for Series 40, has two parts: the web app client and the proxy server.

Developers can create interactive applications using web standards such as XHTML, cascading style sheets (CSS), W3C widgets, and the JavaScript™ programming language. You can easily make rich, interactive pages that run well even on devices with limited resources.

Nokia Browser for Series 40 is a distributed (or proxy-based) web browser that supports full web page rendering on devices with limited processing power and memory, such as some Series 40 devices. On the phone, there is a small browser called the Nokia Browser for Series 40 Client. On a Nokia server, a larger browser application (called the Nokia Browser for Series 40 Proxy server, or simply the server) processes browsed web pages and runs web apps. The server does most of the processing for the handset client, and it communicates with websites on behalf of the client. The server sends the client optimised web page data, reduced in size to be easier to transmit to and process on the phone. The client has a JavaScript library called MWL (Mobile Web Library), which contains code to support application-like interaction on the device. MWL processing should normally be the only JavaScript that executes on the handset.

The following figure shows the Nokia Browser for Series 40 environment.

Liverpool FC Match & News Centre app: web apps for Asha Touch [nokiadevforum YoTube channel, June 25, 2011]

Kathy Smith, Mobile Manager, at Liverpool FC and Sanjay Mistry, Operations Director, InfoMedia, talk about the Liverpool FC Match & News Centre for Nokia phones. Kathy explains that the app provides access to news, club information, and match details. In addition, videos are offered as a premium service. ‘Nokia devices are massively popular in the territories where we have large fan bases,’ says Kathy. The app was developed for Liverpool FC by InfoMedia. InfoMedia chose to create a web app because of the company’s background. In addition to finding the Nokia Web Tools easy to install and use, Mistry notes that the app was built using three of the templates provided with the tool. ‘With the faster rendering of the (Nokia Asha Touch) handset we were able to build out richer experiences … to use higher quality images, use better technology to ensure the user flow and (navigation) swiping … were more intuitive than a standard website,’ says Mistry. Create your web apps for Asha Touch phones:http://developer.nokia.com/series40webapps

This is really showing that Nokia’s strategy for “the next billion” based on software and web optimization with super low-cost 2.5/2.75G SoCs [this Experiencing the Cloud post, Feb 14 – April 23, 2012] had already been technically implemented with these Asha Touch devices. A couple of relevant excerpts from that post showing clearly the company’s new direction which have already been in works during the last 17 months:

Historically, feature phones have been primarily used for calling and text messaging, while smartphones – with the aid of their more capable operating systems and greater computing power – have provided opportunities to access the Internet, navigate, record high-definition video, take high-resolution photographs, share media, play video games and more. Today, however, the distinction between these two classes of products is blurring. Increasingly, basic feature phone models, supported by innovations in both hardware and software, are also providing people with the opportunity to access the Internet and applications and, on the whole, offering them a more smartphone-like experience.
…  some competitors’ offerings based on Android are available for purchase by consumers for below EUR 100, excluding taxes and subsidies, and thus address a portion of the market which has been traditionally dominated by feature phone offerings, including those offered by Nokia. Accordingly, lower-priced smartphones are increasingly reducing the addressable market and lowering the price points for feature phone.
In Mobile Phones, we have renewed our strategy to focus on capturing volume and value growth by leveraging our innovation and strength in growth markets to provide people with an affordable Internet experience on their mobile device – in many cases, their first ever Internet experience with any computing device. Almost 90% of the world’s population lives within range of a mobile signal, yet there are around three billion people who do not own a mobile device. Of those who do own a mobile device, fewer than half use it to access the Internet for a number of reasons ranging from personal choice and affordability to the lack of an available Internet connection. We recognize that there is a significant opportunity to bring people everywhere affordable mobile products which enable simple and efficient web browsing, as well as give access to maps and other applications and innovations.
We acquired Smarterphone, a Norwegian company that brings new user interface technology and expertise to Nokia. We’ve increased download rates from feature phones to more than 4 million a day by improving store access and payment schemes and adding new apps like Whatsapp, Foursquare and EA. … And we delivered a new proxy browser, and we’re now bringing the browser and web apps down to super low-end devices.
Cavaiani is talking about technology Nokia bought from his former firm, Novarra, and is now using in the browsers of the company’s four new Series 40 (S40) Asha phones. The new S40 browser, like Silk and Opera Mini, is a proxy browser: it uses servers around the world to download content and compress it before the content gets sent to your phone.
Nokia’s approach is a bit different from both Opera’s and Amazon’s. Opera’s servers ingest entire Web pages and send them to phones as static documents in Opera’s own markup language, OBML.v
From what we know of Amazon Silk, the browser on Amazon’s as-yet-unreleased Kindle Fire tablet, it combines a full browser on the Fire with algorithms that pre-fetch pages on Amazon’s cloud servers, and also compresses images and stores them at Amazon.
Nokia’s new browser starts with a basic HTML browser on the Series 40 phones. Nokia’s servers look at desktop Web pages and boil down or remove more complex content, for instance parsing and executing JavaScript and resolving CSS into more basic HTML, Cavaiani said. They also reduce the quality (and the size) of images. There’s no Flash support.
The browser is able to handle dynamic pages that only reload part of the page at a time when the user presses a button. The browser also has deep access to the phone’s hardware, which is different from Opera Mini.
“We can also inject services into the browser. The latest browser introduces a geo-location API, so now that’s open to developers to create geo-location apps,” he said.
The browser even supports widgets, dynamic overlays that can perform actions on Web pages like sharing them on Twitter or translating them into a different language.
Traditionally, proxy-based browsing has offered users a very limited experience, because such browsers typically do nothing more than paint content provided by a proxy. This has changed, with Nokia Browser for Series 40 support for Series 40 web apps. Using Mobile Web Library, the Nokia Browser for Series 40 client can execute JavaScript code in web apps. This code makes it possible to create interactive user interfaces and graphical transitions to deliver users beautiful web experiences. Now web designers and developers can deliver compelling application experiences to users at low cost — both in terms of development effort and user data charges.
With the latest version of the Series 40 browser, Series 40 web apps can now go even further by offering users location aware web apps and the ability to send SMS messages. Location features leverage the network-based location capabilities of Series 40 phones for accurate and timely location information. In addition, performance has been enhanced further with images embedded in a web app now cached on the user’s phone for faster page loads and refreshes. ”
Web apps are small games and applications that you can purchase, or download for free using Ovi Store on your mobile phone. With web apps you can access content from well-known global brands, or the local brands you know and love. Once downloaded, apps are permanently saved within Nokia Browser, so they’re always easy to find and super fast to load. And because web apps are specially optimised for your phone, they provide a beautifully clear and simple way to access your favourite content.
Nokia Browser 2.0 makes use of cloud-based servers which adapt standard web pages so that they perform better on Nokia Series 40 devices. Since web pages are compressed and cached in the cloud, end users can access web sites in a manner which is faster and requires significantly less data to be sent over their mobile network. For pay-per-use contracts this will result in more cost-effective browsing, while users on an operator data plan will be able to do more web surfing without exceeding their monthly usage limits.
The new version reduces data consumption by up to 90%, meaning that consumers can enjoy faster and cheaper internet access. Web sites load up to three times faster in comparison to devices without cloud-accelerated browsing and consumers will also benefit from a number of other enhanced capabilities.
From the first look, consumers are easily able to discover new web content and enjoy one-click access to top, local sites via the Nokia Browser’s inviting and intuitive start page. We have optimized the browser to enable users to easily stay connected with friends and family at the touch of a button as well as to share files and links across social networks. The new and improved Download Manager helps consumers to manage external content easily, saving music, video or pictures on a memory card, while surfing the internet.
The browser includes a revamped, modern user experience that makes it simple to find, install and use interesting web apps that offer a richer, more desktop-like internet experience. Launched in mid-2011, the Nokia Browser is the first browser of its kind to support web apps, and now boasts a catalogue of more than 10,000 of the latest apps. Several publishers have experienced over a million downloads in a matter of months, demonstrating strong consumer demand.
Last year, while media attention focused on the launch of the new Nokia Lumia phones, McDowell was laying the groundwork for the expansion of Nokia’s next billion strategy.
A major part of McDowell’s strategy has been moving away from the idea that Series 40 devices were a “low-end business cash cow” towards smarter, aspirational, phones for everyone:
“We’ve planted the seeds for Series 40. These are not the dumb phones…they are as smart as possible. In reality, the distinction between a smart phone and a feature phone is fairly technical, and when a consumer thinks about a smart phone they think about accessing the internet, downloading apps, anice display… and these are all things we can, and do, deliver with Series 40,” says McDowell.
In Europe and the US we download data without thinking very much about the cost, but in growing economies it is a huge issue. With the Nokia Browser you can get a full internet experience, with very clever cloud compression technology to make that experience affordable.”
Nokia is celebrating selling 1.5 billion phones by looking to the future. … “What we are trying to do is a radical thing. We sometimes forget that half the world’s population does not have a phone. So, celebrating 1.5 billion is great, but it’s backward looking. What we want to say is – we are only half way to where we are going.”
“For a lot of people Series 40 is the first time they’ve ever had access to the internet or a computer. And the story of connecting those people is a huge story, because it will change the world.”
Series 40 began in the late 1990s in flagship devices [first was the Nokia 7110, developed in 1999], sold at fairly high prices to western customers, Vasara said. That has now been transformed into a range that is now selling in huge numbers in high growth economies, at a fraction of the cost.
“The people who buy these phones – and who will be buying these phones – are ambitious, and very aware of technology. They’re young, urban and what we call ‘hyper-social’. In other words, they know what the best of the best is – and we have to deliver a product that is state of the art and affordable.”

