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Mark Zuckerberg’s personality is hyped (again) with a quite worthwhile initiative (otherwise) but with substantial global financial interests behind it as well

The internet.org initiative for the next 5 billion people is even a bigger announcement than the Steve Ballmer’s retirement from Microsoft announcement given The Upcoming Mobile Internet Superpower [Aug 13, 2013, with extensive follow-up & ‘The global forces behind …’ analysis, later in the post, as of August 22 at 9:08pm] and the substantial global financial interests (uncovered there and) otherwise also tied to the creation of the whole global Facebook phenomenon (also indicating that Mark Zuckerberg has been just a strawman of something significantly bigger going on behind the scenes from the very beginning). Just two images which were included into the The Upcoming Mobile Internet Superpower as a reminder of that (before documenting the internet.org initiative in this post):

While the true intent of this announcement is covered by things described above, here is what was officially told to the world:

Every one of us. #ConnectTheWorld [Internet.org YouTube channel, Aug 20, 2013]

Technology leaders launch partnership to make internet access available to all [joint press release available from http://internet.org/ and number of other sources, Aug 20, 2013]

Facebook, Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm, Samsung to be founding partners

MENLO PARK, Calif., Aug. 20, 2013 – Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, today announced the launch of internet.org, a global partnership with the goal of making internet access available to the next 5 billion people.

“Everything Facebook has done has been about giving all people around the world the power to connect,” Zuckerberg said. “There are huge barriers in developing countries to connecting and joining the knowledge economy. Internet.org brings together a global partnership that will work to overcome these challenges, including making internet access available to those who cannot currently afford it.”

Today, only 2.7 billion people – just over one-third of the world’s population – have access to the internet. Internet adoption is growing by less than 9 percent each year, which is slow considering how early we are in its development.

The goal of Internet.org is to make internet access available to the two-thirds of the world who are not yet connected and to bring the same opportunities to everyone that the connected third of the world has today.

The founding members of Internet.org –Facebook, Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm and Samsung – will develop joint projects, share knowledge, and mobilize industry and governments to bring the world online. These founding companies have a long history of working closely with mobile operators and expect them to play leading roles within the initiative, which over time will also include NGOs, academics and experts as well. Internet.org is influenced by the successful Open Compute Project, an industry-wide initiative that has lowered the costs of cloud computing by making hardware designs more efficient and innovative.

In order to achieve its goal of connecting the two-thirds of the world who are not yet online, Internet.org will focus on three key challenges in developing countries:

Making access affordable: Partners will collaborate to develop and adopt technologies that make mobile connectivity more affordable and decrease the cost of delivering data to people worldwide. Potential projects include collaborations to develop lower-cost, higher-quality smartphones and partnerships to more broadly deploy internet access in underserved communities. Mobile operators will play a central role in this effort by driving initiatives that benefit the entire ecosystem.

Using data more efficiently: Partners will invest in tools that dramatically reduce the amount of data required to use most apps and internet experiences. Potential projects include developing data compression tools, enhancing network capabilities to more efficiently handle data, building systems to cache data efficiently and creating frameworks for apps to reduce data usage.

Helping businesses drive access: Partners will support development of sustainable new business models and services that make it easier for people to access the internet. This includes testing new models that align incentives for mobile operators, device manufacturers, developers and other businesses to provide more affordable access than has previously been possible. Other efforts will focus on localizing services – working with operating system providers and other partners to enable more languages on mobile devices. 

By reducing the cost and amount of data required for most apps and enabling new business models, Internet.org is focused on enabling the next 5 billion people to come online.

Facebook, Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm, Samsung and other partners will build on existing partnerships while exploring new ways to collaborate to solve these problems.

“For more than 100 years, Ericsson has been enabling communications for all and today more than 6 billion people in the world have access to mobile communications,” said Hans Vestberg, President and CEO of Ericsson. “We are committed to shaping the Networked Society – where everyone and everything will be connected in real time; creating the freedom, empowerment and opportunity to transform society. We believe affordable connectivity and internet access improves people’s lives and helps build a more sustainable planet and therefore we are excited to participate in the Internet.org initiative.”

“As a world leader in mobile solutions for emerging markets having powered more than 300 million smart devices within 2 years, MediaTek whole heartedly supports the Internet.org initiative,” said MK Tsai, Chairman of MediaTek. “Global internet and social media access represent the biggest shift since the industrial revolution, and we want to make it all-inclusive.”

“Nokia is deeply passionate about connecting people – to one another and the world around them,” said Nokia President and CEO Stephen Elop. “Over the years, Nokia has connected well over a billion people. Our industry is now at an exciting inflection point where internet connectivity is becoming more affordable and efficient for consumers while still offering them great experiences. Universal internet access will be the next great industrial revolution.”

“Today, more than 300 million people use Opera every month to access the internet. Tomorrow, we have a chance to serve the next 5 billion people connecting on mobile devices in developing countries. It’s in Opera’s DNA to save people time, money and data, and through Internet.org we think we can help advance these goals,” said Lars Boilesen, CEO Opera Software.

“Mobile has helped to transform many people’s lives in the emerging regions where often a computing device will be the first and only mobile experience they’ll ever have” said Paul Jacobs, chairman of the board and CEO of Qualcomm Incorporated. “Having shipped more than 11 billion chips, Qualcomm is a market leader that is committed to the goal of bridging the digital divide. We’re pleased to be a part of Internet.org and to be working with key ecosystem players to drive this initiative forward.”

“This new initiative has big potential to help accelerate access to the internet for everyone,” said JK Shin, CEO and President of the IT & Mobile Communications Division at Samsung Electronics. “We’re focused on delivering high quality mobile devices to ensure that the next five billion people have great mobile internet experiences.”

The Internet.org website launches today and provides an overview of the mission and goals, as well as a full list of the partners. In the coming weeks, it will feature interviews with technology leaders and experts, along with the latest news on Internet.org activities.

The embedded video on the internet.org site explains further: Mark Zuckerberg aims to put the entire world online [CNN YouTube channel, Aug 21, 2013]

Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to connect five billion more people to the Internet.

adding more fuel to the campaign, as two follow-up videos on CNN channel as well:
Zuckerberg, tech companies look for “next 5 billion… [CNN YouTube channel, Aug 21, 2013]

Facebook CEO is teaming up with tech companies to bring the web to every single person on earth. Erin Burnett reports.

Mark Zuckerberg’s Internet plan: realistic or impossible? [CNN YouTube channel, Aug 22, 2013]

Tom Foreman examines how realistic it is for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to expand Internet access by 5 billion people.

And the leading global media was awash with extensive coverage of this as evidenced here just with the following videos:
Mark Zuckerberg’s World-Wide Plan for the Internet [Bloomberg YouTube channel, Aug 21, 2013]

Aug. 21 (Bloomberg) — “Lunch Money” Host Adam Johnson reports on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s new plan to bring internet service to 5 billion people in the world currently without it.

Mark Zuckerberg Announces Plan To Get Billions More People Online [HuffPost Live YouTube channel, Aug 21, 2013]

Facebook Inc. announced a partnership called Internet.org on Wednesday. The company says its goal is to “make Internet access available to the two-thirds of the world who are not yet connected.”

Facebook-led project pushes for wider internet access – corporate [Euronews YouTube channel, Aug 22, 2013]

Facebook’s boss wants to make internet access affordable for the two-thirds of the world’s…

Chinese manufacturing grows and Facebook wants to spread the internet worldwide [FRANCE 24 English YouTube channel, Aug 22, 2013]

The Facebook Internet initiative (internet.org) story is from [5:15] to [6:20]

From the participant companies we had the following corporate communications in addition to the joint press release:

Ericsson and Internet.org – providing the internet for everyone, everywhere [Aug 21, 2013]

The Networked Society will bring significant economic, social and environmental benefits to hundreds of millions of people, one of which is providing internet access to the remaining two-thirds of the planet. Today (Aug 21, 2013), Ericsson, Facebook and a number of other tech giants took a step closer to realizing these benefits through the announcement of a global initiative we call Internet.org. Through this, we aim to reduce the cost of delivering basic internet services and make them available to everyone, everywhere.

So, why is this initiative so important? In the Networked Society, connectivity is the starting point for new ways of innovating, collaborating and socializing. It’s about creating freedom, empowerment and opportunity, transforming industries and society while helping find solutions to some of the greatest challenges facing our planet.

Hans Vestberg, President and CEO of Ericsson, says: “For more than 100 years, Ericsson has been enabling communications for all, and today more than 6 billion people have access to mobile communications. We are committed to shaping the Networked Society – where everyone and everything will be connected in real time; creating the freedom, empowerment and opportunity to transform society. We believe affordable connectivity and internet access improves people’s lives and helps build a more sustainable planet, and therefore we are excited to participate in the Internet.org initiative.”

Some of the initial areas that are considered barriers to increasing access to the internet are the cost of smartphones, the cost of delivering data, and inefficient data-hungry applications. Cheaper phones, improved data compression techniques, and apps that use less data and reduce battery usage are some of the initial areas of investigation. Others include more efficient allocation of spectrum, edge caching, sharing hardware design, and efficiency optimization.

Ericsson has several areas of expertise to offer the initiative, including: knowledge of scale, its global presence and local expertise, and its technology leadership in the area of mobile networks and supporting service enablers.

Ericsson believes that communication is a basic human need, and fulfilling this has been our mission since the foundation of our company.

Opera helps connect the next 5 billion online [Opera News, Aug 21, 2013]

Today, only 2.7 billion people are connected to the internet. The cost of getting online is one of the biggest challenges for users worldwide. We want to help get the next five billion online.

For the last 17 years, we have built products and services to get people online. We believe in the power of sharing ideas. Opera Mini is our mobile browser that uses compression technology to save you time and money. Operators around the world have embraced Opera Mini and Opera Web Pass as the best choice for their users to get online.

WE HAVE PARTNERED WITH FACEBOOK TO GET THE NEXT 5 BILLION ONLINE

Meet Internet.org – a partnership between Facebook, Opera, and other technology companies. This is a global effort that will also involve help from local communities, non-profit organisations and experts across the world. We are proud to contribute to the project with our competence in Internet technology.

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Are you among the few in your country who has access to the internet? Tell us how you spend your time online. How has the internet helped you? We’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with us on Twitter, Facebook or byemail.

image“Today, more than 300 million people use Opera every month to access the Internet.

Tomorrow, we have a chance to serve the next 5 billion people connecting on mobile devices in developing countries. It’s in Opera’s DNA to save people time, money and data, and through internet.org we think we can help advance these goals.”

— Lars Boilesen, CEO Opera Software.

Further information about the other companies’ involvement you can find in the following article also linked on the internet.org homepage:
Facebook Leads an Effort to Lower Barriers to Internet Access [The New York Times, Aug 20, 2013]

MENLO PARK, Calif. — About one of every seven people in the world uses Facebook. Now, Mark Zuckerberg, its co-founder and chief executive, wants to make a play for the rest — including the four billion or so who lack Internet access.

On Wednesday, Facebook announced an effort aimed at drastically cutting the cost of delivering basic Internet services on mobile phones, particularly in developing countries, where Facebook and other tech companies need to find new users. Half a dozen of the world’s tech giants, including Samsung, Nokia, Qualcomm and Ericsson, have agreed to work with the company as partners on the initiative, which they call Internet.org.

The companies intend to accomplish their goal in part by simplifying phone applications so they run more efficiently and by improving the components of phones and networks so that they transmit more data while using less battery power.

For Mr. Zuckerberg, the formation of the coalition is yet another way in which he is trying to position himself as an industry leader. He has been speaking out more forcefully than other tech executives on topics like immigration overhaul, which the industry sees as critical to its hiring needs. With Internet.org, he is laying out a philosophy that tries to pair humanitarian goals with the profit motive.

“The Internet is such an important thing for driving humanity forward, but it’s not going to build itself,” he said in a recent interview. “Ultimately, this has to make business sense on some time frame that people can get behind.”

But the effort is also a reflection of how tech companies are trying to meet Wall Street’s demands for growth by attracting customers beyond saturated markets in the United States and Europe, even if they have to help build services and some of the infrastructure in poorer, less digitally sophisticated parts of the world.

Google, for example, began a program with phone carriers last year that offers wireless users in some developing countries free access to Gmail, search and the first page clicked through from a search’s results. Google is also reaching for the sky with Project Loon, an attempt to beam Internet access down to earth from plastic balloons floating more than 11 miles in the atmosphere.

Twitter, which is preparing to offer shares to the public in an initial stock offering, has struck its own deals with about 250 cellphone companies in more than 100 countries to offer some free Twitter access, and worked to make sure its service is easy to use on even the cheapest cellphones.

These companies have little choice but to look overseas for growth. More than half of Americans already use Facebook at least once a month, for instance, and usage in the rest of the developed world is similarly heavy. There is nearly one active cellphone for every person on earth, making expansion a challenge for carriers and phone makers.

Poorer countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America present the biggest opportunity to reach new customers — if companies can figure out how to get people there online at low cost.

The immediate goals of the new coalition are to cut the cost of providing mobile Internet services to 1 percent of its current level within five to 10 years by improving the efficiency of Internet networks and mobile phone software. The group also hopes to develop new business models that would allow phone companies to provide simple services like e-mail, search and social networks for little or no charge.

While that sounds far less exciting than, say, Google’s idea of delivering the Internet by balloon, Mr. Zuckerberg says small efforts can add up to big changes.

“No one company can really do this by itself,” he said.

Facebook is already working on techniques to reduce the average amount of data used by its Android mobile app from the current 12 megabytes a day to 1 megabyte without users noticing.

Qualcomm, whose chip technology is prevalent in advanced cellphones, has created new designs to stretch a phone’s battery life, slice the amount of data needed to transmit a video and extend the reach of mobile networks through tiny devices similar to Wi-Fi routers.

The coalition partners have also begun trying new ways of reducing the data charges paid by cellphone customers while still enabling phone makers and carriers to make money.

For example, Nokia, the Finnish cellphone maker, ran a recent experiment with Facebook and the Mexican phone carrier Telcel, in which it bundled free Facebook access with some of its Asha feature phones. Sales rose significantly, and the company decided to run similar promotions for customers of Bharti Airtel, a mobile carrier in India and Africa.

[Note that with new Nokia Asha platform, which is a full platform enhancement of the earlier Asha Touch upgrade of the legacy S40 platform, Nokia has done already the most among the internet.org founding members to achieve the now declared common challenges of Making access affordable, Using data more efficiently and Helping businesses drive access. You can check that by reading the posts behind the indicated tags on this blog.]

However, the Internet.org team does not plan to tackle some thorny infrastructure issues that are huge barriers in the developing world, particularly the long-distance transmission of data to far-flung places.

Michuki Mwangi, regional development manager for Africa at the Internet Society, a nonprofit group that has long worked to expand global Internet access, said the continent sorely lacked local interconnection points, forcing most requests for content like YouTube videos to be routed through Europe at high cost. Creating more connection points would require navigating a thicket of government interests and powerful incumbents. But at the very least, the group would like Facebook and Google to put copies of their content on a greater number of African servers to deliver it more quickly and cheaply, something that both companies say they are considering.

As with the Open Compute coalition started by Facebook in 2011 to improve the efficiency of data centers, Facebook will seek to add other partners to Internet.org, including national governments, wireless phone carriers and Microsoft, a longtime Facebook ally that has its own projects to expand access.

But Google — whose search and YouTube video products are as fundamental as Facebook’s social network to many Internet users — is likely to remain outside the group.

For one, its own efforts to expand Internet access are aggressive. In addition, the company is constantly refining its Android software, which runs the majority of new smartphones sold, to improve efficiency and battery life.

“We’re always making investments in technology and programs to help people get online,” said Courtney Hohne, a Google spokeswoman. “We have teams around the world working on products tailored to local needs.”

Bill Gates, the chairman of Microsoft and co-chairman of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, recently suggested that Project Loon and similar projects were not the best use of resources to help people in the poorest nations.

“When a kid gets diarrhea, no, there’s no Web site that relieves that,” he said in a recent interview with Bloomberg Businessweek.

Mr. Zuckerberg acknowledged that basic health care is essential, but said that “if you can afford a phone, I think it would be really good for you to have access to the Internet.”

The potential is already obvious in places like the Philippines, where the second-largest mobile phone company, Globe Telecom, has used free Twitter, Facebook or Google access as promotions to increase the number of its 37 million users who also subscribe to a mobile data plan to 20 percent from virtually zero in two years.

“Once you’re connected, you’re connected, and you don’t want to look back,” said Peter Bithos, Globe’s senior adviser for consumer business.

For Facebook, which generates most of its revenue from selling advertising that it shows to its users, the immediate profits from expanding Internet access will be minimal, Mr. Zuckerberg said, although he acknowledged that the long-term potential was there.

“We’re focused on it more because we think it’s something good for the world,” he said, “rather than something that is going to be really amazing for our profits.”

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China is the epicenter of the mobile Internet world, so of the next-gen HTML5 web

My preceding posts on this site are already leading to such a massive conclusion. Read:

IMT-Advanced (4G) for the next-generations of interactive mobile services, China is triumphant [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Oct 24, 2010]
Good TD-LTE potential for target commercialisation by China Mobile in 2012 [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, July 13, 2011 – Feb 8, 2012]
TD-SCDMA: US$3B into the network (by the end of 2012) and 6 million phones procured (just in October) [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Oct 18, 2011]
China becoming the lead market for mobile Internet in 2012/13 [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Dec 1, 2011]
MWC 2012: the 4G/LTE lightRadio network [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Oct 16, 2012]
China: 20,000 TD-LTE base stations in 13 cities by the end of 2012 and about 200,000 base stations in 100 cities launched in 2013 with the 2.6GHz TDD spectrum planning just started—SoftBank with TD-LTE strategy in Japan getting into global play with Sprint (also the 49% owner of US TD-LTE champion, Clearwire) acquisition [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Oct 16, 2012]

The latest information collected to support my headline here is providing further evidence:

  1. The new frontier: application service (e.g. WeChat) global expansion with lead market advantage and tremendous growth opportunity lying ahead
  2. Online shopping growing very fast
  3. Applications, applications to be added to the search
  4. Xiaomi to take Apple place
  5. Strong central government support
  6. Country-wide 4G roll-out by year end 2013 after extensive trials
  7. From operator branded to white-box superphones supporting all that

Lead #1: Choosing Sides: Who’s Partnered with Who in China’s Internet War? [Tech In Asia, Aug 5, 2013]

image

The battle between China’s internet giants is only becoming more contentious, and the nation’s major companies seem to be making acquisitions and partnerships at a breakneck pace this year (not to mention rolling out products designed to invade rivals’ markets).

In the interest of clarity, I thought it would be fun to do a roundup of who’s on whose team so far, based on China’s three most internet profitable companies. Obviously none of this is cast in stone, but it’s still quite an interesting way to understand the internet sector. (Note: these lists only include acquisitions and partnerships from 2013).

Team Alibaba:

  • Sina Weibo – a huge new partnership that’s likely to yield more social products from Alibaba.
  • Qihoo 360 – Arguably an independent player, but Qihoo has worked with Alibaba on a product search engine. Qihoo is itself rumored to be buying Sogou.
  • Autonavi – Alibaba invested a boatload in the online mapping company, though it’s not yet clear what role this will play in Alibaba’s long-term strategy.
  • Xiami (acquisition) – Another likely part of Alibaba’s social plan.

Shots fired: Alibaba has been especially harsh to Tencent this year, banning third-party communication tools (mostly WeChat and QQ) in its offices andshutting down the Taobao-WeChat interface. But it has also taken a swipe at Baidu via the launch of its own search engine.

Team Tencent:

  • Xiaomi – A very new partnership, but one that could see Tencent strengthen its strangehold in mobile.
  • China Unicom – WeChat’s popularity has got all of China’s telecoms trying to cozy up to Tencent to get in on the money train.

Shots fired: New security features in WeChat 5 will challenge Qihoo, and Tencent is also rumored to be interested in buying Sogou which would put it at odds with Baidu. Additionally, Tencent dealt old rivals Qihoo a loss in the courts this year.

Team Baidu:

  • 91 Wireless (acquisition) – A huge buy that shows Baidu is serious about mobile.
  • PPS (acquisition) – Another major buy that turned Baidu into one of the major players in internet video.
  • Qunar – Baidu has invested big in the online travel company.
  • Kingsoft – Baidu has also invested in Qihoo rival Kingsoft.

Shots fired: Baidu really hates Qihoo, and has launched an antivirus suite and Baidu Guard, both of which are designed to break into Qihoo’s PC security market. Entering Alibaba’s domain, it has also released a product search engine. Plus, just like Tencent, Baidu has spanked Qihoo in court this year.

First watch this video about Baidu [firecracker888 YouTube channel, Dec 4, 2012]
Baidu is one of the WPP, BrandZ Top 50 Most Valuable Chinese Brands 2013. Each brand has its own individual story and to tell them we have put together 50 short films – one on each of the brands in the rankings.
as well as about Baidu’s recent expansion by acquiring 91 Wireless, the biggest 3d party appstore in China: Baidu Gains Mobile Share in $1.9B 91 Wireless Deal [BloombergMarket YouTube channel, July 16, 2013], note Baidu’s earlier platform attempts—Baidu Site App Platform [Sept 3, 2012] and Baidu Yi [Sept 2, 2011]—now joined by 91 open mobile platform [Oct 11, 2012] as well.

Jin Yoon discusses Baidu on CNBC World [BeyondPixInterviews YouTube channel, July 30, 2013]

Jin Yoon, Nomura Live at Beyond Pix Studios in San Francisco, CA. July 16, 2013. http://www.beyondpix.com
Then go deeper first with:
Alibaba is one of China’s largest–and most successful–online retailers, and its IPO could command upwards of $70 billion dollars. With a offering coming as early as September, Alibaba appears to be taking steps to limit the counterfeit merchandise on its platform. The Wall Street Journal reports:
Unlike Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN), Alibaba doesn’t sell products itself but operates websites that help sellers find buyers. While Alibaba doesn’t have much control over who sells what on Taobao–a mammoth site with more than 800 million product listings—it has been continuously upgrading the system to delete listings for counterfeit goods. In Alibaba’s efforts to maintain credibility, Tmall, another shopping site that became independent from Taobao in 2011, plays a key role. While anyone with a national identification document can become a seller on Taobao, Alibaba’s criteria for Tmall, which hosts storefronts for major brands such as Nike Inc. (NKE) and Gap Inc. (GPS), are more stringent as it tries to make the site a piracy-free zone…
…Alibaba said it blocks some items from being posted on Taobao using filtering mechanisms based on certain keywords used by sellers to describe counterfeit goods. Brands like[guitar-string manufacturer] D’Addarioconstantly monitor Taobao and report any counterfeit items to Alibaba.
which provides a good introduction to Jack Ma: E-commerce in China and Around the World [Credit Suisse YouTube channel, March 20, 2013]
With 242 million people in China expected to shop online in 2013, spending an estimated US$265 billion, China’s e-commerce industry is a force no-one can afford to ignore. Jack Ma, the head of Alibaba Group, China’s largest e-commerce company, discusses how the sector has been generating grassroots economic opportunities and changing lives in China and beyond, and what the future of e-commerce will be like.
And now it’s time to learn via an authentic video of how that business started in 1999 (with the experience of the first Internet company “China Pages” started in 1995 and then 14 months of work for the goverment behind) Jack Ma Speech From “Crocodile In The Yangtze” [PandoDaily YouTube channel, Jan 16, 2013]
Alibaba founder Jack Ma gives an inspirational speech to his recruits in the company’s first office: his apartment. This clip is from Porter Erisman’s documentary film about Alibaba: “Crocodile In The Yangtze.” See http://www.crocodileintheyangtze.com/

Then continue with Alibaba Founder Jack Ma: Ideas & Technology Can Change the World [stanfordbusiness YouTube channel, June 19, 2013] the same appeared as Jack Ma: E-Commerce and the China Opportunity [TeamAlibaba YouTube channel, May 9, 2013] with “… talks about his unusual entrepreneurial beginnings at …. See what else he has to say about e-commerce and the China opportunity.

Jack Ma, the founder of China’s most profitable e-commerce company Alibaba Group, made his last public speech at Stanford University on May 4th, 2013 before stepping down as CEO. In his talk, Ma discussed why embracing change is critical for global leaders managing the fast turnover of technology. The event was co-hosted by Alibaba Group and the Stanford Graduate School of Business’s Stanford Program on Regions of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SPRIE): http://stnfd.biz/lVQGt Transcript (English): http://stnfd.biz/mZAZw Transcript (Mandarin): http://stnfd.biz/mZB1D
Jack Ma reflects at Stanford during final days as CEO; says ‘people bet I’d be a loser’ [By Daniel Limón on SPRIE, May 14, 2013], see also the full transcript in English (PDF)
Speaking without notes or visual aids on May 4th at Stanford University’s NVIDIA Auditorium, founder and former CEO of Alibaba Group Jack Ma unspooled a farewell talk that at moments turned highly personal and deeply reflective: Ma spoke openly about his persistent failures in school, including spending seven years in elementary school and being rejected by Harvard ten times, and about his struggles to jumpstart Alibaba with only 50,000 RMB.
Less than two minutes into his talk at the event co-hosted by Alibaba Group and the Stanford Program on Regions of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SPRIE) of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Ma touched on the trials and travails he had faced early on as an internet and e-commerce pioneer in China. “Back in 1995,” revealed Ma, “I felt I was a loner and people thought I was a cheater. They said I was trying to make something out of nothing.” In fact, added Ma, his first interview with CCTV was censored at the behest of the producer, who feared Ma’s talk about giving the Chinese government internet access was “not a positive influence” and made Ma “look like a bad guy.”
Ma’s personal struggles, however, began well before he knew anything about e-commerce—in elementary school—where Ma confessed to being such a bad pupil that no school in his hometown of Hangzhou wanted him. In high school, he spent three years taking the college entrance exam before scoring high enough to enroll in a local teachers college. Harvard rejected him ten times. “Nobody said that I would be a very capable person that would do something significant or meaningful in the future,” Ma admitted to a silent and still audience of about 100 people. Ma also recalled his father asking him to focus and do calligraphy. “I couldn’t really do it—I didn’t have good penmanship,” he said.
It’s clear the former English teacher turned internet billionaire never let the doubts of his detractors or the rejections from Harvard spoil his high aspirations—in fact, Ma credited the Silicon Valley for inspiring him to bring internet innovation to China amid the setbacks: “I knew nothing about technology, but every time I came to Silicon Valley, on the weekends I would see cars fill each and every parking lot… I saw the lights were on at each and every office building. When everyone spoke, their eyes were filled with sparkles. They were really hopeful about the future. So I was really inspired when I went back to China—I thought that I should do an internet business.”
So Ma did, founding Alibaba Group in 1999 with 17 other co-founders. Today, Alibaba is China’s largest e-commerce firm, something Ma readily admitted exceeded his wildest dreams: “I never thought that Jack Ma would have, in the future, a day like today. I never thought that Alibaba or Taobao or any type of transaction developed by Taobao would have a day like today. I never thought the internet would have a day like today.”
Midway through the speech, the 49-year-old seasoned entrepreneur also struck a philosophical and political chord, making tacit references to god, social conflict, war, and generational change. He encouraged the audience to be grateful for living in an era of great opportunity, adding “the worst thing is that mankind experiences war… if we can actually solve problems through economic development, we will not need wars and we can actually use economic development to influence many people.” He warned, nonetheless, that in the next 30 years the world would face a host of unknown vicissitudes, including “lots of social conflicts,” which Ma described as opportunities for young people. “If everything stays stable, we are not going to have any opportunities.”
Ma also gave the audience his views on the state of China’s present social milieu: “This is the best of times, this is the worst of times,” remarked Ma. “Nobody is happy in China… there’s a lack of trust and nobody is happy. The poor people are unhappy; the rich people are unhappy. The government doesn’t trust media; the media doesn’t trust government. We are in an era of constant change.”
At least twice during his speech, the founder of China’s most profitable e-commerce company also took spirited swipes at some of his personal critics. “You know, we are experiencing economic and political restructuring and they want me to commit suicide. Lots of people are asking, ‘why are you not advocating for political restructuring?’ I don’t feel that’s actually something that can be done. I feel that lots of people encouraging me to do that have foreign passports. And they aren’t going to stay in China as long as they see the situation changing. They’re going to flee the country.” Ma also took to task those that ask why he runs a technology company if he knows so little about technology. He said it’s like asking a real estate developer “you know nothing about constructing a house—how can you be a real estate developer?”
Fourteen years removed from when he founded Alibaba, Ma’s personal belief is that one shows respect and admiration for technology and the people that develop it. “That you don’t know about technology,” said Ma, “doesn’t mean you don’t respect technology.”
You can understand the role of Alibaba in global e-commerce (already) via Small Business Success: DS Global Corporation (DS글로벌) [TeamAlibaba YouTube channel, July 17, 2013]
A look at how DS Global Corporation (DS글로벌) president, Heaon-Jae Lee, found success for his small business in the automotive industry using Alibaba.com from Korea. From early on, Lee understood how the internet could help him reach new markets around the world. He now works with companies across 70 countries, including Turkey, USA, Spain, South Africa, Brazil and Russia.
and for making simple the task of global sourcing for potential customers there is an all-encompassing service on Alibaba.com, the AliSourcePro [TeamAlibaba YouTube channel, July 3, 2013]
Find out more and submit your buying request now at:http://www.Alibaba.com/AliSourcePro Save time and find quality suppliers in one easy step to use sourcing platform. AliSourcePro makes sourcing easy!
More information:
Why Alibaba’s Future Looks Bright [Tech In Asia, May 21, 2013]
Why Alibaba could be China’s next $100bln IPO [Reuters’ Analysis & Opinion blog, April 25, 2013]
Interview with Alibaba.com’s Chairman, Jack Ma [a bmpcroxon article now available only via Alibaba Trade Forums, Oct 23, 2006]
Jack Ma, In the Chinese Cave of Alibaba – La Tribune, Business section [Alibaba Trade Forums, Aug 13, 2007]

Lead #2: Here’s why a war has started between Chinese Internet giants Tencent and Alibaba [The Next Web, Aug 5, 2013]

Chinese Internet giant Tencent has been on a roll recently — for a while last week, it seemed that plenty of other Chinese tech companies wanted to be friends with the firm behind WeChat, a wildly popular messaging service in the country.
However, a huge crack appeared in its veneer of popularity toward the end of the week when Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba suddenly suspended its working relationship with WeChat, marking the start of war.
A series of collaborations and one break-off
Last week, Chinese telecom operators did a surprise turn-around after previously getting upset that WeChat was allegedly stealing users away from traditional SMS.
China Unicom officially announced the introduction of a new SIM card that includes an independent data package for WeChat. Subsequently, it was reported that China Telecom would launch a plan that includes 2GB worth of data specifically for WeChat as well as Sina Weibo — though WeChat was obviously the focus of this package.
Following that, Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi launched its latest Hongmi phone — at $130, it is the lowest-priced in Xiaomi’s range — in collaboration with Qzone, a social networking website owned by Tencent.
Tencent seemed to be riding the wave of popularity throughout last week — until all of a sudden, Alibaba announced that it was suspending all WeChat-related marketing applications from its e-commerce sites.
Alibaba cited misuse by sellers as the reason for doing so, but in the next moment, the company announced that it was launching a “Weibo-Taobao” platform to make it easier for customers on the Twitter-like microblogging platform to shop on e-commerce site Taobao. Interestingly enough, it was also revealed that Sina Weibo will provide Taobao sellers with marketing services.
This suspension of any existing working relationship is a clear indication that war has started between the two Chinese Internet giants — Tencent and Alibaba.
Unlikely rivals cross paths
It would seem that the two make unlikely rivals. The former focuses on providing service portals, while the other mainly dabbles in e-commerce.
However, Alibaba — which makes more money than eBay and Amazon combined — has been showing interest in tapping into the social market. It took an 18 percent stake in Sina’s Weibo in a bid to slow down Tencent’s WeChat success and also bought 28 percent of AutoNavi, China’s top mapping system, suggesting that it is focusing on maps as another prong of its social strategy.
This comes as Tencent revealed last year that it was looking to expand its business into a number of new areas as it sought to increase its already sizable online presence and appeal to advertisers — one of which was e-commerce, which would infringe on Alibaba’s presence. Subsequently, it created an e-commerce subsidiary called Tencent E-Commerce Holding Company.
Just recently, Tencent also led a $150 million investment in design-focused e-commerce service Fab.com, aimed at helping the firm learn more about global e-commerce models.
Alibaba’s fear of Tencent’s social power
Why would Alibaba be so afraid of Tencent though, given that Tencent has not yet made its big jump into e-commerce? The reason is simple:
Tencent’s dominance in the social market.
The power of social is something that every company aspires to have. Communities form opinions and can ultimately define future products and services, according to Jeremiah Owyang, an industry analyst and partner at Altimeter Group.
Right now, it is clear that even if communities haven’t entirely started defining products and services yet, they can decide which ones should get the love. This means that if you have the community on your side, you have a significant advantage.
And Tencent has the power of communities on its side, which could easily become a force to be reckoned with. QQ had close to 800 million active accounts at the end of 2012, while WeChat has nearly 400 million users in all, out of which there are 195 million monthly active users.
This means that any new initiative rolled out by Tencent, such as e-commerce, could very possibly tip the scale to its favor.
Even though Tencent has not started mapping a clear route to develop e-commerce, its dabbling into selling peripherals such as stickers and games could see it inch slowly toward rolling out more products.

image

Furthermore, Tencent has the payments solution in place to enable possible e-commerce. The company owns Tenpay, a PayPal-like online payments solution. Its QQ platform also has a virtual currency already, while the latest update to Weixin (what WeChat is known as in China) saw it introduce mobile in-app payments linked to a banking account which is in turn supported by TenPay.
A Sina Tech report noted that by introducing payments onto WeChat, Tencent is literally declaring war on Alipay, the mobile payments company spun off by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba. The report cites a source close to Alipay as saying that the company had already sensed the impending threat of TenPay being integrated into WeChat, and has been developing new techniques to head off the challenge – for example, it recently announced a major update of its mobile app, Alipay Wallet.
Who will win the war?
Alibaba has shown all intentions of fighting this war to victory. Newly-installed Chief Executive Jonathan Lu has pledged to continue the e-commerce giant’s recent string of big investments as it continues focusing on improving its services for mobile. Lu wants Alibaba’s service – and in particular its two biggest e-commerce businesses: virtual ‘mall’ for brands Tmall and eBay-likeTaobao marketplace – to make better use of customer data to provide a more tailored user experience.
However, even Tencent’s rival — and Alibaba’s ally – Sina has publicly admitted that WeChat is causing its users to spend less time on the Twitter-like Sina Weibo service.
In other words, Tencent isn’t China’s biggest Internet company without a reason. By harnessing the power of social, Tencent has laid its foundation well and could easily spread its influence into a wider variety of businesses.
John Hancock once said: The greatest ability in business is to get along with others and to influence their actions.
The community that Tencent has painstakingly built up over the years will lead to much easier influence in the future, which bodes well for its business. On the other hand, Alibaba needs to brush up on its social influence in China. It is doing swimmingly well in its main businesses — which include e-commerce, financial solutions and big data — and has been tipped for a multi-billion-dollar initial public offering (between $60 billion-$70 billion), but its lack of a persuasive social strategy still sticks out like a sore thumb.
Could the tables turn though? Definitely, considering that Alibaba has already recognized this and is taking steps to beef up its social strategy. In war, victory is always possible as long as you keep fighting. Who knows, Alibaba could one day just as easily roll out a phenomenal success like WeChat.
Then I recommend to watch Tencent [firecracker888 YouTube channel, Dec 4, 2012], note that the “weixin” service (mentioned in the video by Chinese) is WeChat mentioned above
Tencent is one of the WPP, BrandZ Top 50 Most Valuable Chinese Brands 2013. Each brand has its own individual story and to tell them we have put together 50 short films – one on each of the brands in the rankings.
To close this lead section is best with these 13 months old Tencent CEO interview which speaks for the whole Internet industry in China, also by clearly expressing its global expansion potential:  Tencent’s Pony Ma (马化腾) on China’s internet economy [NUS Business School  YouTube channel, July 1, 2012]
Founder and CEO of China’s biggest internet company speaks to NUS Business School on the challenges and opportunities in China’s fast-changing dotcom sector.

End of the Lead Contents

My preliminary investigation was concluded in an ‘April 13, 2013 Report’, which is following after the above sections, and organized around the following findings:

Digitimes Research: Smartphone sales to reach 329 million in China in 2013 [DIGITIMES Research, March 18, 2013]
China Mobile aims to sell 100-120 million TD-SCDMA handsets in 2013 [DIGITIMES, March 15, 2013]
China Mobile 2013 capex increases 49% on year [DIGITIMES, March 14, 2013]
China Mobile to build world’s largest 4G network [CCTV News via GoUTube123 YouTube channel, Feb 27, 2013]
China Mobile launched 100 cities 1 million terminals-covered 4G plan to create world’s largest 4G network [GTI News, March 8, 2013]
China Mobile to procure TD-LTE devices from Huawei, ZTE, Samsung [DIGITIMES, March 19, 2013]
China Mobile: 4G licensing expected by year-end [China Daily, March 13, 2013]
China to lead mobil payment technology [CCTV News via GoUTube123 YouTube channel, Feb 27, 2013]
Commercializing 4G in China needs 1 yr: minister [China Daily, March 15, 2013]
FRANCE 24 Report : Chinese smartphone brands take bite out of APPLE [france24englishYouTube channel, Feb 18, 2013]
Rise of Chinese smartphones [CNNInternational YouTube channel, Feb 26, 2013]
Mike Walsh on Global Innovation [cmispeakers YouTube channel, Feb 5, 2013]
China Smartphone Sector [Asia Pacific/China Equity Research, Credit Suisse, Jan 7, 2013]
Chinese Smartphones [FinancialTimesVideos YouTube channel, April 5, 2012]
Chinese smartphones going big [CCTV News via the GoUTube123 YouTube channel, July 11, 2012]
Handset Industry 2013 Outlook [Asia Pacific/China Equity Research, Credit Suisse, Jan 7, 2013]
SED Electronics Market (Tablets Market) in Shenzhen walk-through [Charbax YouTube channel, March 17, 2013]
Allwinner A31 9.7″ Retina factory tour at Celeb Tech [Charbax YouTube channel, March 17, 2013]

Then followed by More information

This getting even more interesting as the quite dramatic by itself introductory information is only one of the reasons (more will follow below) why we can say that China is the epicenter of the mobile Internet world, so of the next-gen HTML5 web … even if such a power of influence is too new for the country to be able to exercise that to a greater degree (yet): China Knocks Off U.S. to Become World’s Top Smart Device Market [Peter Farago on the Flurry blog, Feb 18, 2013]

Nevertheless the collection given below in the ‘Background’ section is showing that potential. Just look at the major headlines in that section:
China becomes world’s top smartphone producer
China’s e-commerce revenue hits over 1 trillion yuan in 2012: minister
China’s top microblog site boasts 500 mln users
China expected to issue 4G licenses this year: minister
Preparing for a 4G network across China
ZTE leads in 4G wireless networks
EU telecom demands raise tensions with China
China has till June for solar, telecoms trade deal: EU
China’s mobile phone users reach 1.11 bln
China market: Samsung takes up 22.5% of 2012 smartphone sales, says iiMedia Research
Smart phones cover 70 pct of mobile market: report
Android powers a third of all mobile phones shipped in 4Q12, says Canalys
Google controls too much of China’s smartphone sector: ministry
Too late for China to develop own mobile operating systems, say Taiwan makers
China handset makers hope to reduce reliance on Android
China to modify plan to open up mobile telecom sector
4M[bps] broadband to cover 70 percent of Chinese users in 2013
Broadband network expansion in the pipeline

DETAILS


1. The new frontier: application service (e.g. WeChat) global expansion with lead market advantage and tremendous growth opportunity lying ahead

The new frontier: WeChat striving for global expansion [ChinaDaily, Aug 5, 2013]

Lisa Tseretzoulias, a 51-year-old office administrator living in Montreal, Canada, came across WeChat a year ago and instantly fell in love. “I like it a lot and have recommended it to family and friends.”
WeChat, known as weixin in Chinese, is the country’s most popular messaging and social media app developed by Tencent, China’s biggest Internet firm. WeChat is often likened toWhatsApp, developed by a US firm, and Japan’s Line.
But WeChat is more than a messenger app and packs a host of other features, including a hold-to-talk function that allows users to send audio messages to other WeChat users, much like a walky-talky. It’s also a social media platform to post photos and make comments, much like Facebook. Companies and celebrities can open a special account to interact with fans and build a following. NBA basketball player LeBron James has an account.
Founded in 1998 in the southern city of Shenzhen, Guangdong province, Tencent has over the past decade proven itself to be China’s undisputed king of messaging, with its banner instant messaging service called QQ, China’s largest instant messaging service with over 800 million users. With a shift in Internet usage from personal computers to smartphones and tablets, Tencent launched WeChat in 2011.
By the end of the first half of 2013, the number of WeChat users in China had exceeded 400 million, driving revenue growth from mobile traffic up by 56.8 percent, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
Just like the impact Skype has had on landlines, the heavy use of WeChat in China now poses a challenge for telecom operators, whose revenues for text messaging—its most profitable business—fell markedly, leading to a debate overwhether or not to charge a user fee for the application. The attempt by telecom operators to pressure WeChat to charge for the service was roundly condemned by Chinese netizens and others who called on the phone companies to leave WeChat alone and develop their own products to compete. So far, Tencent has no plans to charge users for the popular app but says it will cooperate with China’s big telecom players in other ways.
WeChat is already a huge domestic success and is used by everyone from teenagers to their parents to their grandparents. But Tencent is not satisfied with success in the home market and is branching out globally tooth-and-nail. Roadblocks, however, remain.
With an eye on the international market, WeChat is now available in 18 languages, including English, Indonesian, Spanish, Portuguese, Thai, Vietnamese and Russian. The app can be used on almost all mainstream mobile phone systems thanks to a first-class research and development team at Tencent. WeChat is growing quickly in overseas markets. Tencent announced on July 3 that WeChat has accrued over 70 million registered overseas users, a sharp jump from the 40 million users it claimed it had back in April.
“The software has been especially successful in Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore and the Philippines,”said Martin Lau, President of Tencent, at a developer conference held in Beijing on July 3.
To further expand its user coverage, Tencent has unveiled an advertising campaign featuring internationally famed soccer star Lionel Messi to run in 15 countries, including Argentina, Brazil, India, Italy, Mexico, South Africa, Spainand Turkey.
WeChat has adopted a localization strategy when branching out by hiring celebrities as part of its marketing efforts. A much-loved feature of WeChat is a wide range of cartoon emoticons that users can send to each other, called emoji. With overseas markets in mind, WeChat hasd esigned emoticons featuring local big names. For instance, in India, Tencent roped in popular Bollywood actors Parineeti Chopra and Varun Dhawan as brand ambassadors. Emotes featuring the two Bollywood stars caused a sensation in the country. WeChat is also working closely with businesses overseas and is cooperating with Chang, a well-known beverage company in Thailand.
WeChat’s fun features coupled with Tencent’s strong marketing skills have made the app popular across different markets and helped the app’s popularity soar. User growth is one encouraging sign for the tech company, one of several Chinese Internet companies that have ambitions to expand their businesses abroad. “Successful or not, this is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Tencent,” said Ma Huateng, co-founder and Board Chairman of Tencent, speaking about Tencent’s global layout.
Not easy
While boosting popularity among users outside China, WeChat is faced with competition in the global mobile-chat app market from WhatsApp, Line and Kakao from South Korea.
WhatsApp announced in June it has racked up over 250 million active monthly users worldwide. Line announced on July 23 that it has amassed 200 million global users, and Kakao said in July that the number of its users has topped 95 million. The four are bound to duke it out in the global market.
WeChat has made a splash in emerging nations, especially in Southeast Asia, and has yet to gain a foothold in a large developed economy like the United States, a highly coveted market. By the end of September 2012, there were 100,000 registered WeChat users in theUnited States, a distant cry from the numbers WeChat will need to make an impact beyond the limited population of Chinese-Americans and Chinese students studying there. To that end, Tencent opened an office in February to study the US market and form partnerships with US firms to boost the app’s popularity.
In comparison with the boom in Southeast Asia, WeChat is in its nascent stages of development inthe United States. WeChat faces stiff competition from Line and the Japanese company also has designs on the US market. For now, it’s unclear exactly how WeChat stacks up against its rivals in the battle for the UnitedS tates.
“The US market is a difficult and important one for any Internet company. Many first-class Internet products and companies were born there. The US market is highly sought out by many foreigncompanies and products, and WeChat is no exception,” reads a recent statement from Tencent in February.
“The United States is the most difficult market to tap in our global campaign,” said Ma. “China’s Internet companies lag far behind their globally successful peers and have never been a globals uccess. But now mobile phone and Internet use is developing faster in Asia than in the West. This has given China’s Internet companies a precious opportunity to surpass Western ones,” said Ma, who touts that WeChat is more innovative and user-friendly than its rivals.
But one major concern has Tencent worried: If its popularity grows, could other nations erect the same kind of roadblocks to expansion that have plagued Chinese telecommunications companies like Huawei and ZTE? Both companies have seen their efforts to expand into the United States halted over “national security” concerns.
WeChat has already run into such resistance. India’s intelligence bureau has reportedly proposed a ban on WeChat, saying that the app has already possessed too much personal information on Indians. The United States and other Western nations may suggest the same, fearing that too much citizen data could easily fall into the hands of the Chinese Government.
In response, a spokeswoman for Tencent said, “We have taken user data protection seriously in our product development and daily operations, and like other international peers, we comply with relevant laws in the countries where we have operations.”
Given the recent revelations that the US National Security Agency has been snooping on the e-mails of Americans, users may have few nagging doubts about downloading the Chinese app.
Another issue is whether China’s global image will hold back WeChat in international markets since China is often associated with producing cheap, low-quality products. Persistent foods candals and toxic toys have created a lack of trust of Chinese-made goods in developed countries and beyond.
Duncan Clark, Chairman of BDA China, a consulting firm that specializes in China’s technology and Internet sectors, told The New York Times that WeChat has the potential to overcome anylingering doubts in the West over the made-in-China label, saying potential users would haveno idea the product is Chinese when visiting, for example, an app store, thereby leveling theplaying field for mobile-chat app developers.
Robin Pinsto, a 54-year-old WeChat user in Canada, said she was surprised the app is Chinese.
“I started using WeChat six months ago and I use it every day now. I think WeChat is even better than WhatsApp, with its wide range of cartoon images and other functions,” said Pinsto. “I think WeChat has a shot at being a global success.”
Tseretzoulias, the office administrator in Montreal, has no qualms about WeChat’s origins.
“It doesn’t concern me which country developed it, as long as it’s good to use.”

