In the China market, China-based vendors have a significant advantage in pricing for TD-LTE smartphones compared with international vendors and therefore are seeing combined shipments that soon stand a chance of exceeding international vendors, according to China-based handset supply chain makers. Qualcomm, Marvell, Taiwan-based MediaTek and China-based Spreadtrum Communications have offered multi-mode and multi-band TD-LTE chips solutions in hot price competition, the sources said.
Prices of entry-level 4G smartphone solutions have dropped to US$8-9 per unit recently and could slip to US$6-7 in the first half of 2015 as chipset solution vendors are applying aggressive pricing in order to land design-wins for smartphones to be released in early 2015, according to industry sources. MediaTek, Marvell Technology and Broadcom have cut prices of their 4G 32-bit quad-core solutions to US$8-9 after Qualcomm unveiled its Snapdragon 210, priced at US$9, said the sources.
Qualcomm is being urged by a top Chinese regulator to make money in the country in tandem with its local partners. On Wednesday, Lu Wei, the head of China’s State Internet Information Office, weighed in on the country’s anti-monopoly investigation into Qualcomm. He was speaking at a panel during a World Economic Forum event in Tianjin, China, where Qualcomm’s executive chairman Paul