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Intel’s desperate attempt to establish a sizeable foothold on the tablet market until its 14nm manufacturing leadership could provide a profitable position for the company in 2016

The stock market is over-optimistic about that: Intel tablets could cure [stock] market conditions [Saxo TV – TradingFloor.com YouTube channel, April 16, 2014]

Intel’s Q1 earnings beat expectations, that’s despite a decline in sales of personal computers. The firm has now outlined a strategy to carve out its own share of the tablet market, changing direction due to the switch in consumer habits. Intel’s PC division saw revenue drop one percent to $7.9 billion. The chipmaker’s shares rose as investors liked the forward looking blueprint for a firm that’s long been associated with the desktop. Intel reports that the firm shipped 10 million tablet chips in 2013 and is offering manufacturers incentives to use its products. Andy Ng – Senior Equity Analyst at Morningstar discusses Intel’s earnings and where he sees growth in the future.

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I am—nevertheless—highly sceptical about that as Allwinner to continue the No. 1 position on Android tablet application processor market with the new UltraOcta A80 SoC optimized for premium devices, without the premium cost, also made universal accross other devices (TV box, notebook, smart TV, All-in-one and digital signage), and operating systems (ChromeOS, Smart TV, Windows, Ubuntu and Firefox OS) [‘USD 99 Allwinner’ blog, April 16, 2014]. My skepticism is also based on The lost U.S. grip on the mobile computing market, including not only the device business, but software development and patterns of use in general [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, April 14, 2014].

You can judge all that for yourself as the background and my analysis behind Intel’s tablet strategy could be found in the following sections of this post below:

  1. Intel’s Mobile and Communications Group (MCG), which the Tablet Group is just a part of, is the largest loss maker segment with losses even growing to $3.15B in 2013 from $1.78B in 2012, and continuing at least into 20145 
  2. Intel is desperate to cheat when comparing its current tablet performance based on Clover Trail+ against much lower priced and lesser frequency ARM Cortex-A9 tablets from brand vendors.
  3. Intel’s Krzanich is betting on sacrificing “contra revenue” dollars for Q2-Q4 2014 tablet market with Bay Trail-based tablets, while hoping to level the playing field with its TSMC produced SoFIA SoCs for the 2015 tablet market.

To understand the technical and business development aspects behind that strategy read my previous posts as well:
Intel CTE initiative: Bay Trail-Entry V0 (Z3735E and Z3735D) SoCs are shipping next week in $129 Onda (昂达) V819i Android tablets—Bay Trail-Entry V2.1 (Z3735G and Z3735F) SoCs might ship in $60+ Windows 8.1 tablets from Emdoor Digital (亿道) in the 3d quarter [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, April 11, 2014]
IDF14 Shenzhen: Intel is levelling the Wintel playing field with Android-ARM by introducing new competitive Windows tablet price points from $99 – $129 [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, April 4, 2014]
The long awaited Windows 8.1 breakthrough opportunity with the new Intel “Bay Trail-T”, “Bay Trail-M” and “Bay Trail-D” SoCs? [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Sept 14, 2013]


1. Intel’s Mobile and Communications Group (MCG), which the Tablet Group is just a part of, is the largest loss maker segment with losses even growing to $3.15B in 2013 from $1.78B in 2012, and continuing at least into 2014 

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Source: Download Quarters Q1 2014 [Intel Corporation – Investor Relations, April 16, 2014]

MCG is one of the new operating segments representing the following organisational responsibility, which is aligned with Intel’s new critical objectives (this particular segment was previously buried in the Other Intel Architecture Group):

  • Mobile and Communications Group (MCG): MCG includes the Phone Group, the Tablet Group and Multi-Comm, all previously part of the Other IA operating segments.
  • Mobile and Communications Group: Delivering platforms designed for the tablet and smartphone market segments; as well as mobile communications components such as baseband processors, radio frequency transceivers, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth*, global navigation satellite systems and power management chips.

imageNote that the previous structure of operating segments (since the end of 2012) was as seen on the right. As far as the organizational size is concerned, according to Infineon Completes Sale of Mobile Phone Business to Intel – New Company Intel Mobile Communications starts operations [Infineon press release, Jan 31, 2011]:

Following the sale, approximately 3,500 employees in total will move globally from Infineon to the new company Intel Mobile Communications GmbH (IMC). IMC will be headquartered in Neubiberg near Munich, Germany.

Then according to Intel® Mobile Communications Profile [Intel, Jan 6, 2012]:

Intel Mobile Communications GmbH is a subsidiary of Intel Corporation headquartered in Santa Clara, USA. The company develops and markets innovative semiconductor products and solutions for mobile communications – most notably in the rapid-growth market segments of smart phones, tablets and ultra-low-cost mobile phones.

The company has approximately 4,000 employees all over the world, about 1,700 of whom work in Germany where the headcount at the company headquarters in Neubiberg near Munich is approximately 1,200. Other German sites are Ulm, Regensburg, Duisburg, Dresden, Braunschweig and Nuremberg. Intel Mobile Communications is represented in altogether 17 countries around the world and has a strong presence in the Asian growth markets.

Considering that the Mobile and Communications Group (MCG) of today was put together from Intel Mobile Communications, the Tablet Group and the Phone Group, the overall number of employees in MCG is quite probably more than 6000 people.

Note that as of May 2013 MediaTek had 6,880 employees and ARM Holdings’ workforce at the same time was 2,261. As of March 2014 Allwinner Technology had 550+ employees (450 of which were engineers). In July 2013 Rockchip had more than 500 employees, 80% were engineers. In September 2013 Spreadtrum had 1,506 employees.

The 4000 strong Multi-Comm business is mostly engaged in standalone baseband processor market which had the following sales structure in 2013 according to Forward Concepts [March 24, 2014]: 

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Intel, the 2nd leading supplier of 3G thin modems in 2013 – will likely become the 2nd leading supplier of 3G/4G thin modems in 2014. Their focus will be on winning 3G/4G modem orders for notebooks and tablets. They will be challenged by Marvell’s 3G/4G PXA802 TD- LTE modem, which also supports TD-HSPA+ and is already shipping to ZTE.

Intel was—however—warning in its Nov 21, 2013 Investor Meeting presentation that:

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In fact Strategy Analytics was painting a rather dark picture in Qualcomm’s Dominance Continues with 64 percent revenue share says Strategy Analytics [Feb 21, 2014]:

Qualcomm, MediaTek, Intel, Spreadtrum, and Broadcom captured the top-five revenue share spots in the cellular baseband processor market [which the standalone is just a part of] in 2013. Qualcomm dominated with 64 percent revenue share, followed by MediaTek with 12 percent revenue share and Intel with 8 percent revenue share.

Sravan Kundojjala, Senior Analyst, explains “Qualcomm domination in the cellular baseband market continued in 2013, thanks to its early investments in multi-mode LTE technology. The LTE baseband landscape is expected to be a crowded one in 2014 with several vendors including Broadcom, Ericsson, Intel, Marvell, MediaTek, NVIDIA, Spreadtrum and others are all set to bring commercial multi-mode LTE chip products to the market and this could help drive LTE down into mid-to-low tier devices.”

According to Stuart Robinson, Director of the Strategy Analytics Handset Component Technologies service, “Strategy Analytics calculates that revenue from baseband-integrated applications processors represented over 60 percent of total baseband revenue in 2013, up from 48 percent in 2012. Most baseband vendors have now transitioned their portfolios to include integrated products in order to boost their revenue share.”

According to Christopher Taylor, Director of the Strategy Analytics RF and Wireless Componentservice, “MediaTek overtook Intel to capture the number two spot in the 3G UMTS baseband market in 2013, by Strategy Analytics estimates. MediaTek capitalized on its smartphone chip momentum and improved its baseband-mix. MediaTek’s recent LTE chip announcements could potentially improve its baseband revenue share in future.”

Such a doomsday scenario was even more present in Qualcomm, MediaTek in Two-Horse Race, Says CLSA; Game Over for BRCM, Etc. [Tech Trader Daily at Barrons.com, Apr 11, 2014]

… and predicting many of the challengers will fold up without making a dent in Qualcomm’s position.

We believe that the baseband battle is largely over and expect more consolidation in the next 1 – 2 years. Nvidia is already shifting its investments, and we see a strong possibility that Broadcom exits in the next 6 – 9 months. Intel’s new management may have a bit more time, but we do not see enough opportunity to justify its $2bn+ investments. Marvell is least likely to exit in our view, but we expect it to remain a niche player. Overall, we expect the Qualcomm / MediaTek duopoly to get even stronger in the coming years and see positive implications for the overall industry profitability.

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The baseband market has seen meaningful consolidation over the years. In 2006, there were 15 vendors in the market including larger analog IC vendors such as Texas Instruments, Freescale, and Analog Devices. The market has contracted to about 9 vendors by 2008 and currently has 7 vendors, after the recent consolidation at ST-Ericsson and Renesas.

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Even if second tier vendors make significant progress in LTE, we simply do not see enough opportunity for all these vendors to achieve profitability any time soon.

MediaTek has a higher share in shipments of Chinese smartphones:

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Chinese telcos, in particular China Mobile, are aggressively expanding their 4G networks, and China Mobile is targeting 100m LTE devices for 2014. While China Mobile’s target does appear aggressive, Qualcomm appears to be dominating the early shipments. We expect MediaTek-based LTE phones to start shipping in the next few months and expect a majority of MediaTek’s 3G customers to stick with the company as the China market transitions to 4G. Chinese smartphone OEMs lack the R&D capability of their international peers, and as a result, rely on turnkey solutions from MediaTek and Qualcomm. While MediaTek appears a bit late with LTE, we expect the company to maintain a strong share of the China LTE market longer term given its relationships with domestic handset manufacturers.


2. Intel is desperate to cheat when comparing its current tablet performance based on Clover Trail+ against much lower priced and lesser frequency ARM Cortex-A9 tablets from brand vendors.

For an Intel Clover Trail+ (pre-Bay Trail-T) tablet: A Four-Tablet Comparison: Intel vs. Competition [IREPRockLegend YouTube channel, April 16, 2014]

Here are the benefits for the Intel Retail Edge Program members (Roadie, Producer, Rockstar and Rock Legend). (1) Learn Intel products, latest technology, sales techniques on monthly basis (2) Complete various learning courses, certification programs and earn lots of chips (3) Use chips to redeem all kinds of FREE electronic items (TV, Monitor, Xbox, PS3, iPad, iPod, CPU, Motherboard, SSD, RAM, etc.) (4) Exclusive monthly prize draws for Rockstars and Rock Legends (Notebook, Tablets, Ultrabook, TV, Monitor, etc.) (5) Deep Discount on Summer Deal and Holiday Deal (CPU, Motherboard, SSD, etc.) (6) Exciting competitions for even more prizes (Spring to Win, Score with Intel Core, Primary Objective) (7) Live webinars, events, parties with food & beverages, prizes and more (8) Meet great people from other stores and retail chains Registration is FREE. Join NOW: http://www.intel.com/retailedge

But Intel is cheating here, especially by being at least 2 times more expensive than the others (all the below prices are “best retail ones”), even discounting the 3G call capability:

  1. $300 (but has 3G call capability as well): Asus Fonepad 7 (Intel Atom Processor Z2560 (2 Clover Trail+ cores/4 threads, 1MB Cache, 1.60 GHz) since Q2’13)
    (++Review Asus Fonepad 7 ME372CG Tablet [Notebookcheck.net, Nov 13, 2013)
  2. $119: Amazon Kindle Fire [7”] HD* (TI OMAP 4460 Processor (2 Cortex-A9 cores, 1.20 GHz))
    [* Intel is cheating even more here as the 2nd generation figured in the above test has been replaced half a year ago by a 3d generation 7” Kindle Fire HD tablet which contains the TI OMAP 4470 with 2 Cortex-A9 cores, 1.5 GHz.]
  3. $160: Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7” (ARM Cortex A9 Processor (2 Cortex-A9 cores, 1.2 GHz) )
  4. $139: Lenovo IdeaTab A1000 (ARM v7 Cortex A9 Processor (MediaTek 8317, Dual Core 1.2 GHz) )

The same cheating is in another new Intel video: A Three-Tablet Comparison: Intel vs. Competition [IREPRockLegend YouTube channel, April 16, 2014] where the $140 Dell Venue 7 16GB, having the same Z2560 CloverTrail+ processors goes against the same 2nd generation Amazon Kindle Fire [7”] HD and the also same Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7”:

And finally the cheating in the 3d new video is even more inexcusable: Tablets with Intel Inside® vs. the Competition: Samsung as here the $305 Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1” tablet with the same 1.6 Ghz Z2560 (and list price of is compared with the $200 Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1” having just a 1 GHz Cortex-A9 dual core processor:


3. Intel’s Krzanich is betting on sacrificing “contra revenue” dollars for Q2-Q4 2014 tablet market with Bay-Trail-based tablets, while hoping to level the playing field with TSMC produced SoFIA SoCs for the 2015 tablet market

What is contra revenue? [Accounting Tools, March 5, 2013]

Contra revenue is a deduction from the gross revenue reported by a business, which results in net revenue.

Contra revenue transactions are recorded in one or more contra revenue accounts, which usually have a debit balance (as opposed to the credit balance in the typical revenue account). There are three commonly used contra revenue accounts, which are:

  • Sales returns. Contains either an allowance for returned goods, or the actual amount of revenue deduction attributable to returned goods.
  • Sales allowances. Contains either an allowance for reductions in the price of a product that has minor defects, or the actual amount of the allowance attributable to specific sales.
  • Sales discounts. Contains the amount of sales discounts given to customers, which is usually a discount given in exchange for early payments by customers.

In fact what Intel calls in accounting terms “contra revenue” it actually represents the subsidies paid to tablet manufacturers in order bring the Bill of Materials cost of Intel tablets into line with ARM based tablets. Intel was forced into these subsidies otherwise tablet manufacturers weren’t going to offer Intel based tablets.

Intel aggressively promoting tablet CPUs in China [DIGITIMES, April 14, 2014]

Intel has resorted to an aggressive pricing strategy to promote sales of its tablet-use processors, particularly in China, a move which apparently will take on Qualcomm and MediaTek, while ramping up its market share, according to industry sources.

Prices of Intel’s mainstream quad-core tablet CPUs have dropped to below US$5, which are almost on par with those offered by China-based chipset suppliers such as Rockchip Electronics and Allwinner Technology and even below those available from Nvidia, Qualcomm and MediaTek, said the sources.

Consequently, the number of Intel-based tablets is likely to expand in a great proportion as more and more China-based brand and white-box tablet vendors are expected to use Intel’s tablet CPUs to develop new products, the sources revealed.

Intel’s new policy also focuses on deepening its relationship with the supply chain in China, highlighting by its recent announcement of establishing an Intel Smart Device Innovation Center in Shenzhen and a US$100 million Intel Capital China Smart Device Innovation Fund, commented the sources.
To encourage China-based tablet makers to use Intel’s CPUs, the chipset vendor is offering assistance in terms of design, technology and marketing, the sources indicated.
Intel’s offerings will be particularly attractive to white-box tablet makers as they can optimize low-priced chipsets and advanced technologies to roll out competitive models for the entry-level segment, added the sources.
Intel aims to ship 40 million tablet CPUs in 2014, including entry-level Bay Trail family and SoFIA 3G platform products, the sources noted.

Intel Beats on Bottom Line, Misses Revenue Expectations for Q1 Results [TheStreet YouTube channel, April 15, 2014]

New yardsticks emerged on Tuesday as Intel announced its first-quarter results. The chipmaker reported earnings mostly in-line with estimates of 38 cents a share on $12.8 billion in revenues. Analysts were expecting 37 cents a share on revenue of $12.8 billion. Intel decided to break out numbers for new operating segments, including more detail on chip sales for smartphones and tablets as well as the so-called Internet of Things segment, including chips for a variety of gear like smart watches and home appliances.

From Intel Reports First-Quarter Revenue of $12.8 Billion Operating Income of $2.5 Billion, up 1 Percent Year-over-Year [news release, April 15, 2014]

Mobile and Communications Group revenue of $156 million, down 52 percent sequentially and down 61 percent year-over-year.

From Intel’s CEO Discusses Q1 2014 Results – Earnings Call Transcript [Seeking Alpha, April 15, 2014] ragarding the tablet strategy which is carried out by the Mobile and Communications Group:

Brian M. Krzanich – CEO: … We set an aggressive goal of shipping 40 million tablet SOCs this year. And I’m happy to say we’ve tallied more than 90 designs on Android and Windows and shipped 5 million units in the first quarter, placing us squarely on track to that goal.

We demonstrated SoFIA, our first integrated apps processor and baseband, after adding it to the roadmap late last year. We’re on track to ship the 3G solution to OEMs in Q4 2014, with the LTE version following in the first half of 2015.

We also shipped our first Quark SoCs for the Internet of Things and announced an upgrade of Edison to the Silvermont Atom architecture. Edison is on track to ship this summer.

And in the Technology and Manufacturing Group, who’ve worked to advance Moore’s Law as foundational to our long-term success, we began production on our 14-nanometer process technology and remain on track to launch Broadwell in the second half of the year.

And the foundry team extended our collaboration with Altera to the development of multi-dye devices that take advantage of our world-class package and assembly capabilities and Altera’s leading-edge programmable logic.

Stacy J. Smith – EVP and CFO: … The Mobile and Communications Group is down 61% from a year ago. The underlying dynamics are consistent with what we shared at the investor meeting last November.

We’re seeing a decline in our feature phone and 2G/3G multi-[com] [ph] business, as we’re in the midst of a transition to integrated LTE solutions. In addition, the ramp in tablet volume is being offset by an increase in contra revenue dollars.

We’re winning designs and ramping our tablet volume rapidly and we have design wins in LTE that will result in a second half revenue ramp.

Let me even back up and give you — again restate the strategy of what we’re doing here. … what we’re doing is we’re taking Bay Trail, which is a product really designed for the PC market, and we made the decision to take it broadly across different segments of the tablet market this year.

It brings along with it, at least over the course of 2014, a higher bill of materials. And that’s independent from the SOC cost. It’s the power management subsystem, it’s the motherboard that it goes on, it’s the memory solution, those kinds of things. And so, we’re providing some contra revenue to offset that bill of material delta over the course of 2014.

Now, as we said, we’re doing value engineering with our customers and our partners. And so we’re bringing down that bill of material over the course of 2014 independent of any changes to our SOC. …

Brian M. Krzanich – CEO: … We have a series of improvements. They have already started to kick-in in some cases around our power management systems, the number of layers in our motherboards, the memory system integration. All of those things we’ve worked on and actually have started to see the advantages already in our costs.

Stacy J. Smith – EVP and CFO: So, I think on a like dollars per unit, it comes down pretty dramatically over the course of 2014. And it should be relatively small, if at all, as we get into 2015. And it’s, again, the enablement we’re doing around the bill of materials.

And then we also have new products coming into the marketplace, like SoFIA, that’s targeted at the low end, and then in 2015 you’ll see Broxton, which is an SOC more for the mid-range to high-range of the market coming into our product portfolio.

So, the combination of all of that gives us a better cost structure with our own products and a better cost structure overall with the bill of materials as we enter 2015 and then work through 2015.

We’ll have significant unit growth in tablets. But remember that contra revenue isn’t just a gross margin impact; it’s actually a subtraction from revenue. And so that will mute the revenue growth for the segment because you have that negative as we get into the back half and ship more tablets. …

C.J. Muse – ISI Group: In terms of integrated LTE, you’ve talked about when we’ll first see that. But curious when you expect to bring that in house at Intel.

Brian M. Krzanich – CEO: We’ll bring that in on our 14-nanometer process either late 2015 or early 2016. We’re still battling back and forth on how fast we can bring it in and at what impacts that has. 14-nanometer is the technology there.

Blaine Curtis – Barclays Capital: … Maybe actually follows up on CJ’s prior question. The MPG business that you’re now breaking out, it’s pretty clear it’s losing $3 billion, $3.5 billion. How do you think about this business?

Obviously you’re trying to ramp the product set you are a bit behind. You’re entering from the low end and that pricing seems quite tough. You’re facing some subsidies that you have to do on the tablet side.

Are there some milestones that you look at to get this business back profitable? Or maybe would you consider this strategic enough that you would consider continuing to run this as a loss?

Brian M. Krzanich – CEO: So, you asked several questions in there, so let me start to pars it apart. Absolutely this is a strategic business, so let’s just start with that. We think this is critical and we said this in our prepared statements. It’s critical from 2 in 1 devices down through the Internet of Things.

You look across the connectivity requirements there; more and more of the devices are requiring integrated connectivity, whether it be LTE, 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and all of these connectivities are becoming more and more required.

We don’t go into these businesses thinking that we’re going to lose money. We believe we have a roadmap to get to profitability in that business. The milestones that I look at — and so I’ll give you those for yourself to look at, we have the 7160, the current LTE version out there. We’re the second in LTE. We have the 7260 launch this quarter. I think that’s a critical there.

Again, we’re closing the gap with our competition. We’re bringing out leading edge Cat 6 capability with carrier aggregation. That’s a critical milestone. That puts — that closes the gap and puts us firmly in the LTE capability.

The next one is SoFIA. If you look at the SoFIAs at the end of this year with 3G integration and then a big first half of next year with LTE integration. Remember those products weren’t even on our roadmap six or seven months ago. So, that shows that we’re acting quickly integrating and bringing those products to production.

Then after that is, as Stacy said earlier, Broxton, which is our internal 14-nanometer product. That’s targeted towards the mid to high level. And as we bring that into the second half of 2015 and into 2016, there will be various levels of integration on that.

So, when I look across this, those are the milestones I look at, because those are what drive that along with just the basic cost reduction capabilities we talked about for this year as we get out of this contra revenue into 2015. Those products then place us firmly in leadership capability from the low end to the high end with integration. And those are the milestones to me that will lead to profitability long-term.

Stacy J. Smith – EVP and CFO: And I’ll just add to that, I think you left it off because it was so obvious, but the 40 million tablets is one of the things I see Brian just laser focused on. And as we’ve talked about before, it gets us into the 15% to 20% range of the total tablet market.

It gives us a big enough footprint that we start to see people developing on our architectures. It becomes a self-sustaining ecosystem as we’re bringing these other products to the marketplace. So, don’t lose sight of that one, Blaine.

Stacy Rasgon – Sanford C. Bernstein & Co: I wanted to dig a little bit into the mobile and wireless group. So, you’ve talked a bit about having I guess developing leadership products, leadership position in order to drive profitability. We’re looking at this right now, though. So, we had the business fall more than 50% sequentially.

You have your 7160 which is shipping but apparently it’s not really driving much volume. We have the 7260 which is forthcoming, but we really haven’t heard much about design wins. And you launched at Mobile World Congress without really saying very much there.

We have SoFIA coming, which absolutely is integrated, but it’s being made at TSMC for the next few years which means you lose any potential benefits from your own process technology. And you would seem to be well behind what the market leaders are shipping in terms of 4G.

Just what should we be looking for and over what timeframe should we be looking for, for the ramp? I guess what I’m asking is, how can we get confidence that we’re going to actually see the revenue ramp that is built into the short-term expectations for this year and then going forward, to make sure that you can actually get a profitable business, which obviously would be driving quite a bit of upside to where the models are today?

Brian M. Krzanich – CEO: Remember, the 7160, we gave you a series of products that it’s shipping in. And on the 7260, which will qualify this quarter, we gave you a list of OEM partners that have committed to that platform. So, we’re fairly confident that the ramp in the second half of this year will continue on that product. And it is a leadership product.

SoFIA, you’re right, is built at TSMC. We went for speed and integration. And it was simply quicker to get to market with a competitive product from both a price and performance. We actually believe that the IA core will give us better performance than the competition. And the competition is at that same node at TSMC. And it’s 3G at the end of this year and LTE in the first half of next year.

We then told you that in the second half of next year — and again, we’re debating whether it’s the second half or the first quarter of 2016, but we’ll move all of that internal on to 14-nanometers. And it’s really based on other products that we have moving in at that time and just overall resources all right.

We had a lot going on — the ramp of Broadwell, the ramp of Skylake in the second half of next year, plus bringing these products inside. But I’m very confident that when you do that, plus you add in Broxton, which is targeted towards the mid to high range and again is integrated with leading-edge LTE.

And don’t forget we have a roadmap of LTE products beyond the 7260 that continue the level of carrier aggregation and product leadership. We’re fairly confident that we can continue to grow this business and turn it profitable over that time.

Stacy J. Smith – EVP and CFO: And let me just comment on the question about the long-term profitability. It sounds basic, but it really stems from our manufacturing leadership. If we’re two years ahead of the rest of the industry, and extending it gives us the ability that, as we target our products into the right space from a power standpoint, we will have power advantage or performance advantage and a cost advantage.

That really is our strategy playing out. You’re seeing the first products hitting that theme over the course of this year and into early next year. Bay Trail is a really good product. For the high end of the market, you’ll see products coming into the market that are more targeted at the mid-range and lower end of the market next year. But that’s how the strategy plays out.

I’d say for 2015, I would expect to see reduction in the loss. Not profitability, but a reduction in the loss will feel pretty good when we get there and then we’ll keep driving towards the long-term profitability goal.

Stacy Rasgon – Sanford C. Bernstein & Co:  I’d like to drill in a bit more. I’m actually into the tablet efforts now. So, we’re obviously subsidizing. And I get the idea of reducing BOM cost in order to make up for the deficiencies with the idea being that you can drive improved product set down the road.