The lead market advantage: China´s online population nearly 600 mln [CCTVupdates YouTube channel, July 19, 2013]

China’s online population hits 591 million [Shanghai Daily via Xinhuanet, July 18, 2013]

China’s Internet population reached 591 million by the end of June, fueled by a booming mobile Internet user base, a top industry group said yesterday.

More than 70 percent of the new users accessed the Internet via smartphones or other wireless devices. These users are already accustomed to services like instant messaging such as Tencent’s WeChat and payment modes like Alibaba’s Alipay on handsets, according to the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), a government-authorized Internet research organization based in Beijing.

CNNIC publishes China’s Internet development report twice a year, which is regarded as an authoritative dot-com review of the country.

“The traditional Internet applications (e-mail and search engine) have developed smoothly in the period but mobile Internet has come into the spotlight,” CNNIC said in a statement on its website.

By the end of June, China had 591 million Internet users, a 10 percent growth from a year ago, and indicating that 44.1 percent of the country’s population uses the web. The Internet penetration rate was 2 percentage points more from the end of last year, CNNIC revealed.

The growing web applications were online music, video, games and literature, according to CNNIC.

China’s mobile Internet user base reached 464 million by June, 78.5 percent of the total Internet users, compared with 72.2 percent a year ago, the center said.

Mobile Internet has become new economy development engine with an increasing number of users and latest innovation, according to Analysys International, a Beijing-based research firm.

WeChat, which is mainly used on mobile platforms, has attracted more than 400 million users in China within about a year. Its developer Tencent has launched WeChat in overseas markets and expects to reach the 500-million user mark soon.

GSMA, a global mobile communications industry association, said last month that by 2017, the Asia Pacific region will have 1.9 billion mobile subscribers, accounting for almost half of the predicted global total of 3.9 billion.

The popularity of smartphones and wider coverage of 3G network, which provides faster web access, will continue to boost the user base of mobile Internet, CNNIC added.

And there is tremendous growth ahead. Here are the latest quarterly trends for the current situation of the mobile Internet according to operators’ company data:

image

China’s H1 telecom income up 8.9% [Xinhua, July 24, 2013]

China’s telecom business income increased 8.9 percent year on year in the first half of 2013, with 319 million users of 3G technology, a Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) official said on Wednesday.

At a press conference about the communication industry, Zhu Hongren, the MIIT’s chief engineer, also said that from January to May, the country’s information consumption surged 19.8 percent year on year to 1.38 trillion yuan (223.68 billion U.S. dollars).

He said the mobile Internet sector has grown along with broadband access, online shopping and mobile payments.

Information consumption has become a new way to stimulate domestic demand and has been crucial in boosting China’s economy as foreign trade of goods and services only contributed 0.9 percent to the gross domestic product in the first half of 2013.

Zhu said China had more than 400 million users of Weixin, a popular free WhatsApp-like messaging service with all the functions of short messaging service (SMS) by the end of June.

The application, developed by one of the country’s largest information technology (IT) companies, Tencent Holdings Ltd., helped income through mobile Internet data traffic rise “56.8 percent in the January-June period,” according to Zhu.

Thanks to new platforms like Weixin and Sina Weibo, China’s most popular Twitter-like microblog, the country’s e-commerce market size grew 38.5 percent year on year to 5.4 trillion yuan and sales of smart phones and televisions both surged over 25 percent, Zhu added.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang demanded at a meeting of the State Council, China’s Cabinet, on July 12 an average growth rate of over 20 percent in information consumption in the next three years.

Zhu Jun, another MIIT’s official, said the ministry is mapping out measures to realize the growth objective through building and upgrading the network communication infrastructure, enhancing the application and service of 3G technology and promoting the private capital in the telecom market.

Meanwhile, the government will push the share of education and medical treatment resources, encourage innovation in e-commerce and strengthen the safety of private network information, Zhu Jun added.

Digitimes Research: China 3G service subscribers to top 300 million in 1H13 [DIGITIMES Research, June 26, 2013]

The number of 3G service subscribers in China is expected to top 322 million by the end of the first half of 2013, representing a penetration rate of 27.1%. Meanwhile, sales of smartphones in China will total 170 million units in the first half of 2013, up 51% on the prior six-month period, according to Digitimes Research.

In the second quarter of 2013, Samsung Electronics delivered a total of 14.5 million smartphones, including entry-level to mid-range 3G models and the high-end Galaxy S4, in China, accounting for a 15.7% share.

Lenovo ranked second with smartphone shipments totaling 8.6 million units in the second quarter, followed by Coolpad with 8.4 million units, Huawai with 8.0 million units and Apple with 7.7 million units.

Buoyed by brisk sales of its 3.5-inch entry-level models and CNY1,000 (US$163) dual-core models, Coolpad outperformed both Huawei and Apple to take the third-rank title in China in the second quarter and accounted for a 9.1% share.

Sales of Apple smartphones were lower than expected in the second quarter as the US-based vendor did not release any new models during the period. But Apple may see its sales rebound in the second half of 2013, powered by the planned launch of a low-priced model as well as a TD-SCDMA version iPhone.

The penetration rate of 3G telecom services in China is expected to reach 30-40% for all of 2013, and total smartphone sales will reach 390 million units in the year, including 280 million units sold through the retail channels of telecom carriers, estimated Digitimes Research.

The world biggest operator, Chinal Mobile is heavily increasing its 3G penetration. Here are the latest monthly change trends for the current situation according to operators’ company data:

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CBBC Webinar – The Evolution of Social Business in China [China-Britain Business Council YouTube channel, recorded on July 17, published on July 30, 2013]

Wednesday 17th July 2013 – Presented by: Lewis Rosa, Consulting Manager, Social Business Consulting, CIC Background: China is home to an active community of over half a billion internet users, or netizens, over three quarters of whom are creating original content, which when compared to less than a quarter of American internet users, puts any accusations that China lacks creativity firmly to bed. They’re also far more inclined to discuss brands, products and services. This committed engagement and creativity begets a bonanza of social business intelligence if you know where to look, or more accurately, how to listen This webinar covers: • China’s vast, fractured and dynamic digital landscape • The evolving tastes and behaviors of Chinese netizens • Social listening to inspire creative and inform strategy • Operational implications of social business development

Half of Chinese urban kids surf Internet [Xinhua, July 30, 2013]

About half, or 52.6 percent, of kids aged four to six in urban areas of China know how to use the Internet, according to a report on the lifestyle of Chinese children.

In the survey, which covered 9,114 four-16 year olds in 10 provincial areas or cities including Beijing, Wuhan and Qingdao, 93.2 percent of 13-16 year olds have used the Internet, The Beijing Times cited the report as saying on Saturday.

The report put the proportion of seven-nine year olds and 10-12 year olds accessing the Internet at 58.6 and 77.1 percent respectively, according to The Beijing Times.

In addition, it showed that 57.5 percent of the respondents use mobile phones, about 26 percent use Twitter-like microblogs, and 17.9 percent use tablet computers.

China’s netizen population, the world’s largest, continues to grow and reached 591 million at the end of June, according to the China Internet Network Information Center.

China Blocks Swedish Town Because of It’s Name [ChinaForbiddenNews, Feb 16, 2013]

Beijing launches platform for debunking online rumors [Xinhua, Aug 1, 2013]

Six Chinese websites jointly launched a platform on Thursday to refute online rumors, a move that an official has termed Beijing’s latest endeavor to clean up the “Internet environment.”

The platform is a website that collects statements from Twitter-like services, news portals and China’s biggest search engine, Baidu, to refute online rumors and expose the scams of phishing websites.

The platform operates under the instruction of the Beijing Internet Information Office (BIIO) and the Beijing Internet Association, a non-profit social organization.

The popular use of the Internet has expanded Chinese people’s channels of expression, but also facilitated the circulation of rumors and false information, said Chen Hua, director of the Internet information service and management department under the BIIO.

“The platform will be a new try by Beijing’s websites to eradicate online rumors and raise Internet users’ awareness of telling rumors from the truth,” he said.

The platform was jointly launched by websites Qianlong, Sogou, Sohu, Netease, Baidu and Sina Weibo, a Chinese Twitter-like microblogging service.

So far, the first phase of the platform has been completed, said Chen.

It has collected about 100,000 brief statements on online rumors and phishing websites and offered Internet users about 30 websites through which they can report online rumors or scams.

Operators of the platform will spend another year finishing the second phase. Once that is complete, more entertaining and interactive programs will be introduced to encourage the public to report online rumors.

WHY RUMORS TRAVEL FAST

Some Internet users create rumors to attract attention, while others do it to blow off some steam. But rumors fabricated on purpose can be dangerous and incite panic, said Min Dahong, a researcher on Internet usage.

Based on Wu Chenguang’s observations, rumors travel especially fast in times of emergency such as natural disasters and other mass incidents.

Wu is the news center director of Sohu. In June last year, the web portal’s news center launched a program called “Rumor Terminator” and has handled 300 rumors to date.

Soon after downpours hit Beijing on July 21, 2012, Internet users began disseminating photos of severe flooding that had been taken years earlier.

Another example involves rumors about earthquake forecasts. Internet users claim that people had successfully predicted that an earthquake would shake Lushan County, Sichuan Province, as early as five years ago, but these claims weren’t made until after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck Lushan County on April 20, leaving at least 196 dead.

Such rumors had an extremely harmful influence, Wu Chenguang said, adding that the government’s slow pace in releasing information has allowed Internet users to spread their rumors easily.

When explaining why rumors travel fast in China, Min Dahong proposed that it is because rumors touch on issues of common concern.

The Chinese people now care about their surroundings. Rumors travel fast because they cater to public curiosity and concern about environmental protection, food safety and corruption, he said.


2. Online shopping growing very fast

CHINA’S SHOPS SUFFER AS ONLINE RIVALS BOOM [CCTVupdates YouTube channel, June 4, 2013]

CBBC Webinar – yourcompany com cn — Online Presence in China [China-Britain Business Council YouTube channel, recorded on Jan 16, published on July 30, 2013]

Wednesday 16th January 2013, presented by Richard Unwin, Backbone IT Group. This webinar discusses webpage content, social media and how Chinese people interact with the internet. The topics covered are as follows: – How does the internet differ between UK & China? – Visual impact of web design in China – Content — what do Chinese readers want to learn from your website? – Engage your target audience while retaining your corporate image – Social Media

China Focus: Online shopping penetrates smalltown China [Xinhua, July 30, 2013]

Online shopping is no longer exclusively for city dwellers, as residents of smaller locales are now spending more money buying goods on the Internet.

People living in counties and townships each spent an average of 5,628 yuan (910.7 U.S. dollars) online in 2012, almost 1,000 yuan more than their urban counterparts, according to a report released Monday by Taobao, China’s leading online shopping website.

The report showed that township residents placed an average of 54 orders each on Taobao in 2012, far more than the 39 orders placed by e-shoppers living in China’s first- and second-tier cities.

Major international brands like Estee Lauder have sold well in counties and townships. Shoppers in those locations spent an average of 765 yuan apiece on Estee Lauder cosmetics, slightly more than the 652 yuan spent by first- and second-tier city residents.

Over 30 million county residents spent a combined total of 179 million yuan on Taobao, according to figures posted online by the company.

Although residents’ incomes tend to be lower in small towns and counties, their online spending habits are similar to those of urban residents, according to a report released in March by McKinsey Global Institute.

The McKinsey report said that for every 100 yuan spent online, 57 yuan is spent by people in third- and fourth-tier cities, greater than the national average of 39 yuan.

The county-level city of Yiwu, ranked by Forbes as the richest county in China, topped the Taobao ranking, with online spending totaling 3.4 billion yuan.

Residents in Qingliu County in southeast China’s Fujian Province spent a staggering 20,151 yuan, or 72.55 percent of their combined income, on online shopping. In first-tier cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, the ratio has yet to exceed 27 percent.

The report also showed that 22 percent of Taobao customers in small towns used its mobile application to shop online. But the percentage declined to 17 percent in first- and second-tier cities.

Commentary: Global online shopping benefits Chinese manufacturers [Xinhua, July 16, 2013]

With just a few clicks on a shopping website, a Nigerian girl buys her favorite wig, to be delivered to her home several days later from China.

That was a scene shown Sunday by Chinese national broadcaster CCTV.

An African girl buying Chinese products on the Internet is, by no means, an isolated case. In fact, cross-border online shopping has become quite a frenzy in recent years.

Despite that, though, online sales of Chinese-made goods in foreign markets are still a new phenomenon and represent a strategic opportunity for China’s giant manufacturing sector.

If the popularity of global online shopping continues to grow, it would provide a vital channel for China to sell more of its products to the rest of the world. In the long run, it may even reshape the face of global trade.

Overseas consumers can save a lot of money by purchasing quality goods from China via the Internet because the products are generally cheaper than their counterparts from elsewhere in the world.

This comparative advantage has made Chinese goods popular among online shoppers in Russia, Brazil, America and Europe. Chinese-made commodities such as clothes, suitcases, mobile phones and shoes are among the best-selling items.

In the larger picture, the trend may also help modify the unfair distribution of profits in global trade.

China has been the world’s largest exporter since 2009. However, it receives only a small portion of the profits generated by goods that are domestically produced but sold through retailers in developed economies.

The situation may be corrected, though, if online shopping continues to prosper across the globe and the made-in-China label can be brought directly to individual consumers.

Global online shopping, however, is still in its infancy and its future is closely tied to the development of online payment mechanisms, cross-border deliveries and tax issues.

It is safe to say, meanwhile, that online shopping is a rising wave sweeping the globe. Online shopping boasts unprecedented vitality and its significant role for Chinese-made goods should not be underestimated.

Mobile payment new technology [NFC] changing ways of consumption [CCTVupdates YouTube channel, July 3, 2013]

Beijing China Mobile users can make purchases with phone [cntv.cn via Xinhuanet, July 23, 2013]

Transit cards make taking the bus and subway in Beijing an easy thing. But they may soon be unnecessary.

Starting Monday, China Mobile users can use near-field-communication, or NFC-enabled handsets to get access to public buses and subway lines in Beijing. They can also make payments below 1,000 yuan at a number of up-scale shops. Beijing China Mobile customers can visit any of six designated China Mobile shops to switch their SIM cards out for new ones that will allow them to connect their phones to their bank accounts.

Samsung’s Galaxy S4, the HTC One, and some Huawei and ZTE models can support NFC functions.

China’s mobile payments to exceed 9 trln yuan in 2015: report [Xinhua, July 30, 2013]

Online payment transactions handled by Chinese mobile payment service providers will exceed 9 trillion yuan (1.45 trillion U.S. dollars) in 2015, according to an industry report published on Monday.

In 2012, the country’s mobile banking sector handled 800 billion yuan in online payment transactions, an increase of 265.3 percent from a year earlier, according to a report published by the Internet Society of China (ISC).

Last year, the country’s online payments rose 66 percent to nearly 3.7 trillion yuan, with fast growth in payments on premiums, according to the report.

Online premiums payments grew 123.8 percent year on year to 3.66 billion yuan in 2012, the report said.

The country’s online payment market is maturing with an accelerated growth of internet finance, said Shi Xiansheng, deputy secretary-general of the ISC.

Online payment transactions handled by Chinese payment service providers totaled 830 trillion yuan in 2012, according to data from the Payment & Clearing Association of China (PCAC).

China’s online payments total 830 trln yuan in 2012 [Xinhua, June 27, 2013]

Online payment transactions handled by Chinese payment service providers totaled 830 trillion yuan (about 134.3 trillion U.S. dollars) in 2012, according to an industry report published on Thursday.

In 2012, banks handled 19.2 billion online payment transactions totaling 823 trillion yuan, according to a report published by the Payment & Clearing Association of China (PCAC).

Another 10.46 billion online payment transactions amounting to 6.89 trillion yuan were handled by other payment agencies last year, the report said.

Online transactions are being used not only in traditional areas, such as online shopping and bill-paying, but also in areas related to education, tourism, fund products, insurance, community services and medical and health services, the report said.

But experts noted that the increasing variety of payment tools has also caused problems concerning the safety of funds and customer information, calling for strengthened regulation and supervision.

“The payment business is closely linked with people’s daily lives, so customers will be less tolerant of risks,” said PCAC’s deputy secretary-general Kang Lin.

The People’s Bank of China, or the central bank, has so far approved 197 non-financial institutions to provide payment services, of which 72 are eligible for online payment business, tPCAC data showed.

The association said mobile payments, or online payments made through mobile phones, totaling 2.31 trillion yuan were handled by banks in 2012, as well as 181.2 billion yuan in transactions handled by non-bank payment service providers.

China cloud computing conference kicks off [CCTVupdates YouTube channel, June 6, 2013]

[1:36] “China’s biggest cloud is Aliyun run by e-commerce giant Alibaba [China’s Amazon].” … … [2:44]

Alibaba, e-concierge, soon at your service [ChinaDaily via Xinhuanet, July 26, 2013]

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd plans to boost its presence in China’s online market, and is adding services to ease consumers’ daily lives, from ordering food to booking movie tickets.

The company expects the new business area to become a major revenue source in the future.

Online shopping has become a new way of life for many Chinese consumers, said Zhang Jianfeng, vice-president of Alibaba Group. And the company has realized that customers are not satisfied with merely buying items on Internet.

“Gradually, consumers are developing a strong demand for daily life services, in fields like catering, entertainment and travel,” Zhang said at a Beijing news conference on Thursday.

Taobao Life, a platform owned by Alibaba that provides such services, has been receiving unprecedented attention from Alibaba’s management since the beginning of the year. In March, Alibaba’s chairman Jack Ma said that “amazing” things will happen if everyday activities are combined with mobile Internet services.

Ma compared the growing importance of e-commerce in people’s lives to “the rising sun at 5 or 6 am”, and Alibaba expressed its ambition to develop the new business to reach a scale similar to its booming Taobao Marketplace.

If so, investors who are eyeing Alibaba’s possible initial public offering will find another bright spot for the company’s future profitability, analysts said.

Alibaba is said to be planning to include its e-commerce platforms – Taobao Mall, Taobao Marketplace and eTao – into the planned IPO package. Last year, Taobao Mall and Taobao Marketplace posted about 1 trillion yuan ($163 billion) in total transaction value.

Zhang revealed that the Taobao Life platform has three strategic business sectors. One is Taobao Diandian, a mobile application launched in July that helps customers order food. More than 100 restaurants in Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou have opened services on Diandian.

Meanwhile, Taobao Movie is the nation’s biggest mobile platform to buy film tickets. It allows clients in more than 100 Chinese cities to select seats from about 800 theaters, Zhang said.

The company also set up a platform on Taobao Life, known as Offer, which provides people with classifieds in areas such as apartment rentals and housekeeping services.

Song Yang, e-commerce senior analyst with the Beijing-based research firm Analysys International, said that there’s a promising future for companies able to successfully combine people’s everyday needs with the Internet-based services.

“There are no official statistics about the size of the market, but this is the future of e-commerce. Because the services are all about making people’s everyday life better and easier, ” Song said.

Video Alibaba Group launches China Smart Logistics Network [CCTVupdates YouTube channel, May 30, 2013]

Tencent invests in Fab, takes on Alibaba [ChinaDaily via Xinhuanet, June 20, 2013]

US e-commerce website Fab.com said on Wednesday it had raised investment of $150 million from companies including Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd.

Analysts said Tencent may help Fab enter the Chinese online market, which is expected to record nearly 2 trillion yuan ($326 billion) in sales by the end of this year.

Shenzhen-based Tencent said it will make a “minority investment” in the US company, but has not disclosed the value of its investment.

Tencent will have a seat in Fab’s boardroom after the deal is done.

Fab could take on as much as $100 million in further investment over the following months, company CEO Jason Goldberg told The Wall Street Journal.

The funds will be used to build its online stores, develop exclusive products and expand its international footprint, he said.

Fab is one of the leading online design retailers in the world. Tencent believes Fab has the potential to further develop under the wave of the global, social and mobile transformation of the e-commerce industry,” Tencent said via e-mail.

Founded in June 2011, Fab recorded revenue of $120 million last year. That figure is likely to reach $250 million by the end of this year, tech news website TNW said.

The Manhattan-based startup has 14 million registered members.

Tencent said its social strength and technical capabilities will help bring Fab to Internet users around the world.

Fab’s other investors include Japanese retail conglomerate Itochu Corp, an indication the company may be looking toward Asian markets.

China’s online shopping business is dominated by the Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. The company’s customer-to-customer platform, Taobao, contributed roughly 70 percent of the sector’s turnover. Alibaba also owns Tmall, the country’s No 1 business-to-customer portal.

Tencent has been vigorously building up its e-commerce segments to challenge Alibaba’s dominance. Its most recent attempt is authorizing payments via WeChat, its popular smartphone application.

Statistics from the China Internet Network Information Center revealed that China had 242 million online shoppers by the end of 2012 – or more than 40 percent of the country’s entire Internet population.

Internet giants enter online pay market [ChinaDaily via Xinhuanet, July 11, 2013]

Chinese Internet giants Baidu Inc and Sina Corp received third party payment licenses from the People’s Bank of China, the central bank, to conduct related online payment services within the country.

According to the bank, the two Internet companies received official approval on July 6. Both companies were granted a five-year permission to conduct Internet payment businesses. Sina, which operates the twitter-like micro-blogging service Weibo, also got the nod to run a mobile phone payment business.

It means all major Chinese Internet companies, including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Tencent Holdings Ltd, have obtained third party payment licenses. Alipay, the online payment arm of Alibaba, together with Tencent’s Tenpay, were among the first companies to receive licenses from the People’s Bank of China – in May 2011.

The reasons why Baidu and Sina are latecomers in the online payment industry, even lagging far behind some Chinese telecom companies, is because their online payment branches are weak and didn’t receive much attention from their management, said Zhang Meng, an analyst with Beijing-based research firm Analysys International.

“Baidu’s and Sina’s application for online payment licenses have more strategic significance than immediate practical meaning for the two,” Zhang said.

Sina started to explore the Internet payment business in 2011. It launched the online payment tool SinaPay that year and upgraded the service into WeiboPay (micro-blogging wallet) in 2012. Every Weibo user automatically has a WeiboPay account. Sina said it hopes to provide a more convenient way for micro-blogging users to conduct transactions online and developers to charge users for products and services.

Sina Weibo introduced Alibaba as a stakeholder in May to act as a bridge for Sina to make use of the Alipay service. Analysts said it’s safer for Sina to have its own payment tool as it’s important to keep transaction data in Sina’s own realm.

“An online payment service will prompt Sina Weibo’s commercialization process,” Zhang said. Previously, Sina had made some attempts to generate money from its Weibo platform. It cooperated with mobile phone manufacturer Xiaomi Corp to sell Xiaomi smartphones through WeiboPay last year. However, some shoppers complained after WeiboPay was paralyzed for a while through excessive use.

Baidu started investigating an online payment service as early as 2008 but the company’s enthusiasm for it cooled alongside the fall of its e-commerce business Baidu Youa.

Alibaba’s Alipay still dominates the Chinese Internet payment market. According to a report issued by Analysys International, Alipay had a 46.3 percent share of the online payment market in the first quarter of 2013, followed by Tencent’s Tenpay, with 20.3 percent.

Alipay had a total of 800 million registered accounts by the end of April. Tenpay said it had 200 million registered users by the end of last year.

Alibaba´s new online investment tool faces regulation challenge [CCTVupdates YouTube channel, June 24, 2013]

about Alipay

Say no to streaking to ensure online payment security [CRIENGLISH.com via Xinhuanet, April 12, 2013]

Seven leading internet companies, including Baidu, Microsoft and Alibaba, have formed an Internet Security Working Group.

It’s hoped the new collaboration will help lead to the better safeguarding of users’ and companies’ online profiles.

While Consumers enjoy the ease and the financial benefits of online shopping, sometimes their financial security and personal information can be threatened during the online payment process.

Many so-called phishing scams and malicious websites try to cheat consumers by convincing them to transfer money to their accounts instead of an online dealer’s accounts.

Li Xiaoling is a product manager with Alipay, the largest third-party payment company in China.

“Phishing websites imitate a popular website, like taobao.com and some other shopping websites. Consumers have to tell from small details whether they are really the websites that they want to visit.”

Ding Rui, a senior product manager with Microsoft, says no matter how strong systems become, phishing websites will never completely disappear.

“Driven by a strong financial interest, someone always wants to take the risk. And the word ‘risk’ is not so accurate, as there isn’t too much risk as a result of a lack of supervision and difficulty in handing out punishment.”

Alipay began fighting the problem of phishing sites at the end of 2007.

Li Qiushi is Alipay’s leading expert on market security.

“Actually, merchants, payment platforms, banks and consumers online are all victims of such behavior. We joined together to prevent these problems from occurring in advance initially. That has yielded noticeable effects.”

To be more alert, Alipay product manager Li Xiaoling suggests web users don’t access the internet without some sort of internet protection, such as an anti-virus software program or other safe control programs.

“Firstly, we hope consumers do not use the same pass code for various accounts online. Secondly, do not input personal information like ID numbers into unfamiliar websites or into those websites that the browser reports as being dangerous. Thirdly, check clearly the usage of different verification codes and do not tell strangers the codes.”

The internet companies taking part in the collaboration say it’s their hope they can raise consumer awareness to try to bring down the number of cases of online fraud here in China.


3. Applications, applications to be added to the search

Baidu searches for growth [TheDealVideo YouTube channel, July 17, 2013]

China’s largest search engine pays $1.9 billion for Chinese mobile app distributor 91 Wireless, betting big on a still small market

Baidu to buy 91 Wireless for 1.9 bln USD [Xinhua, July 16, 2013]

China’s leading search engine, Baidu, Inc. announced Tuesday that it will buy all equity interests in smartphone apps distributor 91 Wireless Websoft from NetDragon for a record 1.9 billion U.S. dollars.

The move, which is Baidu’s latest effort to diversify beyond its core search engine business, is set to mark China’s biggest merger and acquisition (M&A) in the Internet market after Yahoo’s 1-billion-U.S. dollar deal with Alibaba in 2005.

According to the MOU, Baidu will purchase the entire issued share capital of 91 Wireless for a total of 1.9 billion U.S. dollars.

Baidu and NetDragon will further negotiate and agree on the relevant terms of the proposed acquisition by Aug. 14 as the “Long Stop date” to buy Hong Kong-listed NetDragon’s 57.41-percent stake in 91 Wireless.

NetDragon is restricted from approaching or discussing with any third parties the sale of 91 Wireless.

Baidu said it intends to purchase the remaining equity interests in 91 Wireless from other shareholders based on terms and conditions similar to those offered to NetDragon, if they are willing to sell by Aug. 14.

In May, Baidu announced its plan to buy the online video business of PPS to rival industry leader Youku Tudou, which was created last year through the merger of the country’s two major video giants, Youku and Tudou.

My own insert: China’s Alibaba Buys Stake in Sina Weibo [NTDonChina YouTube channel, April 30, 2013]

A China’s e-commerce giant has purchased a stake in Sina Weibo, the country’s largest service provider of Twitter-like microblogs. Alibaba announced on Monday that it is acquiring 18% of Sina Weibo for $586 million. If the online retailer wanted to, it could increase the stake to 30% at an unspecified future date. Alibaba is like eBay in the United States. With the new deal, it will have access to Sina Weibo’s 46 million daily active users. According to the Wall Street Journal, Alibaba could be looking to boost its share of the mobile market against Google’s Android smartphones. Alibaba has been promoting its own smartphone operating system. It could boost the use of its OS by leveraging off the large amount of mobile customer data available through this alliance with Sina Weibo.

The deal came on the heels of Alibaba‘s announcement in April that it would take an 18-percent share in Sina Corp‘s microblogging service Weibo and a 28-percent stake in digital mapping company AutoNavi Holdings Ltd.

Experts said the M&A spree highlights the intense competition among Internet giants to secure dominance of the mobile Internet market, as an increasing number of Chinese are going online through mobile devices.

Data from the China Internet Networks Information Center show that China’s online population reached 564 million as of the end of last year, with the number of mobile Internet users hitting 420 million.

Baidu Buys Up China’s Internet [TheStreetTV YouTube channel, July 16, 2013]

Baidu is spending $1.9 billion to buy mobile app store 91 Wireless, making this the biggest Chinese internet takeover.

Baidu, 91 Wireless deal epitomizes mobile Internet scramble [Xinhua, July 17 2013]

The attempt by China’s biggest search engine, Baidu, to buy a leading apps platform epitomizes Chinese Internet giants’ quickening steps in mobile Internet, even though some question if the company to be bought is worth the price offered.

NASDAQ-listed Baidu Inc. announced on Tuesday its bid to buy all equity interests in smartphone apps distributor 91 Wireless Websoft for 1.9 billion U.S. dollars. The deal, if completed, will mark China’s biggest merger and acquisition in the Internet market after Yahoo’s 1-billion-U.S. dollar deal with Alibaba in 2005.

Analysts viewed the alliance as complementary in that Baidu will promote 91 Wireless’s smartphone app distribution systems, and in return, Baidu will be better able to contend for a position as a leading access portal for mobile Internet.

“Through the acquisition, Baidu not only gains access to app distribution, it will also attract around 100,000 app developers to its own platform in the future,” according to Ge Jia, an Internet analyst who was quoted in a Tuesday report by the Beijing News.

Ge said that digital mapping, voice, and app distribution represent the three battle grounds in the mobile Internet market in the future, and the deal could turn around Baidu’s current disadvantages in a market that already boasts strong rivals including Tencent and Alibaba.

On the same day as Baidu’s announcement, China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba also confirmed that it has made a strategic investment in outbound travel site qyer.com, as it seeks to boost its travel offerings, including plane tickets and hotels, on its marketplace site Taobao.

Industrial analysts even labeled this year’s mergers and acquisitions in the Internet industry as major players’ efforts to split the mobile Internet market and obtain a lion’s share.

In May, Baidu announced its plan to buy the online video business of PPS in order to rival industry leader Youku Tudou. Just one month earlier, Alibaba revealed it would take an 18-percent share in Sina Corp’s microblogging service Weibo and a 28-percent stake in digital mapping company AutoNavi Holdings Ltd.

Ge Jia said that Baidu expects to attract large numbers of advertisers through its purchase of 91 Wireless. Data shows that 12.9 billion apps had been downloaded through 91 Wireless’s two leading smartphone app distribution platforms in China as of Dec. 2012.

However, some believe that the 1.9-bln-U.S.-dollar tender by Baidu is too high for a company with an estimated value of only 140 million U.S. dollars two years ago.

“Baidu has no better choices because its strategic arrangements for the mobile Internet came too late and it has been at a disadvantaged position. So it is seeking to change the status quo through the costly deal,” said Wang Jun, a mobile Internet analyst with Analysys International.

Data from the China Internet Networks Information Center show that China’s online population reached 564 million as of the end of last year, with more than 74 percent of them, or 420 million, using cell phones to access the Internet.

“The Internet giants will not miss any opportunity amid the boom of mobile Internet,” said IT commentator Hong Bo. In a report published Tuesday by the China Business News, Hong said that Alibaba’s advantages lie in its strong capabilities to do business, while Tencent has flagship apps including WeChat, a free app that enables all-round communications in text, voice, picture and video form.

However, the commentator added that with advantages in technology, Baidu is also seeking to become a titan in app distribution through the acquisition of 91 Wireless.

Official stresses Party building in non-public enterprises [Xinhua, May 22,  2013]

A senior Communist Party of China (CPC) official has called for efforts to strengthen Party building in the country’s non-public enterprises.

Zhao Leji, head of the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee, made the comments on Wednesday during an inspection in Beijing.

Visiting Baidu, China’s leading online search engine operator, Zhao called for more efforts to integrate businesses’ own developments with the progress of the country and society.

Moreover, the fostering of a corporate culture should be consistent with the practicing of socialist core values, the official said.

During his inspection, Zhao also underlined efforts to improve China’s talent pool, including innovations to attract, train, use and support talented people.

China’s Internet giants in acquisition spree [Xinhua, May 14, 2013]

China’s Internet giants have gone on a new acquisition spree in recent months as they ramp up efforts to diversify businesses amid the industry’s constantly changing dynamics.

Alibaba, China’s leading e-commerce firm, announced last week that it will pay 294 million U.S. dollars for a 28-percent stake in digital mapping company AutoNavi Holdings Ltd..

The move, following Alibaba’s previous deal to take an 18-percent share in Sina Corp’s microblogging service Weibo, is the giant’s latest attempt to map out a strategy in the key mobile Internet market, in which major companies have been vying for presence.

Li Zhi, an analyst with Internet service provider Analysys, noted that rather than developing new products on their own, the Internet giants have preferred to make up for their weak areas through mergers and acquisitions (M&A) to consolidate their positions.

Earlier this month, China’s online search leader Baidu Inc. announced its plan to buy the online video business of PPS, to rival industry leader Youku Tudou, which was created last year through the merger of the country’s two major video giants, Youku and Tudou.

The purchase is Baidu’s latest step to diversify beyond its core search sector.

The string of M&A deals has highlighted the heated competition among Internet giants to secure dominance of the mobile Internet market as an increasing number of Chinese are going online through mobile devices.

Currently, Tencent, which has so far attracted 300 million users to its popular voice messaging platform Wechat, is widely regarded as having secured a dominant seat in the mobile Internet market.

But Ma Huateng, Tencent’s chairman and CEO, took a cautious view about the company’s position.

“No matter how well-placed we are now in the mobile market, a slight oversight may cause a shipwreck,” he said at an Internet conference earlier this month.

According to data from the China Internet Networks Information Center, China had 420 million mobile Internet users as of the end of 2012.

With the market potential yet to be tapped, the Internet giants’ M&A activity will likely to go on for a while, according to Li.


4. Xiaomi to take Apple place

Xiaomi takes aim at Apple after big increase in sales [ChinaDaily via Xinhuanet, July 17, 2013]

Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi Corp said on Tuesday it sold 7.03 million Xiaomi mobile phones in the first half of this year and realized unaudited revenue of 13.3 billion yuan (2.16 billion U.S. dollars) during the same period.

According to a news release sent to China Daily, Xiaomi disclosed that its half-year revenue in 2013 exceeded the company’s 12.6 billion yuan revenue from all of 2012 but it did not reveal the profitability ratio.

The company is on track to reach its annual goal of selling 15 million Xiaomi smartphones by the end of the year, according to officials from Xiaomi’s public relations department on Tuesday.

As of June, Xiaomi had more than 14 million smartphone users on the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan, the news release said.

Lei Jun, founder and chief executive officer of Xiaomi, attributed the good performance to the company’s more influential branding, better industry partner support and an improved logistics and warehouse system.

Founded in 2010, Xiaomi has experienced rapid growth. The company launched its first smartphones in August 2011 and quickly gained market share, beating some traditional mobile phone giants.

“In the Chinese market, with the exception of Apple and Samsung, if the shipment of one smartphone model exceeds 1 million during its life cycle, it can be described as ‘quite successful’,” said James Yan, an analyst with the research firm IDC China.

Xiaomi has managed to sell every one of its smartphone models above the 1 million level and is easily ahead of companies such as Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and ZTE Corp in terms of single smartphone shipments, Yan added, pointing out the latter firms have been selling mobile phones for about a decade.

Xiaomi is now directly challenging international giants Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Apple Inc, which both keep single smartphone sales records in China. According to IDC, Apple had sold about 16 million iPhone 4 and 15 million iPhone 4S handsets in China as of March.

Xiaomi’s Lei sees Apple as a target to overtake in the future. During a previous interview with China Daily, Lei expressed Xiaomi’s ambition to ship more than 100 million smartphones annually worldwide for each model by 2016.

Apple, based in Cupertino in the United States, managed to break the 100 million iPhone devices mark in 2012, less than five years since the first iPhone was sold in 2007.

Lei dreams of achieving a similar, or even faster, pace of development.

“I know it is crazy, but we would like to have a try,” Lei said last year.

image

[in the Q1 2013, see below]

Overall, Xiaomi’s smartphone shipments in China, if they are not counted on the basis of single device shipments, are still small. The company even failed to become a top 10 smartphone supplier in China in the first quarter, according to the Beijing-based research firm Analysys International.

Samsung was the top smartphone company after acquiring a 17.3 percent share in the Chinese market in the first quarter, followed by Lenovo with 13.1 percent and Coolpad with 10.3 percent. The country had sales of 75.3 million smartphones, a year-on-year rise of 141.5 percent, in the first quarter ending on March 31.

Fewer Chinese consumers picking Apple’s iPhone [ChinaDaily via Xinhuanet, July 25, 2013]

image

Apple said on Tuesday that its revenue from China
fell 14 percent year-on-year to $4.6 billion in the
quarter ended June 29. Provided to China Daily

The devices are becoming so common in China these days that many people lost their once strong desire to own one. Also, iPhones are considered too expensive, and many consumers are opting for cheaper phones with similar capabilities.

And the Chinese market’s hesitation has showed in Apple’s latest quarterly financial report. Even though the California-based company delivered better-than-expected global iPhone shipments of 31.2 million units during the quarter ended June 29, its performance in Greater China, including Hong Kong and Taiwan, was sluggish in the period.

Apple said on Tuesday that its revenue from China fell 14 percent year-on-year to $4.6 billion in the quarter ended June 29. The figure, which represents a 43 percent decline from the previous quarter, marked the first time that revenue decreased in the region.

Overall, Apple’s quarterly global revenue remained flat at $35.3 billion.

Apple said its growth in the Chinese market had slowed, particularly due to economic headwinds. China’s GDP growth eased to 7.6 percent in the first half, compared with 7.8 percent a year earlier.

Apple’s chief executive officer Tim Cook said that he wasn’t discouraged by the numbers from just one 90-day period.

“I continue to believe that in the arc of time here, China is a huge opportunity for Apple,” Cook said on an earnings call on Tuesday.

However, analysts believe that fiercer competition, together with other factors, played a much bigger role in Apple’s lackluster performance in China than the macro-economic effects.

“The iPhone 5 was less popular than its predecessor, the iPhone 4S, in China during the first 100 days after they hit the market,” said James Yan, an analyst with research firm IDC. IPhone 5 handsets also saw stronger competition from brands such as Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and HTC Corp, as well as some local brands like Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and Xiaomi Corp, Yan said.

Meanwhile, Chinese telecom operators have cut their subsidies for iPhone 5 devices.

“Consumers and industry partners adopted a wait-and-see attitude toward the iPhone 5,” Yan said. On the consumer side, they started to look for other high-quality smartphones with lower prices, or they are planning to buy the upcoming iPhone 5S or the iPhone 6, which seem to be more innovative products, he added.

Kevin Wang, an analyst with IHS iSuppli, said that Apple’s pricing strategy also discouraged some first-time smartphone buyers and low-end customers. A 16 GB iPhone 5 costs at least 5,000 yuan ($809.80), more than the average monthly salary of people working in Beijing.

“The situation will only change when Apple introduces a less-expensive version of the iPhone, then we’ll see a new sales surge in the country,” Wang said.

For instance, Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei, which in recent years expanded to the smartphone market, launched its P6 model in June, targeting high-end users but selling at a mere 2,688 yuan.

Huawei said on Wednesday that its first-half revenue was 113.8 billion yuan, up 10.8 percent year-on-year.

Meanwhile, the Beijing-based Xiaomi is selling high-quality smartphones at extremely low prices, usually below 2,000 yuan. Xiaomi said it sold more than 7 million smartphones in the first half.

But Apple still has ways to protect its status as a major player in China, said Xiang Ligang, a telecom industry insider.

Xiang said that Apple will likely quicken the pace of its collaboration talks with China Mobile Ltd, the nation’s biggest telecom operator, to boost iPhone sales.

China Mobile and Apple have been in talks for years, but the two have yet to reach an agreement. Some industry sources said that the two companies will likely start cooperating soon, since all the preliminary work is done.


5. Strong central government support

IT push aims to boost domestic demand [ChinaDaily via Xinhuanet, July 14, 2013]

China is to promote consumption of IT-related products and services as it seeks to spur domestic demand and push economic upgrading.

It will speed up work to issue licenses for the fourth generation (4G) mobile network this year and accelerate development of broadband Internet access, according to a statement released after an executive meeting of the State Council presided over by Premier Li Keqiang.

The nation is aiming for annual average growth of 20 percent in the information consumption industry from 2013 to 2015, the statement said.

The meeting demanded implementation of the “Broadband China” strategy, stepped-up efforts to construct and upgrade network infrastructure, pushing forward the FTTH (Fiber To the Home) project and improving Internet speed.

China, which has the largest number of mobile phones in the world at 1.2 billion, is already building 4G trial networks in major cities.

Liu Lihua, vice-minister of industry and information technology, said last year that China aims to have more than 250 million broadband users by 2015.

The central government is also encouraging private capital to enter the basic telecom service market, such as the voice and messaging business, by setting up joint ventures with State-owned players.

Projects to merge telecommunications, television and Internet services will also move forward on a nationwide basis this year, according to Friday’s meeting.

The meeting also called for quicker development on energy saving, with the goal of ensuring the market share for efficient energy-saving products reaches 50 percent by 2015.

Private capital set to enter telecom industry [CCTVupdates YouTube channel, June 18, 2013]

China eyes energy-saving, IT industries to spur domestic demand [Xinhua, July 12, 2013]

China is to speed up development in the energy-saving industry and promote consumption of IT-related products and services as it looks to spur domestic demand and push economic upgrading.

Stimulating growth in the two sectors is a multi-purpose approach aimed at easing resource restraints, unleashing consumption potential, stimulating effective investments and fostering emerging industries, according to a statement released after an executive meeting of the State Council presided over by Premier Li Keqiang on Friday.

Regarding IT-related consumption, including communication services and e-commerce, the State Council said China will press ahead with the construction of network and telecommunication infrastructure and strive to issue 4G licenses by the end of this year.

Efforts to boost consumption in the area also include widening Internet-based information services, piloting “smart city” schemes, boosting e-commerce, and increasing information securities.

Through these plans, China aims to achieve an annual growth of over 20 percent in IT-related consumption for the 2013-2015 period, the State Council said.

In the first five months of 2013, China consumed 1.38 trillion yuan (22.4 billion U.S. dollars) worth of IT-related products and services, up 19.8 percent year on year, data from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has showed.

Sub-anchor: China’s industrial structure optimized [CNETTV.cn via Xinhuanet, July 24, 2013]

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology held a press conference this morning — it’s about China’s industrial output in the first half of this year, and what’s being done to boost the IT industry.

Let’s chat to our reporter Guan Xin — who has been following the press conference.

Q2. IT industry is one of the strategic emerging industries, what initiatives can we expect?