The future of Series 40 will be more about the services that you want in your “neighbourhood” – in your own language, delivering information that “feels very local.” Part of that will be working with developers to develop more Series 40 apps.

With all that Nokia had been turbocharging the aging S40 platform for developers in terms of expressiveness, power and development efficiency. The company had already indicated the strategic importance of it in Nokia 2011 fiscal year report [looong PDF, March 8, 2012] in the following way:

In the Mobile Phones business … we plan to drive third party innovation through working with our partners to engage in building strong, local ecosystems. [p. 90, as part of the strategy for the trend: Increasing Importance of Competing on an Ecosystem to Ecosystem Basis]
In support of our Mobile Phones business, we also plan to drive third party innovation through working with our partners to engage in building strong, local ecosystems. [p. 91, as part of the strategy for the trend: Increased Pervasiveness of Smartphones and Smartphone-like Experiences Across the Price Spectrum]
In the Mobile Phones business, we believe our competitive advantages – including our scale, brand, quality, manufacturing and logistics, strategic sourcing and partnering, distribution, research and development andsoftware platforms and intellectual property – continue to be important to our competitive position. Additionally, we plan to extend our Mobile Phones offerings and capabilities during 2012 in order to bring a modern mobile experience – software, services and applications – to aspirational consumersin key growth markets as part of our strategy to bring the Internet and information to the next billion people. At the same time, we plan to drive third party innovation through working with our partners to engage in building strong, local ecosystems. [p. 91, as part of the strategy for the trend: Increasing Challenges of Achieving Sustained Differentiation and Impact on Overall Industry Gross Margin Trends]
By … focusing on driving operator data plan adoption in lower price points with our feature phone offering, we believe we will be able to create a greater balance for operators and provide attractive opportunities to share the economic benefits from services and applications sales compared to other competing ecosystems, thereby improving our long-standing relationships with operators around the world. [p. 93, as part of the strategy for the trends in: Supply Chain, Distribution and Operator Relationships]
Creating a winning ecosystem around our Location & Commerce’s services offering will be critical for the success of this business. The longer-term success of the Location & Commerce business will be determined by our ability to attract strategic partners and developers to support our ecosystem. Location & Commerce is aiming to support its ecosystem by enabling strategic partners and independent developers to foster innovation on top of their location platform. We believe that making it possible for other vendors to innovate on top of Location & Commerce’s high quality location-based assets will further strengthen the overall experience and make our offering stronger and more attractive. [p. 97, as part of the strategy for the trend: Increasing Importance of Creating an Ecosystem around Location-Based Services Offering]

Therefore, such a local partnering strategy had already been in the works some time and quite successfully, as proven by the testimony from probably the largest and most successful local S40 development partner (with 800 million subscribers, mostly in India):
Indiagames talks about their experience developing Java games for Asha Touch [nokiadevforum YoTube channel, June 25, 2012]

Vishal Gondal, Managing Director of Digital, and Prasad Nair, Executive Producer, Mobile Digital, at Disney UTV talk about the exciting new opportunities they see in the Nokia Asha Touch phones and new tools for Java developers. Based in Mumbai, India, Indiagames has already achieved 100 million downloads on Nokia Store. For Gondal ‘the new Asha touch devices … could be a game changer for a market like India.’ While Nair sees the new ‘APIs, like gestures and sensors, (allowing users) to interact with the games in much more entertaining ways than before’. Nair is also impressed by the new Nokia SDK 2.0 for Java. In particular how the tools, such as the emulator’s orientation simulator, make developing for the new UI and hardware features found on Nokia Asha Touch phones simple and straightforward. Create your apps for Asha Touch phones using Java:http://developer.nokia.com/java

And quoting Gondal:

[2:46] The one piece of advice I can give developers is that content and platforms are very-very local. And while there might be certain pieces of content which may suddenly be global hits, it’s very important for you to look at each market individually, and design and develop for that content. [3:05]

Such an advice is well supported by the strategies and achievements of the company:
Indiagames achieve 100 Million Downloads on Nokia Store with games content focused on India
[nokiadevforum YoTube channel, June 25, 2012]

Vishal Gondal, Managing Director of Digital, Disney UTV talks about the success Indiagames has achieved working closely with Nokia and distributing its apps through Nokia Store. The company focuses on ABCD games — action, Bollywood, cricket, and driving — with a strong focus on localised content. Commenting on the success of Nokia Store, Gondal mentions their RA.One game. Gondal says that he was ‘expecting to do, probably, 500 thousand downloads in six months … but we did 1 million downloads in six days — that is scale, that is the popularity of the Nokia platform (and) Nokia Store.” Read about this and other developer successes onhttp://www.developer.nokia.com/success
More information on leading Nokia developers:
Pico Brothers, an only two-people Finish company, are the second developers to achieve 100,000,000 downloads, reaching the milestone just two weeks after UTV Indiagames. The company’s strategy for success has involved delivering simple, clever apps that provide short bursts of entertainment. Apps like ‘Milk the Cow’, ‘Talking Hamster’ and ‘Flashlight Extreme’ are Pico Brothers apps that deliver instant fun and utility.  They mostly monetize their applications in UK, France and Germany. See: Pico Brothers join the 100 million club [Nokia Developer News, May 4, 2012]
Inode Entertainment, a 10 people Mexican company, is the third developer to achieve the one hundred million download milestone via Nokia Store. It was one of the first publishers in the Nokia Store, has been developing games since 2006, and its portfolio spans Symbian, Series 40, S60, and Symbian 3 (and soon Windows Phone). Most of Inode’s apps are free, but if it feels it needs to price them, it aims for the 99-cent mark. It is developing for several markets exploiting the potential for that in the Nokia Store. See: Gaming for the Masses: Inode Entertainment Joins the One Hundred Million Download Club [Nokia Developer News, June 25, 2012] as well as Inode Entertainment passes 100 million downloads in Nokia Store [Nokia Conversations, June 26, 2012] and Inode Marketing Videos [inodeEntertainment YouTube channel, May 6, 2011]:
Recently Inode began targeting the latest Asha Touch phones as well [nokiadevforum YouTube channel, July 23, 2012]:
Jamie Enriquez, Founder and CEO at Inode Entertainment, talks about the success this Mexican developer has found for its mobile games, apps, and content through Nokia Store. Inode started adding content to Nokia Store three years ago, because of the reach it offers. It was an immediate success and the revenue soon meant Jamie and his brother could hire an additional developer and graphic designer. “The journey has been a lot of fun”, says Jamie. “From having one million downloads last year to 100 million this year, that’s a reflection on how much Nokia cares about their local developers”. At the beginning of the year Jamie set a goal of 3 million downloads per day and Inode is close to achieving that goal today. “We are really happy to keep partnering with Nokia”, says Jamie, “developing for Lumia and Asha, to deliver great games and content for our users”. Read about this and other developer successes
Current (June 28, 2012) Nokia Store Data (note that Lumia apps are in the Windows Phone Marketplace):
– Globally, there more than 120 million registered Nokia Store customers
– Nokia Store offers more than 120,000 apps, and currently drives more than 15 million download requests per day
– Nokia Store has over 100,000 content items available for Series 40 devices, and nearly 25,000 content items targeting Nokia Asha devices specifically, which take advantage of Asha’s more advanced features.
– To date, Nokia Store has driven more than 5 billion cumulative downloads (Series 40 devices accounted for 13% of the first billion, and 42% of the last billion)
– Nokia Store offers operator billing supported by 145 operators, across 52 markets
– 80% of Nokia Store traffic converts to a download
– Apps are No. 1 among paid-for and free downloads
– Nokia Store available in 190+ countries, of which 90% in local language
411 developers have achieved more than 1M downloads through Nokia Store, while 63 have achieved 10M or more, 28 with 25M or more, 9 with 50M or more, and 3 developers have now passed the 100M downloads milestone – namely UTV IndiaGames (IN), Pico Brothers (FL) and Inode (MX)
– See: Nokia Developer – Global reach statistics

Apple’s Consumer Computing System: 5 years of “revolutionary” iPhone and “magical” iPad

Updates: The real threat that Samsung poses to Apple [ASYMCO, Dec 7, 2012]
– iPhone 3GS Prices Lowered Down To Rs 9,999 [US$ 179] in India [iPhone Help, July 20, 2012]
– Fighting Android, The Apple iPhone Strategy [Only Gizmos, July 21, 2012]

There was a 5 years anniversary of iPhone on June 29. This product and the adjacent iPad (called “revolutionary” and “magical”, subsequently, by the vendor itself) skyrocketed Apple to previously unbelievable heights in company valuations by the stock market:

Apple stock price and self descriptions during the first 5 years of iPhone-iPad

Apple Stock Price Reaches All-Time High [NewsyHub YouTube channel, April 12, 2012]