But at the same time, if you look at the tablet market, where it is today, you’re obviously not going to be going after Apple any time soon. Maybe there’s a little bit of volume at Samsung. But I mean if you take those guys out, 75% of what’s left is systems that are $250 and below, where your competitors are shipping quad-core chips for much less than $10.

I’m curious to know what kind of economics and pricing you see from that market long-term. And are the — I guess the total revenue pool and profit pool that’s available, even if you were to succeed at your goals, why does that make it a worthwhile effort to actually go after? Or is this simply, as you said, strategic? Is this an attempt to limit further penetration of tablets into the core market?

Brian M. Krzanich – CEO: You’ve asked a question that has multiple questions built into it. But let’s start with what we told you was we’ve got multiple OEM partners building tablets and phones on our products. And we gave you Asus and Dell and Lenovo and Samsung on those products.

If you look at the tablet business overall, it’s broken up into a series of segments. And you’re right; there is a large percentage of them that are $250 and below. Products like SoFIA are specifically designed for that segment.

And our dual-core SoFIA already performs quite well against quad-core systems. As we move into next year, we’ll bring quad-core SoFIA-based products out, as well. And so we believe that we can stay very cost competitive and have a performance leadership.

Remember, Intel has two assets. We have our silicon technology, but we also have our architecture. And one of the things an OEM gets when they build with Intel technology is that they can go into any OS and they can build a single platform and move that on to Chrome, on to Android, on to Windows. And that’s a very unique capability that we provide to OEMs for flexibility.

So, we believe with a product like SoFIA, as we bring that into the market next year, we can absolutely compete in those spaces and make money. You’re probably not going to make as much revenue dollars and as much margin dollars as the PC business, but we think this is still critical. And it’s critical for a variety of reasons. Part of it is simply the scale. You want to have those units. You want to have a presence in all areas of computing.

And the second one is developer attention. You want developers creating new products, doing innovation on your architecture. This is a space that’s got innovation. We are going to bring some of that innovation to this market. You’re going to see some tablets as you go into the end of this year.

We showed them at CES, some of the highlights where you have 3D cameras, you have perceptual computing capabilities for gaming. All of those kinds of things can change the tablet market, along with the PC market.

So, we believe that we can bring a lot of the innovation that we do in the PC down into the tablet space. And again, that keeps the developers developing and interested in our platform. I think for all of those reasons, we want to be in this space and we will be in this space from now on.

Stacy J. Smith – EVP and CFO: That was very complete, but we don’t fear the low end of the market. You look at how we played out in PCs. You can drive a lot of unit growth by participating in PCs now that are $199 to $250. We can have the cost structure because of our manufacturing lead to participate nicely there. And you see that as markets mature, they also segment.

And so we have look, you look at our PC business, we have great demand and profitability in core I7s and it spans down to Bay Trail at the Atom segment of the market. So, it’s a misconception to think that we only want to play at the high end. Our manufacturing leadership can give us the cost structure to play profitably at the low end, as well.

Mark Lipacis – Jefferies: Brian, when you talk about the 40 million unit bogey on tablets this year, could you go through the taxonomy of that a little bit? To what extent do you think this is Windows versus Android? And what’s the class of product you think will represent the mode or the mean? Like where do you think your sweet spot is going to be this year on tablets?

Brian M. Krzanich – CEO: Our mix of OSs reflects pretty much what you see in the marketplace. So, I think, depending on how you look at it, it’s probably something on the order of 90% Android, 80% Android, 10% to 20% Windows.

Our percentages look very much like the marketplace. So, if Windows continues to grow and gain traction I think our percentage would just align directly to that. So, you can — don’t separate what we ship from what’s basically in the marketplace. We’re leadership capability on all of the OSs now.

As far as what is the price point, again, it reflects fairly close to what the marketplace is. You see us in systems below $100 now. The majority of the systems are say $125 to $250, somewhere in there. And then you see us in some of the upper end systems, $250 to $400. And so — but the majority is in that — I’d call it, $125 to probably $250 range.

Mark Lipacis – Jefferies: And then as a follow-up, did you discuss, do you expect to have the Android tablets ramping in volume this quarter? Are we going to be — should we expect to see the Bay Trail Android products at Computex this year? When do we really see the material ramp in the Android products?

Brian M. Krzanich – CEO: Sure, absolutely. You can go out to the store today and buy an Android — in fact, I’d love you to go buy one of the 40 million we’ll sell. But, yes, you can buy Android. It continues to ramp through this quarter. At Computex, we’ll show a series of Android and Windows-based tablets. And they just continue to ramp through this year. But they’re on shelves today. I saw them in the store this weekend.

Stacy J. Smith – EVP and CFO: The majority of the 5 million units, for example, are Android. Just as Brian said, it more or less follows the distribution between Windows and Android.

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Intel is ready to push big in smartphones next year with its winning multimode voice and data, multiband LTE modem technology capable of global LTE roaming via a single SKU

To play it safe the chip is still produced by TSMC (as with Infineon bought in 2011 by Intel) and could continue so in the foreseeable future. 

IDF 2013: Intel CEO shows 22 nanometer-based, LTE smartphone [ITworld YouTube channel, Sept 11, 2013]

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich at IDF in San Francisco showed a smartphone based on Intel’s 22 nanometer architecture. He demonstrated a smartphone platform featuring both the Intel XMM 7160 LTE solution and Intel’s next-generation Intel® Atom™ SoC for 2014 smartphones and tablets codenamed “Merrifield.” Based on the Silvermont microarchitecture, “Merrifield” will deliver increased performance (with 50 percent more performance than the previous Clover Trail+ platform), power-efficiency and battery life over Intel’s current-generation offering.

From: Intel’s CEO Discusses Q3 2013 Results – Earnings Call Transcript [Seeking Alpha, Oct 15, 2013]

In the Wireless business, I was pleased with our progress on LTE. Our multimode data modem is now available in the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3. By the end of the year, we expect to have voice-over-LTE versions available for customers and our second generation of voice-over-LTE product with carrier aggregation will be available in the first half of next year.

Intel Webcast – Accelerating Wireless [intelmarkus YouTube channel, Oct 30, 2013]

Thomas Lindner, senior director for Multicomm Marketing and Product Planning at Intel, said that LTE has so far presented unique and demanding challenges for device makers. “There is fragmentation in the market, with over 40 LTE bands in use worldwide, and each country using its own set of bands,” he said. With 15 of these bands in one product, Intel “enables devices to operate on a global basis in all major markets”, he added. The XMM 7160 is also the first generation capable of handling the full data rates supported by today’s 4G networks, according to Lindner, enabling downlink speeds up to 150Mbps. It also has support for Voice over LTE (VoLTE), which means that it can be used to deliver voice calls with better voice quality over LTE networks. Over time, this capability will see 2G and 3G networks phased out and make “legacy cellular technologies obsolete”, Lindner said. “[With the XMM 7160] manufacturers of devices can serve the global market with a single global SKU or small number of SKUs between one and three”, he added. … Lindner disclosed that Intel also plans to deliver a second generation LTE module in 2014. The XMM 7260 will support higher network speeds and additional capabilities such as support for the TD-LTE standard and the ability to combine bands for higher bandwidth. Despite its perceived sluggishness to enter the mobile space, Lindner claimed that Intel is entering the 4G market “just as it’s about to take off”. There are 166 million 4G subscribers in 2013 and this is expected to grow to over 1 billion in 2017, he added.

See also: Intel® XMM™ 7160 Slim Modem [ARK | Your Source for Intel® Product Information, June 23, 2012]

Interview AnandTech with Aicha Evans — Scale & Integration- Addressing the Global Market for LTE [channelintel YouTube channel, Aug 14, 2013]

Interview AnandTech with Aicha Evans — Intel’s Approach to Wireless Innovation [channelintel YouTube channel, Aug 14, 2013]

Background information: Ask the Experts: Intel’s Aicha Evans Talks Wireless and Answers Your Questions [AnandTech, Aug 15, 2013]

Intel proves that it has what it takes when it comes to LTE [By Michael Thelander on Spirent blogs, March 19, 2013]

Signals Research Group (SRG) recently completed its eighth collaborative effort with Spirent Communications and its sixteenth “Chips and Salsa” report on cellular chipsets. In the most recent collaboration, we brought together LTE baseband chipsets from eight different suppliers (Altair Semiconductor, GCT, Intel, NVIDIA, Qualcomm, Renesas Mobile, Samsung, and Sequans) to determine who has the best performing chipset, based on a series of 32 test scenarios that we derived from industry accepted 3GPP test specifications. SRG facilitated the benchmark study and was responsible for reviewing and analyzing the results. Spirent provided engineering support, and most importantly, the use of its 8100 test system to conduct the automated and highly repeatable tests on each chipset.
The most recent study marked our second benchmark study of LTE chipsets. Previous studies with Spirent have included HSPA+, HSDPA, UMTS call reliability and A-GNSS. To date, we are still recognized as the only independent provider of baseband chipset performance benchmark studies in the industry. And as a testament to our long-standing relationship, the companies that participated in the most recent round are already clamoring for the next round to take place. The companies that came out on top want to prove that they are not a one trick pony and the companies that came out toward the bottom want redemption. The few companies that were not ready to participate in the last study are also ready to enter the competition. There was a reason that we titled the report, “Sweet 16 and never been benchmarked” since some of these companies have been noticeably absent from prior studies due to the uncertain viability of their chipsets.
The results from the most recent round are interesting, to say the least. First, Spirent and SRG were able to bring together numerous pre-commercial and commercial chipsets. I imagine that most people were surprised that Intel actually had a working LTE chipset, let alone find out that it was the best performing chipset (more on this facet in a bit). Additionally, the list included pre-commercial solutions from Sequans, Renesas Mobile and NVIDIA. It would be virtually impossible for any organization to assemble such a line-up!
As I hinted in the title, Intel came out on topbeating the likes of perennial favorite and San Diego native, Qualcomm. To be fair, the results were incredibly close with only a few percentage points separating the two companies, but Intel’s results were better and close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. We could add another activity to the list, but this blog is intended to be family friendly. And if you are assuming that Qualcomm came in second place then you might want to rethink your assumption – nothing we wrote in this blog suggests that they did.
In hindsight, Intel’s results should not be all that surprising since it highly leverages the Infineon 3G platform and stellar RF performance that has since evolved to support LTE under the Intel moniker. Infineon, I note, was always a strong performer in our HSPA+/HSDPA chipset studies and it was in the original 3G iPhone until Qualcomm won the slot, in part due to its ability to support the requirements of a certain North American operator whose name rhymes with Horizon Direless. Intel may have lost the ARM war, but you can’t throw the baby out with the bath water.
Separate from the overall results, I once again saw some pretty big performance differences among all of the chipsets, in particular for the more challenging fading scenarios. As a side note, in addition to the more basic static channel conditions, our 32 test scenarios included various simulated fading channels (EVA5, EPA5, ETU70, and ETU300), SNR values, and MIMO correlation factors to create a range of challenging, albeit realistic, scenarios. In many cases the variance between the top-performing and bottom-performing LTE baseband chipset exceeded twenty percentage points. Even for the top-performing LTE baseband chipsets, it was clearly evident in the results that some chipsets did better in some scenarios than in other scenarios.
Now that we’ve set the bar for how chipsets should perform, I expect to witness material improvements in our next round, which we have planned for later this year. Just to keep everyone honest, I plan to change the test scenarios for the next round. In the interim, Spirent and SRG are investigating some additional benchmark studies that we can do together. These studies could include the industry’s first independent over-the-air (OTA) testing of leading platforms in commercial devices (imagine Samsung S III versus Apple iPhone 5) as well as our second round of A-GNSS testing.
If you are interested in the published report, please feel free to visit our website at www.signalsresearch.com where you can download a report preview.
Click here for more information on testing LTE chipset and mobile device performance.

From Intel® Mobile Phone System Platform Products and Features

Intel® XMM™ 7160 platform

Multimode LTE & DC-HSPA

Based on Intel® X-GOLD™ 716 digital and analog baseband with integrated Power Management Unit and Intel® SMARTi™ transceiver for 2G, 3G, 4G, and LTE, the Intel® XMM™ 7160 platform is the most compact solution for LTE and DC-HSPA smartphones for worldwide deployment.

View the Intel® XMM™ 7160 platform brief > [June 23, 2012]

  • LTE capabilities of 150Mbps and 50Mbps (Cat 4)
  • HSDPA and HSUPA capabilities of 42Mbps and 11.5Mbps with EDGE multislot class 33
  • Multi-band LTE, penta-band 3G, quad-band EDGE for worldwide connectivity
  • Excellent power consumption and extremely small PCB footprint
  • Hardware and software interfaces to applications processors or to a PC as a wireless modem

From the announcement in February 2012 via product launch in Q1’13 to first commercial delivery in October 2013:

From: Intel Expands Smartphone Portfolio: New Customers, Products, Software and Services [press release, Feb 27, 2012]
Addressing the growing handset opportunity in emerging markets where consumers look for more value at lower prices, Intel disclosed plans for the Intel® Atom™ processor Z2000.
The Z2000 is aimed squarely at the value smartphone market segment, which industry sources predict could reach up to 500 million units by 20151.The platform includes a 1.0 GHz Atom CPU offering great graphics and video performance, and the ability to access the Web and play Google Android* games. It also supports the Intel® XMM 6265 3G HSPA+ modem with Dual-SIM 2G/3G, offering flexibility on data/voice calling plans to save on costs. Intel will sample the Z2000 in mid-2012 with customer products scheduled by early 2013.
Building on these 32nm announcements, Otellini discussed how the Atom™ processor will outpace Moore’s Law and announced that Intel will ship 22nm SoCs for carrier certification next year, and is already in development on 14nm SoC technology.
In 2011, Intel shipped in more than 400 million cellular platforms. Building on this market segment position, Intel announced the XMM 7160, an advanced multimode LTE/3G/2G platform with support for 100Mbps downlink and 50Mbps uplink, and support for HSPA+ 42Mbps. Intel will sample the product in the second quarter with customer designs scheduled to launch by the end of 2012.
Intel also announced that it is sampling the XMM 6360 platform, a new slim modem 3G HSPA+ solution supporting 42Mbps downlink and 11.5Mbps uplink for small form factors.
From: Intel Accelerates Mobile Computing Push [press release, Feb 24, 2013]
Long-Term Evolution (4G LTE)
Intel’s strategy is to deliver a leading low-power, global modem solution that works across multiple bands, modes, regions and devices.
The Intel® XMM™ 7160 is one of the world’s smallest2 and lowest-power multimode-multiband LTE solutions (LTE / DC-HSPA+ / EDGE), supporting multiple devices including smartphones, tablets and Ultrabook™ systems. The 7160 global modem supports 15 LTE bands simultaneously, more than any other in-market solution. It also includes a highly configurable RF architecture running real time algorithms for envelope tracking and antenna tuning that enables cost-efficient multiband configurations, extended battery life, and global roaming in a single SKU.
“The 7160 is a well-timed and highly competitive 4G LTE solution that we expect will meet the growing needs of the emerging global 4G market,” [Hermann] Eul[, Intel vice president and co-general manager of the Mobile and Communications Group] said. “Independent analysts have shown our solution to be world class and I’m confident that our offerings will lead Intel into new multi-comm solutions. With LTE connections projected to double over the next 12 months to more than 120 million connections, we believe our solution will give developers and service providers a single competitive offering while delivering to consumers the best global 4G experience. Building on this, Intel will also accelerate the delivery of new advanced features to be timed with future advanced 4G network deployments.”
Intel is currently shipping its single mode 4G LTE data solution and will begin multimode shipments later in the first half of this year. The company is also optimizing its LTE solutions concurrently with its SoC roadmap to ensure the delivery of leading-edge low-power combined solutions to the marketplace.

From: Signals Ahead: Chips And Salsa XVI – Sweet 16 And Never Been Benchmarked [Feb 25, 2013] 
Executive Summary

In December 2011 we published the industry’s first performance benchmark study of LTE baseband modem chipsets. In that study we tested five commercially-procured chipsets from four chipset suppliers. We tested two different Qualcomm chipsets. Fast forward fourteen months and we are finally out with the results from our most recent study in which three companies vie for top honors. Intel’s pre-commercial solution was the top-performing solution that we tested.

This report is our sixteenth Chips and Salsa report since 2004, with the overwhelming majority of these reports focused specifically on performance benchmarking. Over the years, we’ve benchmarked UMTS (call reliability) HSDPA, HSPA+, Mobile WiMAX, A-GNSS and LTE chipsets, with the results always providing the industry with a fully independent and objective assessment of how the chipsets compare with each other for the given set of evaluation criteria. For the eighth time, we have collaborated with Spirent Communications to get access to their 8100 test system and engineering support in order to obtain highly objective results.
The significant advantage of conducting lab-based tests is that we can easily replicate and repeat each test scenario in an automated fashion, thus ensuring a common and consistent set of test scenarios for each device/chipset that we tested. And with the Spirent 8100 test system that we used for the tests, we know that we went with a test platform that is widely recognized and being used in several early LTE deployments. SRG takes full responsibility for the analysis and conclusions associated with this benchmarking exercise.
In the most recent round of chipset testing, we tested a seemingly staggering number of solutions – we tested solutions from eight different chipset suppliers (reference Table 1). We attempted to test a solution from HiSilicon, but through no fault of their own we ran into some difficulties and faced time constraints with MWC just around the corner. We reserve the right to publish their results in the near future and provide updated rankings. Many of these solutions were pre-commercial chipsets and/or the chipsets that came directly from the chipset suppliers. This approach ensured that the results that we are providing in this report are very forward looking and highly differentiated. It would be virtually impossible for any single organization to get access to all of these chipsets and replicate this study.
Worth noting, we personally invited all companies with LTE chipset aspirations to participate in this study, and given our history in doing these tests, companies recognize the importance of supporting our efforts. Needless to say, if we didn’t include a company’s LTE chipset in this study then they probably don’t have a solution that is ready to be benchmarked against their peers. It is one thing to issue a press release, demonstrate a working PHY Layer without any upper protocol layers, or show a chipset operating under ideal conditions. It is another situation all together to put your proverbial money where your mouth is and allow a third party to benchmark your solution and publish the results for all to read. Sweet 16 and never been benchmarked!

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As previously alluded to in this report, we used throughput as the primary criteria for evaluating the chipsets. We recognize that device manufacturers and operators use other objective and subjective criteria to select their chipset partners. The criteria includes support for multiple RF bands and legacy technologies, power consumption, time to market, price, engineering support, and the inclusion of peripherals (e.g., application processor, connectivity solutions, etc.). However, no one can dispute the importance of throughput and the ability of the chipset to make the most efficient use of available network resources.
We subjected the chipsets to 32 different test scenarios that combined a mix of fading profiles (Static Channel, EPA5, EVA5, ETU70 and ETU300) and transmission modes (Transmit Diversity, Open Loop MIMO and Closed Loop MIMO). All of the chipsets that we tested performed quite well with the less challenging test scenarios but we observed a fairly large separation of results with the more challenging test scenarios. In many cases the performance difference was in excess of 20% between the top- and bottom-performing solutions.

Based on our highly objective evaluation criteria, Intel had the top-performing solution by a very slight margin. This result may surprise some readers, but we point out that the Infineon 3G solution was always a strong contender in our previous benchmark studies. That scenario is in stark contrast to its application processor which has continuously struggled to be competitive and to attract market share. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. All this and more in this issue of Signals Ahead.

From: Innovation, Reinvention on Intel® Architecture Fuel  Wave of 2-in-1 Devices, New Mobile Computing Experiences [press release, Jun 3, 2013]
Accelerating Fast: Tablets, Smartphones and LTE
Intel’s 22nm low-power, high-performance Silvermont microarchitecture is enabling the company to accelerate and significantly enhance its tablet and smartphone offerings.
For tablets on shelves for holiday 2013, Intel’s next-generation, 22nm quad-core Atom SoC (“Bay Trail-T”) will deliver superior graphics and more than two times the CPU performance of the current generation. It will also enable sleek designs with 8 or more hours3 of battery life and weeks of standby, as well as support Android* and Windows 8.1*.
For the first time, [Executive Vice President Tom] Kilroy demonstrated Intel’s 4G LTE multimode solution in conjunction with the next-generation 22nm quad-core Atom SoC for tablets. The Intel® XMM 7160 is one of the world’s smallest4and lowest-power multimode-multiband LTE solutions and will support global LTE roaming in a single SKU.
With a number of phones with Intel silicon inside having shipped across more than 30 countries, Kilroy previewed what’s coming. He showed for the first time a smartphone reference design platform based on “Merrifield,” Intel’s next-generation 22nm Intel Atom SoC for smartphones that will deliver increased performance and battery life. The platform includes an integrated sensor hub for personalized services, as well as capabilities for data, device and privacy protection.
From: Intel Readies ‘Bay Trail’ for  Holiday 2013 Tablets and 2-in-1 Devices [press release, Jun 4, 2013]
At an industry event in Taipei today, Hermann Eul, general manager of Intel’s Mobile and Communications Group, unveiled new details about the company’s forthcoming Intel®  Atom™ processor-based  SoC for tablets (“Bay Trail-T”) due in market for holiday this year.
Eul also spoke to recent momentum and announcements around the smartphone business and demonstrated the Intel® XMM 7160 multimode 4G LTE solution, now in final interoperability testing (IOT) with Tier 1 service providers across North America, Europe and Asia.

Long-Term Evolution (4G LTE)
Intel’s strategy is to deliver leading low-power, global  modem solutions that work across multiple bands, regions and devices.
Intel’s XMM 7160 is one of the world’s smallest and lowest-power multimode-multiband LTE solutions. The modem supports 15 LTE bands simultaneously, and also includes a highly configurable RF architecture running real-time algorithms for envelope tracking and antenna tuning that enables cost-efficient multiband configurations, extended battery life and global LTE roaming in a single SKU.
Eul demonstrated the solution by showcasing a Bay Trail-based tablet over an LTE network connection, and said that Intel will begin shipments of multimode data 4G LTE in the coming weeks following final IOT with Tier 1 service providers in North America, Europe and Asia.

Intel announced that the new Samsung GALAXY Tab 3 10.1-inch is powered by the Intel® Atom™ processor Z2560 (“Clover Trail+”). Additionally, the new Samsung GALAXY Tab 3 10.1-inch tablet will come equipped with Intel’s XMM 6262 3G modem solution or Intel’s XMM 7160 4G LTE solution.
From: New Intel CEO, President Outline Product Plans, Future of Computing Vision to ‘Mobilize’ Intel and Developers [press release, Sept 10, 2013]
In high-speed 4G wireless data communications, [Intel CEO Brian] Krzanich said Intel’s new LTE solution provides a compelling alternative for multimode, multiband 4G connectivity, removing a critical barrier to Intel’s progress in the smartphone market segment. Intel is now shipping a multimode chip, the Intel® XMM™ 7160 modem, which is one of the world’s smallest and lowest-power multimode-multiband solutions for global LTE roaming.
As an example of the accelerating development pace under Intel’s new management team, Krzanich said that the company’s next-generation LTE product, the Intel® XMM™ 7260 modem, is now under development. Expected to ship in 2014, the Intel XMM 7260 modem will deliver LTE-Advanced features, such as carrier aggregation, timed with future advanced 4G network deployments. Krzanich showed the carrier aggregation feature of the Intel XMM 7260 modem successfully doubling throughput speeds during his keynote presentation.
He also demonstrated a smartphone platform featuring both the Intel XMM 7160 LTE solution and Intel’s next-generation Intel® Atom™ SoC for 2014 smartphones and tablets codenamed “Merrifield.” Based on the Silvermont microarchitecture, “Merrifield” will deliver increased performance, power-efficiency and battery life over Intel’s current-generation offering.

Intel Announces First Commercial Availability of 4G LTE Modem; Introduces Module for 4G Connected Tablets and Ultrabooks™ [press release, Oct 30, 2013]

NEWS HIGHLIGHTS

  • Intel® XMM™ 7160 LTE modem is now shipping in the 4G version of the Samsung GALAXY Tab 3 (10.1) – available in Asia and Europe.
  • Intel® XMM™ 7160 provides multimode (2G/3G/4G LTE) voice and data with simultaneous support for 15 LTE bands for global LTE roaming.
  • Intel announces PCIe M.2 LTE wireless data modules expected to ship in 2014 tablet and Ultrabook™ designs from leading manufacturers.