A: The Ministry says IT will become a new engine to boost China’s consumption, with explosive growth of IT services and products. The spokesman shared some figures this morning….revenue from mobile internet traffic grew some 57% in the first half. The e-commerce market reached a whopping 5.4 trillion yuan, growing 38.5%, and sales of smart phones and smart TVs, are up more than 25%. The Ministry is now working on new measures to further boost IT consumption…including IT infrastructure building, expanding IT products supply, and improving public services. And these new measures will come out soon.


6. Country-wide 4G roll-out by year end 2013 after extensive trials

China’s telecom firms reveal 4G strategies [ChinaDaily.com.cn via Xinhuanet, June 27, 2013]

China’s three telecom operators have laid out their strategies on the development of fourth-generation, or 4G, mobile networks, as the official issuance of 4G licenses is expected to happen soon.

China Mobile Ltd – the world’s biggest telecom operator by subscribers – has always been an aggressive promoter of the domestic Time Division-Long Term Evolution, or TD-LTE, 4G technology.

Xi Guohua, its chairman, briefed the press on the company’s latest progress on TD-LTE network deployment at Shanghai’s Mobile Asia Expo on Wednesday.

Xi said that China Mobile has built more than 22,000 4G base stations in 15 Chinese cities, but that it plans to set up 200,000 base stations in 100 cities by the year-end.

However, the other two smaller Chinese telecom operators – China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd and China Telecom Corp Ltd – have expressed their willingness to adopt the Frequency Division Duplex-Long Term Evolution, or FDD-LTE, technology, or at least to build a converged network under both standards.

TD-LTE and FDD-LTE are the two major 4G international standards, but the latter has gained more popularity across the globe and has stronger industry support.

Lu Yimin, general manager of China Unicom, said the company is conducting tests for 4G wireless networks with mixed technologies. It is the first time that China Unicom has admitted that it is actively preparing to launch 4G services.

However, Lu added that because the Chinese government has not yet awarded the 4G licenses, China Unicom’s final strategy is still “uncertain.” Lu also made the remarks at Shanghai’s Mobile Asia Expo.

Last weekend, Wang Xiaochu, China Telecom‘s chairman, confirmed that the company is stepping up efforts for its LTE network trials.

“It’s inevitable (for China Telecom) to adopt a converged network, since the spectrum is at the core of every carrier’s resources,” Wang said.

Even though Chinese authorities have not said exactly when they plan to issue the 4G licenses, industry experts expect the licenses to be awarded shortly.

He Shiyou, executive vice-president of ZTE, expressed an optimistic view on TD-LTE’s prospects in China.

“I think that all the three Chinese telecom carriers will get TD-LTE 4G licenses because the rich TD-LTE spectrum resources in China allow the government to do so,” he said.

Shang Bing, vice-minister of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said the development of the TD-LTE technology has entered a fast-track phase.

“The Chinese government will firmly support TD-LTE industry development, and help create a favorable policy and market environment,” he said on Wednesday.

The moves by the three Chinese carriers will help to further back the development of 4G technology globally, said Anne Bouverot, director-general of the GSM Association, an industry alliance of mobile operators and related companies.

“In general, what matters is not to have the absolutely best technology, but that everybody agrees to deploy it. That’s where you get the economy of scale, and get the equipment for networks and handsets to improve each time there is a new release,” she said.

Analysts have said that LTE 4G technology will usher in a society much more connected and convenient for people.

Jin Lee, senior managing director at Accenture’s mobility department in South Korea, said that LTE will provide speeds about 50 percent higher than current Wi-Fi networks.

“Once consumers get to taste that speed, they will never go back,” Lee said.

Related:
5,000 city users to put 4G services to the test
BEIJING, May 18 (Xinhuanet) — Long-awaited 4G services, which provide mobile users with Internet access 20 to 50 times faster than 3G network, make their debut in Shanghai next month when China Mobile begins large-scale trials, the carrier said yesterday.
The trial in the world’s biggest mobile phone market indicates that the country is ready to adopt the most advanced mobile technology for more than a billion handset users, and create a billion-dollar market for telecommunications equipment and handsets. Full story
4G market set to ignite hot competition
BEIJING, March 25 (Xinhuanet) — Foreign telecom companies are keen to join China’s fourth generation (4G) mobile network deployment with the country looking likely to issue the relevant licenses as early as this year.
Minister of Industry and Information Technology Miao Wei said the country is expected to award 4G licenses to domestic telecom operators by the end of 2013. Full story
China expected to issue 4G licenses this year: minister
BEIJING, March 6 (Xinhua) — China is expected to start licensing telecom operators to offer services on its fourth-generation (4G) mobile phone network within 2013, a senior official has said.
“China has made breakthroughs in R&D of 4G technologies, but is still facing restrictions in commercial use,” Miao Wei, minister of industry of information technology, said on the sidelines of the ongoing annual session of the country’s national legislature. Full story

China likely to issue 4G licenses by year end [CRIENGLISH.com via ChinaDaily, July 26, 2013]

Internet users in China are eagerly looking forward to ultra-fast 4G mobile Internet services.The anticipation has heated up following the government’s announcement that licenses tooperate such wireless system will be issued before the year’s end.

At a 4G service center of China Mobile in Henan’s Zhengzhou city, customers are trying out the new service with high expectations for faster speeds and easier access.

“I look forward very much to the availability of 4G service, which will be faster than the current3G network. But I’m not sure if it will be able to synchronize with televisions and other homeappliances.”

“I hope it will be launched soon. I really want to experience it as soon as possible.”

The fourth-generation wireless service is designed to deliver a speed four to ten times faster than today’s 3G system, the most widespread, high-speed wireless service at the moment.

China Mobile, China’s largest cell phone provider, is now promoting a homegrown 4G standard and hopes to start commercial rollout soon.

The core technologies are ready and the company has been ramping up installations of its base stations, which will be shared by both 3G and 4G networks.

Li Xiaobang is an engineer with China Mobile.

“We need to examine all the base stations currently used for 3G services, including the machine room and the roof, and carry out Long Term Evolution upgrade, either to F frequency band or to D frequency band, based on overall conditions of the base stations.”

According to Li, the company is hoping to finish the work as soon as possible so people can use the new service once the 4G license is issued.

The government says it will press ahead with building infrastructures and hopes to issue 4G licenses by the end of this year.

There are 1.2-billion mobile phones in China, more than any other country in the world.

New battle for 4G equipment market share [ChinaDaily, June 25, 2013]

China Mobile Ltd has officially launched its largest tender ever for the construction of its fourthgeneration (4G) network in China, igniting a new battle among telecom gear makers for marketshare.

On June 21, China Mobile, the world’s largest telecom operator by subscribers, posted an online tender saying it plans to purchase equipment for 207,000 4G base stations.

That purchase means the number of China Mobile’s 4G base stations is likely to catch up with that of its 3G base stations soon.

China Mobile is using the domestic Time Division-Long Term Evolution technology for its next-generation mobile network.

Unlike its 3G tenders, China Mobile said it will not accept agent bidders or those who make allcritical equipment on an original equipment manufacturing basis.

The Chinese telecom operator’s capital spending will jump 49 percent year-on-year to 190.2billion yuan ($30.5 billion) in 2013. More than half of the company’s network expenditure, or 42billion yuan, will go on 4G projects this year.

Foreign and domestic telecoms equipment vendors have shown strong interest in ChinaMobile’s 4G network deployment.

Yuan Xin, president of Alcatel-Lucent China, said he is very optimistic about achieving a satisfactory result in the third quarter, when China Mobile announces the final bidding results.

“TD-LTE business will be the core foundation for Alcatel Lucent’s future development,” Yuan said at a Shanghai news conference on Monday. China’s 4G industry is about to take off, since the market environment for LTE development has matured, he said. “Based on our solid technology and 4G experience in and out of China, we are confident of performing well,” headded.

Alcatel-Lucent had the largest share, or 14.5 percent, among foreign telecom gear makers during China Mobile’s first round of 4G tenders last year, according to research firm IHS iSuppli.

The company is the major telecom equipment supplier for Verizon Communications Inc’s 4G network, which covers about 200 million subscribers in the United States.

“We even dream of introducing TD-LTE technology to the US market, which follows the trendthat carriers worldwide want to make the best use of spectrum resources,” he said.

Because foreign telecom equipment vendors achieved less than a 30 percent market share in total during the first round bidding of China Mobile’s TD-LTE tender, they seemed more anxious to improve their positions by grabbing bigger shares this time.

“We are not satisfied with the results Ericsson achieved in China Mobile’s first-round 4G bidding last year,” said Mats H. Olsson, senior vice-president of Ericsson Asia-Pacific, duringthe 2013 Mobile World Congress held in Spain in February.

“In the past Ericsson paid a lot of attention to countries including the United States, Japan and South Korea and mainly focused on the deployment of FDD-LTE networks. Now we have turned our sights on China and TD-LTE technology,” Olsson said.

However, analysts argued that domestic rivals still hold advantages over foreign players. ChenPeng, analyst with China Merchants Securities Co Ltd, said he expected Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and ZTE Corp to gain more than half of the share in China Mobile’s 4G bidding.

image

Guangxi to build wireless cities with 4G network [ChinaDaily Liuzhou Guangxi, June 25, 2013]

The Guangxi branch of China Mobile, which is the world’s biggest telecom carrier, said it will start construction of a fourth-generation network in 14 cities in the autonomous region in the second half of this year in a bid to build high-speed “wireless cities”.

Nanning, Liuzhou and Guilin are among the 14 cities, which will soon be covered in the 4G network in Guangxi. The 4G technology transmits data to wireless devices and has a theoretical speed as high as 100 Mbps.

It takes a 2G network 16 hours to download a 1 gigabyte movie, while it takes a 3G network two hours to download the same movie. The 4G network can complete the download within two minutes.

In addition, with the growing popularity of mobile phones, tablets and other wireless devices, 4G networks can effectively link people with each other and eventually build a convenient “wireless city”.

A woman surnamed Lin, who works in the media sector, said she is looking forward to the 4G networks in Guangxi. “We often need to carry a laptop on business trips in order to send stories back to our headquarters. With the 4G network, I will be able to do it with my mobile phone in the near future,” she said.

Though the 4G network is very high-end, the cost of using the network is even lower than 3G technology because 4G is a Chinese home grown technology.

China Mobile has spread its 4G network in 13 cities in China, including Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hangzhou, and it plans to include 100 cities into its 4G network by the end of 2013. With the completion of the project, China Mobile is expected to build the largest 4G network in the world, covering 500 million people.

4G network covers Pingtan [ChinaDaily Pingtan Fujian, May 21, 2013]

The city of Fuzhou, capital of Fujian province, launched a fourth generation, or 4G, wireless Internet service on May 17, which was also World Telecommunication Day.

The 4G network mainly covers the downtown area within Second Ring Road, the university zone, and the Pingtan Comprehensive Pilot Zone, said the Strait News on Saturday.

Fuzhou became a pilot city for 4G trial network in September 2012. After eight months of construction, it has built 1,138 base stations and carried out several rounds of signal upgrading.

With the launch of the 4G network, residents in both Fuzhou and Pingtan will enjoy free high-speed Wi-Fi to play videos, surf the Internet, and start online video chats on their mobile phones.

Telecom giants tap Internet potential [ChinaDaily via Xinhuanet, May 18, 2013]

Chinese telecom operators have stepped up their efforts to boost their business through exploring online channels, since more people in the country prefer shopping on the Internet.

On World Telecommunication and Information Society Day, which fell on Friday, Chinese mobile carriers launched different e-commerce campaigns to attract clients’ attentions.

China Mobile Ltd, the nation’s biggest mobile carrier with 726 million subscribers, said that Friday was its first “Online Shopping Day” and offered favorable prices for people topping up accounts, purchasing mobile phones, or registering a telecom service plan.

The operator, which suffered weak profit growth in the first quarter, said it has also developed an optional package, consisting of diversified telecom services, for customers to build up tailored telecom contracts.

Xing Hongtao, an official from China Mobile’s market operation department, said that the new service was a bit like “going to a cafeteria, looking at the menu and choosing your favorite dishes”.

Previously, the operators designed the service plans, but now it is up to customers to devise the contracts,” he said.

China Mobile is the first telecom operator in the nation to deliver this kind of service. The company started a pilot of the optional package in 13 provinces in the second half of last year, which more than 8 million customers have signed up to so far.

On Friday, China Mobile officially rolled out the service across the nation.

China Mobile’s sales from e-commerce channels have grown rapidly in recent years, according to the company.

By April, China Mobile had sold around 250,000 mobile phones per month on its website, an increase of 30 percent on the figure in January.

Ma Jingxin, deputy general manager of China Mobile Terminal Co, said in an earlier interview with China Daily that the company aims to sell up to 30 percent of its customized mobile phones through e-commerce channels by 2015.

China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd, the nation’s second-biggest telecom carrier, started building its e-commerce channels in 2007.

The average daily sales on China Unicom’s online platform now surpass 150 million yuan ($24.4 million) and its daily user base is more than 10 million, according to Zong Xinhua, general manger of China Unicom’s e-commerce department.

From May 17 to May 23, China Unicom plans to offer 10,000 smartphones at discounts to new telecom service subscribers.

The growing number of Internet users in China, combined with the public’s growing acceptance of e-commerce, is driving online sales of mobile phones.

“The most important reason for choosing a device online is because mobile phones are cheaper on the Web,” said Deng Kuibin, deputy general manager of SINO Market Research Co.


7. From operator branded to white-box superphones supporting all that

China Mobile launches own-brand smartphones [ChinaDaily via Xinhuanet, Aug 3, 2013]

China Mobile Ltd officially entered the booming mobile terminal market on Friday as it unveiled its own-brand smartphone models.

The China Mobile M701, a 5-inch screen Android-based smartphone equipped with MediaTek Inc’s 1.2-gigahertz quad-core processor, is priced at 1,299 yuan ($212). The China Mobile M601 is a 4-inch screen, dual-core Android smartphone that targets lower-end users with a price of 499 yuan.

The two smartphones are produced by original equipment manufacturers, Hisense Group and Shenzhen-based BYD Co Ltd, respectively. They will hit the Chinese market through China Mobile’s online and offline outlets this month.

Li Yue, chief executive officer of China Mobile, the world’s biggest telecom operator by subscribers, said the company has about 740 million customers.

Li said those customers usually change their mobile phones every 23 months, so at least 300 million new mobile devices are needed every year.

China’s mobile terminal industry has a very bright future,” Li said, during a Beijing news briefing on Friday.

Analysts pointed out some additional implications for China Mobile’s smartphone launch.

James Yan, an analyst with research firm IDC China, said China Mobile’s move aims to create a platform that seamlessly integrates its current mobile services, such as the instant messaging tool Fetion, and other mobile applications.

“Chinese mobile carriers hope to decrease the risks of being a ‘dumb pipe’ and to relieve the pressure from Internet companies’ challenges,” Yan said.

Lingxi, the Chinese version of Apple Inc’s Siri service, will be installed on the new China Mobile smartphones. A year ago, China Mobile struck a $214 million deal to acquire a 15 percent stake in Anhui USTC iFlytek Co Ltd, a Chinese company that develops software and apps related to voice input services.

“Lingxi is a highlight of China Mobile smartphones,” said Li Lin, a marketing manager with iFlytek. Compared with Siri, Lingxi is more localized and has partnered with third-party service providers such as Dianping.com and douban.com to offer helpful daily living information for customers, Li said.

“You can ask Lingxi to make a phone call, send a text message or find a nearby restaurant,” Li explained.

The other benefit for China Mobile in its launch of own-brand smartphones is that it helps the carrier to expand and strengthen coverage in county-level markets.

In tier five, tier six cities, which most mobile phone companies fail to reach, China Mobile can successfully sell smartphones through its powerful distribution channels,” Yan from IDC said. Those areas are usually remote from bustling cities and have less intense market competition, he said.

Kevin Wang, an analyst with the research firm IHS iSuppli, said China Mobile’s move will help reinforce its branding, but he said that he doubted the smartphone business will be a major revenue driver for the company.

Foreign telecom operators such as AT&T and Vodafone have offered own-brand products for many years, but the own-brand smartphone proportion they sell is still small,” Wang said.

China white-box vendor introduces ultra-thin smartphone [DIGITIMES, July 3, 2013]

China-based white-box smartphone vendor UMeox Mobile has joined the world’s ultra-thin smartphone market by introducing its UMeox X5, which has a thickness of only 5.6mm.

The Umeox X5 is equipped with a 5.3-inch touchscreen and is powered by a dual-core processor set on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. It has an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 3-megapixel front camera.

The UMeox X5 comes less than a month after fellow company Huawei unveiled on June 18 its ultra-thin model, the Ascend P6, which the vendor claimed to be the world’s slimmest smartphone at 6.18mm during a launch event. The Ascend P6 has a 4.7-inch 1280 by 720 in-cell display and is powered by a HiSilicon 1.5GHz quad-core K3V2E processor.

In China, the ultra-thin segment was previously dominated by branded players including Huawei, ZTE and Oppo; the entry of white-box vendors will eventually heat up the competition in the sector, said industry watchers.


April 13, 2013 Report:

Digitimes Research: Smartphone sales to reach 329 million in China in 2013 [DIGITIMES Research, March 18, 2013]

There will be 329 million smartphones sold in the China market in 2013, hiking 67.0% from 2012 due to large growth in the total number of 3G subscribers, while sales of feature phones will drop 39.9% to 146 million units, according to Digitimes Research.

The 2013 sales of smartphones will consist of 110 million TD-SCDMA models [88M till end of 2012 in total !!!], increasing 155.8% from 2012, 77 million WCDMA models [76.5M till end of 2012 in total !!!], up 45.3%, 67 million CDMA models [80M till end of 2012 in total !!!], up 59.5% and 75 million EDGE models, up 27.1%.

The average production cost of entry-level smartphones will decrease from US$35 in the fourth quarter of 2012, to US$31 in the first quarter of 2013, according to Digitimes Research.

Here is the monthly change trend for the current situation according to operators’ company data:

image

So 2013 indeed will be quite a different year, especially for the biggest by far operator China Mobile (having the world’s largest customer base which is 64% of the market in terms of the overall number of 1.11 billion Chinese subscribers there), with new 3G subscribers to be added greatly exceeding even the total number of 3G subscribers accumulated so far over the last 4 years (since February 2009, precisely):

China Mobile aims to sell 100-120 million TD-SCDMA handsets in 2013 [DIGITIMES, March 15, 2013]
China Mobile, the only TD-SCDMA mobile telecom carrier in China, aims to sell 100-120 million TD-SCDMA handsets in 2013, 80% of which will be smartphones, according to company president Li Yue.
China Mobile saw the total number of TD-SCDMA subscribers increase by 36.72 million in 2012 to 87.93 million at the end of the year, China-based sina.tech.com indicated. There were 242 models of TD-SCDMA handsets, including 138 smartphones, launched in the China market in 2012 and the total sales volume stood at 56 million units, of which more than 60% were smartphones, sina.tech.com pointed out.
China Mobile spent CNY23.8 billion (US$3.77 billion) to subsidize purchases of TD-SCDMA handsets bundled with contracts in 2012, and has set aside a budget of CNY27.0 billion for 2013, the company indicated.
image
source: 2012 Annual Results presentation [China Mobile, March 14, 2013]

So a dramatic change will be not only for 3G but for 4G/LTE as well:
China Mobile 2013 capex increases 49% on year [DIGITIMES, March 14, 2013]

China Mobile, one of the biggest telecom carriers in China, reported 2012 total revenues of CNY560.4 billion (US$90 billion, up 6.1% on year. Net profits were CNY129.3 billion, representing an on-year increase of 2.7%, said the firm. China Mobile reported that 2013 capex will reach CNY190.2 billion, an on-year growth of 49.29% compared to CNY127.4 billion in 2012.
In particular, the capex for 4G networks will be CNY41.7 billion in 2013. The capex is for investments regarding 200,000 TD-LTE base stations. However, currently, TD-LTE service coverage is only 35-40%, and according to company CEO Li Yue, if the firm pushes TD-LTE service coverage to 90%, another CNY40 billion needs to be invested. China Mobile currently has no schedule for this type of investment.
China Mobile currently has 710 million users with 87.93 million being 3G users, a relatively low 3G service penetration rate. According to China Mobile chairman Xi Guo-hua, the firm’s sales of handsets in 2013 will reach around 100-120 million units and 80% will be smartphones.
In addition, China Mobile has been seeing strong growth in the usage of mobile networking among users. According to the firm, 2012 usage increased 187.6% on year and revenues from mobile networking services increased 53.6% on year, accounting for 12.2% of total revenues.

China Mobile to build world’s largest 4G network [CCTV News via GoUTube123 YouTube channel, Feb 27, 2013]

China Mobile announced on Tuesday that it plans to deploy the world’s biggest 4G LTE network in China this year, covering more than a billion people. During a keynote speech at the Global TD-LTE Initiative summit in Barcelona, the vice-chairman of China Mobile said homegrown TD-LTE technology is gaining popularity across the world as the industry matures, and the company will build the world’s biggest 4G network this year.
image
source: 2012 Annual Results presentation [China Mobile, March 14, 2013] 
Note that GTI stands for the Global TD-LTE Initiative

China Mobile launched 100 cities 1 million terminals-covered 4G plan to create world’s largest 4G network [GTI News, March 8, 2013]

On February 26th, Mr. Xi Guohua, Chairman of China Mobile announced China Mobile’s new 4G plan at the Mobile World Congress 2013 (MWC) in Barcelona that China Mobile will build the world’s largest 4G network covering over 100 cities in China and purchase more than 1 million 4G terminals by this year.
Since GTI announced the GTI Plan & Actions that was initiated to construct over 500,000 TD-LTE base stations in 2014 covering over 2 billion population, global commercialization of TD-LTE has seen a great leap forward. At present, TD-LTE has set up a complete end-to-end industry chain involving widespread participation of global industries and highly mature products. Significant progress has also made in terms of chips. In addition, the scale of TD-LTE commercial networks and user base has been enlarged to a large extent. The capability of LTE global roaming has also been proven.
Mr. Xi Guohua expressed in his opening address, “TD-LTE technology and industry have been mature enough for large-scale development. China Mobile will scale up the construction of trial network to create the largest LTE network in the world. Besides, China Mobile will purchase more than one million units of TD-LTE terminals, with a hope to promote TD-LTE multi-mode multi-band terminal to reach 3G standard as soon as possible and lay a good foundation for its complete commercialization.
It was reported that China Mobile, as a leader and main driving force for the global deployment of TD-LTE, has built pilot TD-LTE networks in 15 cities across China, among which the networks in Hangzhou, Shenzhen and Guangzhou have achieved full coverage in main districts. China Mobile also launched diversified TD-LTE trial commercial services, receiving high praise from consumers. According to this latest released program, China Mobile’s TD-LTE network will cover all the prefecture-level cities and above with over 200,000 base stations covering more than 500 million population, which will be the largest 4G network in the world.
Dynamic development in the field of TD-LTE terminals has also been seen. At the summit, China Mobile and its industry partners, including Huaiwei, ZTE, Samsung, HTC and LG, jointly launched 5 models of TD-LTE multi-mode multi-band smart phones. Remarkably, China Mobile also released 3 eye-catching independently branded MiFi [wireless router that acts as a mobile WiFi hotspot, the abbreviation stands for “My Wi-Fi”] products. With the joint efforts by global chip vendors, the technologies for TD-LTE multi-mode multi-band smart phones are getting mature increasingly. It is estimated that booming development of TD-LTE terminals will be realized in a diversified, large-scale manner in the coming two years. Beside high-end mobile phones, middle and low end mobile phones will enter into the market. This will provide consumers with enriched choices while allowing seamless global roaming.
In pace with further promotion in the fields of commercial network deployment, multi-mode multi-band terminals, global roaming test and commercialization as well as the application of automotive consumer electronics, 2013 will be a key year for the global deployment and large-scale development of TD-LTE.

China Mobile to procure TD-LTE devices from Huawei, ZTE, Samsung [DIGITIMES, March 19, 2013]

China Mobile, the only TD-SCDMA mobile telecom carrier in China, will procure TD-LTE terminal devices from Huawei Technologies, ZTE, and Samsung Electronics, and will offer two own-brand Mi-Fi models, according to industry sources in Taiwan.

China Mobile will procure Huawei Mi-Fi model E5375, ZTE Mi-Fi model MF91S and offer own-brand CM510 and CM512. It will procure Huawei’s Ascend D2-TL smartphone, Samsung’s Galaxy I9308D smartphone and ZTE’s network interface card MF820T. These devices support TD-LTE, FDD-LTE, TD-SCDMA, WCDMA and GSM standards and 10 frequency bands.

CM512 will be produced by Tech-Full (Changshu) Computer, a China-based subsidiary of Quanta Computer.

China Mobile has launched a 4G network trial in Guangzhou and Shenzhen, with signal coverage over 30% of the population. This marks a further step in the network being fully operational. “4G, Life-Changing Experience.” The importance of the new data network to China Mobile has two meanings. First, it is the only 4G network in China, giving China Mobile an obvious lead over the other two telecom giants. Second, the 4G network, TD LTE, designed and developed by China, strengthens the country’s place in the field of information technology. Sun Lian, planning & development manager of China Mobile Guangdong, said:”The 4G network developed by China can have an impact beyond the whole telecom industry. It brings opportunities for electronics and mircro-chip companies, online service and content providers. It could change our entire experience of the information service.” But it is never easy to tap into new markets. China launched its own 3G network, the TD SCDMA in 2009, but even standing on the shoulder of this telecom giant, its development was anything but smooth sailing. It is incompatible with other 3G networks in the world, and users cannot choose carriers outside China Mobile. This time, the telecom giant has vowed not to make the same mistake. Yang Wenbin, engineer of China Mobile R&D Center, said:”There are currently two kinds of 4G network, the TD LTE network in China, and the FDD LTE network already adopted by some countries. Many of the communication protocols they use is the same, therefore it is easier to achieve compatibility on software level, without making tweaks on the hardware.” The 4th Generation network is marked by its high speed. On the launch of the trial, the top download speed could reach around 80 megabytes per second. The speed of the 4G network is amazing, it can download several gigabytes of contents in just a few minutes. But unless you have an unlimited download plan, this could also mean a very heavy telephone bill. For those not using the monthly package, the current price for 3G usage is 1 yuan per megabyte. This means downloading a movie will cost over 500 yuan on average, or about $80 US dollars. So knowing what kind of package comes with the 4G network is key for customers. A customer in Guangzhou said:”Of course I look forward to a faster network, but I hope it won’t be too expensive.” A customer in Guangzhou said:”On my current data plan, the cost of the 3G network is acceptable. I hope the 4G network won’t be more expensive than the 3G network.” A retail store manager of China Mobile Guangdong said:”We are now offering more data plans and discount packages to meet the growing demand. And along with the 4G network, we will also have many discounts to encourage users to switch to faster services.”

China Mobile: 4G licensing expected by year-end [China Daily, March 13, 2013]

The chairman of China Mobile, the world’s largest carrier by subscriber base, says the rollout of4G technology in the country is just around corner. Speaking on the sidelines of the on-going two sessions, Xi Guohua, a CPPCC member, also said that the carrier is extending a trial of 4G networks
<embedded video worth to watch>
According to China Mobile, the fourth generation technology offers 10 times bigger bandwidthand 10 times transmission speed than its 3G predecessor. The operator plans to build more than 200,000 4G base stations. The network, when completed, will be the largest of its kind worldwide, and will cover a population of more than 500 million.
Xi Guohua, chairman of China Mobile, said, “We will further expand the current trial on a large scale network. We plan to build 4G base stations in 100 cities, and purchase 1 million terminals.”
Xi also expects the government to issue its fourth generation license before the end of thisyear.
Xi said, “The timing of licensing should be in line with technological development. I think it is appropriate to do that by the end of this year.”
China Mobile started its large-scale 4G trial last year. Industry insiders say if commercialized, the new technology will give a major boost to every part of China’s telecommunications industry.

China to lead mobile payment technology [NFC] [CCTV News via GoUTube123 YouTube channel, Feb 27, 2013]

Smartphones may soon replace cash and credit cards. Constantino de Miguel reports from the Mobile World Congress, China is poised to be the leader in this technology. Just like motorists who pay tolls electronically, consumers the world over may soon be paying on-the-go at any shop, using smartphones or tablets. Mobile devices will be our wallets thanks to a technology called “near field communications”, or NFC. China is expected to lead mobile payments since it already has the largest network of credit cards.

Commercializing 4G in China needs 1 yr: minister [China Daily, March 15, 2013]

With the third-generation communication network flourishing in China, consumers are eager to know when they will be able to start using the next generation’s network, 4G. On the sidelines of the NPC sessions, the Chinese Minister of Industry and Information Technology, Miao Wei,said that the large-scale commercialization of 4G is currently in a testing phase, but that the network coverage still has a long way to go.
<embedded video worth to watch>
Miao Wei, Minister of China Ministry of Industry & IT, said, “Some factors are blocking the 4G development. First is the network. At the moment, even the 3G network is not fully received in many places across China, as it always drops to 2G due to poor network coverage. We have to speed up the installation of coverage technology so as to realize the smooth switching between 3G and 4G. Licenses will still be given to China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom. 4G will first be commercialized in six pilot cities as the network coverage will be available there. But it needs at least one year to commercialize it across the country.”

FRANCE 24 Report : Chinese smartphone brands take bite out of APPLE [france24english YouTube channel, Feb 18, 2013]

Global technology heavyweights are eager to make inroads into China, the world’s biggest smartphone market. Yet local brands like Xiaomi, Lenovo, Coolpad, Huawei are putting up stiff resistance, selling phones for around half the price of their larger competitors. They’ve even beaten the iPhone into fourth place in rankings of Chinese smartphone sales… and now they’re setting their sights on foreign customers too.

Rise of Chinese smartphones [CNNInternational YouTube channel, Feb 26, 2013]

Fortune magazine writer Michal Lev-Ram examines the rise of Chinese smartphones.

Mike Walsh on Global Innovation [cmispeakers YouTube channel, Feb 5, 2013]

86% of the worldwide web comes from global markets…only 14% from the US…learn about China’s ‘Shanzhai’ innovation on cloned phone technology.

China Smartphone Sector [Asia Pacific/China Equity Research, Credit Suisse, Jan 7, 2013]

A specific growth opportunity within China
The Chinese market is a critical market for the local branded Chinese smartphone brands, whitebox and chipset suppliers into that channel. Overall market growth is poised to continue, driven by a significant step-up in subsidies of sub-Rmb1,000 smartphones from Chinese brands and much better low-cost handset availability and quality.
The market is also a key market not dominated by the traditional Tier 1 brands, with feature phones traditionally 60% served by whitebox and local brands. The initial ramp of smartphones was dominated by the traditional global Tier 1s at 70% share in 2011. In 2012, however, this market made a marked turn and is now only 36% supplied by Tier 1s, 35% by the Top 4 Chinese brands (Huawei, ZTE, Lenovo and Coolpad), and 29% by the whitebox and Tier 2 Chinese brands. The key shift was substantial lowering of entry barriers due to higher quality chipset reference designs, better availability of components (panels, touch, image sensors, low cost mobile DRAM) and a stable Android platform.
The availability of these smartphones has already prompted a substantial rise in smartphone penetration of device purchases, from 17% of units in 2011 (78 mn smartphones out of 458 mn handset sales) to 38% of units in 2012 (197 mn of 512 mn handset sales). By 2015, we model in our global forecast 421 mn of 570 mn handset sales (74% of device units). The export channel has taken off a bit slower, with penetration in emerging markets increasing YoY from 16% to 23% in 2012 and projected to reach 54% in 2015 (619 mn of 1.13 bn devices), a potential area of further upside.
Based on rising affordability and quality continuing to improve, we expect the Chinese smartphone market to grow from 197mn units in 2012 to 421mn in 2015, with 30% from tier one’s, 33% from the top Chinese brands and 37% from other brands.
We note that the whitebox and other brands can expand as Tier 2 brands (Hisense, BBK, Oppo, Gionee, Tianyu/K-Touch, TCL, Xiaomi) become household names in China and emerging markets and the quality of clone Galaxy and iPhones improve with better touch, quad core and sweeter flavours of Android versions.

Chinese Smartphones [FinancialTimesVideos YouTube channel, April 5, 2012]

http://www.FT.com/ The popularity of smartphones is causing a fundamental shift in the handset market in China. The FT’s Kathrin Hille visits Shenzhen in southern China to discover where the mobile phone industry is heading.

Chinese smartphones going big [CCTV News via the GoUTube123 YouTube channel, July 11, 2012]

Last year 488 million smart phones were sold worldwide. That’s nearly two thirds more than 2010. The smart phone industry has quickly become so hot that many investors feel that they must get in on the action, and in China they’re doing it fast.

Handset Industry 2013 Outlook [Asia Pacific/China Equity Research, Credit Suisse, Jan 7, 2013]

Increased push towards lower end smartphones. One of the common themes emerging out of all three carriers in China is the increased push toward bringing down smartphone price points. During 2011, the focus had been on launching smartphones priced at around Rmb1,000 with a number of product introductions in that price range. For 2012, the target seems to be to further price point reductions.
  • China Mobile noted that out of 166 smartphone models it offered during mid-2012, 126 of them are being sold at a price point of around Rmb1,000 (or US$150), with the company already working towards launching smartphones priced at Rmb500.

  • China Unicom highlighted that after having successfully launched a series of Rmb1,000 smartphones in 2011, it has been working on to introduce smartphones priced at Rmb700 (US$ 100) or below during 2012.
  • China Telecom had an offering of around 240 models for smartphones in mid-2012, compared to only 100/200 models at the end of 2010/2011. Further, the carrier sold 16mn smartphone devices in 1H12 compared to 17mn in 2011 (up 2x yoy).

And the Chinese industry and supply chain positions are even better in the tablet ecosystem space as well described in my spinoff blog:

SED Electronics Market (Tablets Market) in Shenzhen walk-through [Charbax YouTube channel, March 17, 2013]

Here’s my latest steadicam/GH3 walk through the SED Electronics Market in Shenzhen, that building is my favorite in the Shenzhen Huaqiangbei Electronics market area. This is where you can find all the tablets, HDMI sticks and tablet accessories.

Allwinner A31 9.7″ Retina factory tour at Celeb Tech [Charbax YouTube channel, March 17, 2013]

Here is a tour of the Celeb Tech factory in Shenzhen China. This is their touchpanel [TP] assembly line, they also have a more general tablet assembly factory in another part of Shenzhen (Dongguan) which I may go to and film at the next time I visit Shenzhen. They are in full swing producing the pretty awesome 9.7″ Retina Allwinner A31 Quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 tablet that sells at some pretty amazing prices on the Chinese market.

 


More information

This getting even more interesting as the quite dramatic by itself introductory information is only one of the reasons (more will follow below) why we can say that China is the epicenter of the mobile Internet world, so of the next-gen HTML5 web … even if such a power of influence is too new for the country to be able to exercise that to a greater degree (yet): China Knocks Off U.S. to Become World’s Top Smart Device Market [Peter Farago on the Flurry blog, Feb 18, 2013]

SmartDevice InstalledBase China vs US Feb2013 resized 600

Nevertheless the collection given below in the ‘Background’ section is showing that potential. Just look at the major headlines in that section:

China becomes world’s top smartphone producer China’s e-commerce revenue hits over 1 trillion yuan in 2012: minister China’s top microblog site boasts 500 mln users
China expected to issue 4G licenses this year: minister Preparing for a 4G network across China ZTE leads in 4G wireless networks
EU telecom demands raise tensions with China China has till June for solar, telecoms trade deal: EU China’s mobile phone users reach 1.11 bln
China market: Samsung takes up 22.5% of 2012 smartphone sales, says iiMedia Research Smart phones cover 70 pct of mobile market: report Android powers a third of all mobile phones shipped in 4Q12, says Canalys
Google controls too much of China’s smartphone sector: ministry Too late for China to develop own mobile operating systems, say Taiwan makers China handset makers hope to reduce reliance on Android
China to modify plan to open up mobile telecom sector 4M[bps] broadband to cover 70 percent of Chinese users in 2013 Broadband network expansion in the pipeline
China Unicom’s 3G
[W-CDMA] subscribers hit 76.46 mln
   

For the mobile Internet world, and consequently for the next-gen HTML5 web there is still a huge untapped potential in China, especially for the far the biggest network operator, China Mobile:

image

China Mobile’s untapped potential in the 3G space is even greater than that of other two operators as from Q4’11 to Q2’12 it was operating at much lower quarterly growth rate of 3G penetration than its bigest domestic rival, China Unicom (see the chart in the middle). In fact during the last 2 years both China Unicom (W-CDMA) and China Telecom (CDMA) had a consistently faster growth of 3G subscribers than China Mobile (TD-SCDMA) as well illustrated by the first chart on the top. In fact the resulting 3G penetration rates by the end of the period (Q4’12) speak for themselves:
– China Mobile (TD-SCDMA): 12.4% (vs. 3.5% in Q4’10)
– China Unicom (W-CDMA): 32% (vs. 8.4% in Q4’10)
– China Telecom (CDMA): 43% (vs. 13.6% in Q4’10)

The major reason for China Mobile’s significant underperformance between 2010 and 2012 is related to all the difficulties related to the stubborn attempt to deliver a completely homegrown solution in the 3G space, 100% of China’s own, end-to-end: TD-SCDMA, SoCs, operating system, services etc.

  1. TD-SCDMA defined and developed totally independent of the Qualcomm driven CDMA  and the Europe driven W-CDMA (including HSPA) which both had broad involvement of all kind of interested parties, especially the final 3G+ winner W-CDMA (including HSPA). This is well expressed by the following technology adoption chart (which includes forecast for the recently launched 4G LTE as well):

    From: Report: LTE Connections To Hit 90 Million By Year’s End, 1 Billion By 2017 [TechCrunch, May 17, 2012], i.e. LTE was in its 3d year in 2012
  2. China Mobile, as a SOE (State Owned Company, see SOEs and state coexistence in China [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, June 19, 2011]) with only 25.82% of shares not in the state hands as of 31 December 2011, got full support of the state via different financial means and other TD-SCDMA related companies of the state as well. See China Mobile repositioning for TD-LTE with full content and application aggregation services, 3G [HSPA level] is to create momentum for that [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, June 18, 2011]. China Mobile awards 12 companies TD-SCDMA research grants [May 17, 2009] and  China Mobile Reveals TD-SCDMA Handset Subsidy Bidding Results [May 17, 2009] there are particulary revealing such efforts in the very beginning.

    There was no lack of resources for everything, despite of doing it all alone, nevertheless it took no less than 3 years from the TD-SCDMA launch to have a workable plan which resulted just in the end of the fourth year in the significantly improved results of greater quarterly TD-SCDMA penetration growth of 14.4% in Q4’12 Q vs. 13.2% in Q1’12, 10% in Q2’12 and 10.2% in Q3’12. The plan was TD-SCDMA: US$3B into the network (by the end of 2012) and 6 million phones procured (just in October) [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Oct 18, 2011] and the Q4’12 result is quite visible in the penetration growth rate jump (copied here as well for convenience):

    image

  3. It was clearly identified from the very beginning that SoCs would be needed from several sources. China Mobile was getting that quite early from local  chip design houses Spreadtrum and Leadcore as well as from ST-Ericsson, MediaTek and Marvell coming from outside (see Marvell beaten by Chinese chipmakers in sub 1,000 yuan handset procurement tender of China Mobile [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Nov 15, 2010] and Marvell’s single chip TD-SCDMA solutions beaten (again) by two-chip solutions of Chinese vendors [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, July 11, 2011]). Despite of Marvell’s very strong and early 2008 commitment to capitalise on the TD-SCDMA opportunity only, even strengthening that with Kinoma is now the marvellous software owned by Marvell [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, March 8, 2011] and ASUS, China Mobile and Marvell join hands in the OPhone ecosystem effort for “Blue Ocean” dominance [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, March 8, 2011], it was much more later that there were First real chances for Marvell on the tablet and smartphone fronts [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Aug 21, 2011].

    Then, in fact, rather its long-time local competitor gained the upper hand with World’s lowest cost, US$40-50 Android smartphones — sub-$100 retail — are enabled by Spreadtrum [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Dec 11, 2011] which was already at the time of  China becoming the lead market for mobile Internet in 2012/13 [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Dec 1, 2011] and The new, high-volume market in China is ready to define the 2012 smartphone war [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Jan 6, 2012]. In the end not Marvell but Spreadtrum exploited best the tremendous volume opportunities when it was possible to state that Lowest H2’12 device cost SoCs from Spreadtrum will redefine the entry level smartphone and feature phone markets [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, July 26 – Nov 9, 2012] as the 2.5G only $48 Mogu M0 “peoplephone”, i.e. an Android smartphone for everybody to hit the Chinese market on November 15 [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Nov 9, 2012] arrived. And the increase in the number of TD-SCDMA subscribers was still not that much more: 12.3 million in Q4’12 vs. 8.5 million in Q3’12.

    So Spreadtrum’s H2’12 success came much more from its extremely low-cost with 2.5G+WiFi (SC6820) capability than from the one which included as well  the TD-SCDMA capability. This also means that for our final word about the maturity of the TD-SCDMA technology stack from the network basestations through the TD-SCDMA SoCs we will able to say just in 2013, after similar kind, or even higher, increases in the number of TD-SCDMA subscriber additions would indeed be reported by China Mobile. The findings of the market research panels published just last week are well supporting this reasoning (see the full press release much more below of the excerpts included here):

    Wi-Fi is the Data Beast of Burden among Smartphone Panelists [Arbitron press release via PRNewswire, March 4, 2013]

    … Even as carriers aggressively promote their newest generation of cellular data networking, the Arbitron smartphone panelists in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, and China, still consume nearly two thirds of their mobile data through public and private Wi-Fi networks. …

    … China and France have the lightest users of mobile data … However, their respective share of Wi-Fi networks as a data source stands at a polar opposite. China panelists consume the largest share—70 percent—on Wi-Fi networks. French panelists, consume the smallest share—53 percent—of mobile data on Wi-Fi. …

    This means that the Chinese were well satisfied with their less costly 2.5G mobile connections for less data consuming tasks, while for most consuming ones the great majority of them were relying on the Wi-Fi networks available to them in the various hotspots and at home (probably at the workplace as well). Considering that along with the 4G/LTE there is the upcoming 5G WiFi with Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ ac Miracast™ from Broadcom for streaming content to UHD (4K) TVs as well [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, March 3, 2013] this situation will not change in the future either, definitely not in the much more cost-concious Chinese market (see: China: going either for good quality commodities or the premium brands only [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Nov 21, 2012]).

  4.  Wi-Fi is the Data Beast of Burden among Smartphone Panelists [Arbitron press release via PRNewswire, March 4, 2013]
How much mobile data Arbitron smartphone panelists consume varies by country and mobile platform
Wi-Fi® remains the leading data network for on-the-go data consumption in the five leading Arbitron Mobile-based smartphone panels.
Even as carriers aggressively promote their newest generation of cellular data networking, the Arbitron smartphone panelists in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, and China, still consume nearly two thirds of their mobile data through public and private Wi-Fi networks.
Wi-Fi Data Consumption by Arbitron Mobile-based Smartphone Panelists
Sorted by average mobile data consumption per month (cellular +Wi-Fi)
 
% via
Wi-Fi
Cell + Wi-Fi Data
MB/User/Month
% of panelists
> 1,000 MB/month
U.S.
61%
1,496
49%
U.K.
69%
1,181
37%
Germany
63%
861
37%
France
53%
730
24%
China*
70%
719
25%
Source: Arbitron Mobile Index: Executive Summary Reports, 4th quarter 2012
* Operated by iResearch using Arbitron Mobile technology

The United States and United Kingdom have the heaviest users of mobile data in their Arbitron smartphone panels. A substantial share of the data consumption—61 and 69 percent respectively—relies on Wi-Fi networks.
China and France have the lightest users of mobile data in their Arbitron Mobile-based smartphone panels, both in terms of the average monthly data consumed and the share of the panel who consume more the 1,000 MB a month. However, their respective share of Wi-Fi networks as a data source stands at a polar opposite.
China panelists consume the largest share—70 percent—on Wi-Fi networks.  French panelists, consume the smallest share—53 percent—of mobile data on Wi-Fi.
In all five of the Arbitron Mobile panels, Apple iOS users are heaviest consumers of mobile data and are the heaviest users of Wi-Fi for their on-the-go data needs.
Data Consumption by Leading Mobile Operating Systems
Sorted by average mobile data consumption per month (cellular +Wi-Fi) on iOS
Apple iOS
Android
 
MB/User
/Month
% via
Wi-Fi
MB/User
/Month
% via
Wi-Fi
U.S.
2,512
66%
821
57%
U.K.
2,216
80%
740
64%
China*
1,636
81%
347
65%
France
1,527
70%
635
52%
Germany
1,203
71%
566
56%
Source: Arbitron Mobile Index — Executive Summary Reports, 4th quarter 2012
* Operated by iResearch using Arbitron Mobile technology

Apple iOS was the predominant operating system among the heavy data users in these five smartphone panels.  Seventy-two percent of iOS users in the U.S. and German panel were in 1,000+ MB/month club; in the U.K., 76 percent, and in China 60 percent. In stark contrast, only 29 percent of the iOS users in the France panel consumed more than 1,000 MB/month in the fourth quarter 2012.
About iResearch Consulting
iResearch Consulting, founded 2002, is the leading consulting and media measurement company in the Internet industry in China. With more than 200 employees, iResearch, headquartered in Shanghai, has been at the forefront of Chinese Internet measurement and operates a currency Internet audience rating service for China.
About Arbitron Mobile
Arbitron Mobile Oy, a wholly owned subsidiary of Arbitron Inc., uses a proprietary, on-device software meter to provide marketers, the media, content providers, app developers, and wireless access suppliers with information on how mobile consumers use apps, surf the web, engage in social media, participate in e-commerce, and employ their devices to communicate.
For more information, visit www.arbitronmobile.com or contact mobile@arbitron.com.
About Arbitron
Arbitron Inc. (NYSE: ARB) is an international media and marketing research firm serving the media—radio, television, cable and out-of-home; the mobile industry as well as advertising agencies and advertisers around the world.  For more information, visit www.arbitron.com.
Wi-Fi® is a registered trademark of the Wi-Fi Alliance.