Transcript by http://www.newsy.com
BY VICTORIA CRAIG
ANCHOR JIM FLINK
All three major stock indeces fell triple digits by the end of Tuesday’s trading day. But one individual stock price surged — reaching a mark only one other stock has managed to do…ever. Phoenix’s KNXV has the details.
“The world’s most valuable company is now worth even more. Apple computers’ value is now more than $600 billion based on its stock price. Its shares are up almost 60% since the beginning of the year.”
Apple’s price hit a daytime high of $644 in the morning. PC Advisor explains why this mark is nearly unprecedented.
“The stock price rose to $644 in the morning, and then fell back to $629 by midday. Only one other company has reached the $600 billion value: Microsoft on Dec. 30, 1999, was valued at $619 billion. Today, its value is $260 billion..”
Adjusting for inflation, Microsoft’s 1999 total would be today’s equivalent of about $800 billion. In total, Apple stock has risen 58 percent on the year…and it didn’t take long for the stock to cross the threshold from $500 billion to $600 billion. The Wall Street Journal explains the stock’s journey to the top and what it means for the NASDAQ.
“To put the rally in perspective, it took Apple only 28 trading days to add $100 billion in value as Apple first crossed $500 billion on Feb. 29. In comparison, only 24 members of the S&P 500 have market capitalizations above $100 billion.”
So what’s the reason behind the rally? A writer for Pad Gadget.com explains it’s more than just it’s mobile devices, citing…
“… Apple’s intentions to initiate a dividend and share repurchase program starting later this year plus the usual anticipation over potential new products. Most consumers and investors alike are waiting on the edg[e] of their seats to see what television-related product Apple has waiting in the wings, with the expectations all quite high that it will be equal parts amazing and marketable.”
Nifty new gadgets aside, what’s next for Apple? Will it continue its climb or fall back…retracing the steps of its biggest competitor? A contributor for CNBC says Apple’s stock is overbought and growth from here will likely slow. But another analyst disagrees and speculates big movement for the stock.
“Some of the analysts are saying that we could see a trillion dollar market cap figure in a calendar year 2014. I think we might actually see that a little earlier. For me, I think there are still some very positive catalysts around this stock. Expecting the iPhone 5 during the summer.”
Early in the trading day Wednesday, Apple’s stock price was up almost 7 points, reaching a value of $635.

There were several articles about that fundamental change, most importantly:

Business Insider articles:
Apple Stock vs Google Stock Since The Launch Of The iPhone [June 30, 2012]
9 Fascinating Facts About Apple’s Stock [May 21, 2012]
THE EXPERTS SPEAK: Here’s What People Predicted Would Happen When The iPhone Came Out… [June 29, 2012]
10 Things You Didn’t Know About The Birth Of The iPhone [June 27, 2012]
Yes, You Should Be Astonished By Apple … [April 25, 2012]
Other noteworthy articles:
The Untold Story: How the iPhone Blew Up the Wireless Industry [Wired Magazine, Jan 9, 2008]
Apple’s stock is getting creamed by Verizon and AT&T [CNNMoney, May 9, 2012]
I declare independence from Apple [BetaNews, July 4, 2012]
Apple’s injunction stopping Galaxy Nexus sales is shameful [BetaNews, June 29, 2012]
Appeals court delays Galaxy Nexus ban [Android Central, July 6, 2012]
– Nine Reasons You Should Boycott Apple [David Amerland, July 7, 2012]
Android vs. iOS: A Developer’s Perspective [July 5, 2012]: The architecture of Android is just plain BETTER. They don’t restrict what you can do and there always seems to be a good tutorial to follow telling you exactly how to do the exact crazy thing that you want to do. As far as the languages go, I don’t really have a preference for Obj-C vs. Java. They both do the job pretty well. I still don’t quite have my head wrapped around ARC, but that’s a post for another day.
China’s smartphone market grows 164%, Apple’s iOS takes 17.3% share [Apple Insider, July 9, 2012]: Even without availability on China’s largest mobile provider, the iPhone’s market share in China has grown form 9.9 percent a year ago to 17.3 percent in the June quarter. … stems from the launch of the iPhone on China Telecom this year. … the company has yet to forge a partnership with China Mobile, the largest wireless provider in the world with more than 650 million subscribers. Reports have suggested that Apple’s next iPhone will add compatibility with China Mobile’s proprietary wireless network. Apple’s 17.3 percent share in China was well behind Google’s Android platform, which dominated with 69.5 percent of smartphones sold in the country. Apple took second place, while Nokia finished in third with an 11.2 percent share.
Building and dismantling the Windows advantage [the Asymco blog, July 2, 2012]
Asymco - Windows units sold as a multiple of Apple devices -- 4-July-2012
If we consider all the devices Apple sells, the whittling becomes even more significant and the multiple drops to below 2. Seen this way, Post-PC devices wiped out of leverage faster than it was originally built. They not only reversed the advantage but cancelled it altogether.
Considering the near future, it’s safe to expect a “parity” of iOS+OS X vs. Windows within one or two years. The install base may remain larger for some time longer but the sales rate of alternatives will swamp it in due course.
The consequences are dire for Microsoft. The wiping out of any platform advantage around Windows will render it vulnerable to direct competition. This is not something it had to worry about before. Windows will have to compete not only for users, but for developer talent, investment by enterprises and the implicit goodwill it has had for more than a decade.
It will, most importantly, have a psychological effect. Realizing that Windows is not a hegemony will unleash market forces that nobody can predict.

Now let’s see how that has come about in terms of market volume and technological improvements:

image6/29/2007: iPhone, iPod touch (ARM 1176JZ(F)-S @412 MHz, 128MB, PowerVR MBX Lite, GPRS/EDGE 2.5G for iPhone, 3.5” display of 480 × 320 pixels, 2MP)
7/11/2008: iPhone 3G (the same except 3.6 Mbps UMTS/HSDPA) & App Store
6/19/2009: iPhone 3GS (the same except ARM Cortex-A8 @600 MHz, 256MB, PowerVR SGX535, 7.2 Mbps UMTS HSDPA, 3MP camera)
4/03/2010: iPad (ARM Cortex-A8 @1 GHz, 256MB, PowerVR SGX535, 9.7” display of 1024×768 pixels, WiFi [+3G])
Currently marketed devices (all use iOS 5.x which cannot be used on earlier iPhone and iPhone 3G, so those are not iCloud capable), in addition to iPhone 3GS ($330+ unlocked in US, but $179+ in India since July 20, 2012) which is also marketed:
6/24/2010: iPhone 4 (ARM Cortex-A8 @800 MHz, 512MB, PowerVR SGX535, 3.5G 5.76 Mbps HSUPA, 3.5” Retina display of 960 x 640 pixels, 5MP camera), $550+ unlocked
3/25/2011: iPad 2 (ARM Cortex-A9 @1 GHz, 512MB, PowerVR SGX543MP2, 9.7” display of 1024 x 768 pixels, WiFi [+3.5G HSUPA]), $350+
10/24/2011: iPhone 4S (dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 @800 MHz, 512MB, PowerVR SGX543MP2, 4G LTE, 3.5” Retina display of 960 x 640 pixels, 8MP camera), IOS 5 (Notification Center, iMessage and Newsstand … 1,500 new APIs) & iCloud (store music, photos, apps, contacts, calendars, documents and more in the cloud, keeping them up to date across all your devices via the cloud), $790+ unlocked
3/16/2012: New, 3d generation iPad (dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 @1 GHz, 1GB, PowerVR SGX543MP4, WiFi [+4G LTE], 9.7” Retina display of 2048 × 1536 pixels), $500+
Note that in April 2012 the under $200 (unlocked) Android smartphones came quite close to the capabilities of the iPhone 4S thanks to Boosting the MediaTek MT6575 success story with the MT6577 announcement [June 27, 2012]. Only the SGX531 GPU of MT6577 is a significant deficiency against that of SGX543MP2 used in the iPhone 4S. As a consumer computing system Google was also able to match Apple with the Nexus 7: Google wanted it in 4 months for $199/$245, ASUS delivered + Nexus Q (of Google’s own design and manufacturing) added for social streaming from Google Play to speakers and screen in home under Android device control [June 28, 2012].

Wikipedia is the best source of detailed technical and other information (by far), except that of iCloud currently (so find a better source of information on that given in sections of this post):

List of iOS devices
iPhone
iPad
iPod touch
iOS
iCloud
iTunes
iTunes Store
iBooks
iTunes Ping
AirPlay
AirPort
Apple TV
App Store (iOS)
FairPlay
Book:Apple Inc.
iLife
iWork
Safari
History of the iPhone

In addition I compiled a 5 years of “revolutionary” iPhone and “magical” iPad [June 29, 2012] PDF document from all related Apple press releases for that period. In it there are the following sections:
– Product ramp-up and momentum
– The strongly related iTunes Store momentum during these 5 years
– Essential Device Announcements
– All related Apple press releases
In addition there are document bookmarks included everywhere for easy navigation around the whole 129 pages long compound document.

Note: Official specifications for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Apple TV you can find under the URLs just given.

Finally I have further information in this blogpost specifically compiled in order to represent the Apple iOS based consumer computing solution as a system since, in my view, that is one of the most important aspects of this 5 years anniversary which is not represented anywhere else at the moment:
1. Overall picture at the moment (video-based)
2. Current iPhone and iPad products (video-based)
3. Earlier products (video-based)
4. iCloud
5. iTunes
6. App Store


1. Overall picture at the moment:

Apple — Special Event — June 11, 2012 [Apple YouTube channel, June 30, 2012]

Watch Apple CEO Tim Cook unveil MacBook Pro with Retina display and more at WWDC 2012. 06/11/2012 — Apple Introduces All New MacBook Pro with Retina Display Apple Updates MacBook Air and Current Generation MacBook Pro with Latest Processors and New Graphics — Mountain Lion Available in July From Mac App Store — Apple Previews iOS 6 With All New Maps, Siri Features, Facebook Integration, Shared Photo Streams & New Passbook App

2. Current iPhone and iPad products:

Apple – iPhone 4S – TV Ad – Joke [Apple YouTube channel, May 23, 2012]

While helping John Malkovich plan a night out, Siri shows him her funny side.