Intel Corporation today announced the commercial availability of its multimode, multiband 4G LTE solution. The Intel® XMM™ 7160 platform is featured in the LTE version of the Samsung GALAXY Tab 3 (10.1)*, now available in Asia and Europe.
Intel has also expanded its portfolio of 4G LTE connectivity solutions, introducing PCIe (PCI Express) M.2 modules for 4G connected tablets, Ultrabooks™ and 2 in 1 devices as well as an integrated radio frequency (RF) transceiver module, the Intel® SMARTi™ m4G. These new products make it simple, efficient and cost effective for device manufacturers to add high performance wireless connectivity to their product designs.
“As LTE networks expand at a rapid pace, 4G connectivity will be an expected ingredient in devices from phones to tablets as well as laptops,” said Hermann Eul, vice president and general manager of Intel’s Mobile and Communications Group. “Intel is providing customers an array of options for fast, reliable LTE connectivity while delivering a competitive choice and design flexibility for the mobile ecosystem.”
The commercial availability of the Intel XMM 7160 solution follows successful interoperability testing with major infrastructure vendors and tier-one operators across Asia, Europe and North America. The Intel XMM 7160 is one of the world’s smallest and lowest-power multimode, multiband LTE solutions for phones and tablets. The solution provides seamless connectivity across 2G, 3G and 4G LTE networks,supports 15 LTE bands simultaneously and is voice-over LTE (VoLTE) capable. It features a highly configurable RF architecture, running real-time algorithms for envelope tracking and antenna tuning that enables cost-efficient multiband configurations, extended battery life and global LTE roaming in a single SKU.
Intel offers a broad portfolio of mobile platform solutions including SoCs, cost-optimized integrated circuits, reference designs and feature-rich software stacks supporting 2G, 3G and 4G LTE. Building on the Intel XMM 7160 platform, Intel today announced two multimode LTE solutions that pave the way for 4G connected devices in a variety of form factors.
New Intel PCIe M.2 LTE Modules and Intel SMARTi m4G Solution
Intel introduced Intel PCIe M.2 LTE modules, which are small, cost-effective, embedded modules in a standardized form factor for adding multimode (2G/3G/4G LTE) data connectivity across a variety of device types. The Intel M.2 module supports peak downlink speeds of 100Mbps over LTE. The modules support up to 15 LTE frequency bands for global roaming. In addition, those modules also feature support for Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) based on the Intel CG1960 GNSS solution.
For manufacturers, the M.2 module makes it simple to add 4G connectivity to their designs while reducing integration and certification expenses, and improving time-to-market. The M.2 module is currently undergoing interoperability testing with tier-one global service providers. Intel M.2-based modules will soon be available from Huawei*, Sierra Wireless* and Telit*. These modules are expected to ship globally in 2014 tablet and Ultrabook designs from leading manufacturers.
imageIn addition to the new M.2 LTE module, Intel also offers the new Intel SMARTi m4G a highly integrated radio transceiver module. The Intel SMARTi m4G was developed in cooperation with Murata* and integrates the Intel SMARTi 4G transceiver with most front-end components in one LTCC (low temperature co-fired ceramic) package. When paired with the Intel® X-GOLD™ 716 baseband, manufacturers can meet the certification requirements of service providers with minimal design cycles in an easy-to-place, low-profile solution. With the Intel SMARTi m4G, the overall component count can be reduced by more than 40 components and the required PCB area is reduced up to 20 percent.
Intel plans to deliver next-generation LTE solutions, including the Intel® XMM™ 7260 in 2014. The Intel XMM 7260 adds LTE Advanced features, such as carrier aggregation, faster speeds and support for both TD-LTE and TD-SCDMA. More information about Intel’s mobile communications solutions is available at http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/wireless-products/mobile-communications.html.

See also: Intel Talks about Multimode LTE Modems – XMM7160 and Beyond [AnandTech, Aug 20, 2013] from which I will include here:

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XMM7160 is still built on TSMC’s 40nm CMOS process, and its SMARTi 4G transceiver is built on 65nm at TSMC, but Intel still claims it has a 20–30% power advantage for modem and RF compared to a competitor smartphone platform, though it wouldn’t say which. … The transition of modem to Intel Architecture (away from two different DSP architectures) also remains to be seen, and I’m told it will be two to three years before Intel’s modems are ready to intercept the Intel fabrication roadmap and get built on Intel silicon instead of at TSMC. …

From: Mobile Wireless M2M Value Proposition Product Portfolio and Roadmap for M2M 2G-4G [Intel presentation, Nov 26, 2012]

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The Upcoming Mobile Internet Superpower

download this PDF-format mini e-book
(now with an extensive follow-up & ‘The global forces behind …’ analysis, later in this post)

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

Put* together by Sándor Nacsa in August 2013

This mini e-book is a follow-up to the findings of “China is the epicenter of the mobile Internet world, so of the next-gen HTML5 web” [Aug 5, 2013] post from my trend-tracking blog “Experiencing the Cloud”, as well as the following posts which lead to those findings:

IMT-Advanced (4G) for the next-generations of interactive mobile services, China is triumphant [Oct 24, 2010]
Good TD-LTE potential for target commercialisation by China Mobile in 2012 [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)[ Oct 18, 2011]
China becoming the lead market for mobile Internet in 2012/13 [Dec 1, 2011]
MWC 2012: the 4G/LTE lightRadio network [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 [Oct 16, 2012]

download this PDF-format mini e-book

Now an extensive FOLLOW-UP
(& ‘The global forces behind …’ analysis after that)

China emerging as ‘mobile only’ in sharp contrast to the US multiscreen market [DIGITIMES, Aug 19, 2013]

With smartphone penetration still in the early stages in China, a new study indicates that the country could become a “one screen nation,” outpacing the US in consumers who use smartphones as their sole or primary media device, according to research developed by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and the Interactive Internet Advertising Committee of China (IIACC).
The research revealed that media consumption is more impacted by smartphone ownership in China. More than a quarter of China-based smartphone owners report less TV watching and reduced print consumption as a result of owning a mobile connected device (28% and 27% respectively). In comparison to their US counterparts, China-based smartphone owners are 86% more likely to report less TV usage and 42% more likely to report less print usage.
In contrast to China smartphone owners’ concentrated focus on the small screen, US smartphone owners are much more likely to consume other media with their mobile devices in hand. For example, while watching TV, smartphone users report participating in Internet communication (51% US vs. 10% China), reading social media (38% US vs. 9% China), and conducting a local search (34% US vs. 8% China). The data shows similar disparities when it comes to reading print media, the research found.
The two firms said the research also illustrates Americans’ greater dependency on their smartphones as devices that they would “never leave home without” (69%). In comparison, merely 6% of their China counterparts said the same. Approximately one-third (34%) of Americans said that their smartphone is the “first thing I reach for when I wake up,” as opposed to 7% of China-based smartphone owners.
China-based consumers are also more apt to use their smartphones for web browsing than Americans (32% China vs. 21% US), the research found. More than one fifth (23%) of China-based respondents said that they spent three hours or more per day in the last week accessing the Internet with their smartphones. The top reason they cited for turning to their smartphones was “entertainment.”

Slush 2012: Keynote by John Lindfords (Digital Sky Technologies – DST) [startupsauna YouTube channel, Nov 24, 2013]

Nov 21, 2012 [16:30-16:50]: John Lindfors of DST chats about how the Internet and especially mobile are changing the world as well as the ample startup opportunities that ensue out of that unprecedented connectedness. But what has he to say of Asia’s perception of European startup activity? John Lindfors is a Partner of Digital Sky Technology (DST) and Managing Director of the Asian office in Hong Kong. He joined DST in 2010. Prior to joining DST, he was the Partner in charge of the European Technology and Media department for Goldman Sachs. He joined Goldman Sachs in London in 1993 and worked in London and New York during his 17 years at the firm focusing on the technology and media sectors. John has a M.Sc. (Econ) from the Swedish School of Economics in Helsinki.

How Social Media & E-Commerce Operate in China [Tim Swanson YouTube channel, Aug 13, 2013]

Tim Swanson, author of Great Wall of Numbers, interviews Matt Garner, a seasoned China specialist about companies such as Tencent and Alibaba — the giants of the Chinese Internet. Matt worked for a brand marketing consulting company and large NGO in Shanghai and is an expert on Chinese web trends and market analysis. Website: http://www.ofnumbers.com

China’s E-Commerce Boom: Millennials Shop Alibaba & ASOS [ForaTv YouTube channel, Aug 3, 2013]

Full video available at: http://fora.tv/2013/07/11/Around_the_World_in_Almost_10_Slides Matt Hiscock, senior vice president for ASOS US, describes how the fashion e-commerce company plans to work with the demands of shoppers in China.

Weibo: How Chinese Microblogs Sneak Fashion Past Censors [ForaTv YouTube channel, June 14, 2013]

Full video available for purchase at: http://fora.tv/2013/05/21/Do_in_Rome_as_the_Romans_Do_-_Winning_Strategy_in_a_Fast-Changing_Market Executive vice president of Shanghai Jahwa United Co. Ltd. Hua Fang shows how microblogging tools like Weibo – the equivalent of Twitter in China – are helping to globalize brands.

Alibaba investment spooks some of China’s online shoppers [Reuters TV YouTube channel, Aug 4, 2013]

Aug. 5 – E-commerce giant Alibaba’s investment in the Weibo microblogging service has resulted in users being bombarded with targeted ads for everything from bikinis to coffins. Anita Li examines the reaction.

Chinese Tech Giant Sets Sights on $265 Billion “Smart TV” Market [TheMotleyFool YouTube channel, July 24, 2013]

It’s no secret that the television will be the next great tech battleground. But what is less clear— and what will ultimately prove most profitable to tech-oriented investors— is what company will be the last one standing. Motley Fool analyst Lyons George discusses Alibaba, a Chinese Internet giant that deals in e-commerce, online auctions, and— as early this week— “smart television” operating systems. With an IPO expected any day now, Alibaba’s entrance into the projected $265 billion next-gen TV market is raising investor eyebrows around the globe.

In China smartphone market, cheap rules – and Apple suffers [Reuters TV YouTube channel, Aug 19, 2013]

Aug. 19 – Apple’s seen its market share in China dwindle as homegrown smartphone makers crank out feature-packed budget models. Could the launch of a cheaper iPhone restore its flagging fortunes?

FACTBOX: Will China Mobile deal widen Apple’s wedge? [Reuters TV YouTube channel, Aug 20, 2013]

Aug. 20 – Apple is losing market share to cheaper rivals in China. But a tie-up with top carrier China Mobile seems to be getting closer, and could quickly alter the country’s billion-strong playing field.

‘Broadband China’ aims to speed up network [CCTV News YouTube channel, Aug 18, 2013]

In its emphasis on ensuring that information technology becomes a key driver of growth, China has unveiled its new Broadband China strategy. As in the US, and Europe, the goal is that faster broadband should result in greater industrial efficiency, and, convenience for households.

More foreign carriers to deploy TD-LTE [China Daily video published on March 14, 2012 via SPHRazorTV YouTube channel]

March 14, 2012: Wang Jianzhou, Chairman of China Mobile Communications Corporation and a CPPCC member, talked about the current situation of TD-LTE’s development and promotion as an international 4G standard.

TD-LTE Subscriptions to Surpass 500 Million by 2017, Representing Annual TD-LTE Operator Service Revenues of $91 Billion Worldwide [Research and Markets announcement via PRNewswire, Aug 16, 2013]

More than 50 mobile carriers worldwide have so far committed to TDD LTE technology, and over 30 OEMs have commercially launched TD-LTE compatible devices, with a major proportion of these devices supporting both FDD and TDD modes of operation.
This forecast datasheet presents revenue and shipment market size and forecasts for both infrastructure and devices, along with subscription and service revenue projections for the LTE market as a whole, as well as separate projections for the TD-LTE and FDD-LTE sub-markets from 2012 through to 2017. Historical figures are also presented for 2010 and 2011, along with vendor market share data.
Driven by large scale TDD spectrum availability and the technology’s lower deployment costs, the industry witnessed several prominent TD-LTE network deployments in late 2011 and early 2012, including Softbank in Japan, Etisalat Mobily and STC in Saudi Arabia, and Bharti Airtel in India. More recently, in October 2012, the TD-LTE ecosystem received a major boost when China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced that the entire 190 MHz of spectrum in the 2.5/2.6 GHz band will be allocated for TD-LTE deployments in China, which harmonizes its TDD spectrum with Japan and the US, two major LTE markets.
These developments could allow the TD-LTE ecosystem to reach significant economies of scale, boosting further infrastructure and device investments in TD-LTE technology.

20130430 SoftBank、Sprintについての会見。質疑最終部分と囲み [Tamotsu Hashimoto YouTube channel, May 1, 2013]

Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son arguing against Dish Network counteroffer to acquire Sprint.

Sprint shareholders approve $21 6 billion deal with SoftBank [KansasCityNews YouTube channel, news article and video on June 25, video published via YouTube on Aug 13, 2013]

By combining their interests, Sprint and SoftBank hope to be able to negotiate better deals with network equipment companies, cellphone makers and lenders. Their aim is turning Sprint into a stronger competitor for Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile. Sprint and SoftBank’s plans rely heavily on valuable wireless spectrum controlled by Clearwire Corp. Spectrum are the licensed airwaves that carry video, downloads and other data-heavy activity of smartphone customers. Sprint has a deal to buy the roughly half of Clearwire it doesn’t already own for $5 a share. The Clearwire merger is part of the plans Sprint and SoftBank submitted to the FCC’s review. Clearwire shareholders vote July 8 on the merger with Sprint. Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/06/25/4311893/sprint-shareholders-approve-deal.html#storylink=cpy

Sprint CFO: SoftBank deal lets us take Clearwire spectrum nationwide [FierceWireless, July 30, 2013]

Sprint (NYSE:S) will be able to deploy Clearwire’s 2.5 GHz spectrum for TD-LTE service on a nationwide basis now that it is flush with fresh capital from SoftBank, which now controls 78 percent of Sprint, according to Sprint CFO Joe Euteneuer. Sprint formally took control of Clearwire earlier this month.
Steve Elfman, president of network operations at Sprint, noted during the company’s second-quarter earnings conference call that Sprint now plans to deploy Clearwire’s 2.5 GHz spectrum on all 38,000 of its planned Network Vision cell sites and even more sites than that in a nationwide rollout. Previously, Sprint had said it would use Clearwire’s spectrum as a “hotspot” LTE network to offload traffic in urban markets.
In an interview with FierceWireless, Euteneuer said SoftBank’s $21.6 billion acquisition–which includes $5 billion in new capital and allowed Sprint to buy Clearwire–spurred Sprint to make the shift in strategy. The move will let Sprint add more capacity to its own FDD-LTE network, which it is still in the process of being built out. Euteneuer noted that Sprint and Clearwire originally planned to deploy Clearwire’s spectrum on around 5,000 cell sites as an offload network in urban markets. Those plans are still proceeding this year, but Sprint now wants to expand that to improve the customer experience.
“Now that we own 100 percent of Clearwire, with the help of SoftBank, we said, how do we take full advantage of the 2.5 GHz spectrum?” Euteneuer said. “The best way to do that is to have it fully integrated with the rest of your spectrum capabilities. And to do that you really need to put it on every tower.”
The Sprint CFO said because of the weaker propagation characteristics of 2.5 GHz, Sprint will deploy small cells and other sites beyond the 38,000 Network Vision sites the company has mapped out. He said it is unclear at this point if the nationwide deployment of Clearwire’s spectrum will be finished by the end of 2014. Clearwire commands around 160 MHz of spectrum in the top 100 markets.
It is unclear exactly how many TD-LTE cell sites using Clearwire’s spectrum will be online by year-end. Iyad Tarazi, head of network development and integration for Sprint, recently told CNET that Sprint will have 5,000 Clearwire sites on air by year-end, but on Tuesday Elfman was less specific, and said “we’ll have several thousand sites up this year because of the work that Clearwire was doing before us.”
“We are working with Clearwire on plans and will share more soon,” Sprint spokeswoman Roni Singleton said in a follow-up statement.
Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said the deployment of a nationwide LTE network on 2.5 GHz will help give Sprint “competitive parity” with its rivals. “And the important thing in terms of what we believe will be a better, a superior network experience will depend upon how quickly we roll out the 2.5 [GHz spectrum], because that will give us extraordinary capacity and some speed and performance advantages in the market,” he said. …

Xiaomi CEO: Don’t call us China’s Apple [Reuters TV YouTube channel, Aug 15, 2013]

Aug. 15 – China’s Xiaomi has sparked a frenzy with a low-cost smartphone that may help the tech firm widen its lead over Apple in the local market — but CEO Lei Jun says it has very different ambitions.

China’s Tencent tops leaderboard, but rivals loom [Reuters TV YouTube channel, Aug 15, 2013]

Aug. 15 – China’s biggest Internet firm, Tencent, has been signing up users and burning up the stock charts. But its recent results point to a tougher future marked by higher costs and tougher competition.

WeChat, Made-in-China Messaging App Grows in Popularity [CCTV News YouTube channel, July 30, 2013]

As SMS messaging continues to grow, more and more players has entered this competitive space. One of those grabbing a bigger and bigger share of this market is the App – WeChat – owned by the Chinese internet company Tencent Holdings Ltd. WeChat is currently the number one messaging App in China. Follow us on Twitter/Facebook/WeChat @CCTVNEWS

Tencent Corporate Video [Alison Lee YouTube channel, Aug 6, 2013]

 


The global forces behind the overall setup of Chinese Internet giants:

China’s doors may be closed to social network company Facebook, but for its pre-IPO investor DST Global, the gates are wide open.
As a result, the firm has managed to invest about $1.5 billion into China-based companies over the past four years, translating into around half the amount of capital it has invested worldwide, Partner John Lindfors told Venture Capital Dispatch.
Unlike some foreign investors, DST Global is happy to take a minority shareholding in portfolio companies, and being a late-stage investor with the ability to write bigger checks, it has also encountered less competition among China-focused investors when targeting new deals.
“We don’t want to take control. If you think about it, some of the most successful companies have been run by their owners. We’re trying to find the next Bill Gates, and back him,” said Lindfors.
DST Global counts Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and online retailer Jingdong Mall as part of its Asian portfolio. DST, alongside other private equity firms like Silver Lake agreed to buy shares in Alibaba at a tender offer of $1.6 billion in 2011. That same year, DST Global also participated in a $1.5 billion third round of funding in Jingdong, with media reports stating that DST bought a 5% share in the online retailer for $500 million.
Although DST Global spent around $1.5 billion on both of those deals, said Lindfors, he noted that the firm is also “happy” to invest far less in a deal, even from $50 million, as deal sizes in China can often be smaller due to the general market size.
Other firms active in China’s Internet space include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Sequoia Capital, which typically target lesser-sized deals than DST Global, opening the playing field for the Russian investment firm.  In fact, KPCB China Investment Partner Wei Zhou last year told Venture Capital Dispatch that it had even started investing in pre-Series A deals.
DST Global, headed by Russian billionaire Yuri Milner, expects to invest in a “few” more deals in the next year or two across China’s Internet sector, specifically in e-commerce and mobile Internet, on expectations that growing domestic consumption and increasing users of mobile devices will bolster growth in these areas, said Lindfors.
“We see an explosion of smartphone usage,” said Lindfors. Indeed, industry insiders, including Kai Fu Lee, founder of Chinese investment firm Innovation Works, predict China will have 500 million smartphone users by the end of this year, jumping up from the current 330 million.
On the other side of the Pacific Ocean, DST Global has invested in the likes of Twitter and now-Nasdaq-listed Facebook–which faces restricted use in China–and manages three funds. Last year, Bloomberg reported that DST Global was raising $1 billion for a new technology fund, and separately reported that DST Global I achieved an annual 151% gross internal rate of return. Lindfors declined to comment on the firm’s funds.
DST Global likes other countries across Asia such as Indonesia and India, but for the meantime, opportunities are too early stage, said Lindfors, who previously worked at investment bank Goldman Sachs.
DST Global, which has an Asia-based office in Hong Kong, was set up by entrepreneur Milner, and is best known for investing $200 million in Facebook in 2009, and then a subsequent round in 2011 worth $500 million with Goldman Sachs.

Milner Discusses Social Networking Companies, Facebook: Video [Bloomberg YouTube channels, March 23, 2012]

Yuri Milner, chief executive officer of Digital Sky Technologies, talks with Bloomberg’s Cris Valerio about his company’s investment strategy in social-networking companies like Facebook Inc. Digital Sky is a privately held company investing in Internet related companies. Bloomberg’s Betty Liu also speaks.

2012 – My Recipe for a Better Tomorrow – Mr. Yuri Milner [PresidentialConf YouTube channel, June 24, 2012]

The fourth Israeli Presidential Conference, Facing Tomorrow 2012. Plenary: My Recipe for a Better Tomorrow. Speaker: Mr. Yuri Milner.

Encouraging Innovation – Yuri Milner at European Zeitgeist 2011 [zeitgeistminds YouTube channel, May 17, 2011]

Yuri Milner talks about his primary aims, which include finding investors for new businesses and to encouraging innovation. He calls social a dominant theme and says that innovation happens when there is concentration and a critical mass.

Юрий Мильнер с 2005 года началась эра социального Интернета [Umid Matnazarov YouTube channel, Sept 20, 2011]

Президент компании Digital Sky Technologies Юрий Мильнер – член президентской комиссии по модернизации и технологическому развитию экономики. В интервью “Вестям” он рассказал о направлениях работы комиссии и о тенденциях развития Интернета.

Alibaba Said to Have Applied for HK Listing [The China Perspective, July 23, 2013]

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, China’s dominant e-commerce service provider, has lodged its application for listing at the Hong Kong stock exchange aimed at raising up to $20 billion, Hong Kong-based Oriental Daily reported. The company is expected to float in October with a valuation of $100 billion. Approximately $7 billion from the money raised will be used to buy back Alibaba’s share owned by Yahoo! Inc (Nasdaq: YHOO), the source said. Alibaba delisted its B2B site Alibaba.com a year ago in preparation for the initial public offering of the group as a whole. Its Taobao.com is China’s top C2C site; its Tmall.com is China’s top B2C site; its Alipay is China’s top third party billing service provider. Japan’s Softbank is Alibaba’s largest shareholder, holding a 35% stake; Yahoo owns 23%, Alibaba’s management owns 24.7%; some private equities and institutional investors own 10.3%; its founder Jack Ma owns 7%.

Masayoshi Son [Wikipedia]

Masayoshi Son (Japanese: 孫 正義 Hepburn: Son Masayoshi?, Korean: 손정의 Son Jeong-ui; born August 11, 1957) is a Japanese businessman and the founder and current chief executive officer of SoftBank, the chief executive officer of SoftBank Mobile, and current chairman of Sprint Corporation. According to Forbes magazine, his net worth is $8.1 billion as of 2011 and he is the second richest man in Japan,[1] despite having the distinction of losing the most money in history (approximately $70 billion during the dot com crash of 2000). [2] Forbes also describes him as a philanthropist.

Masayoshi Son is known for his extreme persistence to achieve his business goals. As example, when Japan’s Post and Telecommunications Ministry denied his application for a particular telecommunications license, he is reported[3][4] to have threatened to set himself on fire inside the Ministry if his company is not awarded the desired license (however, he is reported[5] not have brought any fuel along to back up his threat).

Former Amazon manager takes Chinese e-commerce company global [GeekWire, Aug 16, 2013]

Watch out, Amazon.com. A Chinese e-commerce company is out to redefine notions of customer service. If you think free shipping in two days is fast, how about in three hours?
In cities across China, customers can order everything from fresh produce to a new laptop, get it delivered for free the same day, pay cash on delivery and even refuse the goods at the door if they fail to meet expectations.
It’s all part of a strategy of JD.com (formerly 360buy) to become China’s largest e-commerce company and expand globally. China’s booming and highly competitive e-commerce market gets more interesting all the time, and JD.com is a major player to watch.
JD.com stands for parent company Jingdong, which has grown to become China’s largest online company that sells directly to consumers, with 100 million registered users, 5 million orders a day, and a whopping 60 billion RMB in sales ($10 billion) in 2012. The company rebranded itself earlier this year and may be planning a U.S. IPO.
Jingdong Vice President and General Manager Shi Tao, who spent more than three years working for Amazon China, visited Seattle this week to introduce the company and meet with prospective customers and partners.
JD.com operates differently than its major competitor, Alibaba’s Tmall, in that Jingdong spent years building its own network of warehouses and fulfillment centers, allowing it to manage its own delivery rather than simply matching buyers and sellers or relying on third parties to ship the goods.
“Chinese consumers want to shop on the platform with the best experience, especially shipping and post-sales customer services,” Shi said. In May Jingdong introduced nighttime and three-hour delivery services in six Chinese cities: Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Wuhan and Shenyang. The company offers same-day delivery in 27 major cities and next-day delivery in more than 150 cities across China.

Tmall is still the leading B2C company in China overall, with more than 51 percent of the market, compared to Jingdong’s 17 percent, according to iResearch. Amazon China has about 2 percent of that market.

China’s e-tailing industry has posted 120 percent annual growth since 2003, and online sales in China could reach $650 billion by 2020, according to McKinsey Global Institute.

What was not mentioned in the DST/Lindfors interview earlier:

DST has strong ties to
DST’s partners and employees
Goldman Sachs. Alexander Tamas
in 2008 and John Lindfors,
Goldman Sachs, joined DST in
employees include Rahul Mehta and
2011, DST has orchestrated an
brought Goldman Sachs into the
Goldman Sachs. The majority of
have previously worked at
joined DST from Goldman Sachs
a previous partner at
2010. Other ex-Goldman Sachs
Shou Zi Chew. In January
investment into Facebook and
deal.

From Digital Sky Technologies is …

Asia Awards: VC Deal of the Year – Xiaomi [Asian Venture Capital Journal, Dec 5, 2012]

Validation of Xiaomi’s approach was provided by Yuri Milner of DST Advisors who led a $216 million third round of funding in June – valuing the company at $4 billion – with Government of Singapore Investment Corp. (GIC) also involved.

DST Founder Yuri Milner Invests in Xiaomi [Tech In Asia, Dec 23, 2011]

We already knew Xiaomi had scored $90 million RMB in new financing — they announced that at their press conference with China Unicom on Tuesday — but Lei Jun has now revealed on Weibo where at least some of that money came from: DST founder Yuri Milner.