Background

China becomes world’s top smartphone producer [Xinhua, Jan 16, 2013]

Chinese shipments of smartphones totaled 224 million units in 2012, making the country the world’s largest smartphone producer, official data showed Wednesday.
In 2012, over 730,000 Chinese apps were launched on the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad platforms, and the number of apps in China Mobile’s online Mobile Market approached 150,000, according to a statement from the China Academy of Telecommunication Research under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
Beijing-based research firm Analysys International predicted that China’s mobile Internet market will reach 429.6 billion yuan (68.19 billion U.S. dollars) in 2015.
China added 50.9 million Internet users in 2012, bringing the total to 564 million at the end of last year, according to data released Tuesday by the China Internet Network Information Center.
The number of mobile Internet users increased 18.1 percent to 420 million, with mobile phones becoming the primary channel for using the Internet in China.

More information:
Huawei challenges Apple, Samsung with world’s biggest smartphone [Xinhua, Jan 7, 2013]
Lenovo seeks top smartphone spot [in China] [China Daily via Xinhuanet, Jan 5, 2013]

China’s ZTE unveils latest Android smartphone in Indonesia [Xinhua, Dec 19, 2012]
Smartphones give family ties the busy signal [Xinhua, Oct 18, 2012]
Smartphones in use top 1 bln worldwide: report [Xinhua, Oct 17, 2012]

The number of smartphones in use in the world has risen to over 1 billion, 16 years after they were first put into market, report from Strategy Analytics showed on Wednesday.
According to the third quarter figures released by the research firm, the number of smartphones in use increased by around 330 million from the third quarter of 2011 and by 79 million from the second quarter of this year.
Executive Director at Strategics Analytics Neil Mawston said one in seven people in the world now has a smartphone.
Mawston pointed out that there will be more smartphone penetration in the future because of the “huge scope for future growth, particularly in emerging markets such as China, India and Africa.”
It is calculated that although 16 years were needed for the first billion smartphones to come into use, it will need just three years for that number to double to 2 billion.

China’s e-commerce revenue hits over 1 trillion yuan in 2012: minister [Xinhua, March 8, 2013]

China’s booming online commerce industry is expected to reap more than 1.1 trillion yuan (about 175 billion U.S. dollars) in revenue in 2012, Minister of Commerce Chen Deming said on Friday.
“The total revenue of online commerce is estimated to be around 1.1 trillion yuan (about 175 billion U.S. dollars) to 1.2 trillion in 2012,” said Chen, noting that the exact figure was not available.
China’s online commerce has experienced rapid growth in recent years, with its total revenue expanding from 25.8 billion yuan in 2006 to 780 billion in 2011, the commerce minister told a press conference held on the sidelines of the ongoing national legislature.
“Online shopping is changing people’s way of life and consumption, taking advantage of the huge potential of China’s industrialization and urbanization,” Chen said.
The commerce minister said the growth dwarfed that of many western countries, attributing to the fact that China’s commerce industry was not as developed in the first place, and online shopping could serve to reduce the cost of logistics by a huge margin.

More information:
Chinese booming e-commerce nibbles traditional retailers [Xinhuanet, Feb 18, 2013] with internal headlines: online business booms + traditional retail industry threatened
Conference updated on China’s regulation of e-commerce [Xinhua, Nov 27, 2012]
Securing China’s e-commerce growth [Jeff Liao, country manager of Visa China on Xinhuanet, Nov 20, 2012]

Between June 2011 and 2012, China’s Internet population reached 538 million, of which some 194 million had shopped online. Online retail sales in China have soared in recent years and are expected to hit 360 billion U.S. dollars by 2015 – up from about 121 billion dollars in 2011 – according to The Boston Consulting Group.
Impressive as the numbers are, there’s another set of statistics that’s even more striking: Nearly one-third of the online shoppers in China fell prey to fraudulent websites during that period, costing them 4.7 billion dollars, according to the China Electronic Commerce Association.
<quite worth to read after that>

China’s top microblog site boasts 500 mln users [Xinhua, Feb 20, 2013]

Sina Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, had attracted over 500 million users by the end of 2012, a year-on-year increase of 74 percent, Sina Corp. announced on Wednesday.
Sina Weibo’s active daily users have exceeded 46.2 million, the company said.
The site’s revenues totaled 66 million U.S. dollars in 2012, of which 23 percent came from surging income from value-added services.
The other 77 percent came from advertising, the revenues of which exceeded 50 million U.S. dollars.
The company plans to further improve its user experience and expand its services while veering its focus to mobile Internet, said Cao Guowei, CEO and president of Sina.
Some 75 percent of Sina Weibo’s active users log in using mobile devices.
Sina also issued financial reports for the last quarter and full fiscal year of 2012 on Wednesday, showing that its net revenues hit 529.3 million U.S. dollars with a year-on-year increase of 10 percent.

Web China: Xi Jinping fan microblog triggers curiosity [Xinhua, Feb 6, 2013]

… a personal microblog on Sina Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, which has released exclusive photos and other news regarding China’s top leader Xi Jinping, has raised eyebrows with its candid coverage.
Netizens have become increasingly curious about the blog, titled “Xuexifensituan” (“Learning From Xi Fan Club”), which covers the latest moves made by Xi, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, during his inspection tours.
Entries on the blog are often written in the style of a tabloid, with brief phrases (“he’s returned to the hotel”) describing Xi’s whereabouts. However, the posts are exclusive and always come ahead of reports from official media.
Sometimes there are rare first-hand pictures — distant shots of Xi dozing in a van or photos taken by a shaky camera while Xi walks through a crowd of people.
The microblogger refers to Xi as “Xi Dada,” a term that translates as “Uncle Xi” in some parts of China. “Pingping,” a dual-syllable nickname often used by intimate friends or relatives, is also used to describe China’s top leader.
The blog has attracted nearly 500,000 followers since going online in November 2012. Although the information contained in the blog has interested the public, netizens are also curious about the real identity of the blog’s owner.
The blog does not feature a “V” emblem, a mark which indicates that the blog owner’s identity has been verified by Sina Weibo. The only clues are profile details stating that the blog’s owner is a female from northwest China’s Shaanxi province.
The mysterious blog is suspected to be maintained by someone very close to Xi, as the information it contains is supposed to be unavailable to the public and some of its photos were shot from vantages close to Xi.
The blog’s owner has denied claims that he or she is close to Xi. “I am just an ordinary office worker, not a CPC member, nor an official,” an entry on the blog said.


China
expected to issue 4G licenses this year: minister
[Xinhua, March 6, 2013]

China is expected to start licensing telecom operators to offer services on its fourth-generation (4G) mobile phone network within 2013, a senior official has said.
“China has made breakthroughs in R&D of 4G technologies, but is still facing restrictions in commercial use,” Miao Wei, minister of industry of information technology, said on the sidelines of the ongoing annual session of the country’s national legislature.
China needs to speed up base station construction and provide more terminal products, which require greater financial and technological input, he said on Tuesday.
“We will promulgate supporting policies at an appropriate time to guide the construction and development of the 4G network,” Miao added.
In early February, two cities in east China’s Zhejiang Province launched a 4G mobile phone network for commercial use on a trial basis, marking a new age of high-speed mobile Internet in the country.
With a 500-yuan (80 U.S. dollars) deposit, subscribers to China Mobile in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang, and Wenzhou, can access the service.
China Mobile, China’s largest mobile operator, employs TD-LTE technology, or Time Division Long Term Evolution, one of two international standards, for the 4G network. Its maximum Internet speed is up to 10 times faster than 3G.
4G user should be able to download a 10-megabyte piece of software in two seconds, and a two-gigabyte HD movie in just several minutes.
With the advancement of 4G technology, 4G wireless cards and 4G mobile phones are expected to be ready for commercial use this year.
China Mobile began building a trial 4G network in several Chinese cities, including Hangzhou, in 2011. The city is currently home to over 2,400 4G base stations, covering an area of around 500 square km.
The minister also reiterated that China will further encourage private investment in the telecom industry.

More information:
China Mobile expands 4G trials to Zhejiang [China Daily via Xinhuanet, Feb 6, 2013]
East China cities launch commercial 4G network [Xinhua, Feb 4, 2013]
Preparing for a 4G network across China [China Daily via Xinhuanet, Nov 19, 2012]

… The ministry officially defined the TD-LTE spectrum – 2,500-2,690 MHz – in China in October, paving the way for future TD-LTE network commercial use.
Xi Guohua, chairman of China Mobile, said in June that China Mobile plans to have a total of more than 200,000 TD-LTE base stations through new builds and upgrades by 2013.
Rumors have circulated in Chinese media that China Telecom, the nation’s smallest mobile carrier, will probably adopt TD-LTE technology when it starts to deploy its 4G network. If true, it would be a great boost for the TD-LTE industry both at home and abroad.

ZTE leads in 4G wireless networks [China Daily via Xinhuanet, July 22, 2012]

ZTE Corp revealed on Friday that it has gained an upper hand over rivals in the construction of fourth generation TD-LTE wireless networks globally, after it grabbed more than 70 percent of the world’s contracts of this kind by May.
“We had absolute advantages … since the number of ZTE’s TD-LTE projects accounted for more than 70 percent of the world’s total,” said [ZTE Vice-President] Liu [Peng].
“We had absolute advantages … since the number of ZTE’s TD-LTE projects accounted for more than 70 percent of the world’s total,” said Liu.
ZTE announced on Thursday that it had been selected as one of two telecom equipment suppliers by China Mobile Hong Kong Ltd, a subsidiary of the world’s largest mobile operator China Mobile Ltd, to build a seamless converged LTE TDD and LTE FDD network in Hong Kong. The other selected supplier was Sweden-based Telefon AB LM Ericsson.
It is also the first commercial TD-LTE network set up and operated by China Mobile, and because of that, it will play a critical role in China Mobile’s overall plan to promote TD-LTE technology both at home and abroad, analysts said.
Chen Jinqiao, deputy chief engineer of the China Academy of Telecommunication Research, said: “It is a real, tangible commercial TD-LTE network, and China Mobile will learn operating experience from it and may do a better job in the commercial use of TD-LTE technology in the Chinese mainland.”

Implications of ZTE’s $20 Billion Credit Line [TBRIChannel YouTube channel, Feb 21, 2013]

ZTE’s new $20 billion credit line, awarded on Dec. 4 by the China Development Bank (CDB), is timely for the struggling China-based vendor and has breathed new life into the firm; however, it portends more woes for close competitors such as Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia Siemens. On Wednesday, Feb. 20, analyst Chris Antlitz recorded a webinar that delved into how and why ZTE’s massive credit line is a game changer in the telecom vendor market, and discusses how it will reshape the industry over the next few years. Specifically, this webinar will cover three key topics: •How will the money help ZTE streamline its internal operations and regain traction in the marketplace? •How will competitors be affected by ZTE’s resurgence? •How will this loan reshape the telecom vendor landscape over the next few years?

EU telecom demands raise tensions with China [CNTV.cn via Xinhuanet, Feb 3, 2013]

According to a report in the Financial Times, Europe’s top trade official has urged China to grant it a bigger share of the Chinese market in telecoms network equipment.
The EU trade commissioner, Karel De Gucht, is reported to have requested a 30 percent share of China’s telecoms market to EU suppliers in return for dropping a highly contentious EU investigation into alleged subsidies to Chinese companies.
It’s also claimed De Gucht is insisting that Chinese telecom suppliers Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corp raise the price of their exports by 29%. The case centres on Brussels’ contention that Beijing has awarded illegal export subsidies to the two companies in order to fuel their growth in foreign markets.
A delegation from China’s Ministry of Commerce met with top EU trade officials on Friday to seek a way to settle the issue without sparking a trade war.
The EU is currently carrying out its biggest ever anti-dumping investigation into Chinese solar panel exports. It’s expected to make a formal decision on whether to impose temporary duties by the end of May.

China has till June for solar, telecoms trade deal: EU [Reuters, Feb 27, 2013]

China has until June 7 to negotiate a deal with the European Union on state subsidies for solar panels and mobile telephone networks or face possible punitive measures, the EU’s trade chief said on Wednesday.
European Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht told a Reuters Summit on the future of the euro zone the Chinese had told Brussels they wanted to negotiate an amicable solution to EU concerns over alleged trade distortions in the two cases.
“It is the Chinese who have requested that we would have negotiations on a possible amicable solution. We have already have contacts, we have already sent people to Beijing, and the Chinese already came to Brussels,” he said.
The hi-tech telecoms case is less advanced but potentially far bigger in political and economic impact.
The EU is collecting evidence to prepare a possible case against Chinese network equipment makers Huawei (002502.SZ) and ZTE (000063.SZ) over state subsidies, but has not received a formal complaint from European industry.
De Gucht said the Commission had the power to initiate proceedings on its own authority even if no European competitor came forward.
A complaint is the normal starting point for an investigation, but European manufacturers Ericsson (ERICb.ST), Alcatel-Lucent (ALUA.PA) and Nokia Siemens Networks NOKI.UL have remained silent because trade experts say they fear retaliation against their business in China.
The case over mobile network equipment makers would dwarf that in size. The European telecoms industry accounts for an estimated 4.8 percent of the EU’s gross domestic product.
Such self-initiated cases can be awkward for the Commission, as it appears to be both complainant and judge and still needs evidence from EU producers and approval from EU member states, which ultimately vote on Brussels’ proposals to impose duties.
De Gucht said that talks over alleged state subsidies by China to the telecom firms were running in parallel with negotiations to avoid duties on Chinese solar panels.
There were also “serious security concerns” involving mobile telecom networks, which had become the backbone of modern European society, he said, noting that the United States and Australiahad effectively shut Huawei out of their markets.
Diplomats said EU countries are divided in their approach to Huawei, with Britain and the Netherlands embracing the Chinese firm as a major job provider while others are more wary of Chinese inroads into such a sensitive sector.
A leaked internal EU report last year said that action against Chinese telecom equipment makers was needed because their increasing dominance of mobile networks makes them a threat to security.


China’s mobile phone users reach 1.11 bln
[Xinhua, Jan 25, 2013]

The number of Chinese mobile phone users reached 1.11 billion as of the end of 2012, according to official data unveiled Thursday.
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said in a statement that mobile phone users represent 80 percent of all phones users in the country.
The number of mobile phones owned by every 100 people reached 82.6 by the end of 2012, up by nine from a year earlier, according to the statement.
Last year, the country recorded 125.9 million new mobile phone users, among whom 104.38 million were 3G mobile phone users, bringing the total number of 3G users to 232.8 million, the MIIT said.
The ministry said the number of Internet users rose by 51 million to 564 million people, among whom 74.5 percent, or 420 million people, surf the Internet with their mobile phones.
The Internet penetration rate reached 42.1 percent by the end of last year, up 3.8 percentage points from a year earlier.

China market: Samsung takes up 22.5% of 2012 smartphone sales, says iiMedia Research [DIGITIMES, March 7, 2013]

There were 169 million smartphones sold in the China market in 2012, hiking 130.7% from 2011, and Samsung Electronics was the largest vendor with a market share of 22.5%, according to China-based consulting company iiMedia Research.
Lenovo was the second largest vendor accounting for 10.7% of the smartphone sales volume, followed Huawei Device, Coolpad and ZTE with 9.9%, 9.5%, 8.9% respectively, Apple with 7.7%, GiONEE with 6.4%, HTC with 4.7%, Motorola Mobility with 3.5% and Nokia with 3.1%.
In terms of operating system, Android occupied 68.6% of the smartphone sales volume, followed by iOS with 12.8%, Symbian with 12.4% and Windows Phone with 3.8%.
There were 380 million smartphone users in the China market at the end of 2012, increasing 72.7% from a year ago.

iiMedia: Percentage breakdown of smartphones
sold in China by price, 2012

Price range (CNY)
Market share
Below 1,000 (US$158)
34.9%
1,000 to below 2,000
42.2%
2,000 to below 3,000
14.6%
3,000 to below 4,000
5.2%
4,000 and above
3.1%

Smart phones cover 70 pct of mobile market: report [Xinhua, March 6, 2013]

Seventy-million smart phones were shipped in China in the last quarter of 2012, covering 73.2 percent of the country’s mobile market share, newly released statistics showed Wednesday.
The volume of smart phone shipments saw a 112.1 percent year-on-year increase, according to statistics by the International Data Corporation (IDC), a global market research, analysis and advisory company.
Figures showed that shipments of mobile phones in the last three months of 2012 stood at 96 million, a 1.6 percent year-on-year rise.
Total shipments of mobile phones in China last year reached 362 million, among which smart phones recorded 213 million, a year-on-year increase of 135 percent, said IDC.
The corporation said that strong demand, subsidies from phone operators and new smart phone arrivals were the driving force behind the boom.
“Producers’ heavy investments in smart phones also contributed to the success,” said Wang Jiping, an analyst with IDC’s China subsidiary.
The company forecasts that the country’s smart phone industry will witness steady growth in the next few years.
It said smart phone shipments are expected to reach 460 million in 2017, which will take up 90.1 percent of the country’s total mobile phone sales.

More information:
China smartphone shipments to rise to 460 million by 2017-IDC [Reuters, March 7, 2013]
Smartphones Expected to Outship Feature Phones for First Time in 2013, According to IDC [IDC press release, March 4, 2013]

… Smartphone shipments to China, Brazil, and India will comprise a growing percentage of the device type’s volume in each forecast year. Smartphone demand is burgeoning in these large, populous nations as their respective economies have grown; this has made for a larger middle class that is prepared to buy smartphones. China, which supplanted the U.S. last year as the global leader in smartphone shipments, is at the forefront of this shift.
“While we don’t expect China’s smartphone growth to maintain the pace of a runaway train as it has over the last two years, there continue to be big drivers to keep the market growing as it leads the way to ever-lower smartphone prices and the country’s transition to 4G networks is only just beginning,” said Melissa Chau, Senior Research Manager, IDC Asia/Pacific. “Even as China starts to mature, there remains enormous untapped potential in other emerging markets like India, where we expect less than half of all phones shipped there to be smartphones by 2017, and yet it will weigh in as the world’s third largest market.”
Brazil is another market where smartphone growth will remain high over the course of the forecast as its economic fortunes improve. “Brazilians have yet to turn in their feature phones for smartphones on a wholesale basis,” said Bruno Freitas, Consumer Devices Research Manager, IDC Brazil. “The smartphone tide is turning in Brazil though, as wireless service providers and the government have laid the groundwork for a strong smartphone foundation that mobile phone manufacturers can build upon.” …

Android powers a third of all mobile phones shipped in 4Q12, says Canalys [DIGITIMES, Feb 8, 2013]

Canalys: Worldwide smartphone shipments and share by vendor, 4Q12 (m units)
Vendor
4Q12 shipments
Market share
Samsung
62.9
29%
Apple
47.8
22.1%
Huawei
11.5
5.3%
ZTE
10.1
4.7%
Lenovo
9.5
4.4%
Others
74.7
34.5%
Total
216.5
100%
Source: Canalys, compiled by Digitimes, February 2013

Canalys: Worldwide smartphone shipments and share by OS vendor, 4Q12 (m units)
OS vendor
4Q12 shipments
Market share
OHA (Android)
149.8
69.2
Apple
47.8
22.1%
BlackBerry
7.6
3.5%
Microsoft
5.1
2.4%
Nokia
3.2
1.5%
Others
3.0
1.4%
Total
216.5
100%
Source: Canalys, compiled by Digitimes, February 2013

More information:
Mobile device market to reach 2.6 billion units by 2016, says Canalys [DIGITIMES, Feb 26, 2013]
Entry-level smartphone sales expected to stay strong in China throughout 2013 [DIGITIMES, Jan 2, 2013]

Google controls too much of China’s smartphone sector: ministry [March 5, 2013]

Google Inc has too much control over China’s smartphone industry via its Android mobile operating system and has discriminated against some local firms, the technology ministry said in a white paper.
The white paper, authored by the research arm of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, also said China had the ability to create its own mobile operating system. (here)
“Our country’s mobile operating system research and development is too dependent on Android,” the paper, posted online on Friday but carried by local media on Tuesday, said.
While the Android system is open source, the core technology and technology roadmap is strictly controlled by Google.”
The paper said Google had discriminated against some Chinese companies developing their operating systems by delaying the sharing of codes. Google had also used commercial agreements to restrain the business development of mobile devices of these companies, it added.
A Google spokesman in China declined to comment.
The ministry did not recommend any specific policies, regulatory actions or other measures.
Analysts said the white paper, which lauded Chinese companies such as Baidu Inc, Alibaba Group and Huawei Technologies for creating their own systems, could be a signal to the industry that regulations against Android are on the horizon.
“In China, regulators regulate regularly especially where they can position the regulations as helping out domestic companies,” Duncan Clark, chairman of technology consultancy BDA, said in an email to Reuters.
“Ironically, Android’s success has underpinned a lot of the growth in China smartphone vendors in recent years,” Clark said. Home-grown companies had failed previously in China’s market for simple handsets, he said, due to weakness in software and operating systems.
South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, the world’s largest smartphone maker, uses the Android system, as do Chinese manufacturers Huawei and ZTE Corp.
Last September, the launch of a smartphone between Acer Inc and a unit of Alibaba Group was cancelled due to what Alibaba said was pressure from Google on the Taiwanese group. Representatives for Acer and Google declined to comment on the matter at that time.
Technology research firm IDC has estimated that China surpassed the United States as the world’s biggest smartphone market in 2012, accounting for 26.5 percent of all smartphones shipped.
In 2010, Google conducted a partial pullout from China on the basis of censorship and after it suffered a serious hacking episode that the company said emanated from China. Since then, Google’s search market share in China has fallen from almost 30 percent to 15 percent at the end of 2012. Android has been Google’s bright spot in China.
In the third quarter last year, Android accounted for 90 percent of all mobile operating systems in China while Apple Inc’s iOS system was at just 4.2 percent.

Too late for China to develop own mobile operating systems, say Taiwan makers [DIGITIMES, March 7, 2013]

While China Academy of Telecommunication Research under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in its white paper calls for China’s development of own operating systems for use in smartphones, tablets and other mobile terminal devices to lessen existing heavy reliance on Google Android, sources with Taiwan-based handset supply chain makers pointed out that it is too late for such development because of difficulties to develop related technologies and establishing necessary ecosystem as well as lack of relevant patents.
It will take at least three to five years for a new mobile operating system to become competitive in market, and if China-based companies – such as device vendor Lenovo, Huawei Device, ZTE and Coolpad, and Internet service providers Alibaba and Baidu – only begin to develop own mobile operating systems now, it is already too late to catch up with competitors, the sources indicated.
Instead of developing own mobile operating systems, China-based companies can ask Google to loosen its regulations on using Android, for example, to allow development of various operating system versions based on the Android architecture, the sources said. In addition, the China government can encourage China-based companies to provide rich mobile services and develop various mobile applications based on not only Android but also iOS, Windows Phone and other operating systems, the sources indicated.

China handset makers hope to reduce reliance on Android [DIGITIMES, March 6, 2013]

The China Academy of Telecommunication Research for the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has published a white paper stating that China’s handset industry has been relying heavily on the Android platform. In fact, China’s handset industry has been hoping to reduce its reliance on Google’s Android platform by switching to other platforms such as Windows Phone, Tizen, and Firefox OS. Industry sources believe the percentage of products using the Android platform is likely to fall continuously in China.
Android is an open platform, and with price advantages, many handset makers in China are using the Android platform. Currently, Android has more than 80% of share in the China smartphone platform market. The heavy reliance has been causing concerns in China.
Some China-based handset brands have been seeking cooperation with other platform developers. ZTE and TCL are the first two firms to cooperate with Mozilla and plan to introduce new products with Firefox OS platform in mid-2013. The new products are aimed at emerging markets such as Central and South America and Eastern Europe. Huawei is cooperating with Mozilla and Tizen.
However, handset makers believe China-based firms are unlikely to massively adopt other platforms in the short run as Android continues to be the most attractive and mature open platform on the market.
Handset firms noted that most China-based handset brands face the problem of relying heavily on the Android platform, which is the same problem for Samsung and HTC, but Samsung has been putting effort into diversifying by acquiring MeeGo, integrating Bada and developing Tizen while other handset makers simply do not have the resources and time to do the same.


China to modify plan to open up mobile telecom sector
[Xinhua, Jan 23, 2013]

The government is considering adjusting a plan that will allow privately-owned companies to enter the mobile telecommunications sector, a government official said on Wednesday.
Zhang Feng, director of the telecommunications development department of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), said at a news briefing that the ministry is reviewing opinions collected from the public and will improve the plan based on its review.
In early January, the MIIT created a pilot plan that will allow Chinese-funded private companies to buy basic mobile telecom services from the country’s major operators, add their own services and then sell the services to customers through their own brands.
Private companies will not have to build mobile telecoms infrastructure, but only set up a customer service system and other supporting networks if necessary, the plan said.
The ministry said the pilot program aims to allow private capital to further enter the telecom industry and give full play to the flexibility and creativity of private firms, as well as promote market competition and improve mobile telecom services.
The plan was published online on Jan. 7, with public opinions to be solicited until Feb. 6.
At present, China’s mobile telecom sector is dominated by the state-owned companies China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom.

More information:
News Analysis: China to open up mobile telecom sector [Xinhua, Jan 15, 2013]

… Shi Wei, an expert with the Institute of Economic System and Management under China’s top economic planner, said that private firms participating in the program must strive to make innovations in their services, or else they will become just agents for major carriers.
“Private companies should develop more innovative applications and provide differentiated services to win their share of the market,” Shi said. …
… The pilot program is designed to last for two years.
Private enterprises can send applications to telecom authorities within the first year of the program.
China has attached great significance to encouraging private investment, as it plays an important role in creating jobs, boosting domestic consumption and maintaining sustainable economic growth.
In 2010, China’s State Council, or the Cabinet, announced policies to open a range of government-run industries to private investment, including water projects, power generation, mining, as well as the telecommunication sector.
To help implement those policies, the MIIT made a detailed plan for guiding private capital to enter the telecom industry in June 2012.

So there are wider reasons for such a change of attitude as well:
2012 profits slow at China’s central SOEs [XinHua, Feb 8, 2013]
Private, collective businesses’ trade outpaces SOEs [Xinhua, Jan 3, 2013]

Private and collectively-owned businesses saw their foreign trade expand faster than that of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and foreign-funded companies in the January and November period, according to the national economic planner.
In the first 11 months, foreign trade at private and collectively-owned companies totaled 1.09 trillion U.S. dollars, up 18.1 percent year on year, according to data released by the National Development and Reform Commission on Thursday.
The total figure included 687.32 billion U.s. dollars in exports, up19.4 percent, and 402.75 billion U.S. dollars in imports, up 15.9 percent, the data showed.
In contrast, foreign-funded firms saw foreign trade rise 1.9 percent year on year to reach 1.72 trillion U.S. dollars between January and November.
Meanwhile, trade for SOEs dropped 1.1 percent from a year earlier to 685.9 billion U.S. dollars in the first 11 months, as exports declined 4 percent in the period while imports posted a slight increase of 0.9 percent, the data showed.
The General Administration of Customs previously released disappointing trade data for November due to slackened external demand. China’s exports grew just 2.9 percent year on year in November, while the growth of imports remained unchanged from a year earlier.

4M[bps] broadband to cover 70 percent of Chinese users in 2013 [Xinhua, Feb 26, 2013]

More than 70 percent of China’s Internet users will enjoy access to broadband Internet services in 2013, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said Tuesday.
The percentage of users with access to 4M[bps] or faster services climbed 23 percentage points to 63 percent in 2012 from the previous year, said Miao Wei, minister of industry and information technology.
Fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) services will cover 35 million households this year, as FTTH households grew by 49 million to reach 94 million in 2012, Miao said.
The government also hopes to add more than 25 million new fixed-line broadband subscriber households, as the number of fixed-line broadband subscriber households rose by 25.1 million to 175 million in 2012, Miao said.
Other goals expanding the number of public wireless hot spots by 1.3 million, Miao said.
FTTH refers to a form of fiber-optic communication delivery that reaches one living or working space. The fiber extends from a central office to the subscriber’s living or working space.

Broadband network expansion in the pipeline [China Daily via Xinhuanet, March 31, 2013]

China is expected to have 20 million new broadband Internet subscribers this year and a total of 250 million subscribers by the end of 2015, the country’s top industry regulator said on Friday.
“The nation needs to improve broadband speed. Our aim is to install fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) broadband connections for 35 million families this year,” said Industry and Information Technology Minister Miao Wei.
The announcement came after an investigation of two domestic telecom giants over alleged monopolistic practices in November.
[see: China Telecom, China Unicom pledge to mend errors after anti-monopoly probe [Xinhua, Dec 2, 2011]]
The broadband development plan is a part of China’s 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15), which is to increase the country’s average broadband speed to 20 megabytes per second by the end of 2015.
China had 156 million Internet broadband users in 2011, 83 percent of the users’ Internet speed exceeding 2MB/s. About 45 million families were covered by the FTTH network, and the Internet surfing fee decreased by 30 percent compared with 2005.
However, Wu Hequan, vice-president of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said in an earlier report that the average download speed of China’s broadband is 1.15MB/s, half of the global speed.
China’s three telecom carriers will implement the plan and invest more in the industry.
As the major provider of China’s Internet broadband infrastructure, China Telecom will invest 40 billion yuan ($6.3 billion) to build the FTTH network this year, and attract 25 million new FTTH users, bringing the total number to 55 million, said Wang Xiaochu, chairman of China Telecom.
Xi Guohua, China Mobile‘s new chairman, said the company has built a broadband network for 4,100 villages and that number is expected to reach more than 8,000 by the end of this year. He also said the company will add 1.4 million WLAN wireless hotspots this year, and 1.2 million new Internet users.
China Unicom has more than 44 million broadband users, 90 percent of them connected at more than 2MB/s. The company has injected 60 billion yuan into broadband development in the past three years, said its Chairman Chang Xiaobing.
Sixteen Internet giants, including Baidu and Sina, attended the meeting and promised to improve their services online.

China Unicom’s 3G subscribers hit 76.46 mln [Xinhua, Jan 19, 2013]

China Unicom [W-CDMA], the country’s second-largest mobile operator by subscribers, said in a latest report that it added 3.13 million 3G subscribers in December, bringing its total 3G users to 76.46 million.
The carrier’s 2G subscribers totalled 163 million as of the end of December, a decrease of 36,000 from November, according to the report filed with the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
The operator’s Internet users with broadband access amounted to 93.87 million as of last year, the statement said.
Statistics from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) showed China’s 3G users had reached 220 million by November.
The MIIT said China will add an estimated 100 million new 3G subscribers this year.

Intel CEO (Krzanich) and president (James) combo to assure manufacturing and next-gen cross-platform lead

Update: excerpts from Intel’s CEO Presents at Annual Shareholder Meeting Conference (Transcript) [Seeking Alpha, May 17, 2013]

Andy D. Bryant – Chairman of the Board:

In his most recent role as Chief Operating Officer, Brian [Krzanich] led an organization of more than 50,000 people. This included Intel’s technology and manufacturing group, its foundry and memory businesses, its human resources and information technology groups, and its China strategy.

Brian M. Krzanich – Chief Executive Officer:

I thought I would start off our conversation this morning talking about three main topics. First, I thought I give just a brief update on our business conditions, just a quick financial look at the company, and really what it returns to shareholders.
The next topic I thought I would talk about are what is really the mega trends that are driving our industry and technology. And that really will lead into the final section, I’ll try and talk about, which is, what are our imperatives for growth as a company and what’s the response from these mega trends? So hopefully today, you’ll get a picture of a great foundation, how we see the trends driving where we’re headed, and what it takes for us to grow moving forward.
Let’s start with just where are we as a business. And as you probably saw in our earnings announcement and as we’ve been watching the company over the last couple of years, we really had a solid foundation. We had net income of over $53 billion, excuse me, net revenue of over $53 billion, 62% margin, and an operating profit of over almost $15 billion. That puts us in the top 15 of the S&P 500 for net income.
….  So this foundation, this financial picture is what we will use now to move forward and really drive additional growth. And so I’d like to transition now to what are these mega trends? Where is the industry headed? And as a result, how does that drive our imperatives for growth moving forward?
I don’t think we can start a discussion like that without first, having a quick discussion about one of the key real trends that have occurred over the last couple of years. And that’s really this ultra-mobile and move to tablets and phones that has occurred in our industry. We see that we’ve been a bit slow to move into that space, but what I want to show you today is that, we see the movement, we’re well positioned already and the base of assets that we have will allow us to really grow in this area at a much faster rate moving forward.
So let’s start with mega trend number one, which is just that, it’s about ultra-mobile. We see the is becoming more and more a connected computing environment. The people want their computing next to them. They want to carry it with them. And that really means you have to have connectivity, you have to have more power, you have to have integration, and you have to be in these new markets and new devices that are moving towards more and more connectivity, we see it. We believe we are well positioned. We have 15 phones in 22 countries already, excuse me, 12 phones in 22 countries, 15 tablets both Android and Windows, and so we’ve got a good base. We see this trend, and I’ll show you in a little bit with our imperatives, we’re well positioned to move forward.
The next one is one that I think is really driving great growth and is a great opportunity, in some place we’ve really established well, is really that the Datacenter is continuing to grow at phenomenal rates. It’s growing because of the move to cloud and tied to that connective computing environment, people want to keep more and more and have more and more access to the cloud.
And then you’re also seeing a move in the Datacenter around big data, that as all of these connective devices continue to grow, it provides a relative information that companies can now use to offer better services and better understanding of what consumers want, and that’s really what big data is about. It’s about providing answers as you increase the data rate that’s available to you. We see that, again, we believe our products and our services are well positioned for this, and we’ll talk a little bit about that in our imperatives moving forward.
And the third trend is really around the foundation of Intel. It’s around integration and innovation, and I believe this is really what Intel does best. When you look at our name and where we came from, Intel is Integrated Electronics, that’s what the name stands for and this is what we’ve always done best. This allows us to combine our silicon technology, our architecture, our software and services to really drive the SOC or the System-On-A-Chip environment to levels that nobody has seen before we believe moving forward.
It means really going out and bringing in new innovations, new technologies, new communication capabilities, bringing those into silicon and using that more as long leading edge technology to allow us to drive these in a way faster than anybody else on the planet can. So those are the three big mega trends that we see driving technology and the industry moving forward.
And what I’m going to show you now is that, we have the assets that we can apply towards these mega trends and then how those drive the imperatives for the company moving forward. Let’s first take a look at the assets. And I believe this is an asset base that any company in the world would be end user.
We have our manufacturing assets, something that’s been near and dear to my heart over the years, 4 million square feet of manufacturing clean room. We have leading edge technology. We have 22-nanometers in production, the world’s only Tri-Gate FinFET technology is our third generation of High-k Metal Gate. We’re in the final stages of development prior to production or 14-nanometers, our second generation of Tri-Gate transistors, our fourth generation of High-k Metal Gate, that’s an asset that everybody on the planet would love to have at – to apply towards those mega trends that we just talked about.
We have our architecture, which really ranges from the Xeon architecture for data center and servers all the way down to the Atom Architecture, which allows us into microservers, but into that connected computing, and what you will see is a move more and more as we go forward to continue to drive that continuum of computing capability into more and more markets. That’s really an asset, again, very few companies if any have.
And the last is to tie it all together, software and services, we’ve talked – you’ve seen our acquisition of McAfee and Wind River, we’ve built a services business. What this allows us to do is take all of those assets and apply into each one of those markets that I talked about in the mega trend. And what it allows us to do is provide more than just silicon. It allows us to provide a platform and a user experience that nobody else can, and that’s a secure and user-friendly experience that allows us to provide everything to the OEM, who wants to bring a product to market.
All of those are surrounded by the 105,000 employees that are always Intel’s greatest asset. The ability of these employees is to have, when we apply them towards these markets and these imperatives that you will see in a second here, is by far the greatest asset Intel has and we will continue to be moving forward. So I’ve shown you our base, I’ve shown you the mega trends, I’ve shown you what I believe is the greatest assets of the world to apply to those, and so let’s talk about what the imperatives are then moving forward.
The first one is to drive PC innovation. We’ve talked a bit about this. It’s the foundation of that financial picture that I showed you at the beginning. With Haswell coming out this year, it’s launching actually right now and throughout the year as the Haswell products come out, with ultrabooks, we have the greatest level of innovation in the PC in its history. You’re going to see ultrabooks, you see two in ones, which are convertibles, which are bringing that tablet and a PC together.
And with Haswell, you see the largest improvement in battery life and continuing capability that Intel has ever brought to production. So we believe that we are well positioned for what will be truly the PCs greatest time of innovation that we’ve all seen in our life.
The next imperative is that aggressively move into this ultra-mobile space. As I said at the beginning, we’re well positioned. We’re already shipping 12 phones in 22 countries. We have 15 tablets out there both windows and Android. We’ve got products that are specifically designed for this ultra-mobile space that have been in the works for a couple of years, now you saw the Silvermont announcement [SEE SECTION 6. ON ‘Low-Power, High-Performance Silvermont Microarchitecture’ IN THE DETAILS PART BELOW] earlier this week.
You are going to see, you see the Bay Trail will come out in the fourth quarter, which is really a product targeted towards tablets and low-power CRAM [C-RAN: Cloud Radio Access Network] cells and convertible devices. You can see Merrifield, which is our next generation phone device. And just as important is our LTE technology, which is critical for that second part of connecting computing, which is the communication. We have data-based LTE coming out this summer, and we have multi-mode LTE, which allows voice, data, and voice over data at the end of this year, and that really opens up all the rest to the markets to our phones and our connected devices.
So we believe we’re well positioned. We’ve made the move, but we believe also that our architecture and the moves we’ve made allow us to move even quicker into this market down moving forward.
The third one again tied to the trends I showed you at the beginning is to accelerate growth in the Datacenter. We have a great position in the Datacenter already. We believe that real trends like big data, movement to the cloud, software to find networks, all of those things allow for phenomenal growth in this space, and we believe our product line is well positioned to let us lead there.
We have the Haswell, which I talked about, our second generation of 22-nanometer architecture, we’ll be shipping Xeon level or server level class product in mid-2013. We have Avoton, which is Atom from microservers. We’ll be the first to this microserver trend. You hear a lot about it. You hear a lot of people talking about it. You should know that Intel was first to this space. We didn’t wait for it to be created. We’re going to go move that space.
We’re going to go define that microserver space, and we have Rangeley, which is product for network in comps infrastructure, which really allows us to move into the other sides of the Datacenter, where communications and that networking infrastructure occur. So those products combined, we believe we are well positioned to accelerate this growth into the Datacenter.
And then lastly, is to continue our silicon leadership, talked early on about 22-nanometers, the first technology to bring out the target transistor, but more importantly as we have a roadmap of Morris Law that continues, that we see us growing further in along the Morris Law transitions. We have 14-nanometer in its final stages of development, ready for production at the end of this year and moving into next year.
We understand what is beyond 14-nanometers for Morris Law. That silicon leadership allows us to drive the innovation in every one of these other areas and really bring it together in tri-sector of cost, battery, and performance that allows us to bring products to anyone of these markets that’s required.
So to bring this to closure, as my – this is my first presentation as CEO I guess. I’ve shown you that we have a great basis from which to grow on, but financially the company is sound in a very strong position. I’ve shown you that, we understand the mega trends and then we understand exactly how the market is moving into these data center areas, the connected computing and ultra-mobility, and I try to show you we have laid out the imperatives and assets to really allow these as to move into these new areas.
And so with that, I would just like to bring this to closure to show you that, I believe we’re well positioned. I believe that we have the best position in Intel’s history and a long last while to grow into these areas, and we really look forward to the coming years.
And with that, I would like to call back up Andy and Renée for Q&A.
Q: Question one, it has been two years since we purchased McAfee. How has McAfee contributed to the bottom line? What is the long-term plan with this company?
A: from Renée James – President
When McAfee and the acquisition of McAfee is hot of a broader strategy that we’ve had to increase the overall security not only of our products, but as we move into cloud-based computing, and into ultra-mobility that Brian talked about. We believe that one of the opportunities faces for Intel is to provide a more secure solution, more secure platforms around your data, around the devices that we build, and around your own personal identity and privacy.
So McAfee is one of many assets that we have acquired, they have been doing a very good job, and you may have read that we’ve added two McAfee over the course of the last two years. We’ve recently announced a week ago that we made an additional acquisition, which was always part of our strategy to grow what McAfee offered around the network and the cloud, and we continued to evolve their product line and this week we made an announcement around a personal identity and data security products for consumers that is bundled with our new platforms. So we’re very happy with them. It is part of a much broader strategy that’s consistent with what Brian just talked about, and we should look for more in that area.
Q: Over the last decade, our stock has been flat. It’s more or less tracked Microsoft has underperformed S&P 500 compared to QUALCOMM. QUALCOMM is up 300%; Apple, up 6,000%. QUALCOMM, for example, is now worth as much as Intel. Apple and QUALCOMM focus on communication products and mobile products, whereas we mostly use the market.
What’s worse is that we have the huge manufacturing capability that you talked about, maybe 3.5-year lead on competitors. So if weren’t just now coming out with Haswell, sophomore products et cetera, our design side of the house must be behind by 3.5 years or so, and that’s not good, because now we’re in catchup mode, and that’s risky. And this isn’t the first time in the last dozen years I missed the industry trend. So I’m very concerned about the product design side of the house. This company has been very focused on manufacturing from pub noise aren’t down, the microprocessor, the 4004 was afterthought.
The products mattered to this company. So I’m wondering if you think that the Board, the top management and the comp packages focus on product development well enough and if you’ve seen any improvements in last few years to improve the effectiveness of product design likely to be true?
A: from Brian M. Krzanich – Chief Executive Officer
So I started my presentation with an acknowledgment that we were slow to the mobile market. And I wanted to do that purposely to let the shareholders know we saw, but they were moving much more aggressively now moving forward, and we believe we have the right products. What we have to do is really make some decisions around; you see we bought assets to allow us to get into the LTE space. We’ve made transitions in what we design for Atom, and we’ve looked at how do we design our silicon technologies to allow integration of those, because COMs and the CPU are a little bit different in the silicon technologies they require.
So we do believe we are positioned well moving forward. But you are asking a more fundamental question about how do we see market trends and how do we really make sure that we understand how the market is moving. And actually we spent a lot of time with the board over the last several months, partly in just the normal discussions with the board, and partly in this process of selection. And both Renée and I talked about how we’re going to build a much more outward sensing environment for Intel, so that we understand where our architecture needs to move first.
We actually understand that integration is occurring more and more, that it’s important more about integration than almost anything else right now, and that’s really how these new devices are occurring. We have plans to build a structure that allows us to have consultants and people from the outside to help us look at these trends and look at our architectural choices and make sure we’re making the right decisions. And we’re trying to build a much closer relationship with our customers, so that we understand where they want to go. We spent, actually Renée and I over the last week, a lot of time with and they are all showing us here is where the market is moving and here is where we need Intel to move.
We are going to make adjustments in our architecture, and our product choices to align to those much, much closure moving forward. So we do believe, we see what you’re talking about how we made those choices, but we believe we’ve made the right decisions and we have the right process moving forward to make sure, I wish they are aligned.
Q: … question is about the Software and Services Group as compared to the PC Client Group. The Software and Services is certainly expected to grow and I’m particularly interested in the gross margin contribution not just today, I’m interested in your vision three to five years from now, how you see the gross margin contribution of the Software Group, comparing and either increasing or decreasing relative to the PCCG Group?