Apple – Introducing iPhone 4S [Apple YouTube channel, Oct 6, 2011]

With the dual-core A5 chip, all-new 8-megapixel camera and optics, iOS 5, iCloud, and Siri, iPhone 4S is the most amazing iPhone yet. The details are on the official http://www.apple.com/iphone/#video-4s

Apple – Introducing iOS 5 [Apple YouTube channel, June 6, 2011]

Get a closer look at a few of the over 200 features that make iOS 5 the best update yet for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. Note: the new iPad presented below is using a minor release of iOS 5, iOS 5.1.

Apple – The new iPad – TV Ad – Do It All [Apple YouTube channel, June 18, 2012]

Whatever you do on iPad, do it all more beautifully than ever with the stunning Retina display.

Apple – Introducing the new iPad [Apple YouTube channel, March 8, 2012]

iPad is a magical window where nothing comes between you and what you love. Now that experience is even more incredible with the new iPad. Major features: breaktrough Retina display, 5MP iSight camera, iLife and iWork for iPad, and ultrafast 4G LTE. The details are on the official http://www.apple.com/ipad/#video page

Apple – Introducing the iPad Smart Cover [Apple YouTube channel, March 2, 2011]

The iPad Smart Cover was made for iPad 2. And vice versa. It attaches magnetically and aligns perfectly to protect the iPad display. Open it and your iPad wakes instantly. Close it, and your iPad goes to sleep automatically. And it folds into the perfect watching and typing stand. It’s one great idea on top of another.

3. Earlier products:

Official Apple iPhone 4 Video [June 7, 2010]

Official Apple iPhone 4 Video

iPhone 3GS ads all in one. Official Apple Commercials spots HQ [Glarand YouTube channel, Sept 29, 2011]

iPhone 3GS was first available on June 8, 2009. “S” means “Speed”.

HQ Apple WWDC 2009 Keynote – NEW iPhone 3GS [MicrositeSolutions YouTube channel]

Apple Senior Vice President Phil Schiller of Worldwide Product Marketing announces iPhone 3GS at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) Keynote Address on June 6, 2009.

Talking Tech: Apple’s new iPhone 3GS [USATODAY, June 17, 2009]

USA TODAY personal tech columnist Ed Baig reviews the new iPhone 3GS and iPhone 3.0 software update from Apple.

ALL iPhone 3G official Ads… Collected&Edited in One Video HQ [hsmmgg YouTube channel, March 21, 2009]

Note: iPhone 3G was introduced on June 9, 2008.

WWDC 2008 News: iPhone 3G makes its debut [CNETTV YouTube channel, June 9, 2008]

At Apple WWDC 2008 [on June 9, 2008], Steve Jobs reveals the iPhone 3G with faster download speeds, longer battery life, GPS, a lower price, and a near worldwide release on July 11.

[HD] Steve Jobs – 2007 iPhone Presentation ( Part 1 of 2 ) [UG3Genki YouTube Channel]

The iPhone was introduced at the Macworld Conference & Expo 2007 [on Jan 9, 2007, but went on sale June 29] with a keynote address from San Francisco’s Moscone West.
Wikipedia – Steve Jobs: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Jobs
Steve Jobs – 2007 iPhone Presentation ( Part 2 of 2 ): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vququ7x8gnw
Steve Jobs – 2005 Stanford Commencement Speech: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwlfZsuM05Q

[HD] Steve Jobs – 2007 iPhone Presentation ( Part 2 of 2 ) [UG3Genki YouTube Channel]


iPad 2 Official Introduction Video [March 2, 2011]

Video from : http://www.apple.com/ipad/#video (page on the URL of that time).
This is the BRAND NEW iPad 2! Specifications:
– A5 SoC @ 1GHz (CPU+GPU)
– Front (VGA) cam, Rear (720p) cam
– Same 1024×768 screen
– Thinner
– Black and white colors
– iOS 4.3 pre-loaded
– AT&T (GSM) and Verizon (CDMA) compatible
– Available for order on March 11

Apple iPad: First TV Commercial [March 8, 2010]

Apple first official TV advertisement for the iPad.

Apple iPad Official Video [1080p HD] [Jan 27, 2010]

Apple iPad Official Video in 1080 High Definition

4. iCloud [Apple microsite, June 6, 2011]:
It’s the easiest way to manage your content. Because now you don’t have to.

Apple – Introducing iCloud [Apple YouTube channel, Oct 4, 2011]

iCloud stores your music, photos, documents, and more and wirelessly pushes them to all your devices. Automatic, effortless, and seamless – it just works. This is the cloud the way it should be: automatic and effortless. iCloud is seamlessly integrated into your apps, so you can access your content on all your devices. And stay up to date everywhere you go.
iTunes in the Cloud
Your music, movies, and TV shows. Wherever you want them.
You never know when you’ll suddenly be in the mood to listen to a favorite song, rewatch a classic movie, or share that hilarious sitcom episode with a friend. With iCloud, you can have iTunes automatically download new music purchases to all your devices the moment you tap Buy. You can also access past music, movie, and TV show purchases from any of your devices — wirelessly and without syncing.1
Learn more about iTunes in the Cloud
1.Automatic downloads and downloading previous purchases require iOS 4.3.3 or later on iPhone 3GS or later, iPod touch (3rd and 4th generation), or iPad; iOS 5 on iPhone 4 (CDMA model); or a Mac or PC with iTunes 10.3.1 or later. Previous purchases may be unavailable if they are no longer in the iTunes Store, App Store, or iBookstore. Downloading previous movie purchases requires iTunes 10.6, iOS 5 or later, or Apple TV software 4.3 or later. Not all previously purchased movies are available for downloading to your other devices. Download iTunes 10.6 free.
iTunes Match
If you want the benefits of iTunes in the Cloud for music you haven’t purchased from iTunes, iTunes Match is the perfect solution. It lets you store your entire collection, including music you’ve imported from CDs. For just $24.99 a year.2
Learn more about iTunes Match
2.iTunes Match requires iOS 5.0.1 on iPhone 3GS or later, iPod touch (3rd and 4th generation), or iPad, or a Mac or PC with iTunes 10.5.1. Limit 25,000 songs. iTunes purchases do not count against limit. Access to some services is limited to 10 devices.
Photo Stream
Snap. And it’s everywhere.
With Photo Stream, you can take a photo on one iOS device and it automatically appears on all your other devices, including your Mac or PC. Import new pictures to your computer from a digital camera, and iCloud sends copies over Wi-Fi to your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. You can even view recent photos on your big-screen TV via Apple TV. There’s no syncing, no email attachments, no file transfers. Your pictures are just there — on whichever device you happen to have handy.
Learn more about Photo Stream
Documents in the Cloud
Start here. Finish there.
You can create amazing documents and presentations on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. And now with iCloud, you can keep your work up to date across all your iOS devices. You don’t have to save your work or transfer any files. Your documents — with all your latest edits — automatically appear everywhere. iCloud is already built into Apple iOS apps like Keynote, Pages, and Numbers. It can also work with other iCloud-enabled apps. So you can do things like create a spreadsheet on your iPad and make edits to it on your iPhone. Or start sketching on your iPod touch and add the finishing touches on your iPad at home.
Learn more about Documents in the Cloud
Apps
All your apps. Always at hand.
If you have an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you have apps. And you probably download new ones all the time. iCloud lets you automatically download new app purchases to all your devices at once. So the app you need is always right where you need it. If an app you bought previously isn’t on one of your devices, not to worry. You can download it again from your purchase history — at no additional charge.1
Learn more about apps
iBooks
All your devices are on the same page.
Buy a new book from the iBookstore, and iCloud makes sure it appears everywhere — your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. So if you have to put it down, you can pick it back up on another device, in exactly the same place. In addition to the best seller you’re glued to at the moment, the iBooks app keeps a list of titles you’ve read before. And just like with apps, you can download them again to any of your devices.1
Calendar, Mail, and Contacts
Up-to-date everything.
iCloud stores all the stuff you can’t live without — your calendars, email, and contacts — and keeps it up to date across all your devices. Say you delete an email, add a calendar event, or change some settings. iCloud makes all your changes everywhere. Same with your notes, reminders, and Safari bookmarks.
Learn more about Calendar, Contacts, and Mail
Backup
iCloud saves the day.
iCloud backs up your iOS device daily over Wi-Fi when it’s connected to a power source. From your Camera Roll and messages to your device settings and ringtones, everything is backed up quickly and efficiently. And since iCloud is built into iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, you can restore your personal data on a new iOS device or one you already have without using a single cable.3iCloud does it all for you over Wi-Fi.
Find My Friends
Friend-spotting.
For finding your way to the party, keeping track of family at a crowded amusement park, or getting picked up at the airport, Find My Friends is your app.4 You can give friends and family permission to see your whereabouts. And vice versa. When you don’t want to be found, a single switch takes you off the grid. Simple as that.
Learn more about Find My Friends
Find My iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac
Lost. And found.
If checking all the usual spots hasn’t turned up your missing iOS device, Find My iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac can help.4Just sign in at icloud.com or use the Find My iPhone app on another device to locate yours on a map, display a message on its screen, remotely set a passcode lock, or initiate a remote wipe to delete your data.
Learn more about Find My iPad
3. Backup of purchased music is not available in all countries. Previous purchases may not be restored if they are no longer in the iTunes Store, App Store, or iBookstore.
4.Find My Friends and Find My iPhone enable you to locate iOS devices only when they are on and connected to a registered Wi-Fi network or have an active data plan.
iCloud requires iOS 5 on iPhone 3GS or later, iPod touch (3rd and 4th generation), or iPad; a Mac computer with OS X Lion; or a PC with Windows Vista or Windows 7 (Outlook 2007 or 2010 or an up-to-date browser is required for accessing email, contacts, and calendars). Some features require a Wi-Fi connection. Some features are not available in all countries. Access to some services is limited to 10 devices. Map data © 2012 Google. © 2012 Google. Map data © 2012 Google.