Xiaomi’s market value could reach US$10bn after new financing [WantChinaTimes.com, July 28, 2013]

Xiaomi Technology, a Chinese manufacturer of own-brand budget smartphones, will soon launch another round of financing worth more than US$2 billion, with insiders suggesting the main investor will be Russian venture capital firm Digital Sky Technologies (DST), the Shanghai-based First Financial Daily reports.

Leading Chinese internet firm Tencent Holdings invested US$300 million in DST in April 2010 and would therefore become an indirect investor in Xiaomi, the report said, though both Tencent and Xiaomi have declined to comment.

Rumor: Tencent Invests in Xiaomi via Russian VC [Marbridge Consulting, July 23, 2013]

According to industry insiders, Beijing-based Android handset developer Xiaomi has secured a new round of funding exceeding USD 2 bln from Chinese internet and mobile services firm Tencent (0700.HK), with Russian investment firm Digital Sky Technologies (DST) acting as an intermediary.

The latest round of funding values Xiaomi at approximately USD 10 bln.

Tencent Invests $300m in DST and Establishes Strategic Partnership [Tencent press release, April 12, 2010]

Tencent Holdings Limited (“Tencent” or the “Company”, SEHK 00700), a leading provider of Internet and mobile & telecommunications value-added services in China, and Digital Sky Technologies Limited (“DST”), one of the largest Internet companies in the Russian-speaking and Eastern European markets, today jointly announced that Tencent will invest approximately US$300 million in DST, thereby establishing a long-term strategic partnership between the two companies.
The aggregate consideration of approximately US$300 million, which will be paid in cash, gives Tencent approximately a 10.26% economic interest in DST upon completion of the transaction. Tencent will hold approximately 0.51% of the total voting power of DST and have the right to nominate one observer to the DST Board.
DST and Tencent will embark on a long-term partnership and co-operation as they seek to benefit from each other’s insights gained from their respective markets. DST’s deep understanding of the Russian Internet market, together with its leading brands such as Mail.ru, Odnoklassniki and VKontakte, will enable Tencent to benefit from the high growth of the Russian-speaking Internet market. At the same time, Tencent’s leading position in China will provide DST and its companies with unique and valuable operational insights and access to its regional network that can help DST further accelerate its growth path.
Chief Executive Officer of DST, Mr. Yuri Milner, said, “We are extremely pleased to welcome Tencent as a shareholder in DST. This investment is a vote of confidence in DST from the market leader in China and one of the world’s most successful and dynamic Internet companies overall. Our teams share many common views and beliefs and a clear vision about the significant opportunities that lay ahead. We look forward to working together with Tencent and benefiting from their expertise as we both push forward with our plans to capitalize on this immense growth in our markets.”
President of Tencent, Mr. Martin Lau, said, “We are excited to enter into a long-term strategic partnership with DST, a key global Internet player and a leader in Russian-speaking Internet markets. The investment allows us to benefit from the fast-growing Internet market in Russia, as well as to leverage our technical and operational know-how to strengthen the leadership position of DST and explore new business opportunities in the Russian-speaking Internet markets.”
Details of the transaction can also be obtained from the statutory disclosure documents available on http://www.hkexnews.hk website and http://www.tencent.com/ir .
About Digital Sky Technologies
DST was founded in 2005 and is one of the largest Internet companies in the Russian-speaking and Eastern European markets and one of the leading investment groups globally to exclusively focus on internet related companies. DST, together with its affiliate DST Global, also hold stakes in Internet world leaders such as Facebook and Zynga. DST is a privately held company backed by leading Russian and Western financial institutions. For more information please visit http://www.dst-global.com .
About Tencent
Tencent aims to enrich the interactive online experience of Internet users in China by providing a comprehensive range of Internet and wireless value-added services. Through its various online platforms, including Instant Messaging QQ, web portal QQ.com, QQ Game portal, multi-media social networking service Qzone and wireless portal, Tencent services the largest online community in China and fulfills the user’s needs for communication, information, entertainment and e-Commerce on the Internet.
Tencent has three main streams of revenues: Internet value-added services, mobile and telecommunications value-added services and online advertising.
Shares of Tencent Holdings Limited are traded on the Main Board of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited, under stock code 00700. The Company became one of the 43 constituents of the Hang Seng Index (HSI) on June 10, 2008. For more information, please visit http://www.tencent.com/ir .

Naspers makes strategic investment in DST [press release, July 14, 2010]

DST to assume full control of Mail.ru upon share swap with Naspers
Johannesburg and Moscow, 14 July 2010 – Naspers Limited (“Naspers”), the broad based international media group, and Digital Sky Technologies Limited (“DST”), one of the largest internet companies in the Russian-speaking markets, announces today that Naspers’s subsidiary Myriad International Holdings B.V. (“MIH”) will take a 28,7% stake in DST. The transaction will be effected by Naspers contributing its 39,3% stake in Mail.ru into DST and investing US$388m in cash. Concurrently, Mail.ru management and other minorities will also convert their shares into DST.
Upon the close of this transaction, DST will own over 99,9% of Mail.ru. Mail.ru is the leading communication and entertainment platform in the Russian-speaking internet world, with over 50m registered email accounts, leading market share in MMO games and one of the leading social networks in Russia.
Naspers and DST have worked closely together over the past three years as co-owners of Mail.ru and today’s transaction will enable them to further strengthen that relationship.
Chief Executive Officer of DST, Yuri Milner, said, “Naspers’s strategic insight has already proven to be valuable in our partnership and we welcome the expertise they will bring to DST. We are delighted to announce this transaction and look forward to creating further value through our relationship.”
Antonie Roux, head of Naspers’s internet operations, commented: “We have known DST and its management for years and we share a similar view and approach. We are excited to strengthen our partnership. This opportunity further expands our exposure to emerging markets and the fast-growing internet sector.”
About Digital Sky Technologies
DST was founded in 2005 and is one of the largest internet companies in the Russian-speaking and Eastern European markets and one of the leading investment groups globally to exclusively focus on internet related companies. DST, together with its affiliate DST Global, also holds stakes in internet world leaders such as Facebook, Zynga and Groupon. DST is a privately held company backed by leading international financial institutions and companies. For more information please visit http://www.dstglobal.com.
About Naspers
Naspers is a leading emerging market media group operating in 129 countries. It is listed on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange (JSE), with an ADR (American Deposit Receipt) listing on the London Stock Exchange. The group’s principal operations are in internet platforms (focusing on commerce, communities, content, communication and games), pay-television and the provision of related technologies and print media (including publishing, distribution and printing of magazines, newspapers and books). The group’s most significant operations in emerging markets include South Africa and subSaharan Africa, China, Central and Eastern Europe, India, Brazil, Russia and Thailand. For more information visit http://www.naspers.com.

imageTencent (700 HK) [RHB OSK Securities (Thailand) report, Aug 15, 2013]

Internet – Online Games and Media
Market Cap: USD88,608m

Shareholders (%)
MIH China (Naspers)         33.9
Ma Huateng [Pony Ma]     10.2
JP Morgan                             4.5

Good WeChat progress. The pace of development on Tencent’s mobile social platform WeChat has exceeded our expectations since its launch. Monthly active users (MAU) breached 236m in 2Q13 (1Q13: 194m) while new services such as sticker sales, targeted ads and the first game released on the platform, TTAXC (天天爱消除), showed monetisation potential.

image

Online advertising is a major earnings driver at the gross profit level.

SWOT Analysis

image

Company Profile
Tencent is a leading internet conglomerate in China with operations in online games, social networks, advertising and e-commerce. The company operates leading online games in China while its mobile chat application, which has expanded globally, has a user base exceeding 300m.

Naspers Fact Sheet June 2013:

Business overview
Founded in 1915, Naspers is a leading multinational group of eCommerce and media platforms, with operations in more than 133 countries. Listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) since September 1994, it also has an ADR listing on the London Stock Exchange (LSE).
The group’s principal operations are in e-commerce, paytelevision & related technologies and print media. It also has minority investments in listed, integrated social-network platforms Tencent (SEHK 0700) and Mail.ru (LSE: MAIL).
The group focuses on attaining sustainable market positions in growing emerging markets which it believes to present above-average growth opportunities. These markets include South Africa and the rest of sub-Saharan Africa, China, Brazil and the rest of Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, Southeast Asia, India and the Middle East.

image

INTERNET
Naspers operates platforms that offer customers fast, intuitive and secure environments where they can communicate, participate, entertain and shop. The group’s e-commerce services include marketplaces, general and vertical e-tail, classifieds, lead-generation and payments.
Naspers major e-commerce operations are:
  • Allegro (97%), a leading e-commerce business in Central and Eastern Europe.
  • BuscaPé (95%), a major e-commerce platform in Brazil.
  • OLX (84%), a strong classifieds operator in a number of emerging markets.
Other investments include 36Boutiques, Avito, Brandsclub, Dealfish, Dubizzle, eMag, Fashion Days, Flipkart, Fixeads, ibibo Group, kalahari.com, Korbitec, LevelUp!, Markafoni, Movile, Netretail, OLX, PayU, PriceCheck, redBus, Ricardo, Sanook!, Souq, Sulit, Tokobagus, Travel Boutique Online and Trendsales.
Naspers also holds minority positions in:
  • Tencent (34%) – China’s largest and most used internet services platform.
  • Mail.ru Group [DST] (29%) – the leading internet company in Russian-speaking markets.

Naspers rides Tencent to Internet fortune [TechCentral (South Africa), Aug 31, 2012]

When Naspers stumbled on a little-known Chinese Internet company in 2001, it could not have dreamed that a US$32m investment would account for more than 80% of the media conglomerate’s R200bn market cap now.

Tencent Holdings is the largest Internet solutions provider in China and Naspers, which owns a 34% stake, is its largest shareholder. R4,8bn of Naspers CEO Koos Bekker’s personal fortune of R6bn in shares is linked to Tencent.

It [Naspers] has a market capitalisation of about $57bn and its total revenue for the year to 31 December 2011 was up by 45% to $4,4bn. Profit attributable to equity holders was $1,6bn — 27% higher year on year — and its profit for the second quarter of 2012 was up by 32%. The p:e ratio (share price compared with  its earnings) is 33.
Founded in November 1998, Ten­cent has become one of China’s largest and most widely used Internet service portals and, in 2004, it was listed on the main board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
More than 50% of Tencent employees are research and development staff and the company has obtained patents relating to technology for instant messaging, e-commerce, online payment services, search engines, information security, gaming and more.
Its leading Internet platforms in China include instant messaging, social networking (with 580m active users) and a mobile chat and micro-blogging service known as Weixin. It is also the largest online gaming company in the world.


And the DST money is said to come from:

image
THE THREE KINGS & THEIR PRINCES(S)

“Larry Summers is ethically challenged.”
   Former Economist Colleagues

Larry Summers and his Facebook Friends conspire to undermine U.S. “checks & balances” and take control of the world economy by stealth, we believe.

First see a specially written article to understand very easily the whole affair with the judicial and other systems in U.S. in Facebook — a force for freedom perhaps, but at odds with the rule of law in the U.S. [Americans For Innovation (AFI) via Open Trial, July 26, 2013] from which I will include here only the following excerpts:

In the late 1990s Innovator Leader Technologies invented a technology we now call “social networking.” By the time they filed for their first patents in 2002, they had invested 145,000 man-hours and over $10 million. Literally within three months of Leader perfecting the lynch-pin of their invention, Mark Zuckerberg and his PayPal associates were in the market, on February 4, 2004. Zuckerberg claims to have done all the work himself in “one to two weeks” while chasing girls and studying for finals.

New evidence indicates he received Leader’s source code from a mole who was cooperating with Zuckerberg’s apparent mentor, James W. Breyer, of Accel Partners LLP and with Fenwick & West LLP, who was also Leader’s attorney at the same time. It appears that they were waiting for Leader to finish debugging its invention so that they could roll out the Harvard-boy-genius-Facebook-origins myth, with Zuckerberg in the leading role.

Not so coincidentally, Lawrence Summers was President of Harvard at the time. Summers arranged for the 19-year old Zuckerberg to get more Harvard Crimson news coverage than any world leader or event. Breyer was a big alumni contributor. PayPal COO, Reid Hoffman (later LinkedIn CEO) was coaching Zuckerberg and feeding him spending money, as was Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal. Tellingly, these three sold over $6 billion of their Facebook stock on Day 3 of the Facebook IPO, at the highest price anyone received for their stock before it crashed. Summers popped up in Silicon Valley before the IPO too—as “special advisor” to Instagram that sold their 13-man company to Facebook for $1 billion. Could it be that their CEO, Matt Cohler was able to exert some influence over Zuckerberg, as he knew about the theft of the Leader invention?

Forty-four months after filing for their patents, Leader received their first patent on November 21, 2006—U.S. Patent No. 7,139,761. On November 19, 2008, Leader filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Facebook. Leader Technologies, Inc., v. Facebook, Inc., 08-cv-862-JJF-LPS (D.Del. 2008).

Current Federal Reserve Chairman candidate, Lawrence “Larry” Summers has mentored Facebook’s COO, Sheryl Sandberg since the early 1990’s. He also mentored Russian Yuri Milner, who has close ties to Russian oligarch Alisher Asmanov and the Kremlin. Summers was one of the Harvard-wunderkind architects of the disastrous Russian voucher system in the early 1990’s while Chief Economist for the World Bank. Milner is Facebook’s second largest shareholder and is partnered with Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. With Goldman’s and Morgan’s help, Milner moved billions of dollars into Facebook pre-IPO. Curiously, Cohler helped Hoffman start LinkedIn in 2004. There appears to have been a feeding frenzy surrounding the debugging of Leader’s invention.

This occurred after the US taxpayers bailed out Goldman and Morgan Stanley in 2008. To this day no one knows the origins of those funds, which pumped Facebook’s valuation up to $100 billion. Milner is also connected with Bank Menatep, which was caught laundering $10 billion in Russian mob funds and diverting $4 billion in IMF funds. Summers’ conduct here has never been scrutinized, even though he was appointed to oversee the bailout soon after Barack Obama was elected President. See Congressional Briefings.

Georgia [Beardslee] interviews the real inventor of social networking, Michael McKibben, CEO of Leader Technologies, Columbus, Ohio: GEORGIA! KSCO AM 1080, Apr. 10, 2013 Michael McKibben interview, CEO of Leader Technologies, Inc. [leadertv100 YouTube channel, April 12, 2013]

Georgia: “One of the most interesting, complicated and disturbing stories of the decade.” On April 10, 2013, news-talk show host Georgia Beardslee interviewed Michael McKibben, CEO of Leader Technologies, Columbus, Ohio on her weekly radio show GEORGIA! KSCO 1080 (Santa Cruz, CA) about Leader’s battle with Facebook over Leader’s U.S. Patent No. 7,139,761. The interview covers (1) background on the LEADER V. FACEBOOK patent infringement lawsuit; (2) the suspicious split verdict; (3) the Harvard back story; (4) the Federal Circuit judge’s stock in Facebook; (5) the refusal of the Federal Circuit court to disclose their Facebook stock holdings; (6) the likely undue influence of the federal courts by financiers, bankers, underwriters, Silicon Valley venture capitalists; (7) the questionable conduct of the U.S. Patent Office; (8) the judges’ ignoring of Zuckerberg’s concealment of 28 hard drives and Harvard emails; (9) the Facebook-doctored trial evidence; (10) the ruling against Leader without a shred of evidence; (11) the involvement of billions of pre-IPO investments in Facebook by Russian companies, (12) Goldman Sachs’ and Obama bailout director Larry Summers’ involvement, and now (13) the interference of the White House at the U.S. Patent Office. This case appears to have exposed an underbelly of corruption at the national and international levels that is much worse and even more organized than we might have otherwise suspected. While the video plays, pages from Leader’s Petition for Writ of Certiorari, Leader Technologies, Inc. v. Facebook, Inc., No. 12-617 (U.S. Supreme Court Nov. 16, 212) will display, page by page (41 pages not counting the appendices). This document can be obtained at: http://www.scribd.com/doc/113545399/P… For background facts, see alsohttp://americans4innovation.blogspot…. This broadcast and these notes may contain opinion. As with all opinion, the information should not be relied upon without independent verification.
Georgia: “One of the most interesting, complicated and disturbing stories of the decade.” On April 10, 2013, news-talk show host Georgia Beardslee interviewed Michael McKibben, CEO of Leader Technologies, Columbus, Ohio on her weekly radio show GEORGIA! KSCO 1080 (Santa Cruz, CA) about Leader’s battle with Facebook over Leader’s U.S. Patent No. 7,139,761.

The interview covers

  1. background on the LEADER V. FACEBOOK patent infringement lawsuit;
  2. [18:30] the suspicious split verdict;
  3. [34:25] the Harvard back story;
  4. the Federal Circuit judge’s stock in Facebook;
  5. the refusal of the Federal Circuit court to disclose their Facebook stock holdings;
  6. the likely undue influence of the federal courts by financiers, bankers, underwriters, Silicon Valley venture capitalists;
  7. the questionable conduct of the U.S. Patent Office;
  8. the judges’ ignoring of Zuckerberg’s concealment of 28 hard drives and Harvard emails;
  9. the Facebook-doctored trial evidence;
  10. the ruling against Leader without a shred of evidence;
  11. the involvement of billions of pre-IPO investments in Facebook by Russian companies,
  12. Goldman Sachs’ and Obama bailout director Larry Summers’ involvement, and now
  13. the interference of the White House at the U.S. Patent Office. This case appears to have exposed an underbelly of corruption at the national and international levels that is much worse and even more organized than we might have otherwise suspected.
While the video plays, pages from Leader’s Petition for Writ of Certiorari, Leader Technologies, Inc. v. Facebook, Inc., No. 12-617 (U.S. Supreme Court Nov. 16, 212) will display, page by page (41 pages not counting the appendices). This document can be obtained at: http://www.scribd.com/doc/113545399/P…
For background facts, see also http://americans4innovation.blogspot….
This broadcast and these notes may contain opinion. As with all opinion, the information should not be relied upon without independent verification.

Obama is protecting his 47 million Facebook “likes” at the expense of the U.S. Constitution [Georgia! KSCO-AM1080, May 31, 2013]

image(My collaboration with a listener, 5/31/2013):Washington D.C. is toxic and fiendishly deceptive these days. Speaker John Boehner described the flow of scandal developments as “Drip, drip, drip.” I take this to mean that the Deception Tank is full and starting to leak. (At last!)
imageInvestigators are now uncovering common people driving these scandals. The Leader v. Facebook property rights debacle seems to have been another one of their pet deception projects. Remember, Facebook was judged guilty on 11 of 11 counts of stealing the inventions of Columbus-based innovator Leader Technologies, Inc., yet the federal courts ruled for Facebook anyway. They had to ignore the Consitution to do it.
Many people lusted after Leader’s innovations that we know as “social networking.” Obama and his handlers needed it to raise election dollars and polish Obama’s persona many times a day. Larry Summers, Accel Partners and the PayPal Mafia wanted it as their global financial transactions platform, Zuckerberg and his fellow thieves wanted it as a global voyeur platform to invade everyone’s privacy, the Kremlin wanted it as a money-laundering vehicle, James W. Breyer wanted it as his ‘pump and dump” stock manipulation scheme, the greedy law firms wanted it to rake in fees. And, at least two Federal Circuit Judges Alan D. Lourie and Kimberly A. Moore were beefing up their financial portfolios with the pump of their undisclosed Facebook shares at the IPO. Wow, that’s a lot of interests all lusting after Michael McKibben’s innovation! (I have interviewed him on this show twice.)
Beware of McBee Strategic lobbyist Jeff Markey bearing gifts
Americans for Innovation has smoked out intimate, undisclosed relationships among Facebook’s chief litigator in Leader v. Facebook, Cooley Godward LLP’s Michael Rhodes, Obama’s Justice Department Cooley “Advisor,” Donald K. Stern, the failed $1.6 billion BrightSource Obama “green” stimulus project, big Facebook IPO winner J.P. Morgan Chase and McBee Strategic’s Steve McBee and Jeff Markey.
This is so convoluted I asked by resident artist to do me a diagram of these relationships. No wonder Washington is so confused. It’s intentional on the part of some morally bankrupt people and organizations (click to enlarge):

image

Figure 1: Conflicts of Interest Map among Barack Obama, Executive Branch, Justice Department,  Cooley Godward Kronish LLP, Michael Rhodes, Donald K. Stern, McBee Strategic, Steve McBee, Jeff Markey, Judge Leonard P. Stark, Judge Alan D. Lourie, Judge Kimberly A. Moore, Leader v. Facebook, BrightSource, Solyndra,Tesla Motors, Solar City, Elon Musk and 47 million “likes” on Facebook.
McBee Strategic and their lobbyist Jeff Markey have lied at least twice on disclosures that we have already identified. On their BrightSource Senate disclosure on 11/20/2009 they answered “No” to affiliated organizations that actively participate in their activities. This was false since on 4/23/2009 they had publicly announced their alliance with Facebook’s attorney Cooley Godward Kronish LLP specifically about helping companies access Obama’s “green energy” money. That’s LIE #1. Then, we discover that Jeff Markey is accustomed to lying whenever it is to his benefit. On 4/30/2004 Markey lied on a financial disclosure that he was an Executive for SAIC in an apparent deception to gain access to the National Congressional Republican Committee. That’s LIE #2.
Markey clearly plays on both sides of the ball in Washington. While he is busy spending Obama’s billions, he donates mostly to Republicans, including MITCH MCCONNELL, ROB PORTMAN, ARLEN SPECTER, LINDSEY GRAHAM. Republicans beware of this wolf in sheep’s clothing. Such cynical parlaying of contacts just to keep one’s job in Washington is why Washington is failing. These people are there for the wrong reasons. They need to get real jobs. Professional bureaucrats and politicians (and the lobbyists who feed on the rotted meat) are the death knell of a democracy.
While we’re on the subject of lying to Congress, then Magistrate Judge Leonard P. Stark told Congress in his 4/22/2010 confirmation hearing that he would follow the decisions of the Supreme Court and the Appeals Courts. However, three months later he ignored that promise and even after instructing the jury to do so, he ignored the Supreme Court’s Pfaff test of on-sale bar evidence, as well as the Federal Circuit’s Group One tests. Obama and his Facebook “friends” just seem to lie all the time.
Don’t believe me? Check out the source material yourself. Here are some of them we downloaded quickly. Please share more as you find your own information.

Detailed information is available in Mark Zuckerberg used Leader white paper to build Facebook [Origin of Facebook technology?, Aug 27, 2011] post, from which I will include just the most relevant excerpt in my opinion:


The court documents reveal how Mark Zuckerberg was able to accelerate from 0-to-60 mph in “one or two weeks” while studying for his Harvard finals to start Facebook on February 4, 2004. The idea for the student facebook was already known at Harvard from three well-documented sources prior to Mr. Zuckerberg: (1) the Winklevoss twins’ ConnectU,[1] (2) Aaron Greenspan’s houseSYSTEM,[2] and (3) from the Harvard computer administration.[3] And, if Leader Technologies (“Leader”) is right, Mr. Zuckerberg lifted the ideas for the structure of the platform from Leader Technologies’ patent pending white papers, one published on October 22, 2003, along with Leader’s first patent publication on June 24, 2004—exactly when Mr. Zuckerberg says “Steven Dawson Haggerty” was hired to build the “groups functionality” which is disclosed in the Leader patent publication.[4][5][6][7]

 


More on Yuri Milner
:

Mark Pincus, founder of Zynga: I Love Yuri Milner [PandoDaily YouTube channel, July 19, 2012]

From the Wikipedia article: The company develops social games that work stand-alone on mobile phone platforms such as Apple iOS and Android and on the Internet through its website, Zynga.com, and social networking websites such as Facebook, Google+, and Tencent.[5] Zynga states its mission as “connecting the world through games.”[6]

Russian Billionaire buys $100 Million U S Mansion Yuri Milner [estarcobusiness10 YouTube channel, (originally made the news on March 31, 2011) April 2, 2012]

Home Brings $100 Million [WSJ.com, March 31, 2013]

A Russian billionaire investor paid $100 million for a French chateau-style mansion in Silicon Valley, marking the highest known price paid for a single-family home in the U.S.
The purchase of the 25,500-square-foot home in Los Altos Hills, Calif., underscores the strength of some luxury properties in an otherwise depressed housing market.
The buyer, Yuri Milner, 49, who heads Digital Sky Technologies and whose investments include Facebook Inc., Groupon Inc. and Zynga Inc., had no immediate plans to move into the home, said a spokesman.
Mr. Milner is the stocky founder of DST, a Moscow-based fund that’s made a splash in Silicon Valley via its investments. Its first in the U.S. was a $200 million check for Facebook in 2009. His primary residence is in Moscow, where he lives with his wife and two children.
The sky seemed to be the limit for Mr. Milner’s new house, a symmetrical limestone mansion with San Francisco Bay views that was inspired by 18th-century French chateaux.

The home has indoor and outdoor pools, a ballroom and a wine cellar. The grounds include a tennis court and inside are chandeliers and a frieze around a skylight in the entryway, among other details.