A: from Renée James – President
The Software and Services Group as you know is a new reportable segment in the last several years for us. Software business, in general, are good opportunities for growth and once that are aligned with the market segments that we’re going to provide products into or provide products into today is a good opportunity for us to enhance our offering to our customers.
In general, we have a very, very good business. Brian talked about the margin profile business we have today. The businesses that we are pursuing in Software and Services are equally good opportunities, and we expect that those businesses will continue to contribute as software companies do in the market and about the same way that they do in the market today.
Q: For the first time as a shareholder of Intel, I’m kind of wondering and curious about and look forward a decade from now, and here is a context to the question.
The CapEx spending has more than doubled in the last two years. R&D has gone up by 53%, you are making a really significant investment in the future that you talked about CEO Brian, okay. And you’ve made a transition over the FinFET, last week as preparation for the meeting, I looked at the ITRS road map and about 2020, it indicates that gate lines would be running around 10-nanometers.
When I look realistically of that, the question I have is one, what device architecture would you be using there more than likely? And number two, isn’t it time for a transition, an inflection point as Andy might have said to either switching photons or quantum computing or something else. So maybe part of the question is directed towards you Brian, and the other part could we possibly hear from your CTO or Head of TD?
A: from Brian M. Krzanich – Chief Executive Officer
I’ll start. It was a pretty long question, so I’m going to see if I can get most of your points. Your first point was CapEx has gone up, we’re spending a lot more on technology and is there a time for a transition in that technology, and I would tell you that we are the – we typically have about a 10-year view of Moore’s Law and we’ve always had a 10-year view. If you went back 10 years ago, we had a 10-year view. If you went back five years ago, we have a 10-year view, that’s about as far out as you can see, and we believe that we have the right architectures to continue to grow Moore’s Law in a silicon environment for at least that period of time.
That’s not to say we don’t have efforts in photonics, we actually have efforts in photonics and we’re going to bring products to markets in photonics, more about switching in the datacenter [SEE SECTION 7. ON ‘PHOTONIC ARCHITECTURES’ IN THE DETAILS PART BELOW], but the fundamental silicon technology and our ability to continue to drive it beyond 10 nanometers, to be honest with you, we plan to be on 10 nanometers much earlier than 2020, I can tell you that, is we believe sound and fundamental and it’s why we made investments you saw us make an investment in ASML last year for almost $4 billion in total. That was really to drive EV technology for lithography to allow to keep pushing well below 10 nanometers from the Moore’s Law standpoint. So we think we are pretty well positioned to keep moving at least for the next decade in the current technologies. I don’t know if Bill…
A: from William M. Holt – Executive Vice President
General Manager, Technology and Manufacturing Group [“semiconductor CTO”]
But if you look back at the last three or four generation each one has come with a substantial innovation or change, there is no simple scaling in our business anymore. And that will continue, and so each time we plan to advance the technology, we have to make changes relative to photonics and our quantum computing. We do have – Brian said, have efforts in those, but those are clearly not something that are anytime in the near horizon. There is lots of interesting work going on there, but none of it really is practical to turn into a real computing devices.
Q: How do you expect the foundry market to impact margins short and long-term?
A: from Brian M. Krzanich – Chief Executive Officer
So I think Stacy has talked in some of the earnings calls that we currently see margins to be in the range looking forward to 55% to, I believe, 65% was the range she gave. Those were inclusive of our foundry business. So I would tell you that we’ve already built the foundry growth into our current projections for margin, and we actually believe we are being selective, we’re not going into the general foundry business, we’re not opening up to anybody. We’re really looking for partners that can utilize and make it take advantage of our leading edge silicon and that’s why we are able to stay in that range we believe moving forward.

Q: I agree with the President’s vision of future is the customer interface and have LTE and good processing that all make sense. [SEE ‘TRANSPARENT COMPUTING’ AS THE OVERALL VISION, AND PERCEPTUAL COMPUTING AS AN ADDITIONAL ONE IN THE BELOW DETAILS, PARTICULARLY SECTIONS 5.+8. AND SECTION 4. RESPECTIVELY.] I would rather usher with these executions. If you look at the mobile world right now the ARMs Holdings, they have 95% of the market share. I understand Intel has 1,000, I think 1,000 researchers I think they are doing purely basic research.

And how come interference see this mobile way coming and that the ARM Holdings taking maybe 5% market share. On top of that, Microsoft going to RT, it’s high this Windows RT, which are ARM Holding and HP just announced a new tablet with NVIDIA tablet processor, also based on ARM. So everybody is trying to take the CPU share away from you. And I understand Intel is having this Haswell should coming out in June, some questions, are you confident this Haswell can hold ARMs Holding back?

A: from Brian M. Krzanich – Chief Executive Officer

First, I’d say, in my presentation I talked about the fact that yes, we missed it. We were slow to tablets and some of the mobile computing. We do believe we have a good base right, 12 phones, 20 countries, 15 tablets, Android and Windows 8, it gets important that we’ve looked at both of those, and then we have these products moving forward. I would tell you that it’s more than just Haswell.

Haswell is a key product. It’s going to extend quorum much further on both ends from a high performance Xeon space to the low power space. You are going to see single digit power levels on a core product, which will allow it move into very mobile spaces, but that alone would not go beat ARM or go beat the competition into those spaces you talked about. What you really have to do is extend into that Atom space as well, and that’s where you see products like Clover Trail and Clover Trail+ today, Silvermont [SEE SECTION 6. ON ‘Low-Power, High-Performance Silvermont Microarchitecture’ IN THE DETAILS PART BELOW] and then moving into the rest of this year you see, Bay Trail.

Bay Trail will be one of the biggest advances we made in Atom that allows us to move into the mobile space much stronger.

And then thirdly, with the assets we purchased a few years back, which was the Infineon mobile group, which gave us the comp side of this. And I told you that we have comps’ LTE data in the middle of this summer and multimode at the end of this year. We’ll actually be the next meeting person in LTE space and that’s critical to get into those markets. You don’t want to have to dependent on others to provide that comp and then as we move into next year, you’ll see us integrating that, which we believe allow us to move back on to that leading edge. So stitch back to that, do we have a good product roadmap to allow us to go, win share in that space, we believe we do.

Next question is do we have a good ability to view that space moving forward because whatever it is today won’t be what it is five years from now, and that’s what Renée and I are committed to go, put in together because we absolutely believe this connected computing will continue to move down and we’ll continue on the products going forward.

End of [May 17, 2013] update

Intel Chairman Interview on New Intel CEO Brian Krzanich [SBARTSTV YouTube channel, May 2, 2013] 

Intel’s CEO Pick Is Predictable, but Not Its No. 2 [The Wall Street Journal, May 2, 2013]

The selection of Mr. Krzanich, who is 52 and joined Intel in 1982, suggests that Intel will continue to try to use its manufacturing muscle to play a broader role in mobile chips.

But he said that the board was mainly convinced by a new strategy—devised with Ms. James—to help take Intel chips into new devices.

“That is absolutely what won them the job,” said Andy Bryant, the Intel chairman and former finance chief who led the search. “Brian and Renee delivered a strategy for Intel that is pretty dramatic.”

While Mr. Krzanich doesn’t expect the “full strategy” to become visible until later this year, he said it would help move Intel chips beyond computers and mobile devices into more novel fields, including wearable technology.

The strategy “went from the very low end of computing to the very top end of computing,” Mr. Bryant said.

Intel directors met last weekend for a final round of interviews and then vote on Mr. Krzanich’s selection, the person close to the situation said.

On Tuesday, Mr. Krzanich suggested to Mr. Bryant the appointment of Ms. James, which the board approved Wednesday, the Intel spokesman said.

Mr. Bryant, who is 63 years old, said he has helped mentor both executives and agreed to stay on in his position for an indefinite period to help them in their new roles.

What already available from recently accepted by Intel board strategy is detailed in the below sections of this post, namely:

  1. Intel® XDK (cross platform development kit) with the Intel® Cloud Services Platform (CSP)
  2. Porting native code into HTML5 JavaScript
  3. Parallel JavaScript (the River Trail project)
  4. Perceptual Computing
  5. HTML5 and transparent computing
  6. Low-Power, High-Performance Silvermont Microarchitecture
  7. Photonic achitectures to drive the future of computing
  8. The two-person Executive Office and Intel’s transparent computing strategy as presented so far

I am quite impressed with all of those pieces, just to give my conclusion ahead.

There is, however, a huge challenge for the management as the new two-person Executive Office of Brian M. Krzanich as CEO and Renée J. James as president is to lead the company:
– out of Intel’s biggest flop: at least 3-month delay in delivering the power management solution for its first tablet SoC [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Dec 20, 2012]
– then Saving Intel: next-gen Intel ultrabooks for enterprise and professional markets from $500; next-gen Intel notebooks, other value devices and tablets for entry level computing and consumer markets from $300 [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, April 17, 2013] in short-term
– also capitalising on Intel Media: 10-20 year leap in television this year [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Feb 16, 2013] as a huge mid-term opportunity (with Windows Azure Media Services OR Intel & Microsoft going together in the consumer space (again)? [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Feb 17, 2013] or not)
– as well as further strengthening its position in the Software defined server without Microsoft: HP Moonshot [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, April 10, 2013] effort
– but first and foremost proving that the Urgent search for an Intel savior [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Nov 21 – Dec 11, 2012] did indeed end with this decision by the Intel board
– for which the litmus test is the company success against the phenomenon of the $99 Android 4.0.3 7” IPS tablet with an Allwinner SoC capable of 2160p Quad HD and built-in HDMI–another inflection point, from China again [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Dec 3, 2012] which is based on The future of the semiconductor IP ecosystem [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Dec 13, 2012] being a more and more viable alternative to the closed Intel system of design and manufacturing.

Indeed, Intel completely missed the huge opportunities presented by the explosion in the mobile computing end of the market during the last 3 years resulting in entry level smartphone prices as low as $72+, only 77% higher than Intel’s latest available in products Atom Z2760 processor chip for smartphones and tablets at $41, and 71% lower than Intel’s latest available Core™ i3-3229Y processor chip for lowest power consumption ultrabooks at $250, so by now Intel’s whole business model is in jeopardy:
despite sufficiently early warnings by:
More information: Apple’s Consumer Computing System: 5 years of “revolutionary” iPhone and “magical” iPad[‘Experiencing the Cloud’, July 9, 2012]:
1. Overall picture at the moment
2. Current iPhone and iPad products
3. Earlier products
4. iCloud
5. iTunes
6. App Store

Let’s see now in detail how the Intel Board decision could be the right one based on deep analysis of the available information so far:


1.
Intel® XDK (cross platform development kit) with the Intel® Cloud Services Platform (CSP)

The Intel® XDK (cross platform development kit) can be used to create applications using HTML5 and web services. One such set of services are the Intel® Cloud Services Platform (CSP). The Intel® XDK  supports the full spectrum of HTML5 mobile development strategies, including:

  • Classic Web Apps – No device interface, no on-device caching (only works online)
  • Mobile Web Apps – HTML5 Caching (works online/offline), some device interface (GPS, Accelerometer)
  • Hybrid Native Apps – Full device interface, identical to native apps

image

Each of these strategies has pros and cons – Intel makes it easy to develop using HTML5 and JavaScript, regardless of the precise deployment strategy you choose. Intel’s App Dev Center makes it easy to build and manage deployments to all popular app stores.

With the Intel® XDK, developers really can “write it once, deploy to many.” Currently build for iOS Tablets, iOS Smartphones, Android Tablets, Android Smartphones, Google Play Store, Amazon App Store, Mozilla App Store, Facebook App Center, and the Google Chrome store.

Intel® HTML5 XDK Demo [intelswnetwork YouTube channel, March 25, 2013]

Check out our overview of the Intel XDK, a cross-platform development environment that allows developers to write their apps and test them on multiple devices and platforms within the XDK.

More information:
Create World Class HTML5 Apps & Web Apps with the XDK [Intel’s App Learning Center, March 1, 2013]
The XDK turbocharges PhoneGap [Intel’s App Learning Center, March 1, 2013]
Developing Applications for Multiple Devices [Intel HTML5 development documentation, March 15, 2013]

It is likely that any of your apps fall into one of two broad categories. The first category of apps includes fixed position apps, like a game or interactive app where the layout is fixed and all the assets are placed in a static position. The second app category is a dynamic layout app, like an RSS reader or similar app where you may have content that is in a long list and viewing a specific item just shows a scrolling view to acommodate varying content size. For the second category, positioning and scrolling can usually be handled by simple CSS. Setting your div and body widths to “width=100%” instead of “width=768px” is  an example of an approach that should help you use the entire screen regardless of resolution and aspect ratio.
The first category is a lot more complicated and we have added some functions to help you deal with this issue. It should be noted that there is no magic “silver bullet” solution. However, if you design your app with certain things in mind and have a plan for other resolutions, we can take care of some complicated calculations and make sure things are scaled for the best user experience possible.
Before we explain how to use our functions to help with these issues, let’s look at some real devices and their resolutions to get a clearer picture of the issues.
Conclusion
Scaling a single codebase for use on multiple devices and resolutions is a formidable challenge, particularly if your app is in the category of apps that are fixed position apps rather than an app that uses a dynamic layout. By designing your app’s layout for the smallest screen ratio expected, you can rely on us to help by performing proper scaling and letting you know the new virtual available screen size. From there you can easily pad your app’s background or reset your application’s world bounds to adapt to different screens on the fly.
For more information, documentation is available at http://www.html5devsoftware.intel.com/documentation. Please email html5tools@intel.com with any questions or post on our forums at http://forums.html5dev-software.intel.com .

App Game Interfaces is a JavaScript execution environment that includes a minimal DOM, primarily to provide access to a partial implementation of HTML5 canvas that is optimized for the Apple iOS and Google Android platforms. The App Game Interfaces augment the Canvas object with multi-channel sound, accelerated physics, and accelerated canvas to provide more realistic modeling and smoother gameplay, more like native capabilities and performance – with HTML5!

The Intel® HTML5 Game Development Experience at GDC 2013 [intelswnetwork YouTube channel, April 5, 2013]

Get a quick overview of Intel’s HTML5 tools and developer experience from GDC. We have an IDE and cloud-based build system that simplify mobile development and cross-platform deployment.

More information:
HTML5 and Mobile are the Future of Gaming [Intel’s App Learning Center, March 1, 2013]
Graphics Acceleration for HTML5 and Java Script Engine JIT Optimization for Mobile Devices [Intel Developer Zone article, Jan 4, 2013]
Convert an App Using HTML5 Canvas to Use App Game Interfaces [Intel HTML5 development documentation, March 4, 2013]
Application Game Interfaces [Intel HTML5 development Readme, March 1, 2013]

App Game Interfaces uses:

1. Ejecta - Dominic Szablewski - MIT X11 license 
(http://opensource.org/licenses/MIT) 2. Box2D - Erin Catto - Box2D License 3. JavaScriptCore - The WebKit Open Source Project - GNU LGPL 2.1
(http://opensource.org/licenses/LGPL-2.1) 4. V8 JavaScript Engine - Google - New BSD license
(http://opensource.org/licenses/BSD-3-Clause) 5. IJG JPEG - Independent JPEG Group – None
(http://www.ijg.org/files/README) 6. libpng - PNG Development Group - zlib/libpng License
(http://opensource.org/licenses/Zlib) 7. FreeType - The FreeType Project - The FreeType License
(http://git.savannah.gnu.org/cgit/freetype/freetype2.git/tree/docs/FTL.TXT) 8. v8 build script - Appcelerator Inc - Apache License 2.0
(http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0)

The Intel Cloud Services Platform beta provides a set of identity-based services designed for rich interoperability and seamless experiences that cut across devices, operating systems, and platforms. The initial set of services accessed via RESTful APIs provide key capabilities such as identity, location, and context to developers for use in server, desktop, and mobile applications aimed at both consumers and businesses.

For more information, please visit the Intel Cloud Services Platform beta.

Intel® Developer Zone Cloud Services Platform [intelswnetwork YouTube channel, March 26, 2013]

Peter Biddle, General Manager, Intel Cloud Services

Plucky rebels: Being agile in an un-agile place – Peter Biddle at TED@Intel [TEDInstitute YouTube channel, published May 6, 2013, filmed March 2013]

Peter is an expert in bringing software products from idea to reality.Peter is currently General Manager, Cloud Services Platform at Intel Corporation. Prior to Intel, he ran all product development and engineering efforts at Trampoline Systems. He was also at Microsoft Corporation for, as he says, “a really long time.” His team built BitLocker, a key enterprise-focused feature in Windows Vista and Windows 7 and he founded Microsoft’s Hypervisor team. Peter enjoys “building kickass products and platforms with wicked smart people.”

Intel® Cloud Services Platform Demo at GDC 2013 [intelswnetwork YouTube channel, April 5, 2013]

At GDC 2013, Gunjan Rawal describes the advantages of the Intel® Cloud Services Platform.

Intel® Cloud Services Platform [CSP] Technical Overview [intelswnetwork YouTube channel, May 3, 2013]

Watch one of the CSP architects Vadim Gore, speak to the key highlights of Intel Cloud Services Platform services – Intel Identity, Context, Location and Commerce. Take a quick look at a demo using the Identity and Location Services.

More information:
Intel® Cloud Services Platform Overview (video by Norman Chou on Intel Developer Zone, March 19, 2013)
Intel® Cloud Service Platform beta Overview (presentation by Norman Chou on GSMA OneAPI Developer Day, Feb 26, 2013), see the GSMA page as well

Build apps that seamlessly span devices, operating systems, and platforms.
Learn how you can easily build apps with this collection of identity-based, affiliated services.  Services available include Intel Identity Services, Location Based Services, Context Services and Commerce Services.  This session will cover the RESTful APIs available for each service, walk you through the easy sign up process and answer your questions.  Want to know more?  Visit http://software.intel.com/en-us/cloud-services-platform.


2. Porting native code into HTML5 JavaScript

Currently porting native iOS code to HTML5 is supported but via an abstract format which potentially will allow portinf from other OS code in the futures as well:image

This app porting relies (or would soon rely, see later) on App Framework (formerly jqMobi) as the “definitive JS library for HTML5 app development” for which Intel is stating:

Create the mobile apps you want with the tools you are comfortable with. Build hybrid mobile apps and web apps using the App Framework and App UI Library, a jQuery-compatible framework that gives you developers all the UX you want in a tight, fast package.

The Intel® HTML5 App Porter Tool Demo at GDC 2013 [intelswnetwork YouTube channel, April 5, 2013]

Stewart Christie gives a brief demo of the Intel App Porter tool takes an iOS app xcode project file, and ports it to HTML5 at GDC 2013. This tool does not automatically port 100% of iOS applications, but instead it speeds up the porting process by translating as much code and artifacts as possible.

More information: Intel HTML5 Porter Tool Introduction for Android Developer [Intel Developer Zone blog post, April 5, 2013] which presents the tool as:

image
and adds the following important information (note here that instead of App Framework/jqMobi that version relies on the less suitable jQuery Mobile):

The next release is expected to have better integration with Intel® XDK (Intel’s HTML5 cross platform development kit) and have more iOS API coverage in terms of planned features.
2. Porting translated application to different OSs
A translated HTML5 project has a jsproj file for Visual Studio 2012 JavaScript project in Windows Store  apps which you are able to open on Windows* 8 in order to run in case of successfully translated application (100% translated API) or continue development in case of placeholders in the code.

While in the associated Technical Reference – Intel® HTML5 App Porter Tool – BETA [Intel Developer Zone article, Jan 17, 2013] you will find all the relevant additional details, from which it is important to add here the following section:

About target HTML5 APIs and libraries
The Intel® HTML5 App Porter Tool – BETA both translates the syntax and semantics of the source language (Objective-C*) into JavaScript and maps the iOS* SDK API calls into an equivalent functionality in HTML5. In order to map iOS* API types and calls into HTML5, we use the following libraries and APIs:

  • The standard HTML5 API: The tool maps iOS* types and calls into plain standard objects and functions of HTML5 API as its main target. Most notably, considerable portions of supported Foundation framework APIs are mapped directly into standard HTML5. When that is not possible, the tool provides a small adaptation layer as part of its library.

  • The jQuery Mobile library: Most of the UIKit widgets are mapped jQuery Mobile widgets or a composite of them and standard HTML5 markup. Layouts from XIB files are also mapped to jQuery Mobile widgets or other standard HTML5 markup.

  • The Intel® HTML5 App Porter Tool – BETA library: This is a ‘thin-layer’ library build on top of jQuery Mobile and HTML5 APIs and implements functionality that is no directly available in those libraries, including Controller objects, Delegates, and logic to encapsulate jQuery Mobile widgets. The library provides a facade very similar to the original APIs that should be familiar to iOS* developers. This library is distributed with the tool and included as part of the translated code in the lib folder.

You should expect that future versions of the tool will incrementally add more support for API mapping, based on further statistical analysis and user feedback.


3. Parallel JavaScript (the River Trail project)

RiverTrail Wiki [on GitHub edited by Stephan Herhut, April 2313, 2013 version] [April 23]

Background
The goal of Intel Lab’s River Trail project is to enable data-parallelism in web applications. In a world where the web browser is the user’s window into computing, browser applications must leverage all available computing resources to provide the best possible user experience. Today web applications do not take full advantage of parallel client hardware due to the lack of appropriate programming models. River Trail puts the parallel compute power of client’s hardware into the hands of the web developer while staying within the safe and secure boundaries of the familiar JavaScript programming paradigm. River Trail gently extends JavaScript with simple deterministic data-parallel constructs that are translated at runtime into a low-level hardware abstraction layer. By leveraging multiple CPU cores and vector instructions, River Trail achieves significant speedup over sequential JavaScript.
Getting Started
To get a feeling for the programming model and experiment with the API, take a look at our interactive River Trail shell. The shell runs in any current version of Firefox, Chrome and Safari. If you are using Firefox and have installed the River Trail extension (see below on how to), your code will be executed in parallel. If you are using other browsers or have not installed the extension for Firefox, the shell will use a sequential library implementation and you won’t see any speedup.
You need to install our Firefox extension to use our prototype compiler that enables execution of River Trail on parallel hardware. You can download a prebuilt version for Firefox 20.x [April 23] running on Windows and MacOS (older versions for older browsers can be found here). We no longer provide a prebuilt Linux version. However, you can easily build it yourself. We have written a README that explains the process. If you are running Firefox on Windows or Linux, you additionally need to install Intel’s OpenCL SDK (Please note the SDK’s hardware requirements.).

River Trail – Parallel Computing in JavaScript [by Stephan Herhut from Intel Labs, delivered on April 2, 2012 at JSConf 2012, published on JSConf EU YouTube channel on Jan 20, 2013]

River Trail Demos at IDF 2012 [intelswnetwork YouTube channel, Sept 24, 2012]

Stephan Herhut demonstrates River Trail at IDF 2012

More information:
River Trail – Parallel Programming in JavaScript [Stephan Herhut on InfoQ, March 29, 2013] a collection which is based on his latest recorded presentation (embedded there) that was delivered at Strange Loop 2012 on Sept 24, 2012 (you can follow his Twitter for further information)
River Trail: Bringing Parallel JavaScript* to the Web [Intel Developer Zone article by Stephan Herhut, Oct 17, 2012]
Tour de Blocks: Preview the Benefits of Parallel JavaScript* Technology by Intel Labs [Intel Developer Zone article by Stephan Herhut, Oct 17, 2012]
Parallel JS Lands [Baby Steps blog by Niko Matsakis at Mozilla, March 20, 2013], see all of his posts in PJs category since January 2009, particularly ‘A Tour of the Parallel JS Implementation’ Part 1 [March 20] and Part 2 [April 4], while from the announcement:

The first version of our work on ParallelJS has just been promoted to mozilla-central and thus will soon be appearing in a Nightly Firefox build near you. … Once Nightly builds are available, users will be able to run what is essentially a “first draft” of Parallel JS. The code that will be landing first is not really ready for general use yet. It supports a limited set of JavaScript and there is no good feedback mechanism to tell you whether you got parallel execution and, if not, why not. Moreover, it is not heavily optimized, and the performance can be uneven. Sometimes we see linear speedups and zero overhead, but in other cases the overhead can be substantial, meaning that it takes several cores to gain from parallelism. …
Looking at the medium term, the main focus is on ensuring that there is a large, usable subset of JavaScript that can be reliably parallelized. Moreover, there should be a good feedback mechanism to tell you when you are not getting parallel execution and why not.
The code we are landing now is a very significant step in that direction, though there is a long road ahead.
I want to see a day where there are a variety of parallel APIs for a variety of situations. I want to see a day where you can write arbitrary JS and know that it will parallelize and run efficiently across all browsers.

Parallel javascript (River Trail) combine is not a function [Stack Overflow, April 16-25, 2013] from which it is important to include Stephan Herhut’s answer:

There are actually two APIs:
    1. the River Trail API as described in the GitHub prototype documentation
    2. the Parallel JavaScript API described in the ECMAScript proposal
      The two differ slightly, one difference being that the ECMAScript proposal no longer has a combine method but uses a flavor of map that offers the same functionality. Another difference is that the GitHub prototype uses index vectors whereas the proposal version uses multiple scalar indices. Your example, for the prototype, would be written as
      var par_A = new ParallelArray([3,3], function(iv) {return iv[1]}); par_A.combine(2, function(i) {return this.get(i) + 1} );
      In the proposal version, you instead would need to write
      var par_A = new ParallelArray([3,3], function(i,j) {return j}); par_A.map(2, function(e, i) { return this.get(i) + 1; });
      Unfortunately, multi-dimensional map is not yet implemented in Firefox, yet. You can watch bug 862897 on Mozilla’s bug tracker for progress on that front.
      Although we believe that the API in the proposal is the overall nicer design, we cannot implement that API in the prototype for technical reasons. So, instead of evolving the prototype half way, we have decided to keep its API stable.
      One important thing to note: the web console in Firefox seems to always use the builtin version of ParallelArray and not the one used by a particular website. As a result, if you want to play with the GitHub prototype, you best use the interactive shell from our GitHub website.
      Hope this clears up the confusion.


      4. Perceptual Computing

      Intel is supporting developers interested in adding perceptual computing to their apps with theIntel® Perceptual Computing SDK 2013 Beta. This allows developers to use perceptual computing to create immersive applications that incorporate close-range hand and finger tracking, speech recognition, facial analysis, and 2D/3D object tracking on 2nd and 3rd generation Intel® Core™ processor-powered Ultrabook devices and PCs. Intel has also released the Creative Interactive Gesture Camera as part of the SDK, which allows developers to create the next generation of natural, immersive, innovative software applications on Intel Core processor-powered Ultrabook devices, laptops, and PCs.

      How to drive experience with perceptual computing – Achin Bhowmik at TED@Intel [TEDInstitute YouTube channel, published May 6, 2013, filmed March 2013]

      Achin is the director of perceptual computing at Intel, where he leads the development and implementation of natural, intuitive, and immersive human-computer interaction technologies and solutions. He has over 100 publications, including a book and 25 issued patents, and has taught graduate-level courses on computer vision, image processing, and display technology. He has been a program committee member, session chair, invited and tutorial speaker at a number of international conferences.

      Head Coupled Perspective with the Intel® Perceptual Computing SDK [intelswnetwork YouTube channel, March 25, 2013]

      Learn how to add intuitive and interactive experiences to your software with the Intel Perceptual Computing SDK.

      Perceptual Computing Challenge Phase 1 Trailer [IntelPerceptual YouTube channel, March 28, 2013]

      See how developers worldwide are using their creativity and skill to make interaction with the computer more natural, intuitive and immersive using Intel’s Perceptual Computing SDK. Follow us on FB and Twitter at /IntelPerceptual

      More information:
      GDC 2013: Perceptual Computing, HTML5, Havok, and More [Intel Developer Zone blog post, April 2, 2013]
      Introducing the Intel® Perceptual Computing SDK 2013 [Intel Developer Zone blog post, April 5, 2013]
      Perceptual Computing: Ten Top Resources for Developers [Intel Developer Zone blog post, Jan 4, 2013]


      5. HTML5 and transparent computing

      Why Intel Loves HTML5 [intelswnetwork YouTube channel, Dec 20, 2012]

      HTML, or Hyper-Text Markup Language, is the language of the World Wide Web.HTML, or Hyper-Text Markup Language, is the language of the World Wide Web. It has be evolving since it’s early days of mostly being a text based method of communications to not being an environment that not only supports text and pictures, but also video, other forms of multimedia, and interactivity through JavaScript. In actuality, the moniker “HTML5” is generally considered to consist of not only the latest specification of HTML, but also the 3rd generation of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS3) and JavaScript, so that the end product can make the web more alive than ever. And Intel is proud to be a part of that. We’ve been a strong supporter of Internet standards for many years & we are pleased with the latest announcement from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C found at http://www.w3.org) of having published the complete definition of HTML5 & Canvas 2D specifications. To learn more about what Intel is doing with HTML5, see our Intel HTML5 Developer Zone at: http://software.intel.com/HTML5

      App Development Without Boundaries [Intel Software Adrenaline article, April 1, 2013]

      HTML5 Reaches More Devices and More Users, More Effectively
      There are a lot of reasons to like HTML5.  It’s advanced.  It’s open.  It’s everywhere.  And, it’s versatile.

      But Intel loves HTML5 because our vision for the future is a world where developers can create amazing cross-platform experiences that flow freely from device to device, and screen to screen—a world where apps can reach more customers and get to market faster, without boundaries.

      HTML5 helps make that world possible.

      Many Devices, One Platform [Intel Software Adrenaline article, Dec 11, 2012]

      The Three Design Pillars of Transparent Computing
      Welcome to the new, transparent future, where users expect software apps to work equally well no matter what device they run on, whether on an Ultrabook™ device or an Android* phone, a netbook or a tablet. This is the concept of transparent computing: with the assumed level of mobility expected, today’s consumers demand seamless transitions for a single app on multiple platforms. Developers must deliver code that works just about everywhere, with standard usability, and with strong security measures.
      It’s a tall order, but help is available. As long as teams understand some of the simple design considerations and usability frameworks, which are outlined in this article, they can expand their app appeal across many profitable niches and embrace transparent computing.
      There are three key design principles that comprise the transparent computing development model:
        • Cross-platform support
        • Standard usability themes
        • Enhanced security features
          If developers can think in these broad strokes and plan accordingly, the enhanced effect of multiple platform revenues and word-of-mouth marketing can result in the income streams that your entire app portfolio will appreciate.

          More information:
          Transparent Computing: One Platform to Develop Them All [Intel Developer Zone blog post, Sept 13, 2012]
          Transparent Computing with Freedom Engine – HTML5 and Beyond [Intel Developer Zone blog post, Oct 15, 2012]
          Intel Cloud Services Platform Private Beta [Intel Developer Zone blog post, Oct 18, 2012]
          App Show 33: A Recap of Day Two at IDF 2012 [Intel Developer Zone blog post, Nov 9, 2012]
          Cross-Platform Development: What The Stats Say [Intel Developer Zone blog post, March 7, 2013]
          Intel’s Industry Expert Examines Cross-platform Challenges and Solutions [Intel Software Adrenaline article, April 16, 2013]
          Security Lets You Make the Most of the Cloud [Intel Software Adrenaline infographic, April 10, 2013]
          Mechanisms to Protect Data in the Open Cloud [Intel Software Adrenaline whitepaper, April 10, 2013]
          Intel and VMware security solutions for business computing in the cloud [Intel Software Adrenaline solution brief, April 10, 2013]
          The Intel® HTML5 Game Development Experience at GDC 2013 [Intel Developer Zone blog post, April 5, 2013]
          Intel Developer Forum 2012 Keynote, Renée James Transcript (PDF 190KB)

          transparent computing is really about allowing experiences to seamlessly cross across different platforms, both architectures and operating system platform boundaries. It makes extensive use of technologies like HTML5 – which we’re going to talk a lot more about in a second – and in house cloud services. It represents for us the direction that we believe we need to go as an industry. And it’s the next step really beyond ubiquitous computing.

          We need three things. We need a programming environment that crosses across platforms and architectures and the boundaries. We need a flexible and secure cloud infrastructure. And we need a more robust security architecture from client to the data center.

          We believe that HTML5 as the application programming language is what can deliver a seamless and consistent environment across the different platforms – across PCs, tablets, telephones, and into the car.
          … transparent computing obviously relies on the cloud to provide the developer and the application transparent services that move across platforms and ecosystem boundaries.
          Intel is working on an integrated set of cloud services for developers that we would host that would give some of the core elements required to really realize our vision around transparent computing. Some of them would be location services, like Peter demonstrated this morning; digital storefronts, federated identity attestation, some of the things that are required to know who’s where on which device, sensor and context APIs for our platforms, and, of course, business analytics and business intelligence.
          We will continue to roll these things out over the course of the year, so you should look for more from us on that. And as I said, these will be predominantly developer services, backend services for developers as they create application.
          For the cloud, as we migrate resources across these different datacenters and different environments, as we move applications and workloads, we have to do it in a secure way. And one of the ways that you can do that on our platforms, on Intel’s servers, is using Trusted Execution, or TXT. TXT allows data operations to occur isolated in their own execution environment from the rest of the system and safe from malware.
          In transparent computing, the security of the device is going to be largely around identity management. In addition to device management and application and software security, which we’ve been working on for a while, we have a lot of work to do in the area of identity and how we protect people – not only their data, but who they are at transactions, as they move these experiences across these different devices.
          Identity and attestation we believe will become key underpinnings for all mobile transparent computing across different platforms and the cloud. Underneath it all, we’re going to have to have a very robust set of hardware features, which we plan to have, to secure that information. It’s going to be even more critical especially as we think about mobile devices and we think about identity and attestation that we’re able to truly secure and know that it is as safe and as known good as possible.
          We will continue to provide direct distribution support for your applications and services through AppUp, and those of you that know about it, fabulous. If you don’t, AppUp is the opportunity to distribute through a digital storefront across 45 countries, around Intel platforms. We support Windows and Tizen and HTML5, both native and other apps.
          In addition to all of that, we will be revitalizing the software business network, which we’ve used to pair you up with other Intel distributors and Intel hardware partners for exclusive offers and bundles. As we see more and more solutions in our industry, we want to make sure our developers are able to connect with people building on Intel platforms. And other additional marketing programs and that kind of thing are all going to be in the same place.
          And in Q4, we will have a specific program launched on HTML5. That program will help you write applications across multiple environments. We’ll be doing training, we’ll have SDKs, there will be tools. We will be working on how you run across IOS, Android, Windows, Linux, and Tizen. So, please stay tuned and go to the developer’s center for that.
          Finally, today is just the start of our discussion on transparent computing. In the era of ubiquitous computing, we had that industry vision for a decade, and now that’s become a reality. And just like when we first predicted there was going to be a billion connected computers – I still remember it, it sounded so farfetched at that point in time decades ago – transparent computing seems pretty far away from where we stand today, but we have always believed that the future of computing is what we make it. And we believe that the developers, our developers around our platform, can embrace a new paradigm for computing, a paradigm that users want us to go solve. And we look forward to being your partner for the next era of computing, and delivering it transparently.
          Chip Shot: Intel Extends HTML5 Capabilities for App Developers [Intel Newsroom, Feb 25, 2013]
          To complement and grow its HTML5 capabilities, Intel has acquired the developer tools and build system from appMobi. Intel also hired the tool-related technical staff to help extend Intel’s existing HTML5 capabilities and accelerate innovation and delivery of HTML5 tools for cross platform app developers. Software developers continue to embrace HTML5 as an easy to use language to create cross platform apps. Evans Data finds 43 percent of all mobile developers indicate current use of HTML5 and an additional 38 percent plan to use HTML5 in the coming year.  App developers can get started building HTML5 cross-platform apps today at: software.intel.com/html5. Visit the Intel Extends HTML5 Capabilities blog post for more information.
          Intel extends HTML5 capabilities [Intel Developer Zone, Feb 22, 2013]
          Developers continue to tell Intel they are looking to HTML5 to help improve time to market and reduce cost for developing and deploying cross-platform apps. At the same time, app developers want to maximize reach to customers and put their apps into multiple stores. Intel is dedicated to delivering software development tools and services that can assist these developers. I am pleased to let you know that Intel recently acquired the developer tools and build system from appMobi. While we’ve changed the names of the tools, the same capabilities will be there for you. You can check these tools out and get started writing your own cross platform apps now by visiting http://software.intel.com/html5 and registering to access the tools. Developers already using the appMobi tools will be able to access their work and files as well. If you weren’t already using appMobi development tools, I invite you to try them out and see if they fit your HTML5 app development needs. You will find no usage or licensing fees for using the tools.
          We are also excited to bring many of the engineers who created these tools to Intel. These talented tool engineers complement Intel’s existing HTML5 capabilities and accelerate innovation and delivery of HTML5 tools for cross platform app developers.
          I hope you will visit http://software.intel.com/html5 soon to check out the tools and return often to learn about the latest HTML5 developments from Intel.  

          One Code Base to Rule Them All: Intel’s HTML5 Development Environment [Intel Developer Zone, March 12, 2013]

          If you’re a developer searching for a great tool to add to your repertoire, you’ll want to check out Intel’s HTML5 Development Environment, an HTML5-based development platform that enables developers to create one code base and port it to multiple platforms. Intel recently purchased the developer tools and build system from appMobi:
          “While we’ve changed the names of the tools, the same capabilities will be there for you. You can check these tools out and get started writing your own cross platform apps now by visiting http://software.intel.com/html5 and registering to access the tools. Developers already using the appMobi tools will be able to access their work and files as well. If you weren’t already using appMobi development tools, I invite you to try them out and see if they fit your HTML5 app development needs. You will find no usage or licensing fees for using the tools.”
          You can view the video below to see what this purchase means for developers who have previously used AppMobi’s tools:
          For appMobi Developers: How Does Intel’s Acquisition Affect Me? [appMobi YouTube channel, Feb 22, 2013]
          This video explains how Intel’s acquisition of appMobi’s HTML5 development tools will affect appMobi developers.
          What is the HTML5 Development Environment?
          Intel’s HTML5 Development Environment is a cloud-based, cross-platform HTML5 application development interface that makes it as easy as possible to build an app and get it out quickly to a wide variety of software platforms. It’s easy to use, free to get started, and everything is based right within the Web browser. Developers can create their apps, test functions, and debug their projects easily, putting apps through their virtual paces in the XDK which mimics real world functionality from within the Web browser.
          This environment makes it as simple as possible to develop with HTML5, but by far the biggest advantage of using this service is the ability to build one app on whatever platform that developers are comfortable with and then deploy that app across multiple platforms to all major app stores.  The same code foundation can be built for iOS, Web apps, Android, etc. using just one tool to create, debug, and deploy.
          As appMobi is also the most popular HTML5 application development tool on the market with over 55,000 active developers using it every month to create, debug, and deploy, this tool is especially welcome. The HTML5 Development Environment makes it easy to create one set of code and seed it across multiple cross-platforms, making the process of development – including getting apps to market – more efficient for developers.
          HTML5 is quickly becoming a unifying code platform for both mobile and desktop development. Because of this, Intel and appMobi have teamed up to support quick HTML5 app development for both PCs and Ultrabook™ devices. The XDK makes developing apps as easy as possible, but the best part about it is how fast apps can go from the drawing board to consumer-facing stores. Developers can also employ the XDK to reach an ever-growing base of Ultrabook users with new apps that utilize such features as touch, accelerometer, and GPS.
          The Intel HTML5 XDK tools can be used to create apps for a whole new market of consumers looking to access all the best features that an HTML5-based app for Ultrabook devices has to offer. For example, every 16 seconds, an app is downloaded via Intel’s AppUp store, and there are over 2.6 billion potential PCs reachable from this platform. Many potential monetization opportunities exist for developers by utilizing Intel Ultrabook-specific features in their apps such as touch, accelerometer, and GPS, features traditionally seen only in mobile and tablet devices. Intel’s HTML5 development tools give developers the tools to quickly create, test, and deploy HTML5-based apps that in turn can be easily funneled right into app stores and thus into the hands of PC and Ultrabook device users. 
          Easy build process
          The App Starter offers an interactive wizard to guide developers gently through the entire build process. This includes giving developers a list of the required plugins, any certificates that might be lacking, and any assets that might need to be pulled together. It will generate the App Framework code for you.
          Developers can upload their own projects; a default template is also available. A demo app is automatically generated. Once an app is ready to build, developers are given an array of different services to choose from. Click on “build now”, supply a title, description and icon in advance, and the App Starter creates an app bundle that can then be submitted to different app stores/platforms.
          The XDK
          image
          One of the HTML5 Development Environment’s most appealing features is the XDK (cross-platform development kit). This powerful interface supports robust HTML5 mobile development, which includes hybrid native apps, enhanced Web apps, mobile Web apps, and classic Web apps to give developers the full range of options.
          The XDK makes testing HTML5 apps as easy as possible. Various form factors – phones, tablets, laptops, etc. – can be framed around an app to simulate how it would function on a variety of devices. In addition to tablet, phone, and PC emulations, there is also a full screen simulation of different Ultrabook device displays within the XDK. This is an incredibly useful way to test specific Ultrabook features in order to make sure that they are at maximum usability for consumers. The XDK for Ultrabook apps enables testing for mouse, keyboard, and touch-enabled input, which takes the guesswork out of developing for touch-based Ultrabook devices.
          One tool, multiple uses
          image
          Intel’s HTML5 Development Environment is a cross-platform development service and packaging tool. It enables HTML5 developers to package their applications, optimize those applications, test with features, and deploy to multiple services.
          Rather than building separate applications for all the different platforms out there, this framework makes it possible to build just one with HTML5 and port an app to multiple platforms. This is a major timesaver, to say the very least. Developers looking for ways to streamline their work flow and get their apps quickly to end users will appreciate the user-friendly interface, rich features, and in-browser feature testing. However, the most appealing benefit is the ability to build one app instead of several different versions of one app and deploy it across multiple platforms for maximum market exposure. 
          Chip Shot: Intel Expands Support of HTML5 with Launch of App Development Environment [Intel Newsroom, April 10, 2013]
          At IDF Beijing, Intel launched the Intel® HTML5 Development Environment that provides a cross-platform environment to develop, test and deploy applications that can run across multiple device types and operating system environments as well as be available in various application stores. Based on web standards and supported by W3C, HTML5 makes it easier for software developers to create applications once to run across multiple platforms. Intel continues to invest in HTML5 to help mobile application developers lower total costs and improve time-to-market for cross-platform app development and deployment. Developers can access the Intel HTML5 Development Environment from the Intel® Developer Zone at no cost.

          Intel Cloud Services Platform Open beta [Intel Developer Zone blog post, Dec 13, 2012]

          Doors to our beta open today. Welcome! For those who participated in our private beta, thank you. Your feedback and ideas were awesome and will clearly make our services more useful for other developers. We are continuing to work out the kinks in our Wave 1 Services (Identity, Location and Context) and your ideas help us build what you want to use. We are at a point where we feel ready to invite others to try our services. So, today we open the doors to the broader developer community.
          Our enduring mission with the Intel Cloud Services Platform beta is to give you key building blocks to deliver transparent computing experiences that seamlessly span devices, operating systems, stores and even ecosystems. With this release, “Wave 2”, we introduce a collection of Commerce Services that provide a common billing provider for apps and services deployed on the Intel Cloud Services Platform. Other cool stuff we’ve added includes Geo Messaging and Geo Fencing to Location Based Services and Behavioral Models for cuisine preferences and destination probability to Context Services.
          For the open beta, we are introducing a Technical Preview of Curation, Catalog and Security. These are early releases, so some features may change, but we want to get you coding around these, so you can tell us what you think. We know building apps that provide users with a high degree of personalization often means spending WEEKS of valuable development time. Also, developing apps that are truly cross platform, cross domain and cross industry is still extremely difficult to do. So, our objective with Curation and Catalog Services is to make it really easy for you to create complex functionalities such as schemaless catalogs, developer- or user-curated lists, and secure client-side storage of data at rest. Play around with these services and give us feedback.
          In addition to new services, we have invested heavily in a scalable and robust infrastructure. You need to be able to trust that our services will just work. To help you out, we have created a support team that you’ll want to call and talk to. We have 24×7 support and various ways you can reach out to us. You can contact us by phone (1-800-257-5404, option 4), email or our community forums.
          To get the latest on what’s new and useful, check out our community. If you haven’t checked out our Services – remember the door is open. Try them. If you have thoughts about our platform, I want to hear them. Find me on twitter (@PNBLive).