Apple – iCloud – Coming Soon [page on the iCloud microsite, June 11., 2012]:
iCloud is about to get even better. With the launch of Mountain Lion this July and iOS 6 in the fall, iCloud gets brand-new features for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, and PC.

Safari. Keeps tabs on your web pages.

iCloud Tabs show the web pages you have open on all your other devices, so you can see all your pages on your iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, and Mac, and pick up browsing wherever you left off. Safari now saves web pages — not just links — in your Reading List. So you can get caught up on any device, even when you can’t connect to the Internet. 1
1. Offline Reading List will be available on iPhone 4 or later and iPad 2 or later.
2. Shared Photo Streams requires iOS 6 on iPhone 4 or later or iPad 2 or later, or a Mac computer with OS X Mountain Lion. An up-to-date browser is required for accessing shared photo streams on the web.
Shared Photo Streams. Share select photos with a select audience.

Now you can share just the photos you want, with just the people you choose. Simply select photos from the Photos app, tap the Share button, choose who you want to share your photos with, and they’re on their way. Friends using iCloud on an iOS 6 device or a Mac running Mountain Lion get the photos delivered immediately in the Photos app or iPhoto. You can even view shared photo streams on Apple TV. If the folks you’re sharing with aren’t using an Apple device, they can view your photos on the web. People can like individual photos and make comments. And you can share as much as you want: Your shared photo streams don’t count against your iCloud storage, and they work over Wi-Fi and cellular.2
Find My Phone. Stay on the trail of your iPhone.

It happens. You misplace your iPhone, or your iPad, or your iPod touch. Luckily, iOS 6 and iCloud now offer Lost mode, making it even easier to use Find My iPhone to locate and protect a missing device. Immediately lock your missing device with a four-digit passcode and send it a message displaying a contact number. That way a good Samaritan can call you right from your Lock screen without accessing the rest of the information on your device. And while in Lost mode, your device will keep track of where it’s been and report back to you any time you check in with the Find My iPhone app.3
Find My Friends. Good friends aren’t hard to find.

Find My Friends is a great way to share your location with people who are important to you. Family and friends who share their locations with you appear on a map so you can quickly see where they are and what they’re up to. And with iOS 6, you can get location-based alerts — like when your kids leave school or arrive home. Find My Friends can also notify others about your location, so you can stay connected or keep track of the ones you love.
3.Find My iPhone and Find My Friends enable you to locate iOS devices only when they are on and connected to a registered Wi-Fi network or have an active data plan.

5. iTunes [Apple microsite, Oct 4, 2011]:
Apple – iTunes – Your media on your Mac, PC, iPod, iPhone, and iPad.

Apple iPhone 4 TV Ad iPod + iTunes [Apple YouTube channel, Aug 2, 2011]

If you don’t have an iPhone, you don’t have an iPod in your phone. And you don’t have iTunes on your phone, the world’s number one music store.
[iTunes app]
Play, buy, and end enjoy your music, movies, TV shows, apps, and more. Everywhere.
iTunes is a free application for your Mac or PC. It lets you organize and play digital music and video on your computer. It can automatically download new music, app, and book purchases across all your devices and computers. And it’s a store that has everything you need to be entertained. Anywhere. Anytime.
iTunes Player
Where listening, watching, and playing start.
iTunes lets you enjoy all your music, movies, videos, and TV shows on your Mac or PC. When you want to watch or listen to something, you no longer have to look through your CDs or flip through channels — just go to your computer and open iTunes. With your entire media collection in your iTunes library, you can browse everything faster, organize it all more easily, and play anything whenever the mood strikes.
Learn more about the iTunes player
iTunes Store
The world’s #1 music store. And more.
Music is just the beginning. You can also rent or buy blockbuster movies, buy HD episodes of your favorite TV shows, shop for books, and download apps for your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad. Subscribe to free podcasts about anything and everything. For further enlightenment, visit iTunes U and download free lectures, discussions, and lessons from universities and cultural institutions around the globe. You’ll find thousands of hours of entertainment on the iTunes Store.
Learn more about the iTunes Store
iTunes Everywhere
iTunes in the Cloud.
With iTunes in the Cloud, you can wirelessly download your content to all your devices, regardless of which device you used to purchase it. Your new music, apps, and books just appear — automatically. And you can view your purchase history to choose the TV shows you want to download.Effortlessly. Learn more
1. Automatic downloads and downloading previous purchases require iOS 4.3.3 or later on iPhone 3GS or later, iPod touch (3rd and 4th generation), iPad, or iPad 2; iOS 5 on iPhone 4 (CDMA model); or a Mac or PC with iTunes 10.3.1 or later. Previous purchases may be unavailable if they are no longer in the iTunes Store, App Store, or iBookstore. Download iTunes 10.6 free.
Learn more about iTunes everywhere
A match made in iCloud.
With iTunes Match, you can store your music collection in iCloud, including songs you’ve imported from CDs. And you can play them on any iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV, Mac, or PC — all for just $24.99 a year.2 Learn more
2. iTunes Match requires iOS 5.0.1 on iPhone 3GS or later, iPod touch (3rd and 4th generation), iPad, or iPad 2, or a Mac or PC with iTunes 10.5.1. Limit 25,000 songs. iTunes purchases do not count against limit. Access to some services is limited to 10 devices.
Music’s in the house.
AirPlay lets you stream music throughout your whole house — wirelessly. AirPlay wireless technology is integrated into many speaker docks, AV receivers, and stereo systems. So you can enjoy your entire iTunes library. Every song and every playlist. In any room, anytime. [Learn more]
[Remote is a free, fun, and easy-to-use app that turns your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch into a remote control. So wherever you are in your house, you can control your computer’s iTunes library and your Apple TV with a tap or flick of a finger. Learn more]
Features are subject to change. Access to some services is limited to 10 devices. See www.apple.com/legal/itunes/ww/ for more information.
The iTunes Store is available only to persons age 13 or older in the U.S. Requires compatible hardware and software and Internet access (fees may apply). Terms apply. See www.apple.com/itunes/what-is/store.html for more information.
Available on iTunes. Title availability is subject to change.
Official Apple video. It is part of http://www.apple.com/itunes/how-to/#video-itunes-in-the-cloud video.

More information:
iTunes Match puts your whole music library in iCloud. [Apple’s Inside iTunes blog, Jan 16, 2012]
Get Books On iTunes, the iBookstore, and the App Store [Apple’s Inside iTunes blog, April 18, 2011]
iTunes 10.3 Now Includes iBookstore [Apple’s Inside iTunes blog, June 8, 2011]
iBooks 2 brings new Multi-Touch textbooks to iPad [Apple’s Inside iTunes blog, Jan 30, 2012]
New features in iBooks 2.1. [Apple’s Inside iTunes blog, March 26, 2012]
New iTunes U app delivers online courses to mobile devices. [Apple’s Inside iTunes blog, Feb 6, 2012]
Movies now available on iCloud. [Apple’s Inside iTunes blog, March 19, 2012]
New Categories make browsing Newsstand’s offerings easier. [Apple’s Inside iTunes blog, May 25, 2012]

Apple – iPhone 4S – Keep yourself entertained at the iTunes Store. [Apple product page, Oct 3, 2011]

iTunes

Millions of ways to stay entertained
You’re in a coffee shop and you hear a song you just have to have. Or you’re at the airport, wishing you had a good movie to watch. Just go to iTunes. Find all the new music, movies, TV shows, and podcasts you want. Then download it all wirelessly, right to your iPhone. Wherever you happen to be.
Explore the store.
Browse New Releases, Top Tens, and Genres. If you know exactly what you’re looking for, type in a quick search. Play a preview of any song or video, then tap to buy it.1 With millions of songs and thousands of movies, TV episodes, and music videos in the iTunes Store — and a huge selection in HD — you’re sure to find something you’ll love.
1. Downloads over 50MB require a Wi-Fi connection.
The Tone Store.
All kinds of tones for all kinds of people.
Now you can tell whether you’ve gotten a voicemail message versus an email versus a text message versus a game notification — just by the sound of it. Thanks to iOS 5, the iTunes Store on your iPhone now includes the Tone Store. Choose from all kinds of tones — including ringtones — and assign them to any alert setting on your iPhone. Alert tones are only 99¢, and ringtones are $1.29.
iTunes Ping. Stay in the know.
Follow friends to find out what music they’re listening to, buying, and recommending. Catch up with your favorite artists and see if they’re playing near you. That way, you’ll never miss another show. You can even see which of your friends are planning on going, too.
Learn more about Ping
iTunes in the Cloud.
When you buy music from iTunes, iCloud automatically downloads it to all your devices over Wi-Fi or a cellular network. So everything new appears everywhere — on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. You can also browse your purchase history and choose specific songs, albums, movies, or TV shows to download again at no additional cost.2 Sign up for iTunes Match and you can access all your other music from iCloud — including music you’ve imported from CDs. For just $24.99 a year.3
2. Automatic downloads and downloading previous purchases require iOS 4.3.3 or later on iPhone 3GS or later, iPod touch (3rd and 4th generation), or iPad; iOS 5 on iPhone 4 (CDMA model); or a Mac or PC with iTunes 10.3.1 or later. Previous purchases may be unavailable if they are no longer in the iTunes Store, App Store, or iBookstore. Downloading previous movie purchases requires iTunes 10.6, iOS 5 or later, or Apple TV software 4.3 or later. Not all previously purchased movies are available for downloading to your other devices. Download iTunes 10.6 free.
3. iTunes Match requires iOS 5.0.1 or later on iPhone 3GS or later, iPod touch (3rd and 4th generation), or iPad, or a Mac or PC with iTunes 10.5.1 or later. Limit 25,000 songs. iTunes purchases do not count against limit. Access to some services is limited to 10 devices.