Mr. Milner bought the home through a limited-liability company; the home wasn’t on the market, according to people familiar with the deal.
Mr. Milner, who studied theoretical physics in Moscow and attended the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, began his career in Moscow in the 1990s. By 1999, he had focused on the Internet after dabbling in everything from private equity to a macaroni-and-cheese factory. …


Larry Summers
:

The Asian Financial Forum (AFF) 2013 welcomed Professor Lawrence H Summers, one of America’s most influential economists, who served as Treasury Secretary under President Bill Clinton and Director of the National Economic Council under President Barack Obama. In this AFF luncheon on day one of the 14-15 January event – Prof Summers discussed potential short-term and long-term solutions for the global economy, and the unique opportunities presented by low interest rates.
Bloomberg’s Hans Nichols reports on President Barack Obama’s search for the next leader of the Federal Reserve, his personal relationships with Lawrence Summers and Janet Yellen and the prospects of a confirmation battle for whoever is the candidate. He speaks on Bloomberg Television’s “Bloomberg Surveillance.”
There is some serious talk in Washington about appointing Larry Summers as the new chairman of the Federal Reserve. Obama has been out on the stump praising Summers, but when you look at his record, there isn’t anything worthy of praise on this guy’s resume’. Ring of Fire host Mike Papantonio talks about the disaster that is Larry Summers with economist Dean Baker.


Alisher Usmanov
(+Irina Viner):

This year’s Sunday Times Rich List has been revealed — with Arsenal FC 30 per cent shareholder Alisher Usmanov, who hails from Uzbekistan leading the way with a fortune of GBP 13.3 billion. Usmanov is married to a Jewish lady – Irina Viner, who is the Russian national team gymnastics coach.

BBC News – Sunday Times Rich List: Alisher Usmanov [BBCWorldNewsWatch YouTube channel, April 21, 2013]

Russian businessman Alisher Usmanov has topped the Sunday Times ranking of the wealthiest people in Britain and Ireland with a fortune of £13.3bn. The wealthiest British-born person in the list is the Duke of Westminster in eighth place with £7.8bn from property.

Moshiri Becomes Billionaire Helping Usmanov [jagan washpost YouTube channel, July 9, 2012]

Bloomberg’s Matthew G. Miller reports on Farhad Moshiri, an Iranian-born accountant who is now a billionaire after a two-decade alliance with Alisher Usmanov, Russia’s current richest man. Miller speaks on Bloomberg Television’s "InBusiness With Margaret Brennan."

Russia’s Usmanov – Fed Tapering ‘Vital & well-balanced’ (CNBC) [gmshadowtraders YouTube channel, July 11, 2013]

Full video here http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000177176 Alisher Usmanov, founder of USM Holdings, says that the decisions taken by the Fed regarding money and derivatives are “vital” to the global economy and the decision on tapering is “well-balanced”.

Full video: Russia’s Richest Man Supports Fed [CNBC, June 20, 2013]

Форум в Давосе. Интервью А.Усманова [Моше Кац YouTube channel, Jan 23, 2013]

Алишер Усманов одобряет планы, поставленные российскими властями, которые заключаются прежде всего в диверсификации экономики, уменьшении зависимости от сырьевого сектора и развитии новых технологий. Все это позволит построить новую экономическую действительность. Потому бизнесмен уверен: вероятность, что Россия избежит любого из обозначенных на форуме негативных путей, достаточно высока. Интервью главы холдинга “Металлоинвест” Алишера Усманова телеканалу “Россия 24”.

Алишер Усманов: на Россию надвигается этап сложностей [Моше Кац YouTube channel, June 23, 2013]

Инициативы президента Владимира Путина глазами одного из крупнейших бизнесменов России. Предложения и темы ПМЭФ-2013 в интервью телеканалу “Россия 24” комментирует учредитель USM Holdings Алишер Усманов. Он предположил, что мир может находиться в середине кризиса, начавшегося в 2008-ом году. В таком случае выводы, сделанные на форуме, дадут реальный шанс преодолеть предстоящие трудности. Также Алишер Усманов дал ответ на вопрос, который активно обсуждался участниками форума: замедление экономического роста – это миф или реальность?

Без галстука с Ириной Винер [Russia24TV YouTube channel, Nov 7, 2012]

Те, кто хорошо знает Ирину Винер, говорят: “женщина странная”. Добилась всего на самом высоком уровне, уважаемая, заслуженная, доктор, профессор – и все же никак не успокоится: что-то планирует, строит, генерирует новые идеи. Тренер сборных России и Узбекистана по художественной гимнастике стала героем нового выпуска программы “Без галстука”.

Russian Billionaire Usmanov Bets $100M on Apple’s Rebound [Bloomberg YouTube channel, April 30, 2013]

In today’s “Movers & Shakers,” Bloomberg’s Betty Liu reports that Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov has bet big on Apple, investing $100 million on a rebound of the company’s stock. She speaks on Bloomberg Television’s “In The Loop.” … He is the world 35th richest person with just under 20 billion dollars.
Алишер Усманов прокомментировал ситуацию в “Норильском никеле”. В эксклюзивном интервью телеканалу “Россия 24” известный российский бизнесмен сказал, что не хочет участвовать в олигархических сговорах. Кроме того, он предостерег инвесторов от ошибочных выводов: по мнению совладельца крупных предприятий, разочаровываться в Facebook рано. Алишер Усманов рассказал также о том, что планирует увеличить свою долю в социальной сети “ВКонтакте”.

USM Holdings is a leading global investor in companies in the digital space. Its deep understanding of the internet sector has played a key role in the success of its businesses and the development and diversification of
internet services.

USM Holdings is a major shareholder in Mail.ru Group, with a 17.9% economic stake and 58.1% voting power, and the largest investor in the Digital Sky Technologies (DST ) family of funds, an investment company specialising in late stage, high growth private businesses in the global internet sector. USM Holdings recognises the future growth prospects of e-commerce, social networks, online video, online gaming, mobile internet and online advertising.

MAIL.RU GROUP
Founded in 1998, Mail.Ru Group is the number one internet company in the high growth Russian-speaking internet market reaching c. 85% of Russian users on a monthly basis. It is the world’s fourth largest internet company based on total page views, with a global monthly audience of 97.4 million users.
In line with its ‘communitainment’ strategy, the company is moving rapidly to build an integrated communications and entertainment platform. Mail.Ru Group comprises the most popular Russian free email service Mail.Ru and two popular Russian-language internet instant messengers. The company operates two leading Russian social networks, My World and Odnoklassniki.ru, and owns a 40% stake in VKontakte, Russia’s number one social networking site. Mail.Ru Group is also a leading player in the online games market.
In 2010, Mail.Ru Group successfully completed an IPO on the London Stock Exchange worth c. US$92 million.
Mail.Ru Group’s aggregate segment revenue in 2012 was RUR 21,151 million, representing a 39% year-on-year increase.
PORTFOLIO INVESTMENTS WITH DST
DST was the group’s first internet investment. In 2008, DST became a backer of Facebook based on a firm belief in the strong growth potential of the internet, and particularly social networking. The current market valuation of Facebook exceeds the initial value at the time of DST ’s entry by approximately seven times.
In 2009, DST spun off DST Russia, later renamed Mail.Ru Group (see above), which is a separate business at present.
Through DST and Mail.Ru Group investments, USM Holdings gained international prominence with stakes in some of the world’s leading and most valuable internet assets, including Facebook, Twitter, Groupon, Zynga, Spotify, Zocdoc, Airbnb, Alibaba and 360buy.

image

USM Holdings is a major investor in some of Russia’s leading telecoms businesses. It is ideally positioned to leverage its assets
and experience in the rapidly growing market
for 4G and other mobile services.

USM Holdings owns 82% of Garsdale, a telecoms holding, which in turn controls 50% plus 100 shares of MegaFon, Russia’s second largest mobile operator; 100% of Yota, a pioneering international 4G services provider; and 51% of Peter-Service, a billing services company. Through Garsdale and MegaFon, USM Holdings owns 50% of Euroset, Russia’s number one mobile retailer.
MEGAFON
Formed in 1993, MegaFon is Russia’s second largest mobile operator in terms of revenue and subscribers and the market leader in the mobile data segment.
With over 33,000 employees, MegaFon is a leading universal telecommunications provider with c. 62.7 million wireless subscribers in the Russian Federation as of 31 March 2013. The company offers a full range of voice, data and other mobile and fixed-line telecommunications services, including digital TV and IP telephony, to retail customers, businesses, government clients and telecommunications services providers. MegaFon operates one of the most extensive 3G networks in Russia and renders a wide range of mobile services in Tajikistan, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The company has a strong track record in innovation and pioneered the introduction of a number of services in Russia, including the launch of MMS and mobile TV in 2004, free incoming calls in 2006, 3G services in 2008, significant reduction in roaming charges in 2011, and 4G/ Long Term Evolution (LTE ) services in 2012.
Through MegaLabs, a fully owned subsidiary, the company develops a variety of new projects in the promising value-added service (VAS) market in a number of areas, including content and media, mobile finance, mobile advertising, cloud and IT solutions, M2M, e-government and m-health.
MegaFon owns a large distribution network. As of the end of 2012, it included 1,785 owned and operated stores and 1,757 third-party points of sale operating solely under the MegaFon brand. In addition, its acquisition in late 2012 of a 25% stake in Euroset, the largest wireless mobile equipment retailer in Russia, is expected to enhance the company’s initiatives focused on improving the quality of MegaFon’s subscriber base and broadening the marketing of its products.
In November 2012, the company listed c. US$1.7 billion worth of shares in an IPO. The company’s shares are traded on MICEX-RTS , and its GDR s on the London Stock Exchange.
In 2012, MegaFon’s revenue grew 12.4% year-on-year to RUR 272.6 billion. The company demonstrated a strong performance in Q1 2013, achieving consolidated revenue growth of 7.6% y-o-y to RUR 67.7 billion.
YOTA
Yota was founded in 2007. It is the leader of the mobile broadband sector in Russia. It was the first company to offer its subscribers access to services based on WiMAX and LTE technologies, and is one of the leading companies in this segment globally.
In 2013, Yota was divided into two companies: Scartel, which is involved in construction and management of 4G infrastructure, and Yota (Yota LLC), a mobile operator.
Scartel operates LTE networks and provides access to its networks for telecom operators using a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) model. It was the first company worldwide to launch LTE-Advanced technology for a commercial network, enabling data transfer rates of up to 300 Mbps. The company’s LTE networks are currently available in 31 regions and more than 100 cities in Russia. Its total investments in LTE infrastructure in Russia to date exceed US$400 million and are set to reach US$1 billion by the end of 2014.
Yota provides communication services to its subscribers through Scartel’s platform. Yota owns an extensive retail and dealer network throughout Russia, offering its users a truly unlimited LTE experience, coupled with the provision of hardware and the highest level of customer service. At present, Yota services are available in more than 20 major cities in Russia.
Yota and Scartel are 100% owned by the telecoms holding Garsdale, which is part of USM Holdings.
EUROSET
Founded in 1997, Euroset is the largest mobile retail chain in Russia, with more than 5,000 outlets. Its stores offer a wide range of goods, such as handsets, accessories, tablets and netbooks; and services, such as mobile top-ups, repairs and financing.
Euroset is one of the best known brands in the Russian market for consumer goods and services. The retailer’s share of Russia’s mobile phone market is approximately 30%. The company operates in more than 1,500 towns and cities in Russia and Belarus, and attracts more than 40 million customers to its stores each month.
The company today is one of the largest Russian employers, providing jobs to over 30,000 people.
PETER-SERVICE
Peter-Service is the first Russian developer of billing systems for telecoms operators. It provides billing solutions along with product installation, integration and support services. The company has regional offices across Russia and in Ukraine. Since its establishment in 1992, Peter-Service has completed over 100 projects for more than 50 operators of fixed and mobile networks in 10 countries.

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USM Holdings owns 50% of UTH Russia, one of the country’s fastest growing commercial television broadcasters. The company aims
to capitalise on the expansion of the youth entertainment
market and the ever increasing interest
in youth lifestyle and wellbeing.

UTH RUSSIA
Through UTH Russia, USM Holdings owns some of the country’s most popular outlets in broadcast and digital media. Building the main framework on its two free-to-air channels – the Disney Channel and U channel – and the cable MUZ-TV channel, UTH Russia is on its way to becoming the leader in youth entertainment and lifestyle programming. U channel and the Disney Channel broadcast in more than 880 cities, and the company continues to expand its market share.
The UTH platform also houses the specialist online video service ClipYou, which offers licensed content from leading Russian and international music companies, including some of the top labels, such as Universal Music, Warner Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and EMI.

image

USM Holdings invests in a number of Russia’s steel and mining companies. It owns 100% of METALLOINVEST, a leading global iron ore
and hot briquetted iron (HBI) producer
and one of the regional steel producers.

METALLOINVEST
METALLOINVEST extracts and exploits iron ore from the second largest measured reserve base in the world (c. 14.9 billion tonnes).
In 2011, the company was the largest commercial iron ore producer in Russia/CIS and the fifth largest globally, the leading producer of pellets in Russia/CIS and the third largest globally, and the leading producer of merchant HBI globally.
The main production assets of the company are strategically located in the European part of Russia and the Urals.
The company is organised into three integrated operating segments focusing on mining operations, steel production and auxiliary businesses and other assets. The mining segment includes Lebedinsky GOK and Mikhailovsky GOK, and the steel segment includes OE MK, Ural Steel and Ural Scrap Company. In addition to its mining and steel businesses, the company owns several supporting businesses and other assets that provide services and raw materials to the mining and steel segments.
Lebedinsky GOK is a leading manufacturer of iron ore products in Russia and operates as an integrated mining company whose assets comprise iron ore extraction facilities and secondary processing facilities, including beneficiation and secondary beneficiation plants, a pellet plant and two HBI plants.
Mikhailovsky GOK is the second largest iron ore extraction and processing operation in Russia, after Lebedinsky GOK. In 2014, Mikhailovsky GOK intends to finish construction of what is expected to be the largest pelletising plant in Russia, with a capacity of five million tonnes a year.
OEMK is one of the most modern steel mills in Russia, employing Midrex DRI technology. The unique application and properties of the steel and finished products from OE MK have ensured stable demand in Russia, the CIS and worldwide. It is located close to Lebedinsky GOK, which supplies OEMK with high grade iron ore concentrate through a 26-kilometre slurry pipeline. OEMK sells products for engineering, automotive, pipe, hardware and bearing industries in the domestic market, and exports its high quality pipe and cast billets and long rolled products such as wire coil and bar to foreign customers.
Ural Steel is a major manufacturer of strips for large diameter pipes, pipe billets, bridge construction steel and heavy plates. Ural Scrap Company purchases, processes and delivers ferrous scrap to METALLOINVEST’s steel producing assets.
Baikal Mining Company, a subsidiary of METALLOINVEST, holds the licence for the development of the Udokan copper deposit, which has a mineral resources base of c. 2.7 billion tonnes. Udokan is one of the world’s largest undeveloped deposits of copper amounting to c. 25.7 million tonnes of metal. The licence covers 60% of copper deposits in Russia.
With a 21% holding, METALLOINVEST is a major shareholder of the Canadian company Nautilus Minerals. Nautilus Minerals commercially explores the seafloor for massive sulphide systems, which are a potential source of high grade copper, gold, zinc and silver. The company is developing the world’s first seafloor copper-gold project in Papua New Guinea.
METALLOINVEST has a shareholding of approximately 5% in Norilsk Nickel, the world’s largest producer of nickel (18% of the market) and palladium (41%), as well as a leading producer of platinum (11%) and copper (2%). Norilsk Nickel also produces multiple by-products, such as cobalt, rhodium, silver, gold, iridium, ruthenium, selenium, tellurium and sulphur.
In 2012, METALLOINVEST’s net income grew by 20.4% year-on-year to US$ 1.7 billion.

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USM Holdings – Alisher Usmanov Founder of USM Holdings [June 12, 2013]

Mr. Usmanov is an investor, industrialist and philanthropist.
He created and built up USM Holdings by identifying
and focusing on growth businesses.

Mr. Usmanov was born in 1953 in the town of Chust in the Namangan region of Uzbekistan, which was then part of the USSR . He graduated in 1976 from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, a leading Russian university, with a degree in international law. In 1997, he received a degree in banking from the Finance Academy under the Government of the Russian Federation. He is fluent in English, French, Russian and Uzbek.
Mr. Usmanov has played a number of key roles in businesses essential for the advancement of the Russian economy. Since February 2006, he has been a member of the Board of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, and currently heads its Committee for Updating of Control and Supervision and Elimination of Administrative Barriers. Mr. Usmanov has served as General Director of Gazprom Investholding since 2000, prior to which he was as an Advisor to the Chairman of Gazprom and was First Deputy General Director of Gazprom Investholding. From 1994 to 1998, Mr. Usmanov held the position of General Director of Interfin Investment and Finance Company. From 1995 to 1997, he served as the First Deputy Chairman of MAPO-Bank, and from 1994 to 1995, he was an Advisor to the General Director of Moscow Aviation Industrial Enterprise. From 1990 to 1994, Mr. Usmanov worked as the Deputy General Director of Intercross JSC.
Mr. Usmanov is the President of the International Fencing Federation and a member of the councils of the 2014 Sochi XXII Olympic Winter Games and XI Paralympic Winter Games, the 2013 Kazan XXVII Summer Universiade and the Russian Olympian Sportsmen Support Fund. He is a Trustee for a range of social, educational and cultural organisations, including the Russian Geographical Society, Moscow State Institute of International Relations, National Research University Higher School of Economics, and European University at St. Petersburg.
Mr. Usmanov is the founder of the Arts, Science and Sports Charity Foundation.
In 2013, Mr. Usmanov was awarded the Order for Service to the Fatherland IV class in recognition of his services to the state, as well as his community and charitable activities. In 2004, he was presented with the Order of Honour of the Russian Federation for his contribution to business and charity.
In 2011, he received the Order of Friendship of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
Alongside his investments within USM Holdings, Mr. Usmanov owns Kommersant Holding, the leading Russian business media group, as well as almost 30% of Arsenal, an English football club.

USM Holdings – About us [June 21, 2013]

USM Holdings Limited (“USM Holdings”) is a diversified, international company with significant interests across the metals and mining,
telecoms, internet and media sectors. It was established in 2012
to consolidate the various investments and holdings of
Alisher Usmanov, which are the result of more than
30 years of his investment and business
development activities.

In consolidating Mr. Usmanov’s interests into one company, USM Holdings has the right structure to enable the sharing of both intellectual and financial capital amongst its various businesses. The group’s companies benefit from a global network of relationships and a wealth of experience, which enable them to access international investment opportunities. Through its structure, reporting and transparency, USM Holdings aims to ensure that its companies adhere to the highest international standards of corporate governance.
In carrying out its operations, USM Holdings acts in a socially responsible way, investing in long-term sustainable enterprises, stimulating economic development and creating employment opportunities in Russia. The group cares about the communities in which it conducts its business, and supports them through a wide range of social projects in the fields of education, sports, arts, science and ecology.

The main shareholders of USM Holdings are Alisher Usmanov, Vladimir Skoch and Farhad Moshiri. Their economic interests are divided 60%, 30% and 10% respectively, while Mr. Usmanov holds 100% of the voting rights with respect to USM Holdings.

Russian Billionaire Usmanov Links Fortune to Partnership [Bloomberg, Feb 6, 2013]

Alisher Usmanov, Russia’s richest man, and two of his long-time billionaire investment partners have joined all of their assets in USM Holdings, a limited liability company based in the British Virgin Islands.
Conceived in early 2012 and completed in December, the new formation holds the trio’s assets in mining, technology, telecommunications and media, and carries a value of more than $29 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
“We have completed the process of consolidating assets into USM Holdings,” Usmanov, 59, said by e-mail Feb. 5. “The formation of a single holding company enables us to optimize business processes, enhance the efficiency of managing subsidiary companies, and provide more opportunities to access international capital markets.”
According to the company’s website, which went live late last month, USM was established to consolidate the holdings Usmanov has built up during the last 30 years, including closely held Metalloinvest Holding Co., Russia’s largest iron ore producer, publicly-traded mobile phone company MegaFon OAO and Internet company Mail.Ru Group Ltd., as well as the technology investments he has made through the DST investment funds.
USM shareholders include Usmanov, who holds 60 percent; Vladimir Skoch, who holds 30 percent on behalf of his son, Russian Duma deputy Andrey Skoch; and Ardavan Farhad Moshiri, an Usmanov adviser of 23 years, who owns 10 percent.
Usmanov and Moshiri continue to hold their shared 29.9 percent stake in London-based Arsenal Football Club Plc separately. Usmanov owns all of newspaper Kommersant outside of USM.
‘One Roof’
Usmanov controls all of USM’s voting rights and also has the ability to block his partners from selling any assets it holds without his consent. He first disclosed his plans for the holding company in April 2012, and released further details of its formation in MegaFon’s preliminary prospectus, which was released in November.
Ivan Streshinskiy, who has helped manage Usmanov’s investments since 2006, was appointed to the USM Holdings board and named chief executive officer of USM Advisors, an affiliated company that will provide advisory services to the holding entity.
“Having all of the assets under one roof makes it easier to manage them and value them,” Kirill Chuyko, head of equity research at BCS Financial Group said by phone Jan. 21, explaining the possible reasons for structure.
Longtime Allies
The two minority partners acquired their stakes in USM by swapping their existing equity in holding companies controlled by Usmanov and making a cash investment. After the transaction, Usmanov has a net worth of $21.4 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, while Moshiri controls a $1.7 billion fortune. Skoch is valued at $6.2 billion.
Rollo Head, a spokesman for Moshiri at London-based RLM Finsbury, said Moshiri declined to comment on his net worth. Albert Istomin, a spokesman for Skoch, declined to comment on the net worth calculation. Usmanov also declined to comment.
Usmanov first met Andrey Skoch in 1992, when he was importing cigarettes to Russia and Skoch was working as an oil trader. At the time, the country was suffering from a deficit of consumer goods, which enabled Usmanov to build a thriving trade business.
He and Skoch purchased metal and mining assets during and after the country’s chaotic privatization years, including a steel plant in the Belgorod region, central Russia, and iron ore producer Lebedinsky GOK. In 2006, after buying Mikhailovsky GOK from Georgia’s current prime minister, billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, they created Metalloinvest, now Usmanov’s most valuable asset.
Government Ally
Usmanov’s rise to prominence was boosted in the early 2000s, when he proved to be an ally to the new government led by Russian President Vladimir Putin. As head of Gazprominvestholding, the investment arm of Russia’s gas monopoly OAO Gazprom, Usmanov helped negotiate the return of assets to state-run Gazprom that had been moved out of the company under previous management.
In 1999, Skoch was elected as a deputy of the State Duma, Russia’s main legislative body, representing the Belgorod region. He later transferred the fortune he had built to his father, Vladimir, shielding himself from public criticism. He was re-elected to the Duma four times.
Iranian Emigrant
Moshiri, an Iranian emigrate to London who now resides in Monaco, first met Usmanov in 1989, and has served as Usmanov’s financial consultant ever since. Through the years, he earned shares in some of Usmanov’s most important assets, including Metalloinvest, MegaFon and Arsenal.
The former accountant, who is a British citizen, resisted Usmanov’s diversification into technology investments, which began in 2008, using billionaire Yuri Milner’s DST funds.
“Moshiri also didn’t believe in the prospects for investments in Facebook and Groupon,” said Usmanov in an April 2012 phone interview with Bloomberg News.
His hesitation did not prevent Usmanov from allowing him the chance to participate, which has given Moshiri holdings through DST in publicly-traded Facebook Inc., Zynga Inc. and Groupon Inc., as well as other investments in a number of closely-held technology companies, including Twitter Inc.
USM did not disclose how much Moshiri and Skoch may have paid to make those investments, or their exact stakes.
New Valuation
The new holding company requires a revised method for the Bloomberg ranking to calculate the net worth for Usmanov and Moshiri, and established a valuation for Skoch’s fortune.
Prior to the transaction, Usmanov and Moshiri controlled half of Metalloinvest through Cyprus-based Gallagher Holdings Ltd., which has since been renamed USM Steel & Mining Group Ltd. That stake was combined with the 30 percent held by Skoch. The remaining 20 percent of Metalloinvest was bought back by the company from Moscow-based OAO VTB Bank at the end of 2012 through debt financing, consolidating all of the company under the control of USM.
Further details on the debt financing will be provided when Metalloinvest releases its earnings in April, the company said.