          6. Low-Power, High-Performance Silvermont Microarchitecture

          Intel’s new Atom chips peak on performance, power consumption [computerworld YouTube channel, May 7, 2013]

          Intel’s upcoming Atom chips with the new Silvermont CPU architecture will be up to three times faster and five times more power efficient than their predecessors.

          Intel Launches Low-Power, High-Performance Silvermont Microarchitecture [press release, May 6, 2013]

          NEWS HIGHLIGHTS:

          • Intel announces Silvermont microarchitecture, a new design in Intel’s 22nm Tri-Gate SoC process delivering significant increases in performance and energy efficiency.
          • Silvermont microarchitecture delivers ~3x more peak performance or the same performance at ~5x lower power over current-generation Intel® Atom™ processor core.1
          • Silvermont to serve as the foundation for a breadth of 22nm products targeted at tablets, smartphones, microservers, network infrastructure, storage and other market segments including entry laptops and in-vehicle infotainment.
          SANTA CLARA, Calif., May 6, 2013 – Intel Corporation today took the wraps off its brand new, low-power, high-performance microarchitecture named Silvermont.
          The technology is aimed squarely at low-power requirements in market segments from smartphones to the data center. Silvermont will be the foundation for a range of innovative products beginning to come to market later this year, and will also be manufactured using the company’s leading-edge, 22nm Tri-Gate SoC manufacturing process, which brings significant performance increases and improved energy efficiency.
          “Silvermont is a leap forward and an entirely new technology foundation for the future that will address a broad range of products and market segments,” said Dadi Perlmutter, Intel executive vice president and chief product officer. “Early sampling of our 22nm SoCs, including “Bay Trail” and “Avoton” is already garnering positive feedback from our customers. Going forward, we will accelerate future generations of this low-power microarchitecture on a yearly cadence.”
          The Silvermont microarchitecture delivers industry-leading performance-per-watt efficiency.2 The highly balanced design brings increased support for a wider dynamic range and seamlessly scales up and down in performance and power efficiency. On a variety of standard metrics, Silvermont also enables ~3x peak performance or the same performance at ~5x lower power over the current-generation Intel® Atom™ processor core.1
          Silvermont: Next-Generation Microarchitecture
          Intel’s Silvermont microarchitecture was designed and co-optimized with Intel’s 22nm SoC process using revolutionary 3-D Tri-gate transistors. By taking advantage of this industry-leading technology, Intel is able to provide a significant performance increase and improved energy efficiency.
          Additional highlights of the Silvermont microarchitecture include:
            • A new out-of-order execution engine enables best-in-class, single-threaded performance.1
            • A new multi-core and system fabric architecture scalable up to eight cores and enabling greater performance for higher bandwidth, lower latency and more efficient out-of-order support for a more balanced and responsive system.
            • New IA instructions and technologies bringing enhanced performance, virtualization and security management capabilities to support a wide range of products. These instructions build on Intel’s existing support for 64-bit and the breadth of the IA software installed base.
            • Enhanced power management capabilities including a new intelligent burst technology, low– power C states and a wider dynamic range of operation taking advantage of Intel’s 3-D transistors. Intel® Burst Technology 2.0 support for single- and multi-core offers great responsiveness scaled for power efficiency.
              “Through our design and process technology co-optimization we exceeded our goals for Silvermont,” said Belli Kuttanna, Intel Fellow and chief architect. “By taking advantage of our strengths in microarchitecture development and leading-edge process technology, we delivered a technology package that enables significantly improved performance and power efficiency – all while delivering higher frequencies. We’re proud of this accomplishment and believe that Silvermont will offer a strong and flexible foundation for a range of new, low-power Intel SoCs.”
              Architecting Across a Spectrum of Computing
              Silvermont will serve as the foundation for a breadth of 22nm products expected in market later this year. The performance-per-watt improvements with the new microarchitecture will enable a significant difference in performance and responsiveness for the compute devices built around these products.
              Intel’s quad-core Bay TrailSoC is scheduled for holiday 2013 tablets and will more than double the compute performance capability of Intel’s current-generation tablet offering1. Due to the flexibility of Silvermont, variants of the “Bay Trail” platform will also be used in market segments including entry laptop and desktop computers in innovative form factors.
              Intel’s “Merrifield” [aimed at high-end smartphones, successor to Medfield] is scheduled to ship to customers by the end of this year. It will enable increased performance and battery life over current-generation products1 and brings support for context aware and personal services, ultra-fast connections for Web streaming, and increased data, device and privacy protection.
              Intel’s “Avoton” will enable industry-leading energy efficiency and performance-per-watt for microservers2, storage and scale out workloads in the data center. “Avoton” is Intel’s second-generation Intel® Atom™ processor SoC to provide full server product capability that customers require including 64-bit, integrated fabric, error code correction, Intel virtualization technologies and software compatibility. “Rangeley” is aimed at the network and communication infrastructure, specifically for entry-level to mid-range routers, switches and security appliances. Both products are scheduled for the second half of this year.
              Concurrently, Intel is delivering industry-leading advancements on its next-generation, 22nm Haswell microarchitecture for Intel® Core™ processors to enable full-PC performance at lower power levels for innovative “2-in-1” form factors, and other mobile devices available later this year. Intel also plans to refresh its line of Intel® Xeon® processor families across the data center on 22nm technology, delivering better performance-per-watt and other features.
              “By taking advantage of both the Silvermont and Haswell microarchitectures, Intel is well positioned to enable great products and experiences across the full spectrum of computing,” Perlmutter said.
              1 Based on the geometric mean of a variety of power and performance measurements across various benchmarks. Benchmarks included in this geomean are measurements on browsing benchmarks and workloads including SunSpider* and page load tests on Internet Explorer*, FireFox*, & Chrome*; Dhrystone*; EEMBC* workloads including CoreMark*; Android* workloads including CaffineMark*, AnTutu*, Linpack* and Quadrant* as well as measured estimates on SPECint* rate_base2000 & SPECfp* rate_base2000; on Silvermont preproduction systems compared to Atom processor Z2580. Individual results will vary. SPEC* CPU2000* is a retired benchmark. *Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.
              2 Based on a geometric mean of the measured and projected power and performance of SPECint* rate_base2000 on Silvermont compared to expected configurations of main ARM*-based mobile competitors using descriptions of the architectures; assumes similar configurations. Numbers may be subject to change once verified with the actual parts. Individual results will vary. SPEC* CPU2000* is a retired benchmark; results are estimates. *Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.
              Software and workloads used in performance tests may have been optimized for performance only on Intel microprocessors. Performance tests, such as SYSmark and MobileMark, are measured using specific computer systems, components, software, operations and functions. Any change to any of those factors may cause the results to vary. You should consult other information and performance tests to assist you in fully evaluating your contemplated purchases, including the performance of that product when combined with other products. For more information go to: www.intel.com/performance.

              For more information see the “Intel Atom Silvermont” Google search between May 6 and 8. From the accompanying Intel Next Generation Low Power Micro-Architecture webcast presentation I will include here the following slide only:

              image
              about which it was noted in the Deep inside Intel’s new ARM killer: Silvermont [The Register, May 8, 203] report that:

              Now that Intel has created an implementation of the Tri-Gate transistor technology specifically designed for low-power system-on-chip (SoC) use – and not just using the Tri-Gate process it employs for big boys such as Core and Xeon – it’s ready to rumble.
              Tri-Gate has a number of significant advantages over tried-and-true planar transistors, but the one that’s of particular significance to Silvermont is that when it’s coupled with clever power management, Tri-Gate can be used to create chips that exhibit an exceptionally wide dynamic range – meaning that they can be turned waaay down to low power when performance needs aren’t great, then cranked back up when heavy lifting is required.
              This wide dynamic range, Kuttanna said, obviates the need for what ARM has dubbed a big.LITTLE architecture, in which a low-power core handles low-performance tasks, then hands off processing to a more powerful core – or cores – when the need arises for more oomph.
              “In our case,” he said, “because of the combination of architecture techniques as well as the process technology, we don’t really need to do that. We can go up and down the range and cover the entire performance range.” In addition, he said, Silvermont doesn’t need to crank up its power as high as some of those competitors to achieve the same amount of performance.
              Or, as Perlmutter put it more succinctly, “We do big and small in one shot.”
              Equally important is the fact that a wide dynamic range allows for a seamless transition from low-power, low-performance operation to high-power, high-performance operation without the need to hand off processing between core types. “That requires the state that you have been operating on in one of the cores to be transferred between the two cores,” Kuttanna said. “That requires extra time. And the long switching time translates to either a loss in performance … or it translates to lower battery life.”

              Intel’s 1h20m long Intel Next Generation Low Power Micro-Architecture – Webcast is available online for further details about Silvermont. The technical overview starts at [21:50] (Slide 15) and you can also read a summary of some of the most interesting points by CNXSoft.


              7. Photonic achitectures to drive the future of computing

              TED and Intel microdocumentary – Mission (Im)possible: Silicon photonics featuring Mario Paniccia [TEDInstitute YouTube channel, published May 6, 2013; first shown publicly in March 2013]

              When Mario Paniccia began assembling a team of scientists to explore silicon photonics (systems that use silicon as an optical medium) in 2001, nobody thought they could succeed. Now, a decade and several Nature papers later, Intel has announced plans to commercialize the breakthrough technology Mario and his team built from scratch.

              [2:14] You can do now a 100 gig, you can do 200 gig. You can imagine doing a terabit per second in the next couple of years. At a terabit per second you’re talking about transferring or downloading a season of HDTV from one device to another in less than a second. It’s going to allow us to keep up with Moore’s law, and allow us to move information and constantly feed Moore’s law in our processors and so we will not be limited anymore by the interconnect, or the connectivity. [2:44]

              Intel considered this innovation an inflection point already back in 2010, see:
              Justin Rattner, Mario Paniccia and John Bowers describe the impact and significance of the 50G Silicon Photonics Link [channelintel YouTube channel, July 26, 2010]

              Now as the technology is ready for commercialisation this year Intel is even more enthuasiastic: Justin Rattner IDF Beijing 2013 Keynote-Excerpt: Silicon Photonics [channelintel YouTube channel, May 6, 2013]

              In his IDF Beijing 2013 Keynote, Intel CTO-Justin Rattner demonstrated for the first time publicly a fully functional silicon photonics module incorporating Intel® Silicon Photonics Technology (SPT) and operating at 100 gigabits per second (Gbps). This is a completely integrated module that includes silicon modulators, detectors, waveguides and circuitry. Intel believes this is the only module in the world that uses a hybrid silicon laser. The demonstration was made via a video during Rattner’s keynote. In addition to the Intel SPT module, Rattner showed the new photonics cable and connector that Intel is developing with Corning. This new connector has fewer moving parts, is less susceptible to dust and costs less than other photonics connectors. Intel and Corning intend to make this new cable and connector an industry standard. Rattner said the connector can carry 1.6 terabits of information per second.

              Silicon photonics uses light (photons) to move huge amounts of data at extremely high speeds over a thin optical fiber rather than using electrical signals over a copper cable. But that is not all: Silicon Photonics: Disrupting Server Design [DataCenterVideos YouTube channel, Jan 22, 2013, Recorded at the Open Compute Summit, Jan 17, 2013, Santa Clara, California]

              Silicon photonics is a new technology with the potential to disrupt the way servers are built. Silicon photonics uses light (photons) to move huge amounts of data at very high speeds over a thin optical fiber rather than using electrical signals over a copper cable. At last week’s Open Compute Summit, Intel’s Jim Demain provided Data Center Knowledge with an overview of the technology, showing off a prototype “photonic rack” that Intel has created that separates processors from other components, allowing for a faster refresh cycle for CPUs.

              More information:
              Intel, Facebook Collaborate on Future Data Center Rack Technologies [press release, Jan 16, 2013]

              New Photonic Architecture Promises to Dramatically Change Next Decade of Disaggregated, Rack-Scale Server Designs

                • Intel and Facebook* are collaborating to define the next generation of rack technologies that enables the disaggregation of compute, network and storage resources.
                • Quanta Computer* unveiled a mechanical prototype of the rack architecture to show the total cost, design and reliability improvement potential of disaggregation.
                • The mechanical prototype includes Intel Silicon Photonics Technology, distributed input/output using Intel Ethernet switch silicon, and supports the Intel® Xeon® processor and the next-generation system-on-chip Intel® Atom™ processor code named “Avoton.”
                • Intel has moved its silicon photonics efforts beyond research and development, and the company has produced engineering samples that run at speeds of up to 100 gigabits per second (Gbps).

              Silicon Photonics Research [Intel Labs microsite]
              The Facebook Special: How Intel Builds Custom Chips for Giants of the Web [Wired, May 6, 2013]
              Meet the Future of Data Center Rack Technologies [Data Center Knowledge, Feb 20, 2013] by Raejeanne Skillern, Intel’s director of marketing for cloud computing

              … Let’s now drill down into some of all-important details that shed light on what this announcement means in terms of the future of data center rack technologies.
              What is Rack Disaggregation and Why is It Important?
              Rack disaggregation refers to the separation of resources that currently exist in a rack, including compute, storage, networking and power distribution, into discrete modules. Traditionally, a server within a rack would each have its own group of resources. When disaggregated, resource types can then be grouped together, distributed throughout the rack, and upgraded on their own cadence without being coupled to the others. This provides increased lifespan for each resource and enables IT managers to replace individual resources instead of the entire system. This increased serviceability and flexibility drives improved total cost for infrastructure investments as well as higher levels of resiliency. There are also thermal efficiency opportunities by allowing more optimal component placement within a rack.
              Intel’s photonic rack architecture, and the underlying Intel silicon photonics technologies, will be used for interconnecting the various computing resources within the rack. We expect these innovations to be a key enabler of rack disaggregation.
              Why Design a New Connector?
              Today’s optical interconnects typically use an optical connector called MTP. The MTP connector was designed in the mid-1980s for telecommunications and not optimized for data communications applications. At the time, it was designed with state-of-the-art materials manufacturing techniques and know-how. However, it includes many parts, is expensive, and is prone to contamination from dust.
              The industry has seen significant changes over the last 25 years in terms of manufacturing and materials science. Building on these advances, Intel teamed up with Corning, a leader in optical fiber and cables, to design a totally new connector that includes state-of-the-art manufacturing techniques and abilities; a telescoping lens feature to make dust contamination much less likely; with up to 64 fibers in a smaller form factor; fewer parts – all at less cost.
              What Specific Innovations Were Unveiled?
              The mechanical prototype includes not only Intel silicon photonics technology, but also distributed input/output (I/O) using Intel Ethernet switch silicon, and supports Intel Xeon processor and next-generation system-on-chip Intel Atom processors code named “Avoton.”

              In fact this will lead to a CPU – Memory – Storage … disaggregation as shown by the following Intel slide:imagewhich will lead to new “Photonic Architectures”, or more precisely “Photonic Many-Core Architectures” (or later on even “Photonic/Optical Computing”), much more efficient than anything so far. For possibilities see these starting documents in academic architecture research:
              Photonic Many-Core Architecture Study Abstract [HPEC 2008, May 29, 2008]
              Photonic Many-Core Architecture Study Presentation [HPEC 2008, Sept 23, 2008]
              Building Manycore Processor-to-DRAM Networks Using Monolithic Silicon Photonics Abstract [HPEC 2008, Sept 23, 2008]
              Building Manycore Processor-to-DRAM Networks Using Monolithic Silicon Photonics Presentation [HPEC 2008, Sept 23, 2008]

              Intel made available the following Design Guide for Photonic Architecture Draft Document v 0.5 [Jan 16, 2013] where we can find the following three architectures:

              3.2 Interconnect Topology with a ToR [Top of Rack] Switch
              One particular implementation of the Photonically Enabled Architecture which is supported by the New Photonic Connector is shown below in Figure 3.1. In this implementation the New Photonic Connector cables are used to connect the compute systems arrayed throughout the rack to a Top of Rack switch. These intra-rack connections are currently made through electrical cabling, often using Ethernet signaling protocols at various line rates. The Photonically Enabled Architecture envisions a system where the bandwidth density, line rate scalability and easier cable routing provide value in this implementation model. One key feature of this architecture is that the line rate and optical technology are not dictated; rather the lowest cost technology which can support the bandwidth demands and provide the functionality required to support future high speed and dense applications can be deployed in this model consistent with the physical implementation model. This scalability of the architecture is a key value proposition of the design. Not only is the architecture scalable for data rate in the optical cable, but scalability of port count in each connection is also possible by altering the physical cabling and optical modules.

              image

              Figure 3.1: Open Rack with Optical Interconnect.
              In this architectural concept the green lines represent optical fiber cables terminated with the New Photonic Connector. They connect the various compute systems within the rack to the Top of Rack (TOR) switch. The optical fibers could contain up to 64 fibers and still support the described New Photonic Connector mechanical guidelines.
              One key advantage of the optically enabled architecture is that it supports disaggregation in the rack based design of the various system functionality, which means separate and discrete portions of the system resources may be brought together. One approach to disaggregation is shown below in Figure 3.2; in the design shown here the New Photonic Connector optical cables are still connecting a computing platform to a Top of Rack switch, but the configuration of the components has been altered to allow for a more modular approach to system upgrade and serviceability. In this design the computing systems have been configured in ‘trays’ containing a single CPU die and the associated memory and control, while communication is aggregated between three of these trays through a Silicon Photonics module to a Top of Rack switch. The Top of Rack switch now communicates to the individual compute elements through a Network Interface Chip (NIC) while also supporting an array of Solid State Disk Drives (SSD’s) and potentially additional computing hardware to support the networking interfaces. This approach would allow for the modular upgrade of the computing and memory infrastructure without burdening the user with the cost of upgrading the SSD infrastructure simultaneously provided the IO infrastructure remains constant. Other options for the disaggregated system architecture are of course also possible, potentially leading to the disaggregation of the memory system as well.

              image

              Figure 3-2: Disaggregated Photonic Architecture Topology
              with a ToR Switch
              .
              This design shows 3 compute trays connected through a single New Photonic Connector enabled optical cable to a Top of Rack (TOR) switch supporting Network Interface Chip (NIC) elements, Solid State Disk Drives (SSD’s), Switching functionality and additional compute resources.
              3.3 Interconnect Topology with Distributed Switch Functionality
              The Photonically Enabled Architecture which is supported by the New Photonic Connector cable and connector concept can support several different types of architectures, each with specific advantages. One particular type of architecture, which also takes advantage of the functionality of another Intel component, an Intel Switch Chip, is shown in Figure 3.3, shown below. In this architecture the Intel Switch Chip is configured in such a way as to support both aggregation of data streams to reduce overall fiber and cabling burden as well as a distributed switching functionality.
              The distributed switch functionality supports the modular architecture which was discussed in previous sections. This concept allows for a very granular approach to the deployment of resources throughout the data center infrastructure which supports greater resiliency through a smaller impact from a failure event. The concept also supports a more granular approach to upgradability and potentially could enable re-partitioning of the architecture in such a way that system resources can be better shared between different compute elements.
              In Figure 3.3 an example is shown of 100Gbps links between compute systems and a remote storage node. Both PCIe and Ethernet networking protocols may be used in the same rack system, all enabled by the functionality of the Intel Switch Chip (or Device). It should be understood that the components in this vision could be swapped dynamically and asymmetrically so that improvements in bandwidth between particular nodes could be upgraded individually or new functionality could be incorporated as it becomes available.

              image

              Figure 3.3: An example of a Photonically Enabled Architecture
              relying upon the New Photonic Connector concept, Silicon Photonics
              and the Intel Switch Chip (or Device).
              In this example the switching between the rack nodes is accomplished in a distributed manner through the use of these switch chips.

              Note that there is very little information about Kranich’s manufacturing technology winning cards. I found only this one although there might be several others as well.


              8. The two-person Executive Office and Intel’s transparent computing strategy as presented so far

              Newly Elected Intel CEO, Brian Krzanich Talks About His New Job [channelintel YouTube channel, May 2, 2013]

              Brian Krzanich (pronounced Krah-ZAN-nitch) discusses next steps and what lies ahead in his role as Intel CEO. Learn more about Brian Krzanich from the Intel Newsroom: http://newsroom.intel.com/community/intel_newsroom/blog/2013/05/02/intel-board-elects-brian-krzanich-as-ceo

              Intel Board Elects Brian Krzanich as CEO [Intel Newsroom, May 2, 2013]

              SANTA CLARA, Calif., May 2, 2013 – Intel Corporation announced today that the board of directors has unanimously elected Brian Krzanich as its next chief executive officer (CEO), succeeding Paul Otellini. Krzanich will assume his new role at the company’s annual stockholders’ meeting on May 16.

              Krzanich, Intel’s chief operating officer since January 2012, will become the sixth CEO in Intel’s history. As previously announced, Otellini will step down as CEO and from the board of directors on May 16.

              “After a thorough and deliberate selection process, the board of directors is delighted that Krzanich will lead Intel as we define and invent the next generation of technology that will shape the future of computing,” said Andy Bryant, chairman of Intel.

              “Brian is a strong leader with a passion for technology and deep understanding of the business,” Bryant added. “His track record of execution and strategic leadership, combined with his open-minded approach to problem solving has earned him the respect of employees, customers and partners worldwide. He has the right combination of knowledge, depth and experience to lead the company during this period of rapid technology and industry change.”

              Krzanich, 52, has progressed through a series of technical and leadership roles since joining Intel in 1982.

              “I am deeply honored by the opportunity to lead Intel,” said Krzanich. “We have amazing assets, tremendous talent, and an unmatched legacy of innovation and execution. I look forward to working with our leadership team and employees worldwide to continue our proud legacy, while moving even faster into ultra-mobility, to lead Intel into the next era.”

              The board of directors elected Renée James, 48, to be president of Intel. She will also assume her new role on May 16, joining Krzanich in Intel’s executive office.

              “I look forward to partnering with Renée as we begin a new chapter in Intel’s history,” said Krzanich. “Her deep understanding and vision for the future of computing architecture, combined with her broad experience running product R&D and one of the world’s largest software organizations, are extraordinary assets for Intel.”

              As chief operating officer, Krzanich led an organization of more than 50,000 employees spanning Intel’s Technology and Manufacturing Group, Intel Custom Foundry, NAND Solutions group, Human Resources, Information Technology and Intel’s China strategy.

              James, 48, has broad knowledge of the computing industry, spanning hardware, security, software and services, which she developed through leadership positions at Intel and as chairman of Intel’s software subsidiaries — Havok, McAfee and Wind River. She also currently serves on the board of directors of Vodafone Group Plc and VMware Inc. and was chief of staff for former Intel CEO Andy Grove.

              Additional career background on both executives is available at newsroom.intel.com.

              The prominent first external reaction to that: Intel Promotes From Within, Naming Brian Krzanich CEO [Bloomberg YouTube channel, May 2, 2013]

              Intel’s Krzanich the 6th Inside Man to Be CEO [Bloomberg YouTube channel, May 2, 2013]

              Can Intel Reinvent Itself… Again? [Bloomberg YouTube channel, May 3, 2013]

              Brian M. Krzanich, Chief Executive Officer (Elect), Executive Office

              Brian M. Krzanich will become the chief executive officer of Intel Corporation on May 16. He will be the sixth CEO in the company’s history, succeeding Paul S. Otellini.
              Krzanich has progressed through a series of technical and leadership roles at Intel, most recently serving as the chief operating officer (COO) since January 2012. As COO, his responsibilities included leading an organization of more than 50,000 employees spanning Intel’s Technology and Manufacturing Group, Intel Custom Foundry, supply chain operations, the NAND Solutions group, human resources, information technology and Intel’s China strategy.
              His open-minded approach to problem solving and listening to customers’ needs has extended the company’s product and technology leadership and created billions of dollars in value for the company. In 2006, he drove a broad transformation of Intel’s factories and supply chain, improving factory velocity by more than 60 percent and doubling customer responsiveness. Krzanich is also involved in advancing the industry’s transition to lower cost 450mm wafer manufacturing through the Global 450 Consortium as well as leading Intel’s strategic investment in lithography supplier ASML.
              Prior to becoming COO, Krzanich held senior leadership positions within Intel’s manufacturing organization. He was responsible for Fab/Sort Manufacturing from 2007-2011 and Assembly and Test from 2003 to 2007. From 2001 to 2003, he was responsible for the implementation of the 0.13-micron logic process technology across Intel’s global factory network. From 1997 to 2001, Krzanich served as the Fab 17 plant manager, where he oversaw the integration of Digital Equipment Corporation’s semiconductor manufacturing operations into Intel’s manufacturing network. The assignment included building updated facilities as well as initiating and ramping 0.18-micron and 0.13-micron process technologies. Prior to this role, Krzanich held plant and manufacturing manager roles at multiple Intel factories.
              Krzanich began his career at Intel in 1982 in New Mexico as a process engineer. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from San Jose State University and has one patent for semiconductor processing. Krzanich is also a member of the Board of Directors of Lilliputian Corporation and the Semiconductor Industry Association.

              Renée J. James, President (Elect), Executive Office

              Renée J. James is president of Intel Corporation and, with the CEO, is part of the company’s two-person Executive Office.

              James has broad knowledge of the computing industry, spanning hardware, security, software and services, which she developed through product R&D leadership positions at Intel and as chairman of Intel’s software subsidiaries — Havok, McAfee and Wind River.
              During her 25-year career at Intel, James has spearheaded the company’s strategic expansion into providing proprietary and open source software and services for applications in security, cloud-based computing, and importantly, smartphones. In her most recent role as executive vice president and general manager of the Software and Services Group, she was responsible for Intel’s global software and services strategy, revenue, profit, and product R&D. In this role, James led Intel’s strategic relationships with the world’s leading device and enterprise operating systems companies. Previously, she was the director and COO of Intel Online Services, Intel’s datacenter services business. James was also part of the pioneering team working with independent software vendors to port applications to Intel Architecture and served as chief of staff for former Intel CEO Andy Grove.
              James began her career with Intel through the company’s acquisition of Bell Technologies. She holds a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Oregon.
              James also serves as a non-executive director on the Vodafone Group Plc Board of Directors and is a member of the Remuneration Committee. She is an independent director on the VMware Inc. Board of Directors and is a member of the Audit Committee. She is also a member of the C200.

              Chip Shot: Renée James Selected as Recipient of C200’s STEM Innovator Luminary Award [IntelPR in Intel Newsroom, April 13, 2013]

              Renée J. James, Intel executive vice president and general manager of the Software and Services Group, has earned the prestigious honor of being the recipient of the STEM Innovator Luminary Award, presented by the Committee of 200 (C200). C200 is an international, non-profit organization of the most powerful women who own or run companies, or who lead major divisions of large corporations. A STEM Innovator is the leader of a technology-based business who has exemplified unique vision and success in science, technology, engineering or math-based industries, which James has continually demonstrated throughout her career at Intel. This includes growing Intel’s software and services business worldwide, driving open standards within the software ecosystem and providing leadership as chairman for both McAfee and Wind River Systems, Intel wholly owned subsidiaries.

              Renée James keynote delivering Intel’s new strategy called ‘Transparent Computing’ at the IDF 2012 [TomsHardwareItalia YouTube channel, Sept 13, 2012]

              IDF 2012 Day 2:
              Intel Developer Forum 2012 Keynote, Renée James Transcript (PDF 190KB)
              Intel Developer Forum 2012 Keynote, Renée James Presentation (PDF 7MB)

              Intel to Software Developers: Embrace Era of Transparent Computing [press release, Sept 12, 2012]

              NEWS HIGHLIGHTS

              • Intel reinforces commitment to ensuring HTML5 adoption accelerates and remains an open standard, providing developers a robust application environment that will run best on Intel® architecture.
              • New McAfee Anti-Theft product is designed to protect consumers’ property and personal information on Ultrabook™ devices.
              • The Intel® Developer Zone is a new program designed to provide software developers and businesses with a single point of access to tools, communities and resources to help them engage with peers.

              INTEL DEVELOPER FORUM, San Francisco, Sept. 12, 2012 – Today at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF), Renée James, senior vice president and general manager of the Software and Services Group at Intel Corporation, outlined her vision for transparent computing. This concept is made possible only through an “open” development ecosystem where software developers write code that will run across multiple environments and devices. This approach will lessen the financial and technical compromises developers make today.
              With transparent computing, software developers no longer must choose one environment over another in order to maintain profitability and continue to innovate,” said James. “Consumers and businesses are challenged with the multitude of wonderful, yet incompatible devices and environments available today. It’s not about just mobility, the cloud or the PC. What really matters is when all of these elements come together in a compelling and transparent cross-platform user experience that spans environments and hardware architectures. Developers who embrace this reality are the ones who will remain relevant.”
              Software developers are currently forced to choose between market reach, delivering innovation or staying profitable. By delivering the best performance with Intel’s cross-platform tools, security solutions and economically favorable distribution channels, the company continues to take a leadership position in defining and driving the open software ecosystem.
              Develop to Run Many Places
              While developers regularly express their desire to write once and run on multiple platforms, currently there is little incentive for any of the curators of these environments to provide cross-platform support. Central to Intel’s operating system of choice strategy, the company believes a solution to the cross-platform challenge is HTML5. With it, developers no longer have to make trade-offs between profitability, market participation or delivering innovation in their products. Consumers benefit by enabling their data, applications and identity to seamlessly transition from one operating system or device environment to another.
              During her keynote, James emphasized the importance of HTML5 and related standards and that the implementation of this technology by developers should remain open to provide a robust application development environment. James reinforced Intel’s commitment to HTML5 and JavaScript by announcing that Mozilla, in collaboration with Intel, is working on a native implementation of River Trail technology. It is available now for download as a plug-in and will become native in Firefox browsers to bring the power of parallel computing to Web applications in 2013.
              Security at Intel Provides an Inherent Advantage
              Security at Intel provides an inherent advantage in terms of its approach. For over a decade, Intel has applied its technology leadership to security platform features aimed at keeping computing safe, from devices and networks to the data center. Today, the company extends the efficacy of security by combining hardware and software security solutions and co-designing products with McAfee. James invited McAfee Co-President Michael DeCesare to join her onstage to emphasize the important role security takes as the threat landscape continues to become more complex both in terms of volume and sophistication. DeCesare also highlighted the opportunity for developers to participate in securing the industry.
              Touching on where McAfee is heading with Intel, DeCesare discussed the importance of understanding where computing is going overall. He noted examples including applications moving to the cloud, as well as IT seeking ways to reduce power consumption and wrestling with challenges associated with big data and the consumerization of IT. DeCesare also highlighted the value of maintaining the user experience and introduced McAfee Anti-Theft security software. Designed to protect consumers’ property and personal information for Ultrabook™ devices, this latest product enhancement is a collaborative effort with Intel to develop anti-theft software using Intel technologies that provide device and data protection.
              DeCesare reiterated the opportunity for developers through the McAfee Security Innovation Alliance (SIA). The technology partnering program helps accelerate development of interoperable- security products, simplify integration of these products and delivers solutions to maximize the value of existing customer investments. The program also is intended to reduce both time-to-problem resolution and operational costs.
              Developers’ Access to Resources Made Easy
              James also announced the Intel® Developer Zone, a program designed to provide software developers and businesses with a single point of access to tools, communities and resources to help them engage with peers. Today’s software ecosystem is full of challenges and opportunities in such areas as technology powering new user experiences, expectations from touchscreens, battery life requirements, data security and cloud accessibility. The program is focused on providing resources to help developers learn and embrace these evolving market shifts and maximize development efforts across many form factors, platforms and operating systems.

              • Development Resources: Software tools, training, developer guides, sample code and support will help developers create new user experiences across many platforms. In the fourth quarter of this year, Intel Developer Zone will introduce an HTML5 Developer Zone focused on cross-platform apps, guiding developers through actual deployments of HTML5 apps on Apple* iOS*, Google* Android*, Microsoft* Windows* and Tizen*.

              • Business Resources: Global software distribution and sales opportunities will be available via the Intel AppUp® center and co-marketing resources. Developers can submit and publish apps to multiple Intel AppUp center affiliate stores for Ultrabook devices, tablets and desktop systems. The Intel Developer Zone also provides opportunities for increased awareness and discoverability through the Software Business Network, product showcases and marketing programs.
              • Active Communities: With Intel Developer Zone, developers can engage with experts in their field – both from Intel and the industry – to share knowledge, get support and build relationships. In the Ultrabook community, users will find leading developers sharing ideas and recommendations on how to create compelling Microsoft* Windows* 8 apps for the latest touch- and sensor-enabled Ultrabook devices.

              Mobile Insights: Emerging Technologies [channelintel YouTube channel, Feb 26, 2013]

              [0:20-0:45] Renee James EVP and GM of Intel Software and Services Group; [0:45-1:10] Hermann Eul Co VP and GM, MCG, Intel; [1:10-1:22] Dean Elwood, Founder and CEO, Voxygen; [1:25-1:52] Shiyou He, EVP, ZTE The Mobile Insights team caught up with a number of industry leaders to discuss what are the next big trends after touch – we will be using our voice, gestures and facial recognition to control and interact with our devices soon. After touch, it will not be long before we’ll commonly use facial recognition and gestures with our mobile devices. Voice recognition will also become more common, allowing us new usages such as search through voice conversations the same way one would search through email today.

              Mobile Insights: Software Development in Africa [channelintel YouTube channel, March 5, 2013]

              Erik Hersman, Managing Director and Co-Founder of iHub, and Renée James, EVP and GM of Intel Software and Services Group, are talking about the opportunities in Africa as the continent has and always will be a mobile first continent. To support the growth of mobile technology in the continent, Intel is working with iHub to foster growth of the software development community in Africa with targeted investments in mobile application development, university training and expansion of technology hubs.

              Intel Developer Forum: Executives Talk Evolution of Computing with Devices that Touch People’s Daily Lives [press release, April 11, 2011]

              Renée James: Creating the Ultimate User Experience
              During her keynote, James discussed Intel’s transition from a semiconductor company to a personal computing company, and emphasized the importance of delivering compelling user experiences across a range of personal computing devices. To develop and enable the best experiences, James announced a strategic relationship with Tencent*, China’s largest Internet company, to create a joint innovation center dedicated to delivering best-in-class mobile Internet experiences. Engineers from both companies will work together to further the mobile computing platforms and other technologies.

              James also announced new collaborations for the Intel AppUpSM center and the Intel AppUp Developer Program in China to help assist in the creation of innovative applications for Intel Atom processor-based devices. Chinese partners supporting this effort include Neusoft*, Haier* and Hasee* and Shenzhen Software Park*.

              Related presentation: Renee James: The Intel User Experience (English PDF 9.1MB)

              How Intel’s new president Renee James learned the ropes from the legendary Andy Grove [VentureBeat, May 2, 2013]

              imageRenee James became the president of Intel today. That’s the highest position a woman has ever held at the world’s largest chip maker. Alongside new CEO Brian Krzanich, James will be part of the two-person executive office running Intel. She rose to that position through tenacity and leadership during a career at Intel, but she was also part of a very exclusive club.

              The 25-year Intel veteran was one of the early young employees who served as “technical assistant ” to former chief executive Andy Grove, the hard-charging leader who went by the motto “Only the Paranoid Survive.” In that position, she was not just an executive assistant. Rather, her job was to make sure that Grove always looked good and was up-to-speed on his personal use of technology. She helped him prepare his PowerPoint presentations and orchestrated his speeches. As a close confidant, she had close access to one of the most brilliant leaders of the tech industry.

              Intel’s executives needed technical assistants in the way that contemporaries like Bill Gates, who grew up as a programmer, did not. Intel’s leaders were technically savvy manufacturing and chip experts, but they were not born as masters of the ins and outs of operating PowerPoint. So the company developed the technical assistant as a formal position, and each top executive had one. That position has turned out to be an important one; executives mentored younger, more promising employees. These employees then moved on to positions of great authority within Intel.
              What makes James’s career so interesting — and a stand out — is that unlike Intel’s early leaders, she wasn’t a chip engineer or manufacturing executive. She has an MBA from the University of Oregon, and she pitched no-chip businesses for Intel to enter and became chief operating officer of Intel Online Services.
              James will start her new position on May 16 and will report to Krzanich.
              James served under Grove for a longer time than most technical assistants did, as she proved indispensable to him. James said that she learned a huge amount from Grove, and she took lots of notes on the things that he said that made an impression on her. Paul Otellini, the retiring CEO of Intel, also served as a technical assistant for Grove. The technical assistant job was one of those unsung positions that required a lot of wits. James had to pull together lots of Intel resources to set up, rehearse, and execute Grove’s major keynote speeches.
              She was eventually given the more impressive title of “chief of staff.” During the dotcom era, she moved out on her own to set up an ill-fated business. She was in charge of Intel’s move into operating data centers that could be outsourced to other companies.
              Under James’ plan, Intel would set up data centers with the same discipline and precision that it did with its chip manufacturing plants. It would build out the huge server rooms in giant warehouses and then rent the computing power to smaller companies. The business was much like Amazon’s huge web services business today. But Intel was too early and on the wrong side of the dotcom crash. When things fell apart in 2001, so did Intel’s appetite for noncore businesses. Intel shut down James’ baby.
              But she went on to manage a variety of other businsses, including Intel’s security, software, services, and other nonchip businesses that have become more important as Intel takes on its mantle as a leader of the technology industry rather than just a component maker. That’s one of the legacies of Grove, who saw that Intel had to do a lot of the fundamental research and development in the computer industry, in part because nobody except Microsoft had the profits to invest in R&D.
              As executive vice president of software and services, James managed Intel software businesses, including Havok, McAfee, and Wind River. During her tenure over software, Intel struggled in its alliance with Nokia to create the Meego mobile operating system, and it eventually gave up on it.
              Among the other technical assistants at Intel were Sean Maloney, a rising star who retired last year after having a a stroke in 2010; venture capitalist Alex Wong; and Anand Chandrasekher, who left Intel and is now the chief marketing officer at rival Qualcomm.

              Nokia HERE Maps for everything, for FireFox OS in a strategic partnership with Mozilla

              A highly recommended prerequisite reading: The Where Platform from Nokia: a company move to taking data as a raw material to build products [April 7, 2012]

              So, while Microsoft was struggling today with Steven Sinofsky, ex Microsoft: The victim of an extremely complex web of the “western world” high-tech interests [this same blog, Nov 13, 2012] Nokia made a big leap forward on its 2 year’s to counter the lethal dangers of Be aware of ZTE et al. and white-box (Shanzhai) vendors: Wake up call now for Nokia, soon for Microsoft, Intel, RIM and even Apple! [Feb 21, 2011] phenomenon it recognized earlier than every other high-tech company in the “western world”.

              Below there is the collection of the information made public today which shows quite well that in mid-term they could even become the most successful “western” high-tech company to overcome the tide raising from China towards the legacy high-tech companies. Their strategic partnership with Mozilla for the FireFox OS is even showing that they are not stupid at all to put all their eggs in the Windows Phone bag (albeit it is publicly only to bring HERE to that OS). They have already a very well positioned Asha and Asha Touch product line in the lower end (see With Asha Touch starting at $83 and Lumia at $186 Nokia targeting the entry-level and low-end smartphone markets [this same blog, Nov 1, 2012]), and now with FireFox OS they could have a 3d one positioned for what they called “taking advantage of future technology disruptions and trends” (see Nokia under transition (as reported by the company) [this same blog, March 11, 2012]).

              Nokia redefines digital map landscape by introducing HERE as new brand for its location and mapping service [Nokia press release, Nov 13, 2012]

              Nokia extends its service across devices and operating systems

              Nokia announces new partnership with Mozilla and planned acquisition of 3D capture company, earthmine

              San Francisco, California – Today Nokia introduced HERE, the first location cloud to deliver the world’s best maps and location experiences across multiple screens and operating systems. With the new brand, HERE, Nokia aims to inspire a new generation of location services and devices that make the mobile experience more personally significant for people everywhere.

              “People want great maps, and with HERE we can bring together Nokia’s location offering to deliver people a better way to explore, discover and share their world,” said Nokia President and CEO Stephen Elop. “Additionally, with HERE we can extend our 20 years of location expertise to new devices and operating systems that reach beyond Nokia. As a result, we believe that more people benefit from and contribute to our leading mapping and location service.”

              Pushing location beyond Nokia
              To further extend its location services, Nokia is launching a maps application for iOS under the HERE brand. Based on HTML5, it will include offline capabilities, voice-guided walk navigation, and public transport directions. The application is scheduled to be available for free download from Apple’s App Store in the coming weeks.

              Nokia further announced a strategic partnership with Mozilla to bring new location experiences to the Firefox OS. Nokia plans to debut a mobile Web version of HERE Maps for the new Firefox OS next year. The companies are working together to give people the best mapping experience on Firefox OS.

              “Mozilla is a leader in HTML5, building the Web as a platform for developing compelling applications, and location is a key part of that platform,” said Jay Sullivan, Mozilla Vice President of Products. “We are excited to work with Nokia as the combination of Firefox OS and HERE’s location platform provides rich possibilities for mobile application developers to create amazing experiences for users.”

              Nokia also demonstrated an Android OS-based reference application and announced plans for the availability of a HERE SDK for Android OEMs in early 2013. This is aimed at enabling partners to create location-based applications for Android devices with Nokia’s leading content.

              Innovating modern mapmaking
              To advance the 3D capabilities of HERE, Nokia announced the planned acquisition of Berkeley, Calif. company earthmine. The company’s reality capture and processing technologies will become integral parts of HERE’s 3D map making capabilities.   

              Nokia expects the transaction to close by the end of 2012.

              “Maps are hard to get right – but location is revolutionizing how we use technology to engage with the real world,” said Michael Halbherr, Executive Vice President of Location & Commerce and responsible for the HERE brand. “That’s why we have been investing and will continue to invest in building the world’s most powerful location offering, one that is unlike anything in the market today.”

              Using LiveSight(TM) to see more of the real world
              As part of its announcement, Nokia introduced LiveSight(TM), a technology based on a highly accurate, 3D map of the world.  LiveSight(TM) provides the most precise and intuitive augmented reality experience and uses a phone’s camera viewfinder to make discovering the world as easy as lifting up a phone. Nokia City Lens, which was developed exclusively for Nokia Lumia devices, is the first application providing a LiveSight-enabled experience.

              “Establishing a new brand is the right move for Nokia in the map and location business.  Nokia’s assets in this space are world class. We believe mapping and location will be increasingly important to developing next generation devices and services across a wide array of segments,” said Crawford Del Prete, Executive Vice President and Head of worldwide research at IDC.

              iOS, Android, Firefox OS: HERE is available everywhere [Nokia Conversations, Nov 13, 2012]

              Today’s announcement means that we’re bringing HERE to all devices and operating systems to give more people, with any type of device the ability to use the best location platform in the world. This openness is what sets HERE apart from other digital maps in the world. And with HERE, location will set Nokia apart.

              Introducing HERE Maps for iOS

              We’re making HERE Maps available in the Apple App Store: iOS users can more easily access our rich mapping experience with a single tap on their home screen. The app has been developed with the same HTML5 technology that powers the mobile web and is therefore very versatile and optimized for mobile use.

              With HERE Maps for iOS you can get smart directions to navigate your way around town, whether you’re driving, walking or taking public transportation, so let’s have a closer look at all the features available.

              What is HERE Maps for iOS?

              With HERE Maps for iOS you can save an area to your device, so you can explore even without data coverage. You can save an area in advance and use it later at up to 4 different zoom levels.

              Since you don’t walk on the same routes you drive, HERE Maps for iOS gives you dedicated voice guided turn-by-turn walk navigation that guides you along the best route for walking there: pedestrian routes, through parks, down alleyways, and more. With voice navigation, you will spend less time looking at your phone and more time enjoying getting there.

              Because HERE Maps for iOS has been designed for urban use, the voice navigation only works for journeys on foot. However, there’s also public transportation and driving directions in over 500 cities and you can make transfers easily with detailed public transport connections. With live traffic information and incident notices, you know where the traffic is, so you can spend less time driving there and more time being there.

              With HERE Maps for iOS you can organize favourite places by categories such as “Hip Bars” or “Cheap Eats” and sync them withHERE.com so you can build your personal map on the go and easily find them again.

              For instance, you can add a place to your favourites on your phone and post a review when you get home: wherever you are, you’re always in sync. This feature is very easy to use because you can sign-on with your Nokia or Facebook accounts.

              On an iPad you can also see the top 25 places nearby at a glance: HERE Maps automatically displays up to 25 best places near you in a scroll window at the bottom of the screen. Simply tap a place and get all the details or scroll down and filter your results by category (shopping, going out, sights and more).