Apple – iPod touch – Browse and buy anytime you want with iTunes.[Apple product page, Oct 3, 2011]

iTunes

Your DJ-slash-cineplex-slash-TV and more.
You could be anywhere — in line for your “fixes everything” fruit smoothie or just lounging in the quad — when it hits you. There’s a song you need by a band you love, a TV show you missed, or a movie you just have to see, right then and there. Enter iTunes on iPod touch.
Get your entertainment fix on the fly.
Access the iTunes Store over Wi-Fi and you can discover new music from millions of songs. Buy or rent movies. Buy TV shows. Or find free podcasts. Browse New Releases, Top Tens, and Genres. If you know exactly what you’re looking for, type in a quick search. Play a preview of any song or video, then tap to buy it. It downloads right to your iPod touch, making you the master of long waits.
iTunes in the Cloud.
When you buy music from iTunes, iCloud automatically downloads it to your other devices over Wi-Fi or a cellular network. So everything new appears everywhere — on your iPod touch, iPhone, iPad, Mac, or PC. You can also browse your purchase history and choose songs, albums, movies, or TV shows to download again at no additional cost.1 Sign up for iTunes Match and you can access all your other music from iCloud — including music you’ve imported from CDs. For just $24.99 a year.Learn more about iCloud
1. Automatic downloads and downloading previous purchases require iOS 4.3.3 or later on iPhone 3GS or later, iPod touch (3rd and 4th generation), or iPad; iOS 5 on iPhone 4 (CDMA model); or a Mac or PC with iTunes 10.3.1 or later. Previous purchases may be unavailable if they are no longer in the iTunes Store, App Store, or iBookstore. Downloading previous movie purchases requires iTunes 10.6, iOS 5 or later, or Apple TV software 4.3 or later. Not all previously purchased movies are available for downloading to your other devices. Download iTunes 10.6 free.
2. iTunes Match requires iOS 5.0.1 or later on iPhone 3GS or later, iPod touch (3rd and 4th generation), or iPad, or a Mac or PC with iTunes 10.5.1 or later. Limit 25,000 songs. iTunes purchases do not count against limit. Access to some services is limited to 10 devices.
Now you have a following.
Ping your friends and follow each other to find out what music everyone loves, buys, and recommends. You can even follow your favorite artists and see who they follow. And when they’re playing a show near you, Ping tells you which friends are up for going.
iTunes U hones your know-it-all skills.
Discover iTunes U on your iPod touch and download some knowledge. You’ll find lectures, discussions, language lessons, audiobooks, podcasts, and more from top universities, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.
Genius recommends.
With millions of songs and thousands of movies, TV episodes, and music videos in the iTunes Store — and a huge selection in HD — you might need some help finding new favorites. Genius keeps track of what you love and recommends more of the same.
Shop the new Tone Store.
You hear an alert go off — like a new text message or Facebook update — and think, “Is that me?” You check your iPod touch, and it turns out it’s not. It’s the guy with the iPhone across from you. Now you can make your alerts a lot more individual thanks to the Tone Store and iOS 5. Part of the iTunes Store, the Tone Store is where you can download alert tones for just 99¢. Here’s to your supreme uniqueness.
iCloud requires iOS 5 on iPhone 3GS or later, iPod touch (3rd and 4th generation), or iPad; a Mac computer with OS X Lion; or a PC with Windows Vista or Windows 7 (Outlook 2007 or 2010 or an up-to-date browser is required for accessing email, contacts, and calendars). Some features require a Wi-Fi connection. Some features are not available in all countries. Access to some services is limited to 10 devices.
The iTunes Store is available only to persons age 13 or older in the U.S. and many other countries; see www.apple.com/support/itunes/ww for a list of countries. Requires iTunes, compatible hardware and software, and Internet access; broadband recommended (fees may apply). See www.apple.com/itunes/whats-on/ for more information. Terms apply.

Apple – The new iPad – Amazing iPad apps, built right in. [Apple product page, March 7, 2012]

iTunes
Open the iTunes app to shop for thousands of HD movies and TV shows (up to 1080p HD, to be exact) 24/7/365.5 While you’re there, pick up a song or two. There are over 20 million to choose from. And iCloud lets you access your iTunes purchases from every device you use — iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Mac, or PC.1

1. Automatic downloads and downloading previous purchases require iOS 4.3.3 or later on iPhone 3GS or later, iPod touch (3rd and 4th generation), or iPad; iOS 5 on iPhone 4 (CDMA model); or a Mac or PC with iTunes 10.3.1 or later. Previous purchases may be unavailable if they are no longer in the iTunes Store, App Store, or iBookstore. Downloading previous movie purchases requires iTunes 10.6, iOS 5 or later, or Apple TV software 4.3 or later. Not all previously purchased movies are available for downloading to your other devices.Download iTunes 10.6 free.

5. Not all purchased movies are available in 1080p HD.

That is for iPad there is no product specific iTunes page!


6. App Store

Apple Answers the FCC’s Questions [Apple, Aug 21, 2009]

We are pleased to respond to the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau’s inquiry dated July 31, 2009, requesting information regarding Apple’s App Store and its application approval process. In order to give the Bureau some context for our responses, we begin with some background information about the iPhone and the App Store.

Apple’s goal is to provide our customers with the best possible user experience. We have been able to do this by designing the hardware and software in our products to work together seamlessly. The iPhone is a great example of this. It has established a new standard for what a mobile device can be—an integrated device with a phone, a full web browser, HTML email, an iPod, and more, all delivered with Apple’s revolutionary multi-touch user interface.

Apple then introduced something altogether new—the App Store—to give consumers additional functionality and benefits from the iPhone’s revolutionary technology. The App Store has been more successful than anyone could have ever imagined. Today, just over a year since opening, the App Store offers over 65,000 iPhone applications, and customers have downloaded over 1.5 billion applications.

The App Store provides a frictionless distribution network that levels the playing field for individual and large developers of mobile applications. We provide every developer with the same software that we use to create our own iPhone applications. The App Store offers an innovative business model that allows developers to set their own price and keep more (far more in most cases) of the revenue than traditional business models. In little more than a year, we have raised the bar for consumers’ rich mobile experience beyond what we or anyone else ever imagined in both scale and quality. Apple’s innovation has also fostered competition as other companies (e.g., Nokia, Microsoft, RIM, Palm and Verizon) seek to develop their own mobile platforms and launch their own application stores.

Apple works with network providers around the world so that iPhone users have access to a cellular network. In the United States, we struck a groundbreaking deal with AT&T in 2006 that gives Apple the freedom to decide which software to make available for the iPhone. This was an industry first.

We created an approval process that reviews every application submitted to Apple for the App Store in order to protect consumer privacy, safeguard children from inappropriate content, and avoid applications that degrade the core experience of the iPhone. Some types of content such as pornography are rejected outright from the App Store, while others such as graphic combat scenes in action games may be approved but with an appropriate age rating. Most rejections are based on bugs found in the applications. When there is an issue, we try to provide the developer with helpful feedback so they can modify the application in order for us to approve it. 95% of applications are approved within 14 days of their submission.

We’re covering new ground and doing things that had never been done before. Many of the issues we face are difficult and new, and while we may make occasional mistakes, we try to learn from them and continually improve.

<then answers to the specific questions>

Question 5. What other applications have been rejected for use on the iPhone and for what reasons? Is there a list of prohibited applications or of categories of applications that is provided to potential vendors/developers?

If so, is this posted on the iTunes website or otherwise disclosed to consumers?In a little more than a year, the App Store has grown to become the world’s largest wireless applications store, with over 65,000 applications. We’ve rejected applications for a variety of reasons. Most rejections are based on the application containing quality issues or software bugs, while other rejections involve protecting consumer privacy, safeguarding children from inappropriate content, and avoiding applications that degrade the core experience of the iPhone. Given the volume and variety of technical issues, most of the review process is consumed with quality issues and software bugs, and providing feedback to developers so they can fix applications. Applications that are fixed and resubmitted are approved.

The following is a list of representative applications that have been rejected as originally submitted and their current status:

  • Twittelator, by Stone Design Corp., was initially rejected because it crashed during loading, but the developer subsequently fixed the application and it has been approved;
  • iLoveWiFi!, by iCloseBy LLC, was rejected because it used undocumented application protocols (it has not been resubmitted as of the date of this letter);
  • SlingPlayer Mobile, by Sling Media, was initially rejected because redirecting a TV signal to an iPhone using AT&T’s cellular network is prohibited by AT&T’s customer Terms of Service, but the developer subsequently fixed the application to use WiFi only and it has been approved; and
  • Lingerie Fantasy Video (Lite), by On The Go Girls, LLC, was initially rejected because it displayed nudity and explicit sexual content, but the developer subsequently fixed the application and it has been approved with the use of a 17+ age rating.