Alisher Usmanov: Uzbek eyes a prize listing [Financial Times, Nov 16, 2012]

The billionaire businessman reflects the new style of oligarch that puts a premium on loyalty and predictability

When Alisher Usmanov met Lloyd Blankfein on the sidelines of the St Petersburg Economic Forum in June, the two men appeared to strike up a rapport. The Uzbek-born billionaire and the chairman of Goldman Sachs discussed the planned initial public offering of Megafon, the mobile phone company owned by Mr Usmanov, say people familiar with the conversation. Mr Blankfein courted Mr Usmanov, one of Russia’s most powerful and best-connected businessmen, for an insight into upcoming deals.
Within months, everything had changed. By early October, Goldman had dropped Mr Usmanov and the Megafon deal, throwing a spanner in the company’s IPO plans and launching a storm of bad publicity around Mr Usmanov personally.
Goldman declined to comment on its reasons for quitting the IPO. Morgan Stanley, Sberbank, Citigroup, Credit Suisse and VTB are still working on the deal, which began formal marketing on Thursday after receiving delayed approval from the UK regulator, which appeared to have been shaken by Goldman’s exit.
Should the deal, which could raise as much as $2.1bn, go through, it would be the biggest flotation by a Russian company in nearly three years. If it flops, it will be another setback for Mr Usmanov, a symbol of a class of powerful Russian businessmen who work closely with the state, and his plans to take his empire public.
Businessmen close to the 59-year-old oligarch say he was dumbstruck by Goldman’s move. In his world, loyalty and predictability are prized above all else, and it is partly because of his strict adherence to such a code that he has risen so far in the Russia of President Vladimir Putin.
Today’s oligarchs are not the brash, buccaneering variety of the 1990s, who wielded both wealth and influence in Boris Yeltsin’s Kremlin. Putin-era billionaires such as Mr Usmanov are expected to respect state power in order to thrive.
It was in this context that Mr Usmanov – worth $18bn, according to Forbes – bought the art estate of cellist Mstislav Rostropovich and then donated it to the state. It was also for that reason, analysts say, that he agreed to take a stake in Megafon, interceding in a years-long shareholder feud that was damaging Russia’s investment climate.
Usmanov is known as a person able to resolve delicate situations to the satisfaction of all the parties,” says Ivan Streshinsky, a long-time associate.
That is not all he is known for. The 45 pages of Megafon’s IPO investor prospectus entitled “Risk factors” includes “media speculation” about Mr Usmanov’s alleged mafia ties and the six years he spent in an Uzbek jail in the 1980s, along with more media speculation that the real owner of a large share in Megafon might be Leonid Reiman, a former communications minister.
This week it also emerged that a public relations firm had tampered with Mr Usmanov’s Wikipedia page to remove mention of an incident in which the billionaire had allegedly threatened bloggers who repeated allegations that he was a “gangster and racketeer”, and also edited out mentions of his jail term.
Mr Usmanov and his partners deny issuing such threats, deny having any ties to organised crime groups, and he and Megafon’s management deny Mr Reiman is a shareholder. Andrei Skoch, a long-time friend and business partner, blames Mr Usmanov’s fraud conviction in 1980 on enemies of his father, a local Uzbek prosecutor. The criminal charges were overturned in 2000.
The criminal conviction did dash Mr Usmanov’s dreams of a career as a diplomat moving between the world’s capitals, an ambition forged in a remote corner of central Asia in his native Uzbekistan, where he was born in 1953 in the small city of Chust, a place renowned as home of the traditional Uzbek skullcap.
Once out of jail Mr Usmanov built up a number of small businesses before consolidating some of Russia’s biggest metal and steel holdings into holding company Metalloinvest in 2006. Since then he has expanded outside Russia: acquiring stakes in internet groups such as Facebook and Groupon, and buying properties and trophy sporting assets in London as well as some of Russia’s most prestigious media properties.
Some international ventures have been less than happy. At Arsenal, the English Premier League football club in which he holds a near 30 per cent stake, he has waged a running battle with the board, criticising strategy and complaining that the best players have been let go.
Football is one of his passions, along with opera, ballet and fencing.
His approach to business involves close attention to detail. Despite poor eyesight, he is said to read up to 300 pages of analytics, reports and news items a day that are tirelessly rewritten into Russian by a retained group of round-the-clock translators.
Close links to the Kremlin have not harmed his prospects, say analysts. In 2009, at the height of the financial crisis, Metalloinvest received Rb61bn in bailout loans from state bank VTB, allowing Mr Usmanov not only to emerge from the crisis unscathed but also in the same year to spend $200m on a 2 per cent stake in Facebook through Digital Sky Technologies, a company in which he is a shareholder.
Associates say any political connections are normal. “With the scale and size of his business it would be misleading to say he has no relationship with the authorities – just like any major business leader in the world,” says Mr Streshinsky.
But Mr Usmanov’s political allegiances came under scrutiny last year when he fired two executives at his news weekly Kommersant Vlast because of a cover, published at the peak of mass anti-government protests in Moscow, that featured an obscene comment about Mr Putin.
Critics saw this as trampling on editorial freedom. Friends say he acted for reasons of taste. “He’s an old-fashioned guy. This overstepped the bounds of decency,” says Mr Streshinsky. “This has nothing to do with freedom of speech”.


The ‘Facebook Corruption’ accusations via a U.S. Congress Representative:

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in addition a page from Who is Lawrence “Larry” Summers? [FB Cover-up opinion blog, Jul. 31, 2013]

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Phablet competition in India: $258 Micromax-MediaTek-2013 against $360 Samsung-Broadcom-2012

Allwinner in mainland China moved first to quad-core Cortex-A7 with the A31 SoC introduced with the launch of the first two tablet products, Onda V972 and V812, on December 5, 2012 (and delivered from December 24, 2012 on in mainland China). That prompted a direction only reaction that Qualcomm quad-core Cortex-A7 SoCs with Adreno 305 and 1080p coming for the high-volume global market and China [Dec 9, 2012]), with sampling just planned for Q2’13 and only now publishing a completely redesigned 2013 roadmap according to Qualcomm moving ahead of Allwinner et al. in CPU and GPU while trying to catch up with Allwinner in Ultra HD [Jan 12 – Feb 20, 2013]. The #2 SoC vendor MediaTek from Taiwan had already plans to move to Cortex-A7 so was able to react much more quickly with MediaTek MT6589 quad-core Cortex-A7 SoC with HSPA+ and TD-SCDMA is available for Android smartphones and tablets of Q1 delivery [Dec 12, 2012]. Such a delivery first happened with Micromax A116 in India (from February 14, 2013 on) which targeted the delivery of Samsung Galaxy Grand (from January 21, 2013 on) based on a very much ‘2012 vintage’ SoC from Broadcom still using a dual core Cortex-A9 driven CPU.

So here we have an interesting possibility of comparing a ‘2013 vintage’ (quad-core Cortex-A7 at 28nm etc.) phablet solution with a ‘2012 vintage’ (dual core Cortex-A9 at 40nm LP etc.) one. In addition from a vendor (MediaTek) trying to agressively conquer the global market after the Greater China one by going against the global #1 heavyweight Samsung. Such an analysis would, no doubt, reveal quite interesting facts not only about the current state of the market but about the future market as well.

First here is an overall comparison video from India:
Micromax Canvas HD A116 VS Samsung Galaxy Grand – Gaming, Benchmarks, Camera, Performance, Display [intellectdigest YouTube channel, Feb 16, 2013]

See also: ‘Micromax Canvas HD A116 Detailed In Depth Video Review And Comparison With Galaxy Grand’ at http://www.intellectdigest.in/micromax-canvas-hd-a-116-price-and-review-583/

Next there is a detailed specification comparison is in the table somewhat below.

Before that, however, note that to do such a comparison one needs to invest more than one day of time which shows quite well that in the consumer computing space customers will hardly be able to recognize the really deciding differentiators(in the same way as this happens with consumer products in general). I am particularly dismayed by the fact that even from such a table one will hardly recognize the most important differentiator that from power consumption point of view the Galaxy Grand is ways better that the Micromax A116 (440 hours of standby time vs. 174 hours, and 10 hours 10 minutes of talk time vs. 5 hours).

Then the display quality difference discussed first in the above video is far less than one would conclude from the below table (TFT LCD at 800×480 resolution on Grand and IPS at 1280×720 on Micromax A116) as evidenced by the excerpted video image included below (taken az [1:15] with A116 on the left and Grand on the right, for both the brightness set to maximum for the comparison). One of the reasons for that is the mDNIe (mobile Digital Natural Image engine) technology from Samsung going back to 2003 with TVs. In fact MediaTek just now came up with a kind of similar technology of its own (see in the end of Section 1) called MiraVision. Immediately after that (in the whole Section 2) I included all available material about both the mDNIe and its “parent from TVs”, DNIe in order to make possible to understand the maturity of Samsung solution vs. the MediaTek one. And there are definitely other “tricks” (additional layers etc.) which are also essential for making the Grand screen a true masterpice of display engineering.

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Click on the image below or this link in order to go to a clickable version of the table!image
            Click on the image above or this link in order to go to a clickable version of the table!

Finally, in addition to the already mentioned first two sections of the detailed analysis there is a Section 3 in the end devoted to the Broadcom SoC technology used in the Samsung Galaxy Grand

More information for this introductory part:
Micromax Canvas HD A116 [Micromax microsite, Feb 13, 2013]
MediaTek High Performance Quad Core Solution Empowers Micromax A116 Canvas HD [MediaTek press release, Jan 22, 2013]
Micromax Canvas HD demo Video [micromaxtube YouTube channel, Feb 19, 2013]

Micromax launches Canvas HD to strengthen phablet leadership [Micromax press release, Jan 21, 2013]

… it is the ideal phone for the young generation who is always on the lookout for better, faster and savvier smart phones on the go!

Commenting on the launch and association with MediaTek, Mr. Deepak Mehrotra, Chief Executive Officer, Micromax said, “At Micromax, we constantly strive to innovate and develop  great technological experiences for our consumers. Today’s launch marks our association with MediaTek to bring forth our first quad core phone in this segment, offering consumers a great user experience with latest features and added functionality.” He further added, “We are excited with the success of Canvas 2, which has clearly established Micromax as number one player in the new 5” phablet category in India. We are looking forward to similar success with the new phone being unveiled today.”
Speaking at the occasion,  Dr. Finbarr Moynihan, General Manager  – Business Development at MediaTek, said, “In less than 2 years of launching our first smartphone chipset, MediaTek’s shipments in this category have grown more than ten times, with 110 million units in 2012. As the world’s first commercialized quad-core Cortex-A7 SoC, the MT6589 is an innovative solution that accelerates product development, simplifies differentiation, and offers the best possible experience that mid to high-end smart device owners desire. Micromax shares our core philosophy of pushing the bar on innovation and bringing it within the reach of the masses. We are delighted that India’s leading youth mobile brand has chosen MediaTek to power its top-end mobile smartphones.”

About Micromax [the 12th largest handset manufacturer in the world]:
Micromax started as an IT software company in the year 2000 working on embedded platforms. In 2008, it entered mobile handset business and by 2010 it became one of the largest Indian domestic mobile handsets company by offering unique affordable innovations. … The brand’s product portfolio embraces more than 60 models today, ranging from feature rich, dual – SIM phones, 3G Android smartphones, tablets, LED televisions and data cards. The company has many firsts to its credit when it comes to the mobile handset market including the 30-day battery backup, dual SIM phones, QWERTY keypads, dual reception mode handsets, universal remote control mobile phones etc. Micromax has presence in more than 500 districts through 100,000 retail outlets in India. The company has global business presence spread across Hong Kong, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri-Lanka, Maldives, UAE, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Afghanistan and Brazil.

Samsung Galaxy Grand (i9082) full review hands on video [mobiscrub YouTube channel, Feb 4, 2013]

[2:06] The display of the Grand is a 5 inch Super Clear LCD with a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels. When compared to the Super AMOLED screen in the Galaxy Note II or the S III, the screen does look less saturated, however, color rendition is great & looks very natural. Wide viewing angles & good outdoor visibility lets you watch movies & read content easily. [2:42]
The Galaxy Grand camera is an 8 MP sensor with autofocus & LED Flash. The camera also features BIS (Backside Illumination Sensor) which basically takes great shots even in low light condition. The shutter speed of the Galaxy Grand camera is quite nice as well but not as fast as the Note II or the S III.
Much of the smart features in the Galaxy Grand resemble to those found in the S III & Note II such as: Multi window, Smart Rotation, Smart Stay, Smart Alert, Direct call & pop up play. Obviously there is no S Pen included with the Galaxy Grand, that differentiates from the smartphone beast, the Note II.

Samsung GALAXY Grand [Samsung Mobile Press announcement, Dec 18, 2012]
Samsung Unveiled GALAXY Grand [Samsung Tomorrow Global, Dec 18, 2012]
Galaxy Grand GT-i9082 [Samsung India microsite, Jan 22, 2013]
Samsung Galaxy Grand Redefines Smartphone Experience for All [Samsung India press release, Jan 22, 2013]

Even though it supports a massive 5.0″ screen with WVGA TFT display powered with mDNIe [mobile Digital Natural Image engine]technology, the device is incredibly slim and comes with an ergonomic design which makes is comfortable to hold. The vivid display provides an expansive viewing experience rendering messaging, multimedia and Web content in brilliant color and clarity.

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Samsung GT-i9082 Galaxy Grand [Duos]

Micromax Canvas HD A116 Detailed In Depth Video Review And Comparison With Galaxy Grand [Intellect Digest, Feb 17, 2013]
List of Top 5 Phablets under Rs 20k – Feb 2013 [My PhoneFactor.in, Feb 20, 2013]
Micromax A116 Canvas HD performance review vs. other quad-core phones [Thinkdigit, Feb 15, 2013]


Section 1   MT6589
Quad-Core Cortex-A7 1GHz+CPU Smartphone Platform [MediaTek product page, Dec 27, 2012]

Overview

The world’s first commercialized quad-core SoC available for mid to high end smartphone and tablets market
The Coolest quad core solution- MT6589 is the world’s first commercialized quad-core SoC (AP+BB) available for mid to high end smartphone and tablets market, the MT6589 integrates a power-efficient Cortex™-A7 CPU subsystem from ARM, PowerVR™ Series5XT GPU from Imagination Technologies, and MediaTek’s advanced multi-mode UMTS Rel. 8/HSPA+/TD-SCDMA modem. The MT6589 is delivered in advanced 28nm process technology, creating a universal platform that delivers powerful performance at a very competitive price.

Features

Innovative, Advanced Dual-SIM solution
    • Dual-SIM and Dual-Active functionality frees users to seamlessly make and receive calls on two SIM cards at the same time.
      High-end Multimedia Capabilities
        • 13MP camera with integrated ISP, 1080p playback and recording at 30fps, and enhanced image processing for DTV-grade image quality
        • Full HD (1920×1080) [1080p] LCD support for razor sharp visuals
          Best-in-class MediaTek Technology
            • Integrated leading 4-in-1 connectivity combo, providing 802.11n Wi-Fi, BT4.0, GPS and FM radio

            MT6589 – The Coolest Quad-Core SoC Platform – Thermal Benchmark [mediateklab YouTube channel, Dec 28, 2012]

            MediaTek MT6589 -The World’s First Commercialized Quad-Core Cortex-A7 SoC Available for Mid to High End Smartphone and Tablets Market.

            See also:
            MediaTek Strengthens Global Position with World’s First Quad-Core Cortex-A7 System on a Chip – MT6589 [MediaTek press release, Dec 11, 2012]

            MediaTek Inc., a leading fabless semiconductor company for wireless communications and digital multimedia solutions, announced the launch of the MT6589, the world’s first commercialized quad-core System on a Chip (SoC), available for mid to high-end Android smartphones and tablets worldwide. The new quad-core SoC integrates MediaTek’s advanced multi-mode UMTS Rel. 8/HSPA+/TD-SCDMA modem, a power-efficient quad-core Cortex™-A7 CPU subsystem from ARM, PowerVR™ Series5XT GPU from Imagination Technologies, and is delivered in 28nm process technology. As a leader in Dual-SIM technology, the MT6589 is also the world’s first HSPA+ smartphone platform supporting Dual-SIM, Dual-Active functionality to address increasing multi-SIM demand around the world. The integration of these compelling features makes the MT6589 a universal platform that delivers premium multimedia capabilities with extremely low power consumption for an outstanding user experience. It also enables handset makers to reduce time to market, simplify product development and manage product differentiation in a more cost effective way, for any market worldwide.
            The MT6589 also supports Miracast™ technology for multi-screen content sharing and pre-integrates MediaTek’s leading 4-in-1 connectivity combo, which supports 802.11n Wi-Fi, BT4.0, GPS and FM.
            The MediaTek MT6589 is currently being incorporated into smart devices by MediaTek’s leading global customers, and the first models based on this new chipset are expected to ship commercially in Q1 2013.

            Lenovo S3000 uses MediaTek quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 [Charbax YouTube channel, Feb 26, 2013]

            Lenovo announces the Android tablet market has overtaken the iPad market, with 53% worldwide market share for Android and 43% for iPad. Lenovo is the biggest tablet brand in China, with a tight relation to MediaTek, here’s Lenovo’s latest quad-core 7″ 1024×600 IPS tablet.

            MediaTek Powers Lenovo’s Premium Multimedia IdeaTab S6000 Tablet [MediaTek press release, Feb 25, 2013]

            This year, at Mobile World Congress, MediaTek’s quad core SoC will be powering three new Android tablets launched by Lenovo, led by the Lenovo IdeaTab S6000. Built on the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean operating system, the S6000 is a sleek (8.6mm) and light (560g), 10” tablet which leverages quad-core processing to deliver performance, connectivity, and clarity.
            Jeffrey Ju, GM of Smartphone Business Unit of MediaTek. “Our aim is to democratize the smartphone market by enabling the smart ecosystem to make high performance products at affordable prices for the mainstream market.  This in turn will be the catalyst for the smart age as customers will demand greater device integration to share and view their entertainment and information seamlessly across multiple screens – requiring a sophisticated smart ecosystem that only MediaTek’s SoC total solutions can drive.”

            How MediaTek helps lower mobile device power consumption? [mediateklab YouTube channel, Feb 24, 2013]

            MediaTek is continuously making technological breakthrough with each new generation of smartphone solution. Through high levels of hardware and software integration and the efforts of system optimization, the CPU power saving for MT6589 allows for up to 11 extra hours of operation with a typical battery. Watch the video to learn more…

            MiraVision makes Full-HD support for mobile devices a reality to everyone [MediaTek press release, Feb 25, 2013]

            MediaTek Inc., a leading fabless semiconductor company for wireless communications and digital multimedia solutions announced today the availability of “MiraVision,” the world’s most comprehensive suite of display picture quality technology, for its smartphone and tablet platforms.
            The joint hardware and software suite of display picture quality technology – MiraVision – aims to strengthen Mediatek’s leading position in the smart age, where consumers can expect the same, high quality of the visual experience across various display resolutions. Leveraging MediaTek’s leading display picture quality technology developed in digital TV (DTV), MiraVision is designed to deliver seamless full high-definition display picture quality on mobile devices. It empowers handset and tablets makers to provide the best visual quality on the mobile platform with reduced time to market, simplified product development and differentiation for consumers everywhere.
            MiraVision is equipped with specific features that enable users to enjoy DTV-grade display picture quality on their mobile devices. With MiraVision, contents will be displayed more vivid and saturated with more details, providing a far richer and more colorful viewing experience previously only available on a high-end DTV. Furthermore, specifically tailored for mobile devices, the all-important power efficiency has been addressed and boosted through the Ambient-Light Adaptive Luma (AAL) technology, which intelligently adjusts the panel backlight in response to the ambient light intensity and the displayed contents to simultaneously optimize battery life and viewing experience. The combination of enhanced sharpness, richer color and adaptive Luma technology means true seamless quality across multiple devices is closer than ever before.
            “The future is more than just TVs or smartphones alone,” commented Jeffrey Ju, GM of Smartphone Business Unit of MediaTek, “our focus is on innovative solutions that enhance the chip, driving speed to market at premium performance up for our customers while ensuring the seamless cross-screen experience across the array of devices through which users are consuming entertainment and information. We are proud to be the one who can truly integrate technologies of DTV and mobile phones/tablets in the smart age, making the premium cross-screen experience real to everyone in every market.”

            This background technology from MediaTek is also available to the MT6589 as evidenced by [2:00 – 3:00] time fragment of this recorded video (at [0:56] it is explicitly said: “Miravision engine which has been included in the new MT6589 quad-core SoC”):
            MiraVision: world’s leading digital TV-grade picture-quality engine for mobile devices [mediateklab YouTube channel, Feb 24, 2013]

            With advanced algorithms, the Miravision picture-quality engine can calculate the optimal level of backlighting for any given environment, while also ensuring that the backlighting is optimized by the content. This kind of flexible optimization for backlighting and pixel intensity gives the user a level of screen brightness that is most comfortable and pleasing for the eyes.


            Section 2
            Samsung mDNIe [mobile Digital Natural Image engine]

            Into the New Wave – the Samsung Wave S8500 [samsungwave YouTube channel, Feb 14, 2010]

            Samsung Wave S8500 is the first mobile handset to be released on Samsung’s new, open mobile platform, Samsung bada. … Display: 3.3 WVGA (800×480) Super AMOLED with mDNIe (mobile Digital Natural Image engine) technology. DNIe technology is proven display technology which was incorporated to Samsung’s LCD TV and LED TVs lineups. It boosts an even sharper and crisper viewing experience for photos, videos, and e-books than the Super AMOLED by itself.

            Mobile Digital Natural Image Engine – mDNIe [Read a tech, June 12, 2010]

            Samsung Wave display features Samsung’s mDNIe – mobile Digital Natural Image engine technology, borrowed from Samsung’s latest LCD TV and LED TV products, says the company. The mDNIe technology is said to offer better viewing angles and “super fast response.” The Wave’s display is also touted for its tempered glass and anti-smudge surface.

            From http://tvtonight.televisionshop.info/samsung-hl-s5087w-50-inch-1080p-dlp-hdtv-on-sale/

            The Samsung Digital Natural Image engine (DNIe) Video Enhancer refines all analog NTSC and wideband video inputs for an overall improvement in picture quality. DNIe improves contrast, white level, picture detail and incorporates digital noise reduction to improve lower quality video inputs. The 3-line digital comb filter constantly analyzes the three dimensions of picture height, picture width, and picture changes-over-time to dramatically reduce edge image artifacts while improving transition detail. Samsung’s Cinema Smooth 3:2 pull-down film mode corrects for the artificial frames created when films are converted to DVDs. The result is a clearer image without the subtle motion artifacts caused by 24-to-30 frames per second video conversion.

            Samsung’s DNIe™

            Samsung’s DNIe™ technology offers digital perfection in naturally presented, crystal-clear images that uncover even the most minute detail.


            Motion Optimizer: The visual data are automatically broken down into signal and noise and adjusted through a combined spatial/temporal process to eliminate noise and blurring without the slightest damage to the original signal. This guarantees the viewer a picture of astounding sharpness, whether the scene is still or moving.


            Contrast Enhancer: DNIe has done away with the unwanted side-effects that conventional contrast enhancement can produce, such as noise boost-up and flicker by developing an algorithm that recognizes over 1 million criteria for applying contrast. Its detail contrast enhancement technology can automatically analyze up to 70,000 local images within a frame, treating the viewer to a picture rich in contrast even in the tiniest details.


            Color optimizer: For each scene the color optimizer calculates the saturation of red, green, and blue in the input signal and adjusts it to the shades that the human eye accepts as natural. Even a conventional process like white tone enhancement produces more striking results when when used with DNIe. The end result is a palette of vivid hues and pure white tones to satisfy the most discerning viewers eye.


            Detail enhancer: Many viewers complain of the unnatural effect that conventional uniform detail enhancement produces by relying on artificial amplification of the input signal. In contrast, DNIe automatically analyzes the portion to be amplified, detecting and re-processing any noise or defect to bring the viewer a startlingly sharp and lifelike image.

            Samsung DNIe ‘Pixel’ [sangafilms YouTube channel, Dec 5, 2007]

            “Nature created DNA, but SAMSUNG developed DNIe.” Samsung Electronics Unveils New “Natural Image” Technology for Digital TV [Samsung press release, April 2003]

            – Digital TVs with new DNIe technology are being put on the world market. DNIe technology can be applied to all digital TV typesLCD, PDP, projection or CRT.
            – The cleanest and most natural images are produced under all viewing conditions.
            – Samsung, which leads the world market in color TVs, TFT-LCDs, and color monitors, aims to do the same with digital TVs.
            Samsung Electronics has developed the Digital Natural Image engine (DNIe) that greatly improves the clarity and detail of images reproduced by color TVs. The company expects its technology breakthrough to elevate the Samsung brand the top of the rapidly growing world digital TV market.
            On April 29, Samsung Electronics held a briefing on the new DNIe technology and digital TV business strategy. On display were PDP, LCD, projection and cathode ray tube (CRT) models supported by DNIe, which offers far greater image detail than conventional digital TVs. Samsung Electronics began its research project to improve picture quality back in 1996 and implemented it in stages. The first prototype digital TV with DNIe was ready last December. The technology can be used with all types of digital TVs to re-create natural colors that truly please. Last year, Samsung sold more color TVs than any other manufacturer, and now the company is ready to do the same in the digital TV market.
            DNIe technology optimizes the moving picture image and color, while the contrast ratio and fine details are amplified. These four processes automatically and precisely capture broadcast signals in all formats, from analog to high definition. This high clarity, high detail image technology provides the best possible picture quality under all conditions.
            Last December, Samsung Electronics completed development of the four processes. The next four months were applying the new technology to CRT TVs (29”-32”), DLP projection TVs (43” to 61”), CRT projection TVs (43” to 52”) PDP TVs (42” to 63”) and LCD TVs (32” to 40”) and commercializing the new products.
            Significance of New DNIe Technology
            Samsung Electronics’ high clarity, high detail image technology is the product of a determined effort to improve picture quality. This approach is far more than a simple picture improvement based on analog signal reception. Rather, the new technology produces complete image quality; any signal input comes out cleaner and more natural.
            DNIe can completely eliminate blurring from movement or image prolongation. A deep contrast can also be achieved. What is more, the finest detail appears sharp, while the vivid natural color is most pleasing to the eye.
            The Samsung Electronics briefing clearly demonstrated the superiority of the company’s latest technology over conventional technology. The company has received 85 foreign and domestic patents related to DNIe, including a basic technology patent for contrast reproduction.