              Whether you’re making plans for later or just want to share a great new find, HERE.com lets you share locations with just a tap, including how to get there, with a simple link sent over SMS, email, or social networks.

              Introducing HERE Maps for Firefox OS

              Because one of the main attributes of HERE is its openness, we’re also partnering with Mozilla to create new location experiences for Firefox OS. In the coming months, we will introduce HERE Maps for Firefox OS and we’ll continue working, together with Mozilla, to give people the best mapping experience on the OS.

              One more thing… HERE Android API

              HERE Maps for iOS and Firefox OS are not our only effort to give everyone the ability to use the best location platform in the world. Today, we’re also introducing HERE Maps API for Android, which will made available to partners in the next months.

              In apps built with the HERE Android API, users will be able to interact with extruded 3D buildings, search for specific buildings and preview their routes in detail to more realistically show where they’re going.

              To showcase what partners can offer when they build Android apps with our HERE API, we have prepared a reference app in the following video.

              Read more about HERE for iOS, Android and Firefox OS here:http://conversations.nokia.com/?p=103078 In apps built with the HERE Android API, users will be able to interact with extruded 3D buildings, search for specific buildings and preview their routes in detail to more realistically show where they’re going. To showcase what partners can offer when they build Android apps with our HERE API, we have prepared a reference app in this video.

              Disclaimer: this is not an actual app that we are releasing in the Google Play Store, it is just a reference app we have developed to showcase which features we are offering to partners for their location-based Android apps.

              Follow us on Twitter: @heremaps.

              HERE: the next generation of location services [Nokia Conversations, Nov 13, 2012]

              Mapping and location-based services are integral to Nokia’s future and a key way that we stand out from the crowd.

              Nokia’s commitment to building the leading location offering is demonstrated every day around the world in its rich set of location-based apps like Nokia Drive, Nokia Transport, Nokia Maps, Nokia Pulse and Nokia City Lens. Quite literally, Nokia helps people navigate their world. But this is only the tip of the iceberg: as a result of our acquisition of NAVTEQ and other mapping industry players, Nokia was the first to build the world’s most accurate and comprehensive global digital map by sending teams to verify every street in every city.

              The next step forward – sensing our world

              We can do more with our location heritage and mapping expertise, and go beyond a digital version of the paper map. Maps can be more than getting a person from point A to point B. They should bring places to life and inspire us to sense our world.

              This is why today we are introducing HERE, the world’s first location cloud that delivers a location platform, location content and location apps across any screen and any operating system.

              Just like digital cameras created possibilities that were unthinkable with analog photography, today’s digital mapping has amazing potential to grow into what we call computational cartography, the ability to produce maps on-demand and tailored to their actual use cases. Today’s digital maps are generic – i.e. always the same, irrespective of the content they visualize. We also believe that this game-changing evolution in mapmaking should be available to more businesses and more people around the world – it should expand beyond cars and beyond Nokia devices.

              “Location based experiences need to evolve from an app-centric approach towards a holistic customer experience; consumers want services that are optimized for multi-mobile device use and available on demand, everywhere”, said Thilo Koslowski, VP and Lead Automotive Analyst, Gartner.

              What does it mean?

              Nokia Lumia and HERE are naturally made for each other, providing the best location experience on a smartphone, but we aren’t reserving HERE just for Windows Phone. Instead, we are opening it up to all devices and operating systems to give everyone, with any type of device, the possibility to recognize and the ability to use the best location platform in the world. This openness is what sets HERE apart from other digital maps in the world. And with HERE, location will be an even more powerful differentiation for Nokia.

              We’re making HERE Maps available for iOS in the Apple App Store as a HTML5-based app and introducing HERE Maps API for Android. We will also introduce HERE Maps for Firefox OS and we’ll continue working, together with Mozilla, to give people the best mapping experience on the OS.

              We are introducing LiveSight, a technology based on a highly accurate, 3D map of the world, which provides the most precise and intuitive augmented reality experience. Nokia City Lens, developed exclusively for Nokia Lumia devices, is the first application using LiveSight.

              Our industrial collection of data is about to leap a chasm with the planned acquisition of earthmine. earthmine offers a complete solution for collecting, processing, managing, and hosting 3D street level imagery.

              So stay tuned. There is so much more to say in the coming hours and days and the long-term, and we’re looking forward to your continued feedback as we move ahead. You can also follow us on Twitter: @heremaps.

              LiveSight: immersive experiences you can act on [Nokia Conversations, Nov 13, 2012]

              Read more about LiveSight at http://conversations.nokia.com/?p=103081 After type pads, touchscreens and voice recognition, we want sight recognition to be another standard way to interact with the world around you. But it’s not only about sight recognition; it’s also about live map information. In one word, it’s… LiveSight. Nokia City Lens, developed exclusively for Nokia Lumia devices, is the first application providing a LiveSight-enabled experience.

                Nokia City Lens, exclusively available for Nokia Lumia, is one of our most-talked-about apps and we’re very proud of it. Using the phone’s camera viewfinder, Nokia City Lens provides an augmented reality overlay view of buildings and instantly highlights places of interest. Nokia City Lens is basically turning sight into the next interface for searching the world around you. Although Nokia City Lens is powered by a complex system of collection technologies, it’s very easy to use. After all, what could be simpler to use than sight? It’s the most human sense for sensing and exploring the world.

                After type pads, touchscreens and voice recognition, we want sight recognition to be another standard way to interact with the world around you. But it’s not only about sight recognition; it’s also aboutlive map information. In one word, it’s… LiveSight. Nokia City Lens, developed exclusively for Nokia Lumia devices, is the first application providing a LiveSight-enabled experience.

                LiveSight is a collection of mechanisms:

                • 3D sight interface: buildings are detected by our collection technologies with high accuracy and feeling of depth

                • Line of sight: with the line of sight view, only POIs in sight are displayed

                • Freeze frame: save a live view to inspect the city without having to hold the camera pointed at the target

                • Building directory: click on a building to see what is inside

                  This new technology is going to address everyday actions like finding a store indoor, finding your friends in a crowd or your parked car. Yes, with LiveSight you can create a place for your parked car.

                  “We’ve all been there — trying get to where we are going by following that dot on our phones; you take a few steps in one direction to see if the dot moves where it should; with LiveSight you can orient yourself by simply lifting up your phone and looking through the camera view finder and find your destination whether it is right in front of you or three blocks away” said Peter Skillman, head of UX Design for HERE.

                  You can also follow us on Twitter: @heremaps.

                  Innovating modern map making with earthmine [Nokia Conversations, Nov 13, 2012]

                  Because we know that maps are hard to get right, we have been investing and will continue to invest time and money to build the world’s most powerful location offering, one that is unlike anything in the market today. Content creation in cartography is a continuous quest to make maps more precise and to map the whole world. We useinnovative collection technologies (e.g. LiDAR, cameras, etc.) and a team of local experts to create close to perfect digital copies of reality.

                  Innovating map making

                  Map makers today have a vast array of data at their disposal and digital technology has made the map accessible to everyone. But at their core today’s digital maps are little changed from paper maps: they are static because they represent the world at the moment the data is captured and they still require a lot of work and imagination to get the most out of them.

                  We believe, in fact, that location services are revolutionizing how we use technology to engage with the real world. This is why we are innovating every aspect of what a cartographer does: we use data that’s never been incorporated into maps and then make sense of it in a way that transforms the experience. We are innovating what we capture, the way we capture it, and how we model to give rise to a new generation of user experiences.

                  earthmine acquisition

                  Today our industrial collection of data is about to leap a chasm with the planned acquisition of earthmine.

                  earthmine offers a complete solution for collecting, processing, managing, and hosting 3D street level imagery. This will add competitive advantages and increased differentiation to HERE‘s Location Content and Location Platform, sustaining competitiveness in B2B (e.g. data for in-car navigation systems) and driving highly engaging user experiences.

                  earthmine has developed the first truly scalable 3D mobile mapping solution, enabling collection of entire metropolitan areas, states or countries from tens or hundreds of thousands of linear miles of roadway. By combining high fidelity and resolution panoramic imagery with 3D data for every pixel in every image, the result is quantifiably more than just pretty pictures.

                  earthmine is going to be a major asset in our arsenal of collection tools in that it complements our internal technologies with capabilities that enhance what we are already doing. The most obvious is the sensor design and integration that can be seen on a earthmine car, which enables mobile mapping and is massively scalable. And when we collect with earthmine we get the same wealth of visual and other sensor data that enables us achieve our mapmaking automation goals. By next year, with earthmine we will expand the number of countries to 31 in which we are automatically collecting 3D information. Additionally, earthmine brings advanced image processing capability and geographic information system tools that make the processed imagery and data readily available enabling us to move faster than we otherwise could.

                  Follow us on Twitter: @heremaps.

                  I will add to that the following eartmine case study video as a latest one:
                  earthmine Helps 911 Dispatchers [earthmine YouTube channel, June 19, 2012]

                  earthmine Helps 911 Dispatchers in Columbia County – Courtesy of WJBF News Channel 6

                  Fueling the future of digital maps [Nokia Conversations, Oct 25, 2012]

                  NAVTEQ True utilizes a unique combination of technologies to create a 3D model of the real world. We combine rotating LIDAR, positioning sensors, panoramic cameras, and high res multi view cameras to capture real world dimension, fueling more realistic and interactive location experiences for you.

                    At the heart of any location experience is the understanding of where you are and what’s around you, an awareness often achieved by using a map. While today’s digital maps are much more advanced than the maps of just 20 years ago, they will continue to get more accurate and comprehensive, simplifying how we navigate and interact with an ever-changing world.

                    So, how do we build a high quality map and keep it fresh? At the core of the process is our innovative collection technologies blended with a team of local experts.

                    Using their intimate knowledge of local road networks and surrounding areas, these experts, who drive millions of roadways each year, use specially equipped vehicles to collect and verify location data.

                    Depending on local conditions, product requirements and a variety of other factors, the local drivers use distinct collection technology, ranging from highly mobile pedestrian collection tools to the sophisticated NAVTEQ True technology.

                    NAVTEQ True is actually composed of four unique technologies:

                    • 360° LIDAR: Rotating lasers capture 1.3 million 3D digital data points every second, which generates a virtual 3D model of the world around the vehicle.

                    • Position Sensors: GPS and military grade Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) sensors measure the vehicle’s speed, orientation and even gravitational forces to provide highly precise location references to every point within the virtual 3D model.

                    • Panoramic Cameras: These cameras layer in a 360° images synchronized to the 3D LIDAR points—giving us the most true to life representation of the world

                    • High Resolution Multi-View Cameras: High-resolution images give us the opportunity to increase automation so we can more quickly bring advanced location content to more people.

                      Worldwide, NAVTEQ True technology is gathering an immense amount of data.

                      For instance, in one single day, we might collect 12 million signage images, two million panoramic images, a trillion LIDAR points, and 65 million million (65,000,000,000,000!) colour pixels. We’re not just taking pictures of the world; we’re creating a new data model of the world.

                      With this level of high quality data, NAVTEQ True technology is capturing real world dimension, fueling more realistic and interactive experiences. With data collected by NAVTEQ True, you can explore the world more easily and in a whole new way – you can instantly see all the best places to eat and things to do and see it right on your phone’s camera display. It’s like having x-ray vision, revealing the hidden spots you might otherwise miss. 

                      You can experience an implementation example of the collected data in 3D with Nokia City Lens for Nokia Lumia. Simply by following the instructions on the right.

                      I will add to that the following NAVTEQ video giving more explanation about the excellence of Nokia’s mapping technology:
                      Building the most accurate and fresh map [NAVTEQCompany YouTube channel, Oct 5, 2012]

                      Discover what is behind the collection process of NAVTEQ Maps, and how our expert team uses cutting edge technology to create maps that are more precise and rich in details than ever before.

                      Frequently Asked Questions: Maps on Windows Phone 8 [Nokia Conversations, Oct 31, 2012]

                      Compass

                      With Windows Phone 8 officially introduced last Monday and the first smartphones based on this platform being shipped or reviewed, it’s time to have a quick overview of its location-based apps and experiences.

                      As you may already know, Nokia is delivering the backbone for all location experiences on Windows Phone 8 and offering Nokia Drive to all Windows Phone 8 partners, empowering this new OS with voice guided turn-by-turn car navigation.

                      Since we made these announcements, some legitimate questions have been asked on Twitter, on this blog and in the first reviews of Windows Phone 8. I would therefore like to summarize them and provide some clarification.

                      What does it mean that the Nokia Location Platform is powering the Windows Phone 8 ecosystem?

                      It basically means that location-based apps for Windows Phone 8 developed by Nokia (e.g. Nokia Maps, Nokia Drive, Nokia City Lens and Nokia Transport), apps developed by Microsoft (e.g. Bing Maps) and apps by any other developer make use of basic functionalities provided by Nokia.

                      It also means that some features like offline maps are now completely embedded into Windows Phone 8. You can find this option in your smartphone settings.

                      WIndows Phone 8 Start Screen Windows Phone 8 Settings

                      Is Nokia Maps on all Windows Phone 8 smartphones?

                      The Nokia Location Platform is powering the Windows Phone 8 ecosystem, not Nokia Maps, which is an app. On non-Nokia Windows Phone 8 smartphones, the default mapping application is Windows Phone Maps. This is running on top of our map data. It is using our geocoding, our traffic information and our routes, but it’s ultimately developed by Windows Phone, with a custom UI, search and POI database.

                      Where is turn-by-turn navigation?

                      Nokia Drive is the application that provides voice-guided turn-by-turn car navigation on Nokia smartphones and with Windows Phone 8 it’s also being made available to other manufacturers. Nokia Drive has been rewritten from the ground up specifically for Windows Phone 8, to leverage the power of this OS and offering new features.

                      We are currently testing it and a beta version will be made available very soon. On a Nokia smartphone like Nokia Lumia 920, you will find a tile on the start screen that will take you to the Windows Phone Store to download Nokia Drive Beta. Other manufacturers and Microsoft will decide in which countries and on which devices Nokia Drive will be offered to their customers.

                      You will be very pleased to know that some of the features you have requested the most, spoken street names and route planning options to avoid toll roads, ferries, etc., have been included in this release. However, while currently in beta, Nokia Drive for Windows Phone 8 won’t support My Commute just yet and we strongly suggest you to make use of the offline maps to enjoy your travels.

                      What’s new in Nokia Maps for Windows Phone 8?

                      On Nokia smartphones with Windows Phone 8, the default mapping application is Nokia Maps. We’ve been working hard during the past few months to develop a great new release specifically for Windows Phone 8. In a previous blog post I’ve explained all the features we are including in Nokia Maps for Windows Phone 8 or currently working on.

                      While the first version of Nokia Maps for Windows Phone 8 was being preinstalled on our newest smartphones (v 2.9), we were already working on an update with even more features. This is why, when you first start your new Nokia smartphone with Windows Phone 8, we encourage you to immediately update Nokia Maps and enjoy all the latest features (v 3.0).

                      In a nutshell, you won’t only be able to use offline maps but also offline search and routing, also for public transport. You can use turn-by-turn walk navigation or start Nokia Drive to get voice-guided, turn-by-turn car navigation. Last but not least, you will also find your way indoors with the support of venue maps in almost 18,000 buildings in 40 countries (and counting).

                      ‘Nokia Maps offers the most advanced mobile maps offering to consumers today with largest global coverage, highest quality mapping data and true offline availability’ said Francisco Jeronimo, Research Manager, European Mobile Devices, IDC. 

                      Nokia Maps Starbucks in Manhattan Nokia Maps Navigation

                      What’s new in Nokia Transport for Windows Phone 8?

                      Nokia Transport (aka Nokia Transit in North America) has also been updated with great new features. Just like Nokia Maps, we started working on a new version of Nokia Transport immediately after preinstalling it on the Nokia smartphones with Windows Phone 8. This is why you will find an update in the Windows Phone Store in coming days.

                      With the new version of Nokia Transport for Windows Phone 8, automatic over-the-air updates help ensure you have the latest information on schedules and routes as well as on newly supported cities. You can now get a combined segment map and detail view to orient yourself at a glance: just tap or swipe a specific segment of your journey to expand an intuitive map and detail view that easily lets you see where you are and where you need to be.

                      New display settings will give you the options to select miles or kilometers, the time of departure or the time you have until the next departure and plan ahead by setting time and date of your journey.  From Nokia Transport, you can now also launch the turn-by-turn walk navigation provided by Nokia Maps to get to the next stop or to your final destination. The search history has also been redesigned to be easier to use and to support entries management. For example, you can now manually delete previous searches and keep the history tidier.

                      Nokia Transport Overview

                      What is Nokia City Lens?

                      Nokia City Lens turns sight into the next interface for searching the world around you. The app provides information about each building or landmark in the area, giving people an at-a-glance understanding of what restaurants, museums, shops and others places of interest are nearby. Seeing a place of interest through augmented reality provides a wealth of information not available with the naked eye, allowing you to see the world around you using your smartphone instead of having to perform web searches.

                      The technology powering Nokia City Lens is particularly advanced and accurate. We are capturing real world dimension, fueling more realistic and interactive experiences. It’s like having X-ray vision, revealing hidden spots you might otherwise miss.

                      Nokia City Lens comes preinstalled on Nokia smartphones with Windows Phone 8 and we are already busy working on the next release, which you can learn more in this previous blog post.

                      Image credit: Walt Stoneburner

                      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

                      Nokia’s strategy for “the next billion” based on software and web optimization with super low-cost 2.5/2.75G SoCs

                      Preliminary reading: Smarterphone end-to-end software solution for “the next billion” Nokia users [Jan 9-11, 2012]

                      With today’s news that Nokia reportedly to release 2.5G, 2.75G chip orders to Taiwan firms [Feb 14, 2012] (see below among the SoC-related set of information) we have all the details of Nokia’s strategy for “the next billion”. Below you can find all of that according to the title of this collection post.

                      Update Nokia makes internet access faster and easier with new browser for Series 40 devices [Nokia press release, April 23, 2012]

                      – Nokia Browser 2.0 delivers enhanced speeds and a new user interface for a faster, better way to explore the web
                      – Powered by cloud-based servers, it delivers accelerated browsing and reduces data consumption by up to 90%, without compromising the internet experience
                      – Web apps from the expanding catalog are easier than ever to explore and install right in the browser

                      Espoo, Finland – Nokia has today announced the availability of Nokia Browser 2.0, a major update dedicated to Nokia Series 40 devices. 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.

                      With this update, developers will find new monetization capabilities, more extensive user interface options for their web apps and productivity improvements for Nokia Web Tools so they can continue delivering engaging, connected experiences to the ‘Next Billion’ consumers.

                      The update supports all forms of Series 40: Touch, QWERTY and Non-Touch, including the Nokia Asha range, as well as popular devices such as the Nokia C3-00, Nokia C2-03 and Nokia X3-02. The update will be pre-loaded on some current and all future Nokia Series 40 devices, while for existing users the update arrives as a free, optional over-the-air download. New users can download it from the Nokia Store. The browser is available in 87 languages in over 200 countries and territories.

                      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.

                      “With our new version, we’ve created a newer, faster, better browsing experience. As many consumers around the world will experience the internet for the first time through a mobile phone, this is a great step towards our goal to connect the ‘Next Billion’,” explains Dieter May, senior vice president of mobile phones services, Nokia.

                      New in the Nokia Browser 2.0

                      1. Faster browsing with speed improvements throughout the experience.
                      2. Easier access to new and popular Web apps to enable a richer and more engaging internet experience.
                      3. New, intuitive user interface offers one click access to search, most popular content and most valuable features.
                      4. Media handling enhancements provide an easier way to enjoy video, audio and images. Users can download in background mode while continuing to browse the web or queue downloads for later when performance or rates are better.  Downloads can be saved to memory cards or phone memory for later offline viewing or listening.
                      5. One-click share on Social Networks by remembering Facebook and/or Twitter login to easily share any page URL and comments from your browser.

                      Developers can find out more about how the updated browser will enable them to build rich standards-based web apps at: http://www.developer.nokia.com/Develop/Series_40/Series_40_web_apps/.
                      Consumers can download the Nokia Browser 2.0 at: http://store.nokia.com/content/51924

                      Update from Nokia’s CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results – Earnings Call Transcript [Seeking Alpha, April 19, 2012]

                      … In the area of Mobile Phones, we continue to renew our Series 40 portfolio. For example, we recognized the need for dual SIM and delivered 8 dual SIM devices over the past year. We delivered consumers more aspirational designs and experiences through 7 new Asha products. The Net Promoter Scores for some Asha devices are the highest we’ve had for Mobile Phones products.

                      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.

                      We released a new version of Nokia Life, which delivers education, health, agriculture and entertainment services via SMS. And we delivered a new proxy browser, and we’re now bringing the browser and web apps down to super low-end devices. However, as we highlighted last week, there are still areas where our future phone portfolio is at a competitive disadvantage. We plan to address some of these issues in Q2.

                      That being said, the structural shift from feature phones towards low-priced smartphones is a challenge. Our increased investments in Mobile Phones R&D are intended to address these challenges. …

                      From Q&A part of that:

                      … we’ve been taking some very deliberate steps to not only pick up the pace, but to make it easier to accelerate the pace around the development in Series 40. I mentioned as one example, the acquisition of Smarterphone in this space to give us more flexibility and speed as it relates to the user interface elements, for example, of that platform. So this is — it’s a good example of something where, from a code and engineering perspective, we’re paying off a bit of a debt and having to catch up and accelerate. But you’re seeing the progress being made. But still in the near term, it causes us some problems, which is what gives me some confidence that we can continue to catch up and address those challenges. It’s just that the competition is ahead of us in a couple of spots, and we’ve got to nail that. …

                      Update: Relevant excerpts from the Nokia 2011 fiscal year report [March 8, 2012]

                      Market overview

                      With respect to conventional mobile devices, it is still commonplace for the market to be characterized in terms of feature phones – also sometimes called mobile phones – and smartphones. The distinction between these two classes of mobile products is typically rooted in their differing capabilities in terms of software and hardware, the opportunities they provide for third-party application development, the richness of the experience they offer and the volume of data they process. 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.

                      Whether smartphones or feature phones, mobile devices geared for Internet access and their accompanying Internet data plans are also becoming increasingly affordable and, consequently, they are becoming attractive to a broader range of consumer groups and geographic markets. A notable recent development has been the increased affordability of devices based on the Android platform, which has enabled some vendors to offer smartphones for below EUR 100, excluding taxes and subsidies, and thus address a portion of the market which has been dominated by more basic feature phone offerings. While developed and controlled by Google, Android is made available to others free of charge and a significant part of the source code is available as open source software, which has made entry and expansion in the smartphone market easier for a number of hardware manufacturers which have chosen to join Android’s ecosystem. Users of Android-based devices can access and download applications from the Android Market application store run by Google, so many companies deploying Android have focused their software development efforts around a few elements of the user interface they have the ability to shape as well as focused on exploring new hardware form factors, such as tablets, as they seek to differentiate their offering from that of their competitors also using Android, as well as that of competitors using alternative operating systems, including Nokia. However, in general, we believe product differentiation for Android-based products is challenging, leading to increased commoditization of those devices. We also believe that there is increasing fragmentation in the Android ecosystem, meaning that increasing custom versions of the software could weaken interoperability of applications within that ecosystem.

                      In the feature phone market, other ecosystems have emerged, including that based around Nokia’s own Series 40 feature phone operating system. A growing number of developers are writing Java-based applications for Series 40 which, together with applications and content for Nokia’s Symbian and MeeGo devices, are available through Nokia Store. Another ecosystem is that based around mobile solutions chipsets from low-cost reference design chipset manufacturers which have enabled the very rapid and low-cost production of feature phones by numerous manufacturers in China and India, which are gaining significant market share in emerging markets, as well as bringing some locally relevant innovations to market.

                      Strategy

                      Mobile Phones

                      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.

                      While the broader mobile devices market has often been characterized in terms of smartphones and feature phones, today, however, the distinction between these two classes of products is blurring. Supported by technological and design innovations, Nokia’s portfolio of feature phones has over time become smarter to the extent that today’s feature phone models are increasingly smartphone-like in the functionality and experiences they provide. In the fourth quarter of 2011, we launched the Asha range of Nokia feature phones, which offers access to the Internet, integrated social networking, messaging and access to applications from Nokia Store.

                      Mobile Phones has dedicated research and development teams addressing our short to medium-term needs in product and services development. During 2011, we made changes to our research and development operations for feature phones to reflect and support our new strategy, including ensuring that each research and development site has a clear focus and that there is greater co-location of our teams. The major Mobile Phones research and development sites for our feature phones are in Beijing in China, Oulu in Finland, and Ulm in Germany.

                      ….

                      Competition

                      …  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 general, we believe product differentiation with Android is more challenging, leading to increased commoditization of these devices and the resulting downward pressure on pricing.  …

                      We also face intense competition in feature phones where a different type of ecosystem from that of smartphones is emerging involving very low-cost components and manufacturing processes, with speed to market and attractive pricing being critical success factors. In particular, the availability of complete mobile solutions chipsets from low-cost reference design chipset manufacturers has lowered the barriers of market entry and enabled the very rapid and low-cost production of feature phones by numerous manufacturers in China and India, which are gaining significant market share in emerging markets, as well as bringing some locally relevant innovations to market. Such manufacturers have also demonstrated that they have significantly lower gross margin expectations than we do.

                      We also face competition from vendors of unlicensed and counterfeit products with manufacturing facilities primarily centered around certain locations in Asia and other emerging markets which produce inexpensive devices with sometimes low quality and limited after-sales services that take advantage of commercially-available free software and other free or low-cost components, software and content. In addition, we compete with non-branded feature phone manufacturers, including mobile network operators, which offer mobile devices under their own brand, as well as providers of specific hardware and software layers within products and services at the level of those layers rather than solely at the level of complete products and services and their combinations. In the future, we may face competition from established Internet companies seeking to offer smartphones under their own brand.

                      Principal Factors & Trends Affecting our Results of Operations

                      Devices & Service

                      Increased Pervasiveness of Smartphones and Smartphone-like Experiences Across the Price Spectrum

                      During the past year, we saw the increasing availability of more affordable smartphones, particularly Android-based smartphones, connected devices and related services which were able to reach lower price points contributing to a decline in the average selling prices of smartphones in our industry.

                      This trend affects us in two ways. First, it puts pressure on the price of our smartphones and potentially our profitability, as we need to price our smartphones competitively. We currently partially address this with our Symbian device offering in specific regions and distribution channels, and we plan to introduce and bring to markets new and more affordable Nokia products with Windows Phone in 2012, such as the Nokia Lumia 610 announced in February 2012. Second, lower-priced smartphones put pressure on our higher-end feature phone offering from our Mobile Phones unit. We are addressing this with our planned introductions in 2012 of smarter, competitively priced feature phones with more modern user experiences, including software, services and application experiences. 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.

                      There’s something about Mary… [Conversations by Nokia, Jan 3, 2012]

                      Mary McDowell has what might be quaintly called Midwestern values. That’s usually a mixture of what people like most about Americans, including friendliness, honesty, hard work – and not getting too big for your britches.

                      As Nokia’s Executive Vice President in charge of Mobile Phones she’s been responsible for transforming a core division of the company into a remarkable success story, and leading her team through some tough discussions and decisions:

                      “One of the tests of a leader is whether you can give enough space to give smart people to be creative and to drive things – and not have it be all about yourself.

                      I like to have diverse teams with different mindsets, and I like to have robust and challenging conversations because that’s how you get to the heart of issues.”

                      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, a nice display… and these are all things we can, and do, deliver with Series 40,” says McDowell.

                      If Nokia was somewhat slow to appreciate the demands for Dual SIM, McDowell rectified this – and boosted market share – by introducing a wide range of Dual SIM phones with added features like Easy Swap that means people can swap SIM cards without turning off their handset.

                      Understanding the importance of Dual SIM came about, partly, by going out into the field and listening to consumers. She understands that, “it’s all very well making decisions in headquarters, but when you’re really talking with someone it sticks with you.”

                      mary mcdowell sitting

                      Last year, McDowell visited all five continents and took all her managers to India. In the first three months of 2012 she is due to visit China, Russia and Vietnam. These trips, and in-depth research, have had a profound impact on Nokia’s mobile phone unit:

                      “Look at the Asha 200, McDowell says. “Those came about because we spent time in Jakarta – and they were telling us ‘This region is mad for qwerty – everyone texts and IMs’. So they said, ‘What can you do that makes something colourful and compelling that responds to this need?’ These phones were really designed with those guys in mind….”

                      Research in India led to the development of loud speakers for better music performance, while meeting a beautician in Nairobi confirmed McDowell’s belief in in the importance of social networking and internet access for everyone:

                      “She told me she had 1,000 friends on Facebook. I thought, oh ok – I only have about 200. But it’s such an important part of how they live their lives, it’s how they connect – they have no access to computers, phones are their life line.”

                      Providing those services in an affordable and accessible way for people in growing markets is a key part of what makes Nokia different, and gives added value beyond the phones themselves:

                      “We’re ramping up the Nokia Browser, which provides great data compression. We’re hoping to do even more with that capabilitybecause the cost saving and access it can bring to consumers is huge.”

                      Nokia Browser compresses and downloads information from the internet by up to 90%, making it a highly cost-effective option for people in developing markets.

                      “We’re also ramping up Life Tools, and what started as focused on rural markets is now going to be focused on urban markets as well.”

                      Nokia Browser, Life Tools and Maps for Series 40 have become hugely popular, with Nokia Browser becoming the fastest growing Nokia service ever and Series 40 products accounting for a third of downloads from the Nokia Store (up from 13% in January 2011)

                      “One of the things were looking at is how do we embed ourselves more with partners, how do we support local internet services – and is there more we could do to tap into local tastes and preferences. We’ve been doing a lot of work to make applications supported better on Series 40.”

                      You’ll be able to get Facebook and other global services, she says, but in addition, “There are things that are peculiar to local markets, and were looking at how that to give that to people.”

                      As a member of the Nokia Board since 2004, McDowell is passionate about this emphasis on product.

                      “It’s been quite a journey,” she admits, “but I think it’s been very healthy in terms of distilling things down to the business essence. Nokia got so consumed with process and detail that we lost sight of products, and the process became the product and so if you ticked all the boxes that was a job well done, even if it wasn’t that great.

                      “Now what matters is what we create, and I think that’s really the right focus.”

                      Nokia’s next billion: Antti Vasara looks to the future for Series 40 [Conversations by Nokia, Jan 26, 2012]

                      GLOBAL – Nokia is celebrating selling 1.5 billion phonesby looking to the future.

                      Antti Vasara

                      “It’s a fun number,” said Antti Vasara, Nokia’s Senior Vice President of Mobile Devices, “and when you start thinking about the impact of 1.5 billion it’s a pretty awesome achievement.”

                      After the toasts were finished, however, Vasara went back to work on how Series 40 could connect another billion people to mobile technology and the internet:

                      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.”

                      A dozen Series 40 and Series 30 phones are sold every second around the world, and 3.5 million apps are downloaded every day.

                      “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 amazing Asha

                      The Nokia Browser exemplifies Nokia’s drive to build smarter phones for everyone, in Vasara’s opinion.

                      “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.”

                      Vasara, and his team, have also been concentrating on making Series 40 feel like “phones that are speaking your language.”

                      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.

                      Even though selling 1.5 billion Series 40 phones is a wonderful milestone, it is the development of the platform and the product that gives Antti Vasara a sense of achievement:

                      “My proudest moment was actually producing the first Dual SIM device,” he says. “We were getting a lot of heat about it, and it was a huge priority – but the timing was so tight and we had many moments when we thought we couldn’t make it. But we did – on time and with great quality. Now that was a milestone for Series 40.”

                      Comments

                      Vikas Patidar

                      I don’t know why Nokia is touting the the words phones for “Next Billion” people for using internet when this all phones are not able to play videos from internet compared to same old devices which are doing far better job.

                      I just want know the genuine answers from Antti Vasara that is Nokia is making superior products compared to older generation devices?

                      Antti Vasara

                      Vikas,
                      Good points! You are listing some of the things that we indeed plan on fixing.

                      Making affordable phones that give smartphone-LIKE experiences involves making sometimes even painful trade-offs between different features and cost. We can do anything but not everything at the same timethat’s the essence of product making.

                      What we offer in the current Nokia Asha products is a nice combo of applications, Internet experience and contemporary services. Through our Store, people all over the world are downloading more than 3.5 million apps per day. We have put lot of emphasis on providing locally relevant apps so that you can find what is meaningful in your part of the world.

                      However, we also have some of the global phenomenons like Angry Birds available on Asha as well. On the Internet experience side we are very proud of the Nokia Browser. It gives people access to the full web yet doing that in a cost-effective way. The browser can compress data traffic by upto 90% ensuring that your phone bill doesn’t explode. And the specific services we offer like Facebook, Twitter, QQ, Foursquare, Maps, email, etc. give people the tools that most of us are using on a regular basis.

                      We hear you loud and clear on your request for more. Rest assured that we are working very hard to bring many new experiences and cool stuff to Asha throughout this year!

                      The SoCs

                      Nokia reportedly to release 2.5G, 2.75G chip orders to Taiwan firms [Feb 14, 2012]

                      Nokia reportedly has begun design-in with Taiwan-based MediaTek and MStar Semiconductor for chipset solutions used in 2.5G and 2.75G handsets, with one or both of them expected to land orders for the vendor’s new models scheduled for launch in the second half of 2012, according to industry sources.

                      In response, MediaTek and MStar both said they are constantly contacted by contract makers of the international vendor, without elaborating further.

                      Nokia is actively seeking chip partners who can help significantly lower its production costs, the sources pointed out. Both MediaTek and MStar, which specialize in the design and development of low-cost handset solutions, and have expertise in making end products differentiated from others, are pinpointed as Nokia’s new potential partners.

                      MediaTek and MStar had been approached by Nokia since 2010, but failed to work out ways to cooperate due to the low ROI considered by both IC firms, the sources indicated. Nokia had previously requested the two chip firms to develop software and firmware solutions for its operating system, while requiring very low quotes from them.

                      The sources identify MediaTek as the most likely supplier for Nokia’s upcoming models. MediaTek has thus far shipped more than one billion chip solutions for 2.5G and 2.75G devices, and can better utilize its existing well-built distribution channels in China and other emerging markets as well as sufficient R&D resources, the sources said.

                      China market: Chip demand for 2.5G/2.75G handsets falling [Feb 1, 2012]

                      Demand for 2.5G and 2.75G handset solutions is falling in China due to growth in the penetration rates for 3G and smartphones in the region, according to sources at white-box handset companies. Thanks to subsidies offered by local telecom carriers, sales of 3G models in China have grown substantially, the sources said.

                      Sources at Taiwan-based IC designers which mostly target China’s white-box handset suppliers have also indicated that many customers decide to promote 3G phones by discontinuing development projects for 2.5G/2.75G models ahead of schedule. Reducing orders for feature phones are likely to affect their sales performance during the first quarter of 2012.

                      Companies that might see impact from the fall in 2.5G/2.75G handset demand include MediaTek, MStar Semiconductor, Sitronix Technology, ILI Technology and Novatek Microelectronics, industry sources in Taiwan said. The firms’ revenues are expected to register sequential decreases of 5-15% in the first quarter of 2012, according to the sources.

                      Despite the shrinking feature phone market in China, Africa, Eastern Europe, Middle East and South America have been identified as the major markets for 2.5G/2.75G handsets in 2012, the sources pointed out.

                      MediaTek posts over 30% sales drop in January [Feb 6, 2012]

                      Fabless IC firm MediaTek has announced consolidated revenues of NT$5.16 billion (US$174 million) for January 2012, down 30.9% on month and 31.5% on year. The figure also hit the lowest monthly level since February 2011.

                      MediaTek president Hsieh Ching-chiang said at the company’s recent investors meeting that first-quarter sales would be affected by slow demand for feature phonesas well as fewer working days and seasonality. However, Hsieh expressed optimism about the company’s smartphone-chip shipments during the first quarter.

                      MediaTek has guided consolidated sales would be between NT$19.2 billion and NT$20.4 billion in the first quarter, down 10-15% on quarter.

                      MediaTek sees 10-15% sequential drop in 1Q12 sales [Feb 4, 2012]

                      IC design house MediaTek expects its consolidated revenues to decrease 10-15% sequentially in the first quarter of 2012 with gross margin slipping to 42-44% from 44.2% in the fourth quarter. A continued slowdown in feature phone demand as well as fewer working days and seasonality will cause the sales drop during the quarter, according to company president Hsieh Ching-chiang.

                      MediaTek’s consolidated revenues for the fourth quarter of 2011 slid 3.2% on quarter to NT$22.63 billion (US$768.5 million), slightly below its targeted NT$22.9-24.5 billion. The company attributed the sequential drop to low seasonal demand. Net profits for the quarter declined 28.3% sequentially to NT$2.92 billion, or NT$2.64 a share compared to NT$3.69 in the prior quarter.

                      Demand for 2.5G handset chips and other solutions used in TV, optical storage, and DVD and Blu-ray disc products will be slow during the off-season, MediaTek pointed out. In the fourth quarter, sales of handset chips accounted for 60-65% of company revenues while those of other non-handset use product lines made up the remainder.

                      However, sales of MediaTek’s smartphone 3G chips will climb to 8-10 million units in the first quarter, up more than 10% from the six million shipped in the fourth quarter of 2011. The company projects its total smartphone-chip shipments will top 50 million units in 2012, compared to about 10 million units in 2011.

                      Meanwhile, MediaTek expects its 2.5G chip shipments to stay similar to the level of about 550 million units in 2011.

                      MStar breaks into Nokia supply chain, says report [Feb 8, 2012]

                      IC design house MStar Semiconductor reportedly has entered the supply chain of Nokia with its 2G baseband chips, according to a Chinese-language Commercial Times report. Shipments are expected to kick off as early as mid-2012, said the report, without citing its sources.

                      Nokia demands about 100 million 2G handset solutions per year, the report indicated. Orders from the handset vendor will significantly boost MStar’s sales generated from its handset-chip business, which currently accounts for less than 10% of company revenues, the report said.

                      MStar shares rose 3.4% to close at NT$197 (US$6.68) on the Taiwan Stock Exchange on February 7. The price continued its rally to US$203 during the morning session of February 8.

                      MStar sees 8-13% sales drop in 1Q12 [Feb 10, 2012]

                      MStar Semiconductor expects its consolidated revenues to decrease 8-13% sequentially in the first quarter of 2012, citing low seasonal demand. But sales for all of the year should see another positive growth driven by brisk shipments to the TV and wireless sectors, according to company chairman Wayne Liang.

                      MStar generated consolidated revenues of NT$9.8 billion (US$325 million) in the fourth quarter of 2011, up 5.1% on month and 20.6% from a year ago. Net profits for the quarter grew 2.8% sequentially and 6% on year to NT$1.66 billion. EPS for the quarter came to NT$3.14.

                      MStar’s consolidated sales for all of 2011grew 6.2%, while fellow company MediaTek posted a sales drop of 23.5% on year. MStar saw its net profits slip 4.8% from a year earlier while net profits at MediaTek registered a larger 56% decline from 2010 levels.

                      MStar is looking to grab a larger share of the global TV chip market in 2012, said Liang, adding that it held a 55-56% share in 2011 with shipments reaching 128 million units. Though the worldwide flat-panel TV market for 2012 will enjoy a slower growth of less than 10%, the number of TV chip suppliers is expected to reduce allowing MStar to further maintain its leading position, Liang stated.

                      MStar disclosed that sales of TV chips accounted for 65-70% of company revenues in 2011, followed by handset products with 10-15%.

                      Handset chips played as the fast-growing product line for MStar in 2011, Liang noted. The company shipped a total of 50 million handset solutions in 2011, which should have boosted its 2G market share to 15%, according to Liang.

                      MStar is gearing up for mass production of its 3G solutions for smartphones in the second half of 2012, Liang said. With the China market set to enter its transition to 3G in 2012, MStar’s handset chip business will continue to expand, Liang added.

                      In addition, MStar expects to receive increasing orders for set-top box (STB) chips in 2012, thanks to growing demand in emerging markets, according to Liang.

                      The web software

                      Nokia sharpens focus to connect next billion to the Internet [Nokia press release, Sept 15, 2010]


                      Ovi Mail

                      Ovi Browser in Beta
                      Through its recent acquisition of Novarra, Nokia brings new browser technology and the power of cloud services to Series 40, enabling more Internet users in emerging markets to get more out of what the Web has to offer. Ovi Browser is now in beta release and makes Series 40 browsing faster, more affordable, easier to use, and more personalized.

                      Ovi Music

                      Ovi Store on Series 40

                      Nokia completes acquisition of Novarra [Nokia press release, April 9, 2010]

                      Espoo, Finland – Nokia today announced that it has completed the acquisition of Novarra, Inc., initially announced on March 26, 2010.

                      Novarra’s mobile browser and services platform will be used by Nokia to deliver enhanced Internet experiences on Nokia Series 40 mobile phones.

                      Nokia acquires Novarra [Nokia press release, March 26, 2010]

                      Browser service technology will provide improved mobile web experience on mainstream mobile phones

                      Espoo, Finland – Nokia today announced it has signed an agreement to acquire 100% of the outstanding shares of Novarra, Inc., a privately-held company based in Chicago, IL. Novarra is a provider of a mobile browser and service platform and has more than 100 employees. Novarra’s mobile browser and services platform will be used by Nokia to deliver enhanced Internet experiences on Nokia mobile devices. Novarra has deployed their solution with leading mobile operator and internet services customers globally.

                      Connecting the next billion consumers to the Internet will happen primarily on mobile devices,” said Niklas Savander, Executive Vice President, Services, Nokia, “and delivering an optimized internet experience on our devices is core to our mission. By driving innovation in all segments of our portfolio, we are building one of the largest consumer audiences for web services and content. Novarra’s Internet services technology delivered on the world’s most widely-used mobile platform, Nokia’s Series 40, will help us achieve this.”

                      Nokia expects a new service offering utilizing the Novarra technology platform to be available later this year. The acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of 2010, and is subject to the customary closing conditions, including regulatory reviews. Following the acquisition, Novarra will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nokia.

                      About Nokia
                      At Nokia, we are committed to connecting people. We combine advanced technology with personalized services that enable people to stay close to what matters to them. Every day, more than 1.2 billion people connect to one another with a Nokia device – from mobile phones to advanced smartphones and high-performance mobile computers. Today, Nokia is integrating its devices with innovative services through Ovi (www.ovi.com), including music, maps, apps, email and more. Nokia’s NAVTEQ is a leader in comprehensive digital mapping and navigation services, while Nokia Siemens Networks provides equipment, services and solutions for communications networks globally.

                      About Novarra
                      Novarra, the Internet Mobility company, provides high performance mobile internet browsers and platforms for operators, handset manufacturers and internet brands to create new services and revenue streams for smartphones, features phones and mobile broadband devices. The solutions deliver a high quality mobile user experience for services including full rich web browsing, search, widgets, apps, video and advertising. Global, commercial deployments over eight years have proven consumer satisfaction, uptake and increased data service revenues. http://www.novarra.com/

                      Novarra Inc. [Wikipedia article, exerpted on Feb 14, 2012]

                      Novarra is a mobile internet software company founded in 2000 and based in Itasca, IL, USA.

                      Mobile internet access services based upon the Novarra Vision mobile internet and multimedia platform have been deployed in the US, Europe and Asia by service providers including Yahoo, Vodafone, Verizon Wireless, Turkcell, Hutchison 3G, Sprint Nextel, US Cellular and others on mobile phones, smartphones and PDAs from Nokia, LG Group, Samsung Mobile, Motorola Mobile Devices, Palm (PDA), Research In Motion, ZTE Corporation, Sony Ericsson, Kyocera Wireless, and other manufacturers.

                      How Nokia Turbocharges Web Browsing on Its Phones [PC Magazine, Oct 26, 2011]

                      LONDON—Amazon Silk? Opera Mini? Pshaw, says Nokia’s Randy Cavaiani. We’ve been doing that for years.

                      Amazon Silk is effectively the technology we’ve had for a couple of years now,” said Cavaiani, the director of market solutions for Nokia Browser Services. “And we can more closely couple the experience to hardware.”

                      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.

                      That results in up to a 90 percent reduction in data usage and much faster page loads, especially over slow networks, Cavaiani said. What’s more, Nokia could bring the technology to its Windows Phones, too—though Cavaiani made sure to note that the company isn’t currently working on doing so. That could make Nokia Windows Phones faster at Web browsing on slow networks, like Sprint’s currently struggling 3G network.

                      “It’s technically possible, because our server can assist any native browser,” he said.

                      How Nokia’s Browser Works
                      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.