Apple provides explicit language in its agreement with iPhone developers regarding prohibited categories of applications, for example:

  • “Applications may be rejected if they contain content or materials of any kind (text, graphics, images, photographs, sounds, etc.) that in Apple’s reasonable judgment may be found objectionable, for example, materials that may be considered obscene, pornographic, or defamatory; and
  • Applications must not contain any malware, malicious or harmful code, program, or other internal component (e.g. computer viruses, trojan horses, ‘backdoors’) which could damage, destroy, or adversely affect other software, firmware, hardware, data, systems, services, or networks.”

And we also provide a reference library that can be accessed by members of the iPhone Developer Program that lists helpful information such as Best Practices and How To Get Started.

Question 6. What are the standards for considering and approving iPhone applications? What is the approval process for such applications (timing, reasons for rejection, appeal process, etc.)? What is the percentage of applications that are rejected? What are the major reasons for rejecting an application?

As discussed in the response to Question 5, Apple provides guidelines to developers in our developer agreement as well as on its web site regarding prohibited categories of applications. These materials also contain numerous other provisions regarding technical and legal requirements that applications must comply with, and Apple uses these standards in considering whether or not to approve applications.

Apple developed a comprehensive review process that looks at every iPhone application that is submitted to Apple. Applications and marketing text are submitted through a web interface. Submitted applications undergo a rigorous review process that tests for vulnerabilities such as software bugs, instability on the iPhone platform, and the use of unauthorized protocols. Applications are also reviewed to try to prevent privacy issues, safeguard children from exposure to inappropriate content, and avoid applications that degrade the core experience of the iPhone. There are more than 40 full-time trained reviewers, and at least two different reviewers study each application so that the review process is applied uniformly. Apple also established an App Store executive review board that determines procedures and sets policy for the review process, as well as reviews applications that are escalated to the board because they raise new or complex issues. The review board meets weekly and is comprised of senior management with responsibilities for the App Store. 95% of applications are approved within 14 days of being submitted.

If we find that an application has a problem, for example, a software bug that crashes the application, we send the developer a note describing the reason why the application will not be approved as submitted. In many cases we are able to provide specific guidance about how the developer can fix the application. We also let them know they can contact the app review team or technical support, or they can write to us for further guidance.

Apple generally spends most of the review period making sure that the applications function properly, and working with developers to fix quality issues and software bugs in applications. We receive about 8,500 new applications and updates every week, and roughly 20% of them are not approved as originally submitted. In little more than a year, we have reviewed more than 250,000 applications and updates.

[Visit the App Store] App Store Downloads on iTunes [Apple microsite, Jan 4, 2011]

Action

Adventure
Arcade
Board
Card
Casino
Dice
Educational
Family

Kids
Music
Puzzle
Racing
Role Playing
Simulation

Sports

Strategy

Trivia

Word

Arts & Photography 
Automotive

Brides & Weddings

Business & Investing

Children’s Magazines

Computers & Internet

Cooking, Food & Drink

Crafts & Hobbies
Electronics & Audio

Entertainment

Fashion & Style

Health, Mind & Body

History
Home & Garden
Literary Magazines & Journals

Men’s Interest
Movies & Music

News & Politics

Outdoors & Nature

Parenting & Family

Pets
Professional & Trade

Regional News
Science

Sports & Leisure
Teens

Travel & Regional
Women’s Interest

See also: Apple – iTunes – iTunes Store – Charts [Apple microsite, Sept 1, 2005]

iTunes Store Charts

iTunes Store Screenshot

Music Charts

Choose and Album Chart Choose a Song Chart
Top 10 Albums
Top 10 Alternative Albums
Top 10 Blues Albums
Top 10 Classical Albums
Top 10 Children’s Albums
Top 10 Comedy Albums
Top 10 Country Albums
Top 10 Dance Albums
Top 10 Electronic Albums
Top 10 Folk Albums
Top 10 Hip-Hop Albums
Top 10 Jazz Albums
Top 10 New Age Albums
[Top 10 Opera Albums]
Top 10 Pop Albums
Top 10 Reggae Albums
Top 10 Rock Albums
Top 10 R&B/Soul Albums
Top 10 Soundtrack Albums
Top 10 Vocal Albums
Top 10 World Albums
Top 10 Songs
Top 10 Alternative Songs
Top 10 Blues Songs
Top 10 Classical Songs
Top 10 Children’s Songs
Top 10 Comedy Songs
Top 10 Country Songs
Top 10 Dance Songs
Top 10 Electronic Songs
Top 10 Folk Songs
Top 10 Hip-Hop Songs
Top 10 Jazz Songs
Top 10 New Age Songs
Top 10 Pop Songs
Top 10 Reggae Songs
Top 10 Rock Songs
Top 10 R&B/Soul Songs
Top 10 Soundtrack Songs
Top 10 Vocal Songs
Top 10 World Songs

App Store Charts [Dec 27, 2008]

Choose an App Store Chart
Top 10 Apps – Paid
Top 10 Apps – Free
Top 10 Apps – New
Top 10 Apps – Books
Top 10 Apps – Business
Top 10 Apps – Education
Top 10 Apps – Entertainment
Top 10 Apps – Finance
Top 10 Apps – Games
Top 10 Apps – Healthcare & Fitness
Top 10 Apps – Lifestyle
Top 10 Apps – Medical
Top 10 Apps – Music
Top 10 Apps – Navigation
Top 10 Apps – News
Top 10 Apps – Photography
Top 10 Apps – Productivity
Top 10 Apps – Reference
Top 10 Apps – Social Networking
Top 10 Apps – Sports
Top 10 Apps – Travel
Top 10 Apps – Utilities
Top 10 Apps – Weather

Audiobooks Charts [Dec 26, 2008]

Movies Charts

TV Shows Charts

Podcasts Charts [Jan 25, 2007 for Health; July 4, 2009 for others]

Note that there is a separate microsite for Apple – Web apps – All Categories [Oct 10, 2007 – Dec 3, 2010] where there are only 5106 apps, and the most recent one is dated back to Dec 3, 2010. These apps are described as:

Apple – Web apps [Jan 15, 2008]

Part fun. Part function

Flick through movie time. Tap on a train route. Scroll thropugh sports scores. Web apps and Multi-Touch make it possible.

The Internet meets Multi-Touch

Web applications — or web apps — combine the power of the Internet with the simplicity of Multi-Touch technology, all on a 3.5-inch screen. iPhone and iPod touch let you easily flick through news on Digg, play Sudoku or Bejeweled with a finger tap, and quickly check movie times, train schedules, and favorite blogs.

Browsing web apps is easy. Just visit www.apple.com/webapps on your iPhone or iPod touch. You’ll find a growing list of over 1700 web apps to flick and scroll through. Browse now

One tap web apps.

When you find a web app you like, you can put it front and center on your Home screen. Just open the web app on your iPhone or iPod touch, tap the plus sign, and then tap “Add to Home screen.” A Web Clip will be added to your Home screen automatically for easy, one-tap access. You have up to nine Home screen pages for all your Web Clips and you can organize them however you like.

[Learn more about apps on iPhone] Apple – iPhone 4S – See apps and games from the App Store. [Apple product page, Oct 4, 2011]

Over 500,000 apps.
For work, play, and everything in between.

The apps that come with your iPhone are just the beginning. Browse the App Store to find hundreds of thousands more. The more apps you download, the more you realize there’s almost no limit to what your iPhone can do.
Learn more about the App Store

Apps by Apple
Create and send letterpress cards. Shoot and edit HD movies. Make presentations and spreadsheets.
Learn more
Business
Follow the market, pay your bills, and track everything from your time to your gas mileage.
Learn more
Travel
Book that overdue vacation and find the best spots to see before you get there.
Learn more
Sports & Fitness
Tone those muscles, drop those extra pounds, and get fit with the help of these apps.
Learn more
Social Networking
Update your status, share photos and video, and let the world know what you’re up to.
Learn more
News
Stay in the know as you tap into weather forecasts and breaking news from all over the planet.
Learn more
Lifestyle
Find great deals in your neighborhood, cook up the perfect dish, and control everything in your house with iPhone. Learn more
Games
Soar through the air, take the checkered flag, and save the universe from aliens. It’s all in a day’s work.
Learn more
Entertainment


Catch a good movie or shoot one of your own — these apps offer endless hours of satisfaction.
Learn more
Education
See the world. See the universe. And make it back in time to get your homework done. Learn more
Family & Kids
Read along together, complete puzzles, and make every night family night.
Learn more
Music
Discover new music, make your own, and turn iPhone into your mobile recording studio.
Learn more

Top iPhone Apps                                                           Visit the App Store

Top Paid Apps Top Free Apps Top Grossing Apps
1. …
2. …
3. …
4. …
5. …
1. …
2. …
3. …
4. …
5. …
1. …
2. …
3. …
4. …
5. …
View all Paid Apps View all Free Apps View all Top Grossing Apps

[Learn more about the App Store] Apple – iPhone 4S – Find over 500,000 apps on the App Store. [Apple product page, Oct 3, 2011]

The App Store. There’s an app for that. Over 500,000, actually.

Every app you download from the App Store makes your iPhone do even more. And with hundreds of thousands of apps to choose from, we mean a whole lot more.

Browse, buy, and
even give apps.

Enter the App Store to shop for amazing apps in almost every category: games, lifestyle, social networking, and education, for starters. Many apps are even free. If you’re just browsing, the App Store makes it easy. You can see what’s new in Featured, check out the Top 25, and flick through a few screenshots. Find apps by doing a quick search, then download them from wherever you are.1 Or purchase apps to send as gifts to friends and family. Just use the same Apple ID on the App Store that you use to buy anything on iTunes. It’s that easy. And it’s always safe and secure.
Learn more about apps on iPhone

Your apps in iCloud.

When you buy and download apps from the App Store, you always have access to them, no matter which device you’re using. Because the App Store keeps them in the cloud. So if you bought an app on your iPhone, it can automatically download straight to your iPad over Wi-Fi or 3G and vice versa.2 And if you delete an app from your device, you can always download it again.

Stay up to date.

Developers are constantly improving their apps. When you visit the App Store, the Update icon shows you when an update is available for an app you have. With a tap, you can download the updates either one at a time or all at once. Then you’ll always have the latest versions.

Get recommendations.

With so many apps available, you need an easy way to find new ones to enjoy. That’s where Genius comes in. With just a tap, Genius gives you personalized recommendations for apps you might like based on apps you and others have downloaded. You can also read reviews from other app users and see their ratings, and even add your own.

iCloud

iCloud keeps the stuff you use every day up to date on all your devices. Like all the amazing apps you download from the App Store. Learn more about iCloud

Browse All Built-in Apps

Camera HD Video Recording FaceTime
Messages Reminders Phone
Mail Safari Music
Videos Photos App Store
iTunes Maps + Compass Game Center
Calendar Contacts Find My
iPhone
More
Built-in Apps

Apple – The new iPad– Explore a world of apps made just for iPad. [Apple product page, Dec 8, 2011]

Made for iPad. Ready for anything.

An app made for iPad is an app like no other. That’s because apps for iPad are designed specifically to take advantage of all the technology built into iPad. And with over 225,000 apps to choose from, there’s no telling where the next tap will take you.

Apps by Apple
Incredible apps designed by the people who designed iPad. Learn more
Business
Manage projects, tap into industry news, and get real-time market quotes. Learn more
Productivity
Stay productive with powerful apps that get the job done in style. Learn more
Education
From learning math to understanding science, iPad apps offer fun, interactive ways to learn. Learn more
Entertainment
Discover great movies and TV shows or create art with a few swipes of your finger. Learn more
Music
Turn iPad into a mobile recording studio or rock any party, anytime. Learn more
Games
Rule the skies, explore worlds unknown, or kick back and solve a puzzle. Learn more
Social Networking
Update your status, share photos and video, and let the world know what you’re up to. Learn more
News
Interact with breaking news from around the world through iPad apps that keep you current. Learn more
Sports
Improve your game, track your team, and discover new ways to stay fit. Learn more
Travel
Find the best deals wherever you’re going. And know the best sights to see before you arrive. Learn more
Newsstand
Enjoy your favorite subscriptions — newspapers, magazines, and more — like never before. Learn more
Lifestyle
Get interior design tips, find new recipes, and get even more out of your favorite hobbies. Learn more

Top iPad Apps Visit the App Store

Top Paid Apps Top Free Apps Top Grossing Apps
1. …
2. …
3. …
4. …
5. …
1. …
2. …
3. …
4. …
5. …
1. …
2. …
3. …
4. …
5. …
View all Paid Apps View all Free Apps View all Top Grossing Apps

Apple – iPod touch – See games and apps from the App Store. [Apple product page, Oct 4, 2011]

Get your game face on.

The App Store features over 500,000 apps, many of which are free. That includes over 100,000 game and entertainment titles — more than any other platform. And you can go head-to-head with millions of other gamers on Game Center. No wonder iPod touch is the world’s most popular portable game player. You’ll wish you had more fingers.

Apps by Apple
Get one-tap access to podcasts. Create and send letterpress cards. Shoot and edit HD movies. And more. Learn more
Music
Make your own radio station, create your own beats, and turn iPod touch into your personal recording studio. Learn more
Games for Gamers
Explore fantasy worlds, battle fierce competition, or take your team to the championship game. Learn more
Casual Games
Kick back and relax as you slice through fruit, launch an airborne attack, and rule your own island. Learn more
Strategy Games
Test your skills by safely landing aircraft, maneuvering through enemy territory, and outsmarting the opposition. Learn more
Action Games
Conduct secret missions, fight your way to the finish line, or take to the skies for intense aerial combat. Learn more
Sports Games
Run the table, rule the ring, and control the court. You were born to perform with these games. Learn more
Lifestyle
Buy and sell on the go, discover new recipes, and find the best deals on everything from fashion to travel. Learn more
Entertainment
See what movies are playing tonight, watch trailers, read reviews, or stay home and make your own mini-movies. Learn more
Social Networking
Update your status, share photos and video, and let the world know what you’re up to. Learn more
Education
Organize homework assignments, learn a new language, and study up with iPod touch. Learn more
Family & Kids
Read along together, complete puzzles, and make every night family night. Learn more

Top iPod touch Apps Visit the App Store

Top Games Top Paid Apps Top Free Apps
1. …
2. …
3. …
4. …
5. …
1. …
2. …
3. …
4. …
5. …
1. …
2. …
3. …
4. …
5. …
View all Games View all Paid Apps View all Free Apps

Apple – Business – App Store Volume Purchasing for Business [June 12, 2012]

App Store Volume Purchasing for Business

Unleash the App Store to your entire workforce.

Whether you’re providing apps to ten employees or ten thousand, the Volume Purchase Program makes it simple to find, buy, and distribute the apps your business needs.

The Volume Purchase Program also provides a way to get custom B2B apps built by third-party developers to meet the unique needs of your business.

The Volume Purchase Program is currently available in the US only.

Get started. Enroll in the US Program

Learn more. Download the Guide

Coming Soon. The App Store Volume Purchase Program is expanding to the following countries: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Spain, and United Kingdom.

Buy apps in volume.

Streamline your purchasing process and put more power and productivity in the hands of your workforce. Every paid app in the App Store is available for businesses to buy in volume through the program website. Simply search for the apps you need, enter the quantity you want to buy, and complete the transaction with your corporate credit card. Apps are available for purchase at the same price listed in the App Store.

Discover great apps for business: iPad | iPhone

Get custom B2B apps.

Custom B2B apps are built just for you by third-party developers and business partners to address a specific business process, integrate with a unique back-office environment, or deliver a custom interface for your users. Using the Volume Purchase Program you can securely and privately download custom B2B apps that make your business even more effective. Pricing for custom B2B apps is set by the developer and can be either free or paid.

If you are a developer who is enrolled in the iOS Developer program you can create custom B2B apps for customers who are enrolled in the Volume Purchase Program.

Learn more about developing custom B2B apps

Easily distribute apps.

The Volume Purchase Program makes it easy to distribute apps within your organization. When you buy apps in volume or custom B2B apps, you will receive redemption codes for each app. You can control who gets the apps by providing these codes to users via email or an internal website. You can also use third-party Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions or Apple Configurator for OS X to centrally manage redemption codes.

Learn more about Mobile Device Management

Learn more about Apple Configurator for OS X

Open for business.

Any business in the US can participate in the Volume Purchasing Program. To start buying apps in volume for your business, you’ll need to enroll and create a volume purchasing account with Apple. Enrolling in the program is simple. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Basic contact information to verify your business
  • Dun & Bradstreet number (D-U-N-S)
  • Corporate credit card or PCard to purchase apps

Get started. Enroll in the US Program

Learn more. Download the Guide

Discover great apps for business.

@Work Collection

Discover great apps for your business at the App Store. There you’ll find apps across a range of categories for your business.
View in iTunes: iPad | iPhone

iPad and iPhone Apps for Business

Put iPad and iPhone to work for your business. Visit the iPad in Business or iPhone in Business websites to explore how to transform business activities you do everyday. iPad | iPhone

Getting Started Guide

Choose great apps to purchase for your employees and help them get started with this self-paced discovery guide of business apps from the App Store. Download the Guide

Apple – Education – Volume Purchase Program [Jan 19, 2012]

The Apple Volume Purchase Program

The Volume Purchase Program allows educational institutions to purchase iOS apps and books in volume and distribute them to students, teachers, administrators, and employees.*

How to Enroll

It’s quick and easy to set up your organization for volume purchasing. First, designate yourself or someone else in your organization as the Program Manager. Then you can sign up Program Facilitators, which will allow them to make purchases.

If your institution is tax exempt, you will not be charged sales tax. The program also allows app developers to offer special pricing for purchases of 20 apps or more.

Enroll Now       Frequently Asked Questions

*Subject to Apple Volume Purchase Program terms and conditions. Any K-12 institution or district or any accredited, degree-granting higher education institution in the U.S. is eligible to participate. Note: Apple reserves the right to determine eligibility. Campus bookstores and other retail institutions are not eligible. Volume Vouchers cannot be resold.
Coming Soon. The Apple Volume Purchase Program is expanding to the following countries: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Spain, and United Kingdom.

How It Works

1. Buy apps and books

Through the Volume Purchase Program Education Store, your institution’s Program Facilitators can purchase apps and books in volume, using a credit card, PCard, or Apple Volume Vouchers.

2.  Get and distribute codes

After making a purchase, Program Facilitators receive a unique code for each app or book. Codes can then be distributed to students, teachers, administrators, or anyone at the institution who will be using the apps or books.

Visit the Volume Purchase Program
Education Store

3.  Redeem codes

Once they have their codes, end users go to the iTunes Store to redeem them. They just enter the code and download the apps or books to their devices.

Redeem codes

Apple Education Pricing

Faculty, staff, and students or their parents can get special pricing on Mac computers and more. And institutions can get in touch with an Apple representative to learn more about volume purchasing.
How to buy