            DNIe Technology in a Nutshell

            Samsung’s unique DNIe technology encompasses four functions that analyze all signal input, from analog to high definition, in stages. The volume of noise in the signal is detected and the signal level is classified according into analog, SD or HD and then optimized accordingly.
            Motion Optimizer: Processes Noise More Completely than Ever Before
            This noise processing technology integrates temporal and spatial concepts to ensure clear images even when the motion is very fast.
            Contrast Enhancer: For a Deeper Contrast
            This technology employs a contrast ratio of one million or more and a new algorithm that can reproduce the optimal contrast to provide a deep and rich image quality.
            Detail Enhancer: Complete Images, True to the Finest Detail
            A vastly improved technology for automatically analyzing the picture signal reproduces images in amazing detail, resulting in more lifelike video.
            Color Optimizer: Vivid, Natural Colors
            The video signals being generated are analyzed and the quantities of reds, greens and blues are calculated to provide the colors most natural to the human eye.

            Samsung DNIe [tnbtsingapore YouTube channel, Aug 12, 2010]

            FAQs: What is DNIe [Samsung, Oct 10, 2012]

            Samsung’s Digital Natural Image engine (DNIe TM) is a set of four advanced image processing technologies that makes digital TVs, including various types of displays such as LCD, PDP, projection, and CRT, produce the clearest, most detailed, and yet most natural-looking images ever.
            The four technologies used by DNIe are:
            • Motion Optimiser: eliminates noise, even in moving pictures
            • Contrast Enhancer: increases the contrast
            • Detail Enhancer: sharpens pictures and makes details visible
            • Color Optimiser: provides natural and vibrant colours
            The secret of DNIe TM begins with an Intelligent Analyser that analyses any kind of input signal to optimise the picture quality. By analysing the frequency characteristics of the input signal, the Analyser automatically detects the amount of noise in the signal, identifies the source level as analogue, SD, or HD, and even determines whether it has been scaled.
            Through this analysis of the input signal at the first stage of the DNIe TM process, the Intelligent Analyser ensures that the optimal adjustments is made throughout the remaining four stages to the production of the final output.
            DNIe technology is not only suitable for all usual input signals for television reception today, such as analogue, cable, satellite and digital, it also works with the input signals of DVD, camcorders and game computers.
            DNIeTM R&D History
            Progress in picture quality enhancement has been achieved through sustained research and investment at Samsung, beginning in 1996 with an independent project. In 1997, Samsung’s project developed a noise reduction function for the image enhancement of CRT TVs.
            In 2000, Samsung embarked on a new picture quality enhancement project and confirmed its potential for production. By 2001, the fruits of these research efforts had laid the technological foundations for the birth of Samsung’s full-fledged image enhancement algorithm.
            In March 2002, the basic version of Samsung’s unique DNIe technology was ready. At last it was possible to obtain optimal picture quality with signals ranging from RF all the way up to HD. The development of DNIe was completed by 2002, and early 2003 this radical new technology caught the eye of the world in a successful demo at a show in Las Vegas.
            For more information on (DNIe) Digital Natural Image engine click Here

            DNIe – Digital Natural Image engine [Birds-Eye.Net, Apr 3, 2011]

            DNIe, or Digital Natural Image engine, is a “natural image” technology introduced by Samsung in 2003. Originally developed as part of a concerted effort by Samsung to improve television picture quality on non-high-definition-televisions, the DNIe chip is now used in Samsung’s plasma and high definition televisions (HDTV). DNIe makes input signals sharper, clearer and more lifelike. Its advanced image processors help to create true-to-life colors and high contrast, while pretty much eliminating digital artifacts.
            DNIe offers better detail than conventional televisions by using four proprietary processes that optimize and enhance image quality and sound: a Motion Optimizer that is a noise processing technology used to eliminate blurring and noise in fast moving images and thus producing a more natural-looking motion; a Contrast Enhancer that offers rich details and image quality through brightness and contrast levels that are enhanced for deeper, richer blacks with greater detail, and more natural whites; a Detail Enhancer that automatically analyzes the picture signal elements in order to produce sharper detail, clearer image separation and more natural edge transition; and a Color Optimizer that analyzes the video signals being generated so that the quantities of reds, greens, and blues are calculated to provide colors with a more lifelike realism, where whites are more accurate, and skin tones are given a more natural hue. DNIe also offers Samsung’s patented “My Color Control” technology that the user to control specific colors without affecting the whole screen, providing six color-control selections: white, red, pink, yellow, green and blue, so the user can adjust a color to their liking.
            Other Related Definitions for DNIe
            “The secret of DNIe TM begins with an Intelligent Analyzer that analyzes any kind of input signal to optimize the picture quality. By analyzing the frequency characteristics of the input signal, the Analyzer automatically detects the amount of noise in the signal, identifies the source level as analogue, SD, or HD, and even determines whether it has been scaled.” [Samsung]
            “The SAMSUNG DNIe vision is an image enhancement algorithm with remarkable engines that work in tandem and individually to improve the visual quality. This technology from SAMSUNG that spells the end of conventional television.” [Samsung]
            “SAMSUNG’s DNIe Pro (Digital Natural Image engine) ensures the clearest, most natural images imaginable. Colour and motion are optimised and the contrast and detail are enhanced to ensure unprecedented image quality.” [Samsung]
            “Samsung’s proprietary technology, DNIe – Digital Natural Image engine – is the secret to stunning HDTV picture quality. DNIe optimizes six different elements of image quality such as color balance, sharpness, and motion to reproduce the most life-like and vibrant picture throughout Samsung’s broad portfolio.” [Samsung]
            “DNIe generally improves most HD and DVD content with a few exceptions, but it’s a mixed bag with NTSC sources. Many HD and DVD images are made sharper with DNIe, contrast is improved, and color accuracy is enhanced in many scenes.” [Extremetech.com]
            “DNIe is Samsung’s image “enhancement” engine…On the surface these claims sound great, but on closer examination most of these features are either impossible (6 times density enhancer) or undesirable (dynamic contrast ratio). For every image DNIe makes better there are two images that it makes worse. There is no way these sets can hold a calibration with DNIe enabled. If accuracy is desired DNIe should be turned off and left off. On the HLP DNIe can be easily disabled in the user menu. It should be noted that there are a few models of Samsung DLPs (notably the HLR series) that have DNIe permanently enabled. Before purchasing a Samsung display I would make sure that DNIe can be toggled from the user menus.” [Gadgetbench.com]
            “DNIe is a video enhancer that makes the picture more colorful and lifelike. You can tell too. In the DNIe product demo, the screen is split – one side shows natural footage, the other shows DNIe enhanced footage. The difference is remarkable. The natural footage is boring and robbed of color while the DNIe footage is bright and crisp. The user controls when DNIe is used, which is good because not everyone will want enhanced video all the time – like an editor previewing footage to see what color correction is required.” [Matthew Torres]
            Links Related to DNIe
            Nature created DNA, but SAMSUNG developed DNIe – Samsung Electronics Unveils New “Natural Image” Technology for Digital TV
            What is DNIe? – Digital Natural Image engine

            Technical Resources for DNIe

            Feel the DNIeVideo demo of DNIe and Technical Information

            Blogs about DNIe
            Samsung Village – Official Samsung blog for news and inside stories
            Books about DNIe
            Digital Video and HD, Second Edition: Algorithms and Interfaces (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Computer Graphics) – by by Charles A. Poynton
            Global Marketing Management – by Kiefer Lee and Steve Carter
            Other DNIe Related Books

            Section 3

            Smartphone HSPA+ Platform (from 2013 Products of Broadcom [Feb 8, 2013]):

            • BCM28145: 720p 4G HSPA+ Smartphone Processor
            • BCM28155: 1080p 4G HSPA+ Smartphone Processor

            Broadcom CEO Discusses Q4 2012 Results – Earnings Call Transcript [Seeking Alpha, Jan 29, 2013]

            Scott A. McGregor – Chief Executive Officer, President and Director

            Samsung launched the Galaxy Grand, Grand Duos, and Galaxy S2 Plus, leveraging our complete Android platform, which includes our 3G cellular SOC and wireless connectivity.

            We also have more than 40 designs in process in China on our turnkey reference platforms. Our technology mix is trending to HSPA+ dual core application processors and additional connectivity, features which command a meaningful ASP premium.

            The Galaxy Grand, for example, includes Broadcom’s dual core SOC NFC controller, connectivity combo with built-in WiFi, Bluetooth and FM, RF transceiver, power management, and GPS.

            From Broadcom Corp. – Analyst/Investor Day, December 6, 2012 (slides from here)

            Robert Americo Rango, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Broadcom’s Mobile and Wireless Group:

            image

            Broadcom’s focus is on 3G and 4G. The reason we’re focused on 3G is because we see the 3G market continuing to grow. We see it being very important for emerging markets. And we see the 3G market taking over the feature phone market going forward. So for emerging markets, our focus is on 3G. And then the 4G market, of course, for developing regions like the U.S. Big investment in 4G, a lot of progress to report, and I’ll get into this in my presentation. So focused on both because these — this is where the growth is, and this is where the action is in the market.

            So 2 years ago, we had one 3G smartphone SoC. That was the 21553. And you can see that’s the 7.2-megabit modem, single-core device. It could address screen sizes, say, from 3 to 3.5 inches. And this was the device that last year I talked about that powered the Samsung GALAXY Y, which was one of the most popular smartphones in India. Now, over the last year, we added 2 chips that we announced earlier this year, the 21654 and the 28145. We switched from 65-nanometer to 40-nanometer, and we went from single core to dual core. So — and you can see that it helped us address a bigger part of the market. We were able to move up to the 4- to 5-inch phone screen size.

            Now today, with the announcement of the 21664 and extension of the 28145 to the 28155, we now have a full family of solutions on 3G. We can cover anything from 3 inch, all the way up to 7 to 10-inch, which would be a tablet. More interesting actually is the 5 to 7-inch category, because the phablet is growing at a 93% compounded average growth rate. And phablets turn out to be one of the biggest growth areas for phones in Asia, okay? So Broadcom has the ability now to address this entire market. And again, why is that important? Because once a customer invests in one of these chips and picks up the Broadcom software suite for one, it can quickly be applied to an entire family of products.

            Now, again, 3G market is very competitive. We all know that 3G is probably the most competitive segment out there. The reason that we can win is because we have a family of devices here that offer different feature points, different cost points and allow us to make money at these various cost points, okay? So a full range of 3G for all of the segments is now complete.

            Now, let me highlight one other point. So 82% of the volume is in this 5-inch and below, but I did mention the phablet being an important segment.

            image

            Now, let me highlight our multimedia capability. I just wanted to compare the 28155 on the right to the HTC One X on the left. So HTC One X is a phone you can buy today. HTC One X is the phone that has been touted to have a lot of multimedia capability, world-class imaging, world-class image signal processing. This is the post-processing that goes on, on the pictures to make the pictures look good. A console gaming capability, good browsing experience, a 720 HD screen, Miracast capability that I just described to you, this ability to beam videos from your phone to a TV as well as Wi-Fi Direct. All these are the multimedia capabilities touted by the HTC One X.

            Now last year, I talked about the economics of the chips that we were announcing. For those of you who were here, I talked about how Broadcom’s ability to integrate with — change the economics of the smartphone business. And here’s a perfect example of how it changed it, okay? So HTC One X, tear it apart, what do you see inside? Three different chips. A thin modem chip, a quad-core application processor, discrete application processor, and a discrete ISP chip.

            Tear apart one of our 28155 phones, what do you see inside? One chip, integrated modem, application processor, graphics and ISP. Okay. So I told you I would exemplify the power of the 28155, and I wanted to talk today about Samsung’s — Samsung is going to be announcing a series of phones based on Broadcom’s 28155 dual core HSPA+. I’m holding the first one in my hand. This is the GALAXY S II Plus, okay? And again if you look go back and look at the GALAXY S II, you’ll see a similar architecture, GALAXY S II Plus, based on 28155, is based on the Broadcom chip, the integrated chip. So those economics that I was talking to you about, they come to play right here with the Samsung GALAXY S II Plus. And in fact, there’s a series of phones that Samsung will be putting out based on the 28155 over the next couple of quarters.

            image

            So and then beyond that, what have we done in 2012? We’re working on customer diversity. And in order to achieve customer diversity in today’s 3G market, you need what’s called a turnkey device, a turnkey design. And you might ask what’s the difference between a turnkey and a reference design? Well, a turnkey is something that can quickly be put into production by a customer. So I’m holding up Broadcom’s 28155 turnkey design. And you can see it’s very thin, it’s very light, it’s the kind of phone that you’d want to carry with you. We have a design file that we can offer a customer. And it can reduce their investment from 6 to 9 months of time, down to 30 to 60 days. Where it used to take 200 to 300 engineers to put a design in production, now it’s something like 20 to 30 engineers because we’ve done the turnkey design. And this design is so complete, we have second-sourced the major components, the panel, the sensor, the memory, and we picked suppliers that are favorite suppliers for companies in China who are really building, taking advantage of these turnkeys. So what we’re doing is we’re enabling our handset companies to focus on what they do best, brand and distribution, and we focus on what we do best, which is engineering execution, okay? And we now have turnkeys for 21654, which is our single-core device, 40-nanometer single core; 21664, which is the part we just announced yesterday, which is our low-cost dual-core device, HSPA+ capable; and our 28155, which is what I’m holding up right now, which is our high-end dual core HSPA+ device. Okay.

            image

            So a lot of activity has been spawned by this — by these turnkeys and, again, this is a capability we’ve put in place in 2012. So it’s hard to measure the progress yet, but I tried to do that with this chart. And you can see, even in the short time that we’ve had the turnkey capability in place, the number of designs have gone up significantly, almost threefold. So significant number of designs that are currently going on, 15 from last year to 44. So you can see the power of the turnkey design because it enables companies — handset companies, to quickly adopt our platforms.

            image

            So talk some more about our expanding cellular SoC share. If you focus on that first row now, those are the phones that I’d like to highlight. Of course, I just mentioned the Samsung GALAXY S II, and I mentioned that there’ll be a series of phones based on Broadcom’s 28155 dual core HSPA+ coming from Samsung. The other phones you see here, GALAXY Chat, GALAXY Music, GALAXY Pocket Plus, are the beginning of a series of phones that are coming out on our single core HSPA+ device. And I’d also like to point to some of these interesting carrier-branded phones, okay? Kind of a blessing our 3G technology in the world’s biggest carriers: T-Mobile, with Concord, this is our first 3G phone in the U.S. market; Vodafone, with the Smart II and Orange. All phones based on Broadcom 3G SoCs, okay? And then all the phones in the bottom row, all in production still, all rolling along with our first 3G SoC, that’s the 21553 that I talked to you about last year. Samsung GALAXY Y is still selling like gangbusters along with a number of these Samsung smartphones in the developing countries, okay? So a lot of progress on 3G. And you can see a number of Chinese vendors on the chart, TCL, ZTE, G’FIVE, Sprocomm. Those are all customers and certainly, there’s other customers in China now working on our turnkey designs.

            imageSo exemplifying that growth we have in the 3G space, this chart shows that from Q3 2011, Q3 2012, we grew our 3G business 500%. Pretty big growth. More important to me though, is the market share that we command. You can see that Strategy Analytics has now recognized that Broadcom has 15% of the 3G/4G Android smartphone SoC ecosystem, okay? 15%. And we haven’t started shipping our 4G LTE solution yet, okay? So again, significant market share gains over the last 24 months in the most important ecosystem for us, which is Android, 15% market share.

            … roughly 15 different customers that make up that 44. And if you talk about when products hit the market, I mean, I think, they’re starting — they’re going to start hitting the market in — over the next 3 months.  …

            … you’re asking, should I worry about the vertical integration at Samsung? And I think anything Samsung does on vertical integration only applies to one segment of their business. I mean, if you look at Samsung’s business, it’s very broad. Everything from entry-level smartphones, midrange 3G smartphones, 4G smartphones, they have a very broad portfolio. In order for them to make money in all these areas, they need chips that are optimized for each one of those segments. And I think I exemplified that with the 28155 for the GALAXY S II Plus. So I think the risk of vertical integration is kind of overblown because you just need to apply the best solution to the particular class of product you’re building. …

            … we see Wi-Fi changing very rapidly and it will change even in the China market. So we don’t see the need to go integrate it. We believe the idea of having a connectivity island and a SoC island with app processor graphics and cellular modem, is the right partitioning for the next couple of years. …

            My question is, I guess, is do you think your timing — it seems like now, you’ll really going to hit the market, 2014 is when you get any significant revenues. Is that — are you going to really miss out on the profit pools while you’re fighting it out at the — with MediaTek at the midrange and low-end, meanwhile your good buddies in Southern California capture all this profit and then use that to attack you elsewhere?

            … if you look at the 3G space, it’s a lot more than just China. Right? I mean, I just showed you all the different phones from Samsung that are still coming out on 3G. So I do not believe that there’s not money to be made in 3G. Okay? Having said that, a big investment in 4G, absolutely recognize the importance. We’re moving very fast we have a big R&D investment in 4G. We think we’re going to get there in time to hit the sweet spot of the 4G market. And 4G will last for many years to come.

            Can you talk a little bit about your position on the RF side of the equation? You’re building full turnkey solutions now, there’s a lot of complexity on the RF side of the handset and whether you have the applicable tool kit to do more integration on that side.

            That’s an easy question because we have one of the world’s most capable RF teams in Broadcom. Broadcom pioneered CMOS RF, implementing RF in CMOS. And you can — as witnessed by our patent portfolio, which is second to none. We have a very capable team. The team has built RF chips for all of our devices. And I mentioned earlier that we sell more wireless chips with integrated RF than any company on the planet. So I’m very confident in the capabilities. They are doing the RF for all of our complete platforms that I showed you. So whether it’s 21553, 21654, 21664, 28155, those are complemented with Broadcom RF internal, 100% Broadcom IP. And again over the course of time, we can integrate all these IP into a single chip. That’s the reason these big OEMs, these big handset OEMs want to work with Broadcom because they know eventually all these connectivity pieces will integrate into a single connectivity island, and same thing with the baseband island.

            As it relates to the wins that you had earlier this year with the single-core platform like let’s say for example going into Samsung, I think the rough dollar content is about $10 to $12. Because you’re not only supplying the baseband, you’re supplying the power management, RF, integrated connectivity. And I think you’ve told us before that as the team moves to the dual-core platform, very similar to the GALAXY S II plus announcement today, that it’s roughly about a $7 to $9 increase in dollar content. So first question is, is that still the case?

            I think you’re asking is can our dual core — our 28155, for example, which is our high-end dual core, okay. As I mentioned, this is part that has integrated ISP. That’s the same ISP engine that Nokia used for their 41-megapixel camera that’s on board our 28155 device. We also have very high-end graphics on that device. The graphics on Broadcom 28155 rivals lot of the 4G SOCs that are out there. In fact, it surpasses a number of them, okay. So when you compare the price of that to the single core, absolutely the price delta would be in the range that you mentioned, okay, the ASP uplift.

            And then the second question is, as a team rolls out the turnkey solution, my sense is that there is still a lot of customization that has to be done on the software and the firmware set for your customers.

            … the idea behind the turnkey is not to have a lot of customization. The way that a company — a handset company could take advantage of our turnkey is to perhaps change the color, perhaps change the idea a little bit, but not change it. And that’s really what’s important. So there isn’t a lot of customization needed. We do all of the Android integration, all the tests. And we make sure all of the Android certification tests pass when we deliver that turnkey design. So if somebody wanted to put their own skin on top of it, we could do that, but would really prefer when it comes to the turnkey that they don’t touch anything, that they use this as their experience phone, if you will.

            12 months from now, most of the growth of the smartphone market is coming from emerging markets, much lower-end mix, can you help me understand how that impacts the content, the pricing, the competitive landscape, the profitability? Is that China market really going to be it’s a Broadcom turnkey solution or it’s a MediaTek turnkey solution and whoever has that turnkey solution wins it all?

            … first of all, every handset company, any smartphone handset company is — are spinning their 3G offerings today. So in order to — for them to take advantage of the growth in 3G, they’re all having to reduce their costs. They are all having to move to more integrated solutions. So I don’t see it as just a China play, okay. So I see it’s a worldwide event. And that certainly in China, I think the turnkey does help significantly because if you look at Tier 2s and Tier 3s in China, they don’t have as much engineering resource. So I do think it’s a big swing, an advantage to have a full turnkey and be able to supply this multi-sourcing capability to those Chinese customers. But again, the 3G turnover is going to happen across the world, not just in China.

            SUPPLEMENTAL CONTENT:

            image
            Source: Broadcom 2012 Analyst Day Supplemental Content, Dec 6, 2012

            BCM28145/28155
            Dual Core 720p/1080p HSPA+ Baseband Processors [Broadcom product page, Feb 24, 2012]

            The BCM28145/BCM28155 HSPA+ baseband processors are highly integrated high-performance dual-core CPUs implemented in a cost effective 40 nm LP process that squarely targets today’s power-conscious mobile platforms. These devices, combined with their complete reference platform, provide system designers with everything needed to bring next-generation mobile devices to market while also providing an extremely flexible platform for application, video, and multimedia developers.
            BCM28145/BCM28155 devices integrate high performance dual-core ARM® Cortex-A9 processors, each with a NEON floating-point SIMD processing engine. A powerful 2D/3D graphics engine, the latest audio codecs, and advanced video and image processing capabilities are all delivered by the integrated Broadcom VideoCore-IV® technology.
            Features
            • Advanced 2G/3G modem with support for 21/5.8 Mbps HSPA+ and Class 33 EDGE
            • Advanced applications processing subsystem
              – Dual ARM cortex-A9 processors with NEON extensions, up to 1.2 GHz per core
              VideoCore-IV multimedia and imaging processor
              – Support for 20-Mpixel imaging, 720p (28145) /1080p (28155) video capture and playback, and accelerated 2D/3D graphics
              – Full integration of audio subsystem
            • High performance memory and peripheral interfaces
              400 MHz LPDDR2 memory interface (single-28145, dual-28155)
              – High-speed e.MMC/SD/SDIO and NAND interfaces
              – CPI and MIPI® CSI-2 and MIPI DPI-2, DBI-B and DBI-C DSI serial camera and display interfaces

            image

            image
            Source: Broadcom 2012 Analyst Day Supplemental Content, Dec 6, 2012

            See also:
            Broadcom Introduces New Platforms Optimized for Android ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’ Smartphones [Broadcom press release, Feb 27, 2012]

            Single and Dual Core Processors with VideoCore® Technology Provide Premium Android Experience
            Broadcom’s new family of 3G platforms will enable handset OEMs to affordably deliver a premium Android 4.0 user experience across multiple smartphone product tiers. The Broadcom® BCM21654G features a 1 GHz ARM Cortex A9 processor, an integrated 7.2/5.8 Mbps HSPA modem and low-power VGA video support. The BCM28145 and BCM28155 include dual ARM Cortex A9 cores up to 1.3 GHz, 21/5.8 Mbps HSPA+ modems and HD 720p and 1080p, video respectively. All three chips were developed in an advanced, low power 40 nanometer process technology and are complemented by radio frequency (RF), power management unit (PMU) and an advanced connectivity suite for a complete system solution.

            All three platforms are sampling to customers and expected to be in production in the second half of 2012.

            Optimized for Superior Android 4.0 ICS Smartphones:
            • Broadcom’s industry-leading VideoCore technology offers a ‘third processing core’ to offload the application processor, enriching the Ice Cream Sandwich user experience with the industry’s lowest power HD playback and camcorder capabilities up to 1080p.
            • Low latency memory and bus architecture boosts overall system performance for a highly responsive user interface.
            • Highest quality imaging is provided by Broadcom’s latest Image Signal Processor (ISP) that supports cameras up to 42 megapixels, with very low light capabilities and wide dynamic range for the sharpest images.

            From Broadcom Corp. – Analyst/Investor Day, December 14, 2011

            Robert Americo Rango, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Broadcom’s Mobile and Wireless Group:

            Broadcom has been investing for many years, actually, since 2004 when we did an acquisition, in graphics. In fact, we call it VideoCore, and that, it’s maybe a misnomer, it should be called MediaCore because this dedicated IP block does graphics, it does image signal processing. When your image comes off the camera, you need to post-process it, that’s called image signal processing, okay? And it does video. So you can’t do those functions well with standard application processors. You need to do that with dedicated hardware, dedicated customized hardware, and that’s called VideoCore.

            image
            Source: Broadcom 2011 Analyst Day, Dec 14, 2011

            Now let’s see how we do versus the industry’s competition. One of the most recognized benchmarks that’s out there is called Taiji. It’s the OpenGL ES 2.0 benchmark most people will recognize as benchmark, as a very important benchmark. And what you see here is Broadcom versus Qualcomm versus TI. In fact, this TI chip, I think, is running the latest version of some of Ice Cream Sandwich phones that are out there. And you can see that Broadcom’s VideoCore is able to render over 50 frames a second while some of the competition can barely get to 30. And in fact, just another data point comparing Broadcom VideoCore 4, all this — again, this is a fair comparison because it’s comparing what’s in production to what’s in production. Our VideoCore 4 is in production in many different Nokia phones, smartphones. And Nokia’s multimedia experience is widely considered to be one of the best. Now comparing VideoCore 4, which again is in production, to one of Imagination’s latest IP cores, we’re 1/2 the power and 2x the performance.