                      Brilliant browsing on the new Nokia Asha [Conversations by Nokia, Nov 21, 2011]

                      Nokia Browser for Series 40 is the engine behind an improved internet experience on Nokia’s new Asha 200, 201, 300 and 303 mobile phones announced October 2011. The Browser uses cloud technology to speed page loads, reduce data transfer while providing access to more and richer web pages and web apps. Consumers in emerging markets can stay connected using Nokia Browser on Asha phones, sharing on social networks and enjoying videos and other media. Learn more at http://browser.nokia.com/Series40

                      GLOBALGood news for anyone planning to surf the Web using the brand new Nokia Asha phones for Series 40 – they’ve been designed to give you a better all-round internet experience with more of what you want, faster and cheaper.

                      Nokia have designed the new Asha family specifically for people in emerging markets where expensive and time consuming downloading has been limiting everyone’s internet use for years. For many, the phones will provide their owners with their only access to the Internet.

                      We know people want to get online fast, whether you’re looking for a shoe store in Caracas, meeting a friend in Mumbai or checking out your friend’s baby pictures from Taiwan.

                      The Nokia Browser uses cloud-based servers with high speed internet connections to collect the data and then transform it to the best version for a mobile phone, compressing the data by up to 90%.

                      But what you really need to know is that it will take seconds, not minutes, to check out what your friends are doing on social networking, and start sharing links, photos and videos. While you’re online the browser will show you how much data is being used, so there shouldn’t be any nasty shocks when your bill arrives. Then you can save your money for the things you’d really like to spend it on (like the shoes).

                      Nokia Asha phones with browser

                      Getting online is important, but so is what you see when you get there. No one wants to look at an anonymous landing page or – even worse – a homepage from a country you’ve never been to.

                      The new Nokia Browser comes in 87 different languagesand, wherever you are in the world, you’ll see the news and content that’s relevant to you.

                      These Asha phones are “smart”.Web sites and web apps that might not otherwise be accessible are easy and enjoyable to use on Asha. And for many web content providers, web apps provide an even more elegant experience using swipe touch gestures for fluid page transitions and enhanced with location, SMS or social sharing functionality made possible by the browser’s cloud architecture.

                      Using the new full-screen mode you won’t be squinting at it on a tiny screen, either. You can get rid of background information, like the browser button control bar, and add some extra mm to your screen size – and on a mobile phone that’s going to make being online feel a whole lot better.

                      The Nokia Browser is available on the Asha phones, and up to 40 of the Series 40 phones. You can find out which ones on the product pages.

                      Now everyone can have a fuller, faster – and more affordable – internet experience.

                      Nokia Maps on Series 40 [Conversations by Nokia, Nov 8, 2011]

                      Nokia maps on a Nokia Asha 303
                      GLOBAL – Do you want to go shopping in Warsaw, meet a friend in Jakarta or find the nearest basketball court in Beijing? Or do you just want to show your friends your route home? Nokia Maps on the Series 40, including the new Nokia Asha 303, brings together all of the experiences you need for your life – and it’s preloaded and free.

                      Millions of us are out and about around the world – and we want more than a simple route, we want a full experience.

                      Nokia Maps on the Series 40 has a global range, aimed at local needs – and that’s why it brings free maps covering more than 180 countries, and free turn-by-turn visual routing in more than 100 countries.

                      Using the maps on the new Asha 303 you can find more than 3 million offline points of interest including tourist information centres, sights and museums, restaurants, hotels and shopping.

                      There’s no GPS: The service is specifically designed to use network-based positioning, and offers a lot of features offline to save on data costs and downloading. You can look at a map, or plan your route, offline as the map data is stored on the device itself.

                      Even if you want to go online, we’ve chosen the lowest cost options: The average cost of using the positioning service is the equivalent of sending a standard SMS in India.

                      Maps of your country and region come already loaded, so there’s no need to spend time installing. If you’re planning to go abroad you can add extra maps of the world through Nokia Suite – it’s free, and easy.

                      That’s one of the best things about Nokia Maps: It’s not just about finding out where you are, it’s about giving millions more people the opportunity to discover the world, and share locations with friends and family.

                      We’ve covered 31 million km of roads, and 73 million points of interest – giving Series 40 users exactly the same level of coverage as smartphone users.

                      Let’s just say, we don’t think you’re going to miss much.

                      Series 40 web apps: UI Improvements [nokiadevforum, Dec 2, 2012]

                      Houman Forood, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Nokia provides a guide to the UI improvements that have been introduced in the latest Series 40 web apps environment. You will see many improvements since the initial release. Houman also explains that new UI guidelines are available to assist you in designing web apps for Nokia Series 40 phones.

                      Series 40 web apps technical how to: Geolocation & Maps from Nokia Developer [nokiadevforum, Feb 2, 2012]

                      The Nokia development team shares technical tips on coding interactive map and geolocation services for the Series 40 platform. Using the Nokia web tools development environment, Andrew Knight gives you a quick and informative look at the map-based application possibilities available to you when developing for Nokia Series 40 phones, including the new Asha range. Learn more here: http://developer.nokia.com/Develop/Maps/

                      NOKIA Developer > Develop > Highlights > Web experiences for Series 40 are now even better [Nov 2, 2011]

                      Nokia Browser for Series 40 has been updated, with several new features that will enable you to offer even richer experiences to users of Series 40 phones, on even the lowest bandwidth connections.

                      Your web apps can now determine the location [HTML5 Geolocation] of their user’s phone and you can offer users the ability to send SMS messages directly from your apps. Performance is improved too: images within your web app are cached on the user’s phone making for faster loading and refreshing of content.

                      To complement these new web apps features Nokia Web Tools has been updated too. Now you can simulate location while testing web apps on a computer and resolve code issues faster using the newly enabled debugging features of the integrated Web Inspector.

                      Once you’ve created a web app that differentiates your web content and offers great user engagement, it can be distributed through Nokia Store, exposing it to millions of Series 40 Nokia Store users.

                      Find out more about Series 40 web apps ›
                      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. ”
                      Discover the new features in Nokia Web Tools ›
                      Find out more about distributing through Nokia Store ›
                      Find out more about Nokia Browser for Series 40 ›

                      http://browser.nokia.com/s40-browser.html  [Aug 12, 2011]
                      Nokia Browser for Smartphones & Mobile phones

                      ….

                      Discover the world of apps
                      Discover the world of apps
                      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.

                      Works great on any deviceWorks great on any device

                      Nokia Browser has been designed to work brilliantly on both touchscreen and traditional keypad mobile phones. Browse with ease using the large, responsive touch screen controls, and enjoy intuitive, lightening fast navigation and scrolling on keypad devices.

                      Fast and easy to useFast and easy to use
                      Search for content or enter Web addresses right from the start page. As you type, the predictive input technologywill provide a list of recently input keywords and URLs, enabling you to type less, and load your content even faster.

                      If your favourite site isn’t optimised for mobile, Nokia Browser’s smart rendering technology will create a thumbnail overview of each page, enabling you to quickly scan pages on even the most complex web sites. To zoom in, simple tap the content you want to read.

                      Senior Software Engineer – Java-SWA0000004P [Careers at Nokia, Jan 20, 2012]Software Engineer – Java-SWA00000048 [Careers at Nokia, Jan 21, 2012]

                      Nokia is a pioneer in mobile telecommunications and the world’s leading maker of mobile devices. Today, we are at the forefront of the mobile internet revolution, fusing advanced mobile technology with personalized services to enable people to stay close to what matters to them.

                      • Want to have an immediate impact on a billion people?
                      • Interested in creating software for the most widely used mobile phone platform in the world?
                      • Widgets, Apps, Social Networking, E-mail, Maps, Video, Browsing on Mobile Phones – we make it possible!

                      This team at Nokia has enabled millions of mobile phone users worldwide to perform their favorite activities on the web. As part of our plan to reach the next billion consumers, we need to expand our service offerings.

                      As a proven leader in providing high performance, next generation mobile internet solutions, this team within Nokia is seeking a Software Engineer with Java / C++ experience . You’ll work with highly motivated team members who possess a passion for excellence, developing innovative, creative solutions in a fast-paced environment. Our solutions need to exceed consumer expectations in order to provide the best-in-class possible internet experience in the market.

                      Responsibilities

                      • Work in the Nokia Browser [Novarra] team creating the browsing experience for millions of Nokia S40 devices
                      • Be on a team chartered with enabling and growing a mobile app ecosystemfor millions of worldwide users and developers
                      • Research, design, and implement complex software solutions
                      • Be on the leading edge of integrating internet technologies, cell phones, and wireless networks
                      • Be a part of the team creating the next generation user experiencefor cell phones
                      • Work with Nokia development teams around the world to extend mobile phone services
                      • Utilize location based services and cloud services in your solutions

                      Qualifications

                      Required:

                      • Java or C++ development experience
                      • Experience with internet technologies (ie. web services, HTML, XML, CSS, AJAX, JavaScript, HTTP, xHTML, DHTML, etc.)
                      • Ability to be deep and thorough with product code to optimize performance
                      • Proven experience writing software for large scale deployments
                      • Possess excellent verbal and written English communication skills
                      • Minimum 2 years work development experience
                      • BS / MS in Computer Science or Computer Engineering

                      Desirable:

                      • Mobile device development background a plus
                      • Agile methodology experience a plus
                      • Experience creating Web Apps
                      • Experience with IDEs and SDKs
                      • Interest in pushing the limits on mobile device software
                      • Experience working through tradeoffs and constraints during Design and Planning phases

                      Job
                      Research & Development

                      Primary Location
                      US-Itasca [Novarra]

                      Organization
                      Mobile Phones

                      Schedule
                      Full-time

                      Intern Position at Nokia (Itasca, IL) [Careers at Nokia, Feb 8, 2012] [Novarra]

                      Nokia is seeking software engineering interns to work on a web platform for the Nokia Browser Services [Novarra] organization impacting future Nokia products. You will perform design, development and implementation of our web browser environments for Nokia mobile devices. Your work will be central to Nokia’s objective to connect the next billion to the web via handsets worldwide.

                      You will work with a team focused on innovation team to design, implement, and test novel solutions to complex problems in the rapidly evolving mobile industry. This role will require understanding an existing code base and leverage external web services from other Nokia divisions as well as 3rd party services. Creative thinking, technical flexibility and a passion for cutting edge web technologies are a must.

                      Responsibilities:
                      – Working in a prototype creation project with design, implementation and integration responsibilities
                      – Collaborating with software developers and design engineers to quickly deliver prototypes
                      – Work with internal and external APIs

                      Qualifications:
                      – Must be enrolled in current accredited graduate or undergraduate program within Computer Science or related field
                      – Working knowledge of web technologies HTML/JavaScript/CSS/XML
                      – Experience developing a web service with one or more of the following: Apache, Tomcat, PHP, JSP, Ruby on Rails, or a similar equivalent.
                      – Working knowledge of Unix operating systems
                      – Experience with mobile phone environments and application development a plus
                      – Academic experience with Java and other object oriented design languages
                      – Proven ability to work within and extend current technology
                      – Strong team player as well as ability to work independently

                      Desirable:
                      Good graphical skills, Adobe Photoshop experience a plus

                      Job
                      Research & Development

                      Primary Location
                      US-Itasca [Novarra]

                      Organization
                      Mobile Phones

                      Schedule
                      Part-time

                      1st W3C conference for Web developers and designers

                      14 Sep: W3C is holding its 1st web developer conference in Seattle! Nov 15-16

                      19 Sep: We may talk a bit about semantic web and metadata, such as RDFa, microdata, and microformats, but the focus is on client-side tech @zaythar

                      7 Oct: Registration for W3Conf opens today. Only $199 for 2 days of Web tech awesomeness. Limited to 250 seats, so register early! #w3conf #HTML5

                      As referred by Jeff Jaffe on Successes and Challenges slides at TPAC 2011 (31 Oct to 4 Nov 2011 in Santa Clara, California)

                      If you are a developer or designer wanting to hear the latest news on HTML5 and the open web platform, and your place in it, save the date.

                      http://www.w3.org/conf/
                      W3Conf: Practical Standards for Web Professionals
                      2011: HTML5 and the Open Web Platform

                      W3Conf has industry leaders speaking on a wide variety of topics that every developer needs to know: HTML5, APIs and Javascript, graphics, accessibility, CSS, and much more.

                      We have selected speakers on an invitation-only basis to deliver the most educational and entertaining experience for our audience on the topics we felt were the most pressing for Web developers and designers today.

                      http://www.w3.org/conf/#presentations [downloads and video recordings]

                      Below is a rearranged for reading and highlighted copy of the live blog of the conference by Manu Sporny:

                      W3Conf LiveBlog – Day One [Manu Sporny, Digital Bazaar, Nov 15, 2011]

                      Ian Jacobs (W3C): Welcome: Contributing to Open Standards

                      Focus on why developers are key to W3C and the future of the Web. W3C doing standards since mid 1990s – learned a great deal in that time: You have to have the right people involved. Who the right people are changes over time. Consensus building takes a lot of time, but you can’t let it go on forever – there is a balance. Royalty-free patent policy is important. Use cases and real-world developer stories are needed. Tests are needed for proper implementation. Developer buy-in is very important.

                      Continuing improvements at W3C is important – HTML5 logo, community groups, Unicorn testing framework, training material – useful documentation for developers/designers.

                      Community groups – important for bringing new work to W3C. This conference is a call for action – for web developers to get more involved in W3C.

                      Video of Tim Berners Lee (W3C):

                      Asks people here to have fun. Keep the Web open – use open standards. Do really exciting things – HTML5 and Web Apps – the platform allows you to do things that were only possible via native apps before.

                      Try to focus on Web Apps – not native apps. Being part of the Web is more powerful than creating siloed apps. Bit by bit – everything that you can do on a native app, you will be able to do via a Web Apps. By making Web Apps – you are helping to keep the Web open.

                      Keeping the Web open has always been a battle – we have to fight for openness.

                      Philippe Le Hégaret (W3C): Testing to Perfection

                      Asks audience to raise their hand if somebody has ever logged a browser bug (very few people raise their hands). “How many of you expect the web to work?”. Laughs from the audience.

                      Shows a testing example on CSS – asks audience what’s going to happen. Nobody seems to know. Different browsers show a different result… 25% of browsers will not work. This is what we would like to improve. Replaces test DIV elements with SPAN elements… invalid document, but will still render, but not exactly the same.

                      When testing, you find yourself in a lot of situations where it’s difficult to tell what should happen. We are not testing one spec with HTML5 – we are testing CSS, HTML5, JavaScript APIs, lots of things. Different levels of stability – difficult to synchronize between specs. Need web developers to participate.

                      Is testing to perfection possible? No. Testing is an approximation.

                      Lots of it can be automated, but a lot of it cannot. We need help testing plenty of combinations – HTML, HTML+SVG, DOm manipulation, CSS combinations. We’ll never get 100% coverage – but we still need to set a goal. Who are we testing for?

                      We are testing for the people that use this technology – manufacturers, spec editors, content providers, people using the Web… etc.

                      Manu Sporny (Digital Bazaar): Community Groups: A case study with Web Payments

                      Doug Schepers (W3C): Shortcuts: Developer Documentation

                      We’re back with Doug Schepers, SVG, Web Apps, Audio, that will be talking about Web Education. “Who here has used the Web?”… “How many have programmed for the Web?”.

                      “How many people learned the Web via ‘view source’”? Just about everyone raised their hands. “How many of you still do that?” Most dropped their hands.

                      The Document Web was pretty easy to learn. In 2000, we started to get the application Web. Media Web, Social Web… you have to learn a lot in order to be able to do these things. People can’t read standards – they’re really difficult to read.

                      WebMoney came early on. W3Schools, W3Fools.com is a good site. Opera Web Standards Cirriculum, SitePoint, MDN, Google’s “Ground Up” Videos. Tons of other sites – not just HOW-TOs, but help more.

                      At universities you learn serious programming languages like “lisp”. Laughs from the audience. Web Standards Project is great, InterAct Cirriculum is great – teachers can take these cirriculumns and plug them into their classrooms.

                      W3C has tutorials and primers, podcasts and videos. The W3C wiki has a bunch of resources, HTML5 reference guide, CSS reference guide. The problem with W3C’s documentation is that it’s scattered everywhere. Internationalization documents on W3C site.

                      Web Education Community Groups – launched to focus on learning material, curriculum, outreach, training, international resources. Trying to improve teaching resources at W3C. Why should people get involved in Web Education? Many eyes, pay it forward, reap what you sow.

                      How to help: write articles, review articles, help write curricula, help translate.

                      We started the Web as a hobby. We need to change it from a hobby to a craft. Make it easy to learn the basics, need smooth transition from casual development to career. Web developers learn throughout their lives – we hope these resources will persist and keep getting better.

                      Divya Manian (Opera): 5 CSS Magic Potions for your Layout Troubles from the Future

                      Divya is a Web Opener for Opera – contributes to HTML5 boilerplate, member of the CSS WG. Arsonist of the Semantic Web. Current state of CSS layout – what to look forward to in the future.

                      Many people use ‘floats’ for layout – absolute positioning. Problems with floats – they’re not content agnostic – floats require clearing. So, what can we look forward to in the future?

                      Paged media layout – “@media paged” – allows you to tread HTML as paged content.

                      Multiple columns – “css3-multicol – column-width: 12em;” – allows you to setup column sizes. Column spans allow you to say that a particular item can span multiple columns.

                      Regions allow you to flow text content from one region to another, even if they are separated by a large distance.

                      Exclusions – allow text to flow around the outline of irregularly shaped objects. For example – a large rock with text around it. Lots of options on how to wrap text via CSS.

                      Grids – standardize a way to do grids inside CSS. Grid templates look simple to start – very complex.

                      Flexboxvery much in flux – allows you to distribute layouts in a more flexible box layout.

                      Make sure to use feature detection via modernizr. Subbornella’s tutorials are great. Isotope jquery plugin is great – isotope.metafizzy.io – if you have complicated layouts, use Isotope.

                      More discussion on the www-style mailing list at W3C. Lots of traffic on the mailing list. Help by submitting bug reports. Divya can be found on Twitter at @divya

                      Vincent Hardy (Adobe): Web Graphics – a large creative palette

                      Vincent talking about passions – Web and Graphics. Formal education in distributed computing – worked at Sun on 2D APIs. Worked on SVG. Worked at Oracle on Data Visualizations.

                      Towards a more graphical, fluid Web. Shows graphical clock via Raphael. Amazing WebGL demo showing shader-use and cool artistic effects.

                      You have lots of tools – canvas, WebGL, CSS Animations, imperative vs. declarative programming for graphics. Very nice visual effects in canvas/SVG.

                      Canvas – imperative model – big array of pixels. SVG – declarative model – looks more like the HTML/DOM.

                      SVG – graphical elements w/ attributes that control how content gets rendered.

                      Canvas – pixel-based, you write scripts to draw what you want. You create a context, set it to 2D or 3D, then you specify drawing commands (draw an arc, fill with color, etc)

                      Canvas – more difficult to detect where events happen in your object – you have to write that code. SVG – events are tied to graphical objects. Easier to do event inputs via SVG – but both allow you to have very fine grained control over your graphics with either.

                      Scripted animation is still in the works – but you have scripting APIs today. Canvas uses scripts for animations. With SVG you can use CSS animation, scripts, and declarative animation with SMIL. All browsers except IE support SMIL. Declarative animation allows you to morph geometry between objects.

                      Timing – you can time animation events and chain them together via SMIL pretty easily. You can style SVG using CSS, just like any other HTML document.

                      Multimedia integration –

                      You can also do video in SVG – Video element embedded in SVG document, you can apply filter effects to SVG – filter effects apply in real-time. Foreground decorations with SVG – looks really nice.

                      Why two different models? Canvas is low-level, pixel access. SVG is very high-level, nice API, DOM events, etc… but no pixel access, can be limiting. There are good reasons to have both. Graffiti Markup Language – uses SVG and Canvas together.

                      Frameworks that can help: Raphael.js, Paper.js, Easle.js, D3.js, Canvg.

                      Canvas support is very good – supported in all recent browsers. SVG is supported in all major browsers, except for SMIL animation and font stuff in IE.

                      WebGL support is coming, but not quite there yet. Issues with in-line SVG.

                      What’s coming: Better 2d/3d integration, improved integration w/ canvas/SVG, additional features for SVG 2.0, filter effects and CSS shaders, video integration, etc. Presentation was created with HTML5.

                      Arvind Jain (Google): Web Perfomance: Making the Web Faster

                      Arvind is the Chair of the W3C Performance Working group – try to make web page performance better. Web Timing API – “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” — Lord Kelvin.

                      Web Timing API allows web pages to get detailed information about how long it takes pages to load. Web Timing API has four areas – navigation, resource, user and performance.

                      Navigation Timing API allows developers to create a complete picture of how long it takes for a page to load in very accurate detail. Supported in IE9, Chrome, Firefox and Android.

                      Resource Timing API – timing info related to individual resources on a page like images, scripts, objects, etc.

                      UserTiming API allows high precision (1 ms accuracy) to measure the execution time of their code.

                      Performance Timeline API – single interface for accessing all timing attributes.

                      Resource, user and performance implementations are not entirely implemented yet, but coming soon, around March 2012.

                      Security and Privacy implications – trying to ensure that people can’t be easily tracked with these new features.

                      Web Timing stuff is in use – Google Analytics Speed Report, WebPageTest.org, Dynatrace UEM, Boomerang.

                      Page Visibility API – helps you figure out of the page is visible or not – helpful to know if you need to keep running animations/etc. Ready in March 2012. In use on Google Analytics (count impressions correctly – page isn’t counted if page is opened in a tab that is never looked at), YUI Idle Timer, Google.com Instant Pages loads pages if it can predict if you’re going to click on a link (loads in the background).

                      Question on Usability Testing and improving the browsing experience. Yes, the Timing APIs can be used to figure out how long it takes for someone to click on a piece of a page.

                      Question on using image bundles or not. Google performance testing has shown that it depends on the types of images – large image bundling is bad. Tiny image bundling is good.

                      John Allsopp (Web Directions): Shortcuts: Getting off (line) with the HTML5 appcache [his slides on the web]

                      Great criticisms of the Web – it only works when you’re online. Not necessarily true.

                      For Appcache to work – create an appcache manifest file and link it to your HTML file. You have a file with a .appcache extension – appcache file has sections for cache, fallback and network.

                      Cache section – which resources must be cached.

                      Network section – which resources must NOT be cached.

                      Fallback section – which resources should be used for anything that is not cached and when you’re offline.

                      Gotchas: Appcache manifest must be served with text/cache-manifest. New-ish technology. Cache failure if one resource is not available – must verify your cache. Appcache is cached forever – when developing, don’t use appcache. Only things that are explicitly cached are available – must be explicitly included. There is lazy-caching, other cache controls in use in the browser may cache other files.

                      Do not develop with app-cache turned on.

                      If you change the contents of the appcache, it will be refreshed. Use #version 1.0. Some browsers limit to 5MB-10MB.

                      Appcache is supported in all modern browsers.

                      ManifestR creates a manifest file for any web page you visit – helpful for starting with AppCache development.

                      Rajesh Lal (Nokia): The N-Screens Problem: Building Apps in a World of TV and Mobiles [YouTube video]

                      7 Key challenges for the N-Screens problem.

                      Four screens – mobile smartphone, PC, tablet, Internet-connected TV.

                      Design Problem – N Screens – Mobiles, screen size 2-4″, viewed from a distance of one foot. Not reliable, finger input, highly interruptible. Very dynamic environment. Tablet – 7-14″ screen size, input touch, not as interruptible. PC – screen size 12-27″, very focused use. TV – screen size 25-65″ screen size, 10′ viewing area, total immersion, D-pad remote.

                      Native vs. Web App

                      Native, pros: each screen has an SDK, great for a specific device, robust, device APIs. cons: steep learning curve, not scalable. Winner: WebApp solution.

                      WebApp is an application created using HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Two types – in-browser, or WebApp in a native container(Hybrid).

                      History: Old HTML, Server-side web apps and CGI, Rich Interactive Apps – Flash, Silverlight, HTML5 and now WebApps.


                      [see between 7:35 and 9:48 of the YouTube video]

                      Seven key challenges

                      • How do you detect features? Device detection (bad) vs. Feature detection (good). Modernizr and jquery.support help with feature detection.
                      • How do you detect screen layout/orientation? Media queriesare great – you can query based on resolution, based on device aspect ratio and based on orientation.
                      • Graceful degredation? moz-* ms-* o-* etc… you can use CSS graceful degredationfor this.
                      • How do you Animation? WebGL is best, followed by CSS3 animation, followed by Canvas and JavaScript and then SVG and JavaScript.
                      • Audio? Web Audio in order of preference – OpenAL, Audio Data, RIA Audio HTML5 audio.
                      • AJAX? CORS is best, followed by a proxy, JSONP, then a hybrid app.
                      • Fallback for HTML5 APIs? polyfills and shims. Use HTML5 APIs, then polyfills and shims, then JavaScript code.

                      Rey Bango (Microsoft): The Great HTML5 Divide: How Polyfills and Shims Let You Light Up Your Sites in Non-Modern Browsers

                      Up now, the Great HTML5 Divide by Ray Bango of Microsoft. Works on jQuery, HTML evangelist. HTML5 is great, it’s definitely the future, but there is a divide. Talking about browser fragmentation today, feature detection, polyfills and shims. How do you leverage HTML5 and CSS today? Solutions will be provided.

                      Biggest problem now is non-modern browsers. caniuse.comis a good resource for figuring out which browsers support. Lot of browser fragmentation, across browsers, within the same browser, different versions.

                      Feature detection is a good thing – do it. Don’t do browser-based detection.

                      Modernizris great for feature detection – detects all major features for CSS3, HTML5, etc.

                      Polyfills and shims – polyfills are used to fill in cracks – shims fill in cracks. SVG support, Web Storage, WebSQL, WebSockets, etc. Consider 3rd party library– developers may not want to support it anymore.

                      Take-aways: avoid browser detection, use polyfills, do smart fallbacks.

                      Christopher Slye (Adobe Systems, Inc.): Shortcuts: Web Typography

                      Next up, Christopher Slye from Adobe to talk about Web Typography. Involved in WOFF standards group. Two real font formatsTrueType and PostScript. Going forward, quality will be about the same. EOT is Microsoft’s font container – been exclusively for Internet Explorer. WOFF is new Web font format – will be the first interoperable Web Font Format.

                      WOFF is a compressed font container, has font metadata. CSS3 Fonts Module – contains entries for properties size, weight, style. OpenType has nothing to do with the Web. Kerning, ligatures and alternates.

                      CSS font spec allows you to “optimize readability”, which uses ligatures. Discretionary layout features. Good typography on the Web requires font designers to be able to specify font choices on a per-character, per-stroke basis – let’s typographers add case shifting, kerning, alternates, small caps, oldstyle features, etc. – all help readability.

                      Paul Irish (Google): HTML5: The Foundation of the Web Platform [see also his blog post about it]

                      Next up, Paul Irish from Google talking about The Foundation of the Web Platform – HTML5. Talking about HTML5 underpinnings – on the jQuery team.

                      Explains that came about because browsers don’t really care about all of the variations and that all of the variations are difficult to understand for Web developers. was introduced because of a security vulnerability in UTF-7 and script tags.

                      Browsers used to parse broken markup in a different way. Now they all parse broken markup in the same way. There are optional tags – html, head, body, etc.

                      You can not use quotes in HTML5 attribute IDs, you can use many UTF-8 characters (like hearts and the unicode value for a snowman).

                      The HTML5 spec is a repository of valuable browser knowledge – acquired through copious reverse engineering.

                      W3Conf LiveBlog – Day Two [Manu Sporny, Digital Bazaar, Nov 16, 2011]

                      Giorgio Sardo (Microsoft): HTML5 Demo Fest: the Best from the Web

                      Some amazing SVG demos happening on screen at W3Conf. An SVG music video, amazing filter effects with SVG, CSS applied to SVG, etc.

                      Amazing HTML5-based demos. BMW using canvas to preview cars interactively using open standards. The Killers (the band) launches a pure HTML5 and canvas page. Amazing TRON interactive comic book done in pure HTML5.

                      CSS3 demos showing off animation. Amazing font work showing off WOFF (new font stuff in HTML5). Associated Press showing interactive news demo showing top stories in an interactive way, using Local Storage to save stories for offline viewing.

                      Demos showing that pen-based input, touch inputs, motion inputs on HTML5 pages – no plugins necessary. Showing smooth transitions between HTML5 video and page content, giving a very smooth website experience.

                      Current presenter is Giorgio Sardo, doing a great job showing off the power of HTML5 today. Showing off the need for multi-touch events – talking about mobile phones or large screens shared among different people, running HTML5 Apps.

                      Moving on to WebApps and the File API. Showing drag-drop of files from the desktop to the browser window. Drag-Drop API allows you to take files from the desktop and drop them into a web page – file information and the byte stream is made available to the browser. Web Performance API allows you to know when someone isn’t viewing a page and allows you to shut down processor intensive or battery draining portions of Web Apps.

                      HTML5 games being demoed now – Angry Birds in pure HTML5, 65,000 PacMan mazes in pure canvas, high speed, smooth interoperation.

                      See @gisardo on twitter for a link to all of the amazing HTML5 demos.

                      Mike Bostock (Square): Shortcuts: Data Visualization with Web Standards

                      Mike Bostock is up now, talking about Data Visualization with Web Standards. We should not put a focus on charts and graphs, but rather visualizing information in a way that is closer matched to the data we’re trying to understand. D3.js – Data Driven Documents.

                      D3.js looks at data visualization as a document. Map a quantity/value to a symbol then render. decoupling data from visualization. D3 mixes SVG, CSS and HTML togetherto build beautiful visualizations – for example hierarchical data sets can be visualized as hierarchical bar charts, or bubble graphics, and smooth transitions between them.

                      Showing off how D3 also allows you to do interactive visualization – select part of the data set, see highlights elsewhere in the data set. The tools we create don’t exist in isolation – combining SVG + Canvas + CSS allow us to create very compelling visualizations.

                      Becky Gibson (IBM): Making Accessibility Mainstream

                      Becky Gibson, from IBM – Senior Technical Staff Member, on stage now.

                      Issues with Accessibility – Vision issues, Mobility issues (not everyone is able to use a mouse), temporary disability, learning disabilities, hearing disabilities, age. Eventually all of us age – every one of us will have accessibility issues.

                      Why care about Accessibility? Government/legal reasons, monetary reasons (1.75B of disposable income from people with accessability issues), independence, altruism – it’s the right thing to do. People with disabilities don’t want a hand out, they want your respect.

                      Enabling Accessibility. Use semantic HTML, use alt-text on images, label form elements, add keyboard support, use tabindexes, support high contrast mode (all background images are removed).

                      Assistive Technology Support – WAI-ARIA – uses role attribute and aria-* attributes to enable accessible applications. Multiple roles – tree, spinner, grid, many more. States and properties – required, expanded, checked, owns, many more.

                      ARIA Roles landmark the main roles on the page – banner, main, navigation, search, form. Popular screen readers support landmarks. ARIA Presentation role – preferred way to say that something is being used to present some information?

                      ARIA states and properties. ARIA allows one to specify that a region of the page has been updated and how one should be notified that it’s been updated. For example: “aria-live=”assertive” aria-atomic=”true”. aria-required indicates that a field is required. aria-invalid tells us that something someone has entered is invalid.

                      The future – mobile – VoiceOver screen reader and ARIA support is in Safari – iOS has the accessibility advantage right now. Intent-based Events – how do you do generic events?

                      Brad Hill (PayPal), Scott Stender (iSEC Partners): Securing the Next Generation of Web Apps

                      Up on stage now – Brad Hill from PayPal and Scott Stender (iSEC Partners) talking about Web App Security. We need a way to protect information from prying eyes on the Web. New threats are client-based – Cross-Site Scripting and Cross-Site Request Forgery.

                      Same-origin policy guards against most attacks. Most attacks can be prevented on the Server-side. Conventional wisdom: Never trust the client – Defend the server, at the server. Web Security 1.0 puts up defenses at the server. Client Code Injection – DOM Cross-Site Scripting – you can use fragment identifiers to attack sites now because of JavaScript running on a page.

                      Big security vulnerabilities are now showing up in native apps that wrap HTML containers. When there are no servers, and you have stuff running on your local system, a script-injection attack can take files on your hard drive and send them across the network without your knowledge. Demo of Skype window sending passwords to attackers based on a JavaScript attack.

                      Old clever tricks – like script tags, iframe elements, JSONP are mature, but you have to understand what security model you’re signing up for– you’re effectively giving the source of a JSONP data/iframe check-in rights to the code on your page. So, if you use these clever hacks, be careful how you do it and who you do it with.

                      New features coming up that help web security – CORS, XHR2, WebSockets – powerful tools. Auditing is more difficult with these new technologies. postMessage (communication between two tabs in the same browser) and Web RTC (real-time data/media streams). These technologies, while very cool, open up the attack surface on the Web App.

                      Assets and attack surface are moving to the client, but the focus is still on securing the servers. Future of Web App Security is in the client, not the server. We are falling behind on making sure we’re securing our Web Apps.

                      What can we do to mitigate these threats? Comprehensive testing/verification, do tests on production code. Get rid of built-in “Game Over” security threats – JSONP is bad, plaintext HTTP is bad. Create code that is designed to be securable– compartmentalize the code, decouple the code, be explicit, do test-driven design.

                      More specific thingsyou can do: Use HTML5+ Mashup APIs, use HTTPS (and authenticate your origins), secure design – compartmentalize and sandbox origins, do good client-side testing.

                      For compartmentalization: use credential state isolated from the DOM, minimize foreign origins, create unique origins to isolate apps and sandbox dangerous or active content.

                      You can sandbox bad JSONP code using postMessage.

                      Implementation validation is also important. Test using security tools – DOMinator, DOM Snitch, WebDriver and Selenium for testing. Start using them, contribute bugs, make the tools better.

                      Content Security Policy – pioneering work at Mozilla/Google– Least-Privilege environment. Let’s you say: “No in-line script, no code from strings via eval(), no data URIs, code must come from libraries with origins specified in a whitelist, origin whitelist for images, media, frames, fonts, plugins, etc.”

                      Click-jacking and UI Redressing is still a problem with Mashups. DOM is still a mess – lots of browser-specific quirks.

                      Grant Goodale (Massively Fun): Shortcuts: Touch Events

                      Grant Goodale up now from Massively Fun (@ggoodale) to talk about touch events. First touch API appeared in iOS 2.0, now a part of the HTML5 spec.

                      Many differences still exist between vendors – many of the browsers don’t support it yet, but there are lots of mobile browsers that do support touch events. Many different types of input, you want native-like behavior. Firefox supports touch events.

                      Cross-platform multi-touch webapp checklist – disable standard gesture handling, handle rendering in a loop outside of the touch event handler, support single-touch devices (like Android phones), handle mouse events (phones w/ a physical pointer, phones with no touch events, desktop browsers).

                      Grant Skinner (gskinner.com): Hello. Games. HTML5 Gaming Today.

                      … by Grant Skinner (gskinner.com) – creator of Eazel.jsand Pirates Love Daisies.

                      Traditionally worked with Flash – moved to working with HTML5. Games on the Open Web today and in the future.

                      What do you need to make a great game? An idea – you can be inspired by the technology you have available to you. Can we design games designed for the Web? Loading – critical piece, how do you get the game onto the client? Monitoring progress is difficult in games (no clear standards to see how long it’ll take to load everything).

                      XHR2 is great because it has progress events – ability to load in binary assets. caching – minimizes bandwidth/connections – cache manifest is good, but it’s an all-or-nothing solution. If you change the cache manifest, everything downloads again. HTML5 local storage is good, tricky to store non-text assets, low-level way of supporting cached data – lots of custom implementation work.

                      Graphics – lots of options. DOM and SVG is good – interaction model is good, ubiquitous, hardware accelerated… but high overhead (can be a performance killer). Hardware acceleration works really well for Canvas, not so great for SVG and the HTML DOM. WebGL (based on OpenGL ES2) – fast, low-level hardware graphics, 3D vertex shaders, extremely sharp learning curveThree.jsmay help, but still very difficult to use. Canvas 2D is broadly available, including mobile, consistently implemented, easy to get started with, increasingly performant.

                      Combining surfaces is good– combine Canvas and SVG and DOM. HTML DOM does the UI very well – all UI in their games is done with HTML – use Canvas/SVG for graphics. Using pluggable renderers – you can switch between three.js, EaselJS based on your platform – write the content once, pick the renderer based on the device.

                      Sound is a little more challenging in games right now– audio tag is broadly supported, but suffers from browser-specific issues, latency, codec support, maximum number of audio elements (arbitrary). Using solutions like Flash, SoundJS, SoundManager2 allow you to launch with good audio today. Sound sprites, like image sprites – one very long audio clip with gaps, use JavaScript to see and play different parts of the audio track.

                      The Web Audio API is coming– very powerful API for real-time audio manipulation, runs at native speed, synthesis, analysis, mixing – limited support now, but will solve a ton of problems.

                      Basic interaction – keyboard capture is incomplete, but mostly adequate. Mouse interaction is fine for point and click games. WebGL and Canvas require custom handling of mouse events. Full-screen and interaction API is a bit quirky. mouse lock and synthetic mouse events are necessary when you want the cursor to go off-screen and still generate mouse events (which you need to do in first-person games when walking, running, navigating).

                      Upcoming device APIs – touch events, orientation change API, device orientation API, nothing for orientation lock yet (don’t change the orientation when playing a game).

                      Communication – XHR (http requests and polling), WebSockets (text only for now, but binary coming soon). WebRTC / Peer Connection API – peer-to-peer audio, video and data. Network Status API – is the device online or offline.

                      Code authoring – JavaScript performance has gotten faster, IE has improved the most, but many browsers are doing great work with JavaScript performance. ECMAScript 5 is good – strict mode should be used. New features in ECMA5 – seal, freeze, prevent extension for objects, property descriptors allow you to specify when a property should be writable, readable, etc. There are still challenges: no type safety, no interfaces, limited inheritance, no super() – difficult to write a big game engine w/ JavaScript. JS is great for hacking together a game. Some solutionsGoogle Closure is neat and a good IDE, cross-compilersHaxe, CoffeeScript, Jangaroo– compile down to JavaScript.

                      Tools – good dev tools – WebStorm, debugging tools are good, profiling is good for JavaScript – not so good for profiling graphical processes. WebGL inspectoris really neat, lets you see where a single pixel came from in the code.

                      Asset preparation (for designers) 3D – Inka3D exports to WebGL. Sprite sheets – Flash, Zoe, TexturePacker. 2D – Wallaby, SVG to Canvas, EaselJS.

                      Marketing and Monetization – Web games are great because you’re already in a social medium.

                      Flash is more ubiquitous, it has more tooling, building a game is cheaper in Flash… but it doesn’t run in iOS, probably won’t run in mobiles, Windows 8 Metro won’t run it either.

                      Exciting times for Games in HTML5 – still some rough edges, but technology is maturing quickly.

                      Faruk Ateş : Shortcuts: Modernizr

                      Design for the browser of the future by detecting features instead of browser versions – useful for progressive enhancement, graceful degradation, regressive enhancement.

                      Modernizr allows you to test a feature and then conditionally load code that expects the feature or code that uses a polyfill.

                      People arrive at your site for the content, but will leave very quickly if the site isn’t fast. Showing demo of progressive enhancement.

                      How to use modernizr? Go to http://www.modernizr.com

                      Development and production version. Good for CDN distribution.

                      Art Barstow (Nokia), Paul Cotton (Microsoft), Tantek Çelik (Mozilla), Charles McCathieNevile (Opera), Chris Wilson (Google), Peter Vosshall (Amazon):
                      PANEL: Browsers and Standards: Where the Rubber Hits the Road

                      What’s interesting about the browsers?

                      • Nokia has shipped millions of browser installs – written from the ground-up in some cases – shipped browsers from Opera – also shipping Windows Phone browsers – large swath.
                      • Microsoft – IE9 and IE10 – driving home the message about all web developers using the Web Platformpicking stable specs, moving it into the browser.
                      • Mozilla – we’re a non-profit, our focus is a bit different – mission driven focus– we’re concerned about SOPA and censorship over profits.
                      • Opera – we’re a commercial company, we are out of Norway, we are product focusedfor our customers.
                      • Google – focus on making the Web platform better.
                      • Amazon – just got into the browser game, built from the ground-up to use Amazon web services infrastructure – browser running on a mobile device.

                      What do you think about DART and SPDY and how they were brought to market?

                      • Paul Cotton (Microsoft) – innovation is good, we should have more of it but we need to coordinateon those things.
                      • Paul (Amazon) SPDY is great, we ship it, it reflects what’s happening in the real world today.
                      • Chaals (Opera) browser vendors are just one part of the puzzle, developers need to take part in it, security folks need to take part in it.
                      • Tantek (Mozilla) – the problem is delayed open – for a fair look on the problem search for “delayed open google microsoft”.
                        [ 20 Nov: @t Tantek Çelik also @ #W3Conf: fight “delayed open” tactics per Eran’s post: Open vs. Fast, Good vs. Evil, Google vs. Facebook: ttk.me/t4Ex4]

                      Vendor prefixes, are they outmoded?

                      • Chris Wilson (Google), vendor prefixes are not that good.
                      • Chaals (Opera) bad authoring is worse, so is bad Web teaching, we need a mechanism for innovation – vendor prefixes are terrible, except for all of the other things we tried, which are worse – sunset the vendor prefixes.
                      • Paul Cotton (Microsoft) we want vendor prefixes to be taken out when we go to Candidate Recommendation status – we need to get to CR faster, we need to do our specs in a much more modular fashion. Part of the standards process is at fault here – standards need to move faster.
                      • Tantek (Mozilla) The better that we can get about dropping vendor prefixes, the better. Vendor prefixes suck, but it’s the best we’ve come up with so far– we could do better – we’re all open to suggestions on this point.
                      • Paul (Amazon) Vendor prefixes are a form of technical debt, you have to pay it down eventually.

                      Tantek asks why VIDEO element didn’t have a vendor prefix – but it still worked… why?

                      • Chaals: It was easy to understand what Video should do.
                      • John Allsopp: It had a good fallback.
                      • Tantek: Video wasn’t easy, but we got it right – why was that? Arguing on stage :)

                      What about operating system integration, like with Chromebook?

                      • Tantek: it’s bad – robs the user of choice. iPhone, no choice – Chromebook – no choice.
                      • Chris (Google) – Chromebook is just the Web layer, you can replace the OS if you want to– there is choice there.
                      • Paul (Amazon) having HTML5, creating a true application environment – maybe the model of using the OS as the browser is terrible.

                      How do most of the regular web developers know what should be used and what shouldn’t?

                      • Chaals (Opera) All of us building the Web need to go out and learn and teach other people. There is nobody spoon feeding information to you – this field changes so quickly – look around to your peers, they will help you.
                      • Paul (Microsoft) Browser vendors need to hang out with one another – we need to work together, get things done. Community Groups at W3C are going to be key – get groups going with least amount of overhead, understand what minimum required to get a spec done is needed. The way we’re dealing with the HTML5 spec is bad – it’s a flawed way of working on a standard. We will continue to work together at W3C. We have a real obligation to the community here.
                      • Tantek (Mozilla) – it’s not sufficient for browser vendors to work together – we need to work together IN THE OPEN.

                      Is there any plans to replace JavaScript?

                      • Chris (Google) One of the goals behind DARTwas to provide something simpler.
                      • Chaals (Opera) it would be terrible if the solution was not interoperable.
                      • Paul (Microsoft) JavaScript will become “copper pipe” in 5-6 years… it’ll be what we use just like we don’t think about processors and compilers today.

                      Privacy

                      • Chaals (Opera) different societies define privacy differently, difficult to start the work when you don’t know where you’re going.
                      • Chris (Google) people should have the tools to control their own privacy, you can’t just leave it to the end user.
                      • Doug (W3C) Good work on do not track, cryptography going on at W3C.

                      What about internationalization?

                      • Paul (Microsoft) We need to be able to ship browsers worldwide – how to bring rest of the world into the conversation.
                      • Tantek (Mozilla) There are 70 versions of localized Firefox browsers – built by the international community. Customized for specific locales and markets.

                      Women in browsers, why are they not represented?

                      • Paul (Microsoft) I work with 2 women on my team, 3 men. More women attending at TPAC, this is a good sign.
                      • Chaals (Opera) different societies have different levels of participation.
                      • Paul (Microsoft) Women are certainly welcome here – we want much broader participation than we have now. I think some of the problem is societal, it’s not a social norm in the USA – we need to get better about teaching science and math to he smarter of the genders.