            So some of our competitors don’t have this IP. They go often license it from a company like Imagination. It sounds good on paper until you have a problem. And a customer calls you up and says, “Hey, this game, this Modern Warfare 3 won’t run,” and that company has to go call Imagination. Okay, Broadcom doesn’t have to do that. We’re a one-stop shop. All this IP that I’m talking about is owned and within Broadcom so I can walk down the hall, knock on the engineer’s door and say, “What were you thinking when you designed this?” and I usually get an answer very quickly. And I think that’s the respect we have with our customers, okay? We have the IP in-house. Okay, so the industry’s best graphics performance and power consumption. …

            Broadcom Announces 1080p Multimedia Processor with Breakthrough Mobile Power-Performance [Broadcom press release, Dec 15, 2009]

            New Broadcom® BCM2763 VideoCore® IV Processor Features 1080p Video, 20 Megapixel Photos and 1 Gigapixel Graphics in an Ultra-Low Power 40 Nanometer Design
            Broadcom Corporation (Nasdaq: BRCM), a global leader in semiconductors for wired and wireless communications, today announced its next generation multimedia processor that delivers industry leading performance and lower power in the top multimedia categories for mobile devices. Using 40 nanometer (40nm) CMOS process technology, the new Broadcom® BCM2763 VideoCore® IV multimedia processor provides even higher integration, smaller footprint size and lower power consumption than 65nm designs.
            With the higher integration and significant power savings from 40nm CMOS process technology, the BCM2763multimedia processor features the most advanced mobile high definition (HD) camcorder and video playback, up to 20 megapixel digital camera and photo image processing, and 1 gigapixel 2D/3D graphics rendering for a world-class gaming experience. HD video, 3D games and high resolution 20 megapixel pictures can be displayed at top quality on full-sized HD televisions and monitors using an on-chip industry standard HDMI interface. Additionally, the BCM2763‘s highly integrated architecture reduces bill-of-materials (BOM) cost to help drive sophisticated multimedia features into more affordable handsets.
            Highlights/Key Facts:
            The breadth and quality of Internet multimedia content is rapidlyimproving, with sites such as YouTube now supporting full HD 1080p video sharing. Consumers are also increasingly using cell phones as their primary digital camera and camcorder, which is driving demand for higher resolution and more sophisticated image processing which is currently only available on advanced standalone camcorders and cameras. Additionally, newer graphics-oriented user interfaces and mobile games now require enhanced graphics capabilities.
            The new Broadcom BCM2763 VideoCore IV multimedia processor enables best-in-class performance in the following areas:
            • Full HD 1080p camcorder capabilities in a cell phone with significantly improved quality over current generation handsets (which generally have VGA or lower resolution camcorders). 
            • Up to 20 megapixel digital camera with advanced features such as multiple shots per second, image stabilization, face and smile detection and panorama mode.
            • The ability to render mobile games natively at up to 1080p resolution, which in combination with an on-board HDMI output, allows a console-quality gaming experience on large screen HDTVs.
            In addition to providing these capabilities on new handsets, the BCM2763 has improved power savings using a 40nm process without draining the battery or significantly reducing talk time. Additional ultra-low power consumption features include:
            • 20% to 50% power reduction in comparison to the prior generation Videocore III multimedia processor.
            • 4 to 6 hours of 1080p video recording and 8 to 10 hours of mobile playback, with up to 16 hours of full HD playback over HDMI given sufficient handset storage.
            • Only 490 mW of chip power is required for 1080p camcorder H.264 High Profile encoding and only 160 mW for 1080p playback.
            • Only 160 mW of power is required for mobile game graphics processing, supporting up to 1 gigapixel per second fill rates and improves graphics performance by a factor of 4x to 6x in comparison to the prior generation Videocore III multimedia processor.
            The BCM2763 processor integrates the key functionality and components needed to drive advanced multimedia capabilities in new handsets. As a result of this high integration, the BCM2763 enables a lower overall BOM cost, enabling manufacturers to pass these lower costs on and introduce advanced features to lower tier phones than previously possible.
            • The BCM2763 integrates the functions of eight chips including GPU and graphics memory, image signal processing (ISP) and ISP memory, video processing and video memory, HDMI and USB 2.0. 128MB of LPDDR2 graphics memory is stacked in a single package. 
            • The 40nm process enables reduced power, improved performance and reduced handset board space.
            Benefiting from an existing VideoCore software code base and legacy architecture, manufacturers of phones and other consumer electronics devices can easily add these new VideoCore IV multimedia features to their products, allowing faster time-to-market.
            The BCM2763 is currently sampling to early access customers (pricing available upon request). Handsets utilizing this new 40nm VideoCore IV multimedia processor technology are expected to reach the market in 2011.
            Supporting Quotes:
            Mark Casey, Vice President & General Manager, Broadcom’s Mobile Multimedia line of business.
            VideoCore IV is setting new benchmarks for performance, power consumption and affordability and is poised to drive advanced multimedia capabilities into new tiers of handsets. Supported by our comprehensive line of complementary cellular and connectivity solutions, our multimedia processor technology is the right choice for next generation mobile designs.”
            Subscribe to RSS Feed: Broadcom Mobile Platforms Group
            About Broadcom
            Broadcom Corporation is a major technology innovator and global leader in semiconductors for wired and wireless communications. Broadcom products enable the delivery of voice, video, data and multimedia to and throughout the home, the office and the mobile environment. We provide the industry’s broadest portfolio of state-of-the-art system-on-a-chip and software solutions to manufacturers of computing and networking equipment, digital entertainment and broadband access products, and mobile devices. These solutions support our core mission: Connecting everything®.
            Broadcom is one of the world’s largest fabless semiconductor companies, with 2008 revenue of $4.66 billion, and holds over 3,650 U.S. and over 1,450 foreign patents, more than 7,750 additional pending patent applications, and one of the broadest intellectual property portfolios addressing both wired and wireless transmission of voice, video, data and multimedia.
            A FORTUNE 500® company, Broadcom is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and has offices and research facilities in North America, Asia and Europe. Broadcom may be contacted at +1.949.926.5000 or at www.broadcom.com.

            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 CEO: salespeople to deliver true WP7 retail experience supported by improved product management, marketing and accelerated global coverage with a full breadth of products

            Nokia Quarter 4 results 2011 webcast [Nokia, Jan 26, 2012]:

            prepared remarks by Stephen Elop, President & CEO

            [02:00] … Lumia

            In Q4 2012 Lumia was introduced to:

            • a number of European countries
            • Hong Kong, India, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea

            … [remarks on January US introduction already covered by me in detail: Nokia’s Lumia strategy is capitalizing on platform enhancement opportunities with location-based services, better photographic experience etc. [Jan 12, 2012]]

            • China and Latin America in this half

            Current situation:

            • to date well over 1 million Lumia devices sold
            • since mid November from zero markets to 15 markets, from zero devices to well over a million devices, from no presence in the US to being in lead in the AT&T’s LTE launch

            From this beachhead you will see us to push forward with the sales, marketing and successive product introductions necessary to be successfull.

            Our performance with Lumia on a country by country basis varies. Often [it] is a combination of relative brand strength and retail execution capabilities.

            • For example, in the United Kingdom, where competitive ecosystems are firmly entrenched, we have seen mixed retail execution around Lumia devices with a range of results among different locations, different chains, different stores and so on.
            • Contrarily in Germany and Spain we have seen steady, weak on weak improvement in Lumia device activations up to the Holiday season followed by a small expected dip in the last week of the year, and then a continued weak on weak growth in January.

            .. we are in the heart of our transition, which means as we bring the first of our new devices to market there are areas we are learning and areas where we must adjust:

            1. We are learning more about the variations in our store by store retail execution related to Lumia. Our consumer research indicates and response at CES validates that once a consumers use a Lumia device their responses are positive. Where we’ve secured strong support from the operators we need to increase the engagement of the retail sales associates in the stores, because it is the retail associate who speaks with our consumersand puts the Lumia device in their hands. As a result we are adjusting, we are adjusting our retail tactics by increasing the quantity and quality of our retail associate traning programs, seeding more Lumia devices into the market, and increasing point of sales activities.
            2. With the continued focus on consumer net promoter scores we are also learning about the areas where consumers are most favorable towards the specific capabilities of Lumia and those areas upon which we need to focus. For example, we’ve received very positive feedback on the elegance of design, ease of use, and absolute performance of the products. On the other hand, consumers initially reported that battery performance needed focus. Thus we immediately adjusted to improve battery performance with software updates which are now in the market. This rapid cycle of consumer learning and Nokia response is a critical part of our improved approach to product management.
            3. We are learning that awareness of Lumia is steadily growing, assisted by each of the successive product and country launches that continue. As awareness grows we are adjusting the focus of our marketing efforts from an aspirational aspect of a new launch towards an emphasis on a differentiated experiences and capabilitiesof the Lumia products.
            4. We are learning about the importance of truly breaking through. Thus we are adjusting our plans to increase the rate at which we enter new markets during the course of 2012. We also are increasing the focus of our corporate resources on continued marketing campaigns, and we are working to accelerate the introduction of a full breadth of products.

            Overall we’re pursuing this pattern. We’ll take each step up the ladder one running at a time recognizing that the competitive dynamics vary country by country. This underscores the large amount of work immidiately ahead of us to break through as the third ecosystem, to capture the attention of retail sales associates, to convert the increasing awareness around Lumia and the purchase intent, and ultimately to delight our consumers. [09:12]

            the essence of the answers to some questions:

            on carriers’ motivation:

            … motivation on third ecosystem is very strong … consistency on user experience on behalf of Microsoft … it is in our favor but we need earn their respect …

            on Lumia sell-through:

            … different [retail] experiences and so forth … focus on when and how those [retail] experiences are different … we do see different [retail] experiences and patterns in different countries … some are related to competitive dynamics, brand strengths, retail capabilities and so forth … for example, a lot of those reports tend to focus on UK, which in the context of Europe is the hardest market in terms of breaking through the strength of the competing ecosystems and so forth … you’ll see a lot of ballance in that direction … what’s really interesting is, and this is we’re so much in very early days that you have to really dig into the details … even when you’re in the UK. I was there a couple of days ago, and as you can imagine, I went to store, to store, to store, and asking: tell me about smartphones, what’s new and all that type of thing. You’ll see a great variability of in-store performance in terms of retail experience. .. in certain stores the retail presentation is great, the associates are well trained, everything is right, and of course it correlates very closely with the success that we’re seeing in certain chains of stores, in certain areas and so forth. Very good performance. … In other areas we are not as far along as we need to be. We need better retail execution, associates are not as well prepared, or there are other dynamics that are at play. The reason I tell you about this variability is because, first of all, how people report depend very much on the experience they have, this mix from location to location in some countries. But also as you assess, OK, as we apply more resource, as we make sure that we are very focussed on getting everyone upto the base level, if not the excellent level of retail execution, we can clearly see our way through the work that need to be done in order to deliver the results that we want to continue to deliver. …       

            on China dynamics:

            … The Chinese operators are increasingly, on accellerated basis entering into structures where there’s effectively retail rate plan bundling is going on at the store. The operators are driving very hard for the volume of 3G data subscribers. And this is not necessary an economic measure as it is driving volume on certain networks for certain technologies. I think those targets are probably set more broadly for all of the operators [he could mean: by the state, as all three operators are majority owned by the state]. And the impact of that is that they are discovering that with very low priced devices on certain radio technologies they can drive a lot of volume at those levels. And so we are seeing, for example, a very significant uptake in a number of low-priced devices that are on CDMA, there’s also a very significant focus on the Chinese technology TD-SCDMA, again all of the low levels ought to drive those volumes. My comment in the prepared remarks is that Symbian is not well positioned today against that. We do not have Symbian CDMA products at all, so we are not participating in that part of the market. So as that part of the market grows our addressable market has gone down because of that. In TD-SCDMA we do have some products in that space but not at the price points and configurations that is the real focus of this market. …

            … We have not yet announced our specific products for the Chinese market but I will say that when we first announced our launch plans, I think all the way back in October, we did highlight that we would have CDMA based Windows Phone products and TD-SCDMA Windows Phone products. That thing said it is the case that we have work to do to successively drive the prices down further and further and further. That will take a bit of time but this is clearly the pattern you are going to see us on the months ahead. …

            [I have a couple of deep and current analysis on that:
            The new, high-volume market in China is ready to define the 2012 smartphone war [Jan 6, 2012]
            China TD-SCDMA and W-CDMA 3G subscribers by the end of 2011: China Mobile lost its original growth momentum [Jan 21, 2012]
            China becoming the lead market for mobile Internet in 2012/13 [Dec 1, 2011]]

            on differentiating the Windows Phone:

            … the overall user experience is differentiated against Android … good response from the customers on Music service included, location services (Map and Drive) … partnerships: e.g. ESPN … in addition we have to ensure that the retail experience is differentiated … even price, e.g. in US/T-Mobile case already …

            [I have a couple of deep and current analysis on that:
            Nokia’s Lumia strategy is capitalizing on platform enhancement opportunities with location-based services, better photographic experience etc. [Jan 12, 2012]
            The precursor of 2012 smartphone war: Nokia Lumia vs. Samsung Omnia W in India [Jan 3, 2012]
            The leading ClearBlack display technology from Nokia [Dec 18, 2011]
            Nokia Lumia (Windows Phone 7) value proposition [Oct 26, 2011]]

            on rapid scalability for lower prices of Chinese market:

            … a critical consideration for us … work is under way with Microsoft … you will see a stepwise progress in that direction in the periods ahead.

            on the mobile phones business:

            … feature phones and how that market is perceived is less about the collection of features and what it does and doesn’t do, but it is more about the price span, the opportunity to drive, increase sales in that area, to serve consumers who don’t want to spend the money, or don’t have the money to spend on what we would today consider smartphone and so forth. …

            [I have a deep and more current information on that:
            Smarterphone end-to-end software solution for “the next billion” Nokia users [Jan 9, 2012]]

            Nokia Lumia Momentum Map [Nokia Maps Blog, Jan 15, 2012]

            If a picture is worth a thousand words, an interactive map is at least worth ten thousand words! To coincide with the launch of Nokia Lumia in USA; we launched the Nokia Lumia Momentum Map – an interactive way to check out the countries where Nokia Lumia smart phones are either available or will be coming soon. You can also check out the tweets, videos and photos from users about the Lumia series.

            The content of the Momentum Map as of Jan 15, 2012:

            Country Lumia 710 Lumia 800
            Germany Now Now
            Netherlands Now Now
            Italy Now Now
            Russia Now Now
            India Now Now
            Hong Kong Now Now
            Taiwan Now Now
            Singapore Now Now
            Spain Jan 11, 2012 Now
            United Kingdom Feb 1, 2012 Now
            USA (+ Lumia 900
            “in coming months”)
            Jan 11, 2012 Coming Soon
            France n.a. Now
            Austria Coming Soon Now
            Hungary Jan 20, 2012 Jan 20, 2012
            Greece Jan 21, 2012 Jan 20, 2012
            Portugal Feb 2, 2012 Jan 26, 2012
            Switzerland n.a. Jan 13, 2012
            Denmark n.a. Jan 20, 2012
            Sweden n.a. Jan 23, 2012
            Norway Feb 1, 2012 Feb 1, 2012
            Canada Feb, 2012 Feb, 2012
            Belgium Mar 1, 2012 Feb 1, 2012

            More information:
            Nokia Q4 2011 net sales EUR 10.0 billion, non-IFRS EPS EUR 0.06 (reported EPS EUR -0.29) Nokia 2011 net sales EUR 38.7 billion, non-IFRS EPS EUR 0.29 (reported EPS EUR -0.31) [Nokia press release, Jan 26, 2012]
            Quarter 4 report tables in xls [Jan 26, 2012]
            Nokia Names Siilasmaa as Chairman to Replace Retiring Ollila – BusinessWeek

            … Nokia investors lost more than 60 billion euros ($79 billion) in share value after Apple Inc. leapfrogged it with the iPhone. Siilasmaa will oversee Chief Executive Officer Stephen Elop’s efforts to win customers as Apple and Google Inc. expand into new markets. … An investor in Finnish startups, Siilasmaa may also broker more tie-ups with new companies such as “Angry Birds” maker Rovio Entertainment Ltd.
            “I don’t want to leave a fortune to my kids,” Siilasmaa told a panel on startup investment …

            Nordic Chairman of the Year 2009: Speech of thanks by Risto Siilasmaa, F-Secure Oyj. [Feb 18, 2010]

            Relative to that media reports are very narrow focused as you could even see from the below entries considered the best among them:

            Nokia Posts Huge Loss [The Wall Street Journal, Jan 27, 2011]

            Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi said Nokia’s shipments were in line with expectations. ‘Overall, what we have been looking for is an improvement over the third quarter, and we got that. But while it seems Nokia is on track, there is still a lot more to do,’ she said.

            Nokia CEO taps salesmen to assure Lumia push [SlashGear, Jan 27, 2012]

            Over the last year when it came to Windows Phone, we saw a lovely looking user interface fall victim to less than stellar engagement and interest on the part of the public – Stephen Elop this week says that it’s the work of the salesmen, not the manufacturer, to make the final drop of the device into the hands on the consumer. Without a doubt there’s a certain flair to the Lumia line of smartphones being released both here in the USA and abroad this year, but without the folks in the stores actually pointing people to the hands-on equipment, there’s certainly no chance of a big hit in the engagement environment. Elop let the world know in Nokia’s sales call what he expects from store employees in the very near future.

            Without that final point-of-sale touch, all else will certainly fail, at least that’s what Nokia’s top minds seem to be saying this week. Though the devices are perfectly legitimate in their build and execution, and the advertisements surrounding them may be lovely, there’s always a third step that must be taken. Elop said thusly this week in Nokia’s sales call:

            “We need to increase the engagement of the retail sales associates in the stores, because it is the retail associate who speaks with our consumers and puts the Lumia device in their hands. For example, in the United Kingdom, where competitive ecosystems are firmly entrenched, we have seen mixed retail execution around Lumia devices with a range of results among different locations, different chains, different stores and so on.” – Elop

            And the comments were mostly supportive of that:

            Joseph ParadisModerator1 day ago

            I think he has a good point. I had known about WP7 for quite some time before the launch and had already chosen the phone I wanted. The last step for me was going to the store and getting a little hands-on to seal the deal. I had 3 sales reps (from 3 different stores) tell me to check out the Android phones instead (?!). One told me that the Windows OS is no good because its buggy, the other two were just astounded that I was interested in a WP7. I knew way more about the specs of those phones (and a good count of Android phones) than the sales rep. There are a lot of people who I think would like Nokia WP7 phones and other WP7 phones, but kind of go to the store without much knowledge and get carted around by these reps who may have ulterior motives.

            Stephens_ElopedModerator1 day ago

            I think anyone who is reading a website like SlashGear is the kind of person who probably knows more than the average salesperson in a mobile phone store. Definitely. I’ve had the experience of being “too knowledgeable” myself on many occasion. You stand there listening to false information and you’re either tempted to let it fly, (poor guy didn’t any training) or if they’re douches, you just say, “No, you’re wrong, the N9/L800/L910 isn’t all aluminum, it’s all poly-carbonate, which is a plastic.”

            I think salespeople in the States are the worst – they’re so entrenched with Android and iPhone (and also any OEM + WP that ISN’T Nokia), that unless Nokia say, “ok salesteam, here’s a much, much bigger commission for you if you sell a Lumia”, then they haven’t got much chance of changing the mindset of the average American consumer. It’s not a Nokia friendly world here, so they’ve got to up their game. TV ads ain’t nowhere near enough.

            CleverModerator22 hours ago

            It’s definitely the salespeople who make it hard for WP7 to take off. Phone carriers make their biggest profits from sales of Android handsets and are able to load the Android phones with their bloatware, therefore the sales staff are trained to push these phones over iPhone and WP7 handsets.
            Here in Australia our stores are all Android themed and one store in Melbourne has a whole floor called “Android Land”, where phone shoppers can explore and learn all about the Android ecosystem. Now that there are some decent WP7 handsets coming out, I think Microsoft really needs to do three things to get their OS to take off:

            1 – Get some handsets out to carriers and stores. Only 1 carrier out of 4 in Australia even sells WP7 devices and they are outdated and you’d be lucky to even find them on display in stores. I think a lot of people would like to by a Nokia N900 but if it takes another 12 months before they even hit our shelves I’m sure we will have lost interest.

            2 – Work with carriers to not only sell WP7 devices but to actually push them. Make the devices resonably priced and give carriers incentives in the way of good subsidies to entice them to get their staff to actually push WP7 devices.

            3 – Market WP7 so people actually know it exists and know to look for it when they do walk into a phone store. Apart from us tech heads I would bet that half of the population doesn’t even know that WP7 exists. People who don’t know about something are a lot less likely to purchase it. Where are the TV ads telling us why we should be buying a WP7 device?

            Dumb salesmen are hurting us – Nokia CEO [The Register, Jan 27, 2012]

            Incentivising the McJobs

            Analysis Stephen Elop got a pretty indulgent reception from analysts, and most of the press yesterday, after delivering some shocking results. Nokia turned a profit of €2bn into a loss of €1bn in the new boss’s first full year; volumes are down by 29 per cent; sales of the new Windows phone are unremarkable (to put it generously); and Elop has scrapped guidance for the rest of the year. [Summary] News like this would normally have analysts reaching for the panic button – but not today. Why would this be?

            Well, obviously, much can be explained by the appreciation that Nokia is in rapid transition – it isn’t even a full year since the Elopcalypse. Elop got the bad news out of the way in his (still) remarkable Burning Platforms memo. But it’s also because he was quite unexpectedly frank and forthcoming about why Nokia isn’t making more headway with its shiny new platform – the one that isn’t burning. Elop explained that Nokia has a very stiff learning curve ahead of it in consumer retail. He also said that sales staff in the channel weren’t helping. He even detailed this country-by-country. I’m surprised more Nokia-watchers haven’t remarked on this – or why Elop dwelled on retail in such detail.

            Nokia staff should be glad he did, because of a forlorn sight I saw last November. Just as the Christmas shopping season was getting underway on London’s Oxford Street, I saw a quite ominous sight. The flagship West End Carphone Warehouse store, next to John Lewis, had large posters in the window announcing the arrival of the Lumia 800. There were two live Lumia 800s available for curious punters to play with – of around half a dozen such working retail models from rivals. Except they weren’t live. They were completely dead. And although Nokia had secured the prime corner spot for its devices, it may as well have hidden them on some remote industrial wasteland. The shop was very busy, but nobody came and asked if they could see the Lumia working.

            If Nokia is to claw its way back into contention, this won’t do. Getting one million Lumias stocked really isn’t a terrific achievement considering that the six largest European markets had the 800, and some pretty significant Asian markets had the 710. The needle hasn’t moved.

            “There are areas where we are learning and areas where we must adjust. First, we are learning more about the variations in our store-by-store retail execution related to Lumia,” said Elop yesterday.

            He then re-emphasised how important it was to show people the Windows UI, and suggested that quality of the sales droids was very variable:

            “We need to increase the engagement of the retail sales associates in the stores, because it is the retail associate who speaks with our consumers and puts the Lumia device in their hands,” he added, correctly. And he singled out some of the domestic channel here, suggesting he hadn’t been impressed by what he saw:

            “For example, in the United Kingdom, where competitive ecosystems are firmly entrenched, we have seen mixed retail execution around Lumia devices with a range of results among different locations, different chains, different stores and so on.”

            I know several first-time smartphone buyers and Windows Phone wasn’t even on the radar. People don’t know it exists. In the UK, Android gained an early and enthusiastic foothold, which two years on translates into a mature and knowledgeable market. The Samsung Galaxy SII was the best-selling phonein the UK at Christmas, by some distance. For the average punter a buying decision begins with a binary choice between Apple and BlackBerry, and if it’s a touchscreen then it’s between the iPhone and “one of the other lot”. The other lot is Android. Sales staff in stores like Carphone aren’t uniquely thick – they’re like all savvy retail staff – they want their commission, and they know there’s a huge appetite for Android out there.

            It’s a sign of how things have changed. Nokia can no longer play hardball with its channel partners – today, it really needs their help. Windows has made no impression on the market and gaining people’s attention – which includes aligning the incentives of the channel – is going to be much more expensive than analysts realise.

            I’m onto my second Lumia, and I like the UI very much indeed. But I still haven’t seen a civilian – someone who isn’t an analyst, journalist or Nokia industry partner – carrying a Lumia in the wild. Have you?

            China TD-SCDMA and W-CDMA 3G subscribers by the end of 2011: China Mobile lost its original growth momentum

            While China Unicom (W-CDMA) has been able to maintain an average 9.8% month by month growth of 3G subscribers in Q4 CY2011, China Mobile’s growth performance during the quarter has been significantly lower, 5.9% month by month on average. In fact China Mobile lost its momentum during the last 5 months of the year with only 6.2% average monthly growth while China Unicom’s has been an average 9.2% monthly growth during the same period which is even sligthly better than the average 9.1% during the first 7 months of the year:
             The analysis of this significant trend you can find in The new, high-volume market in China is ready to define the 2012 smartphone war [Jan 6, 2012] which was based on November data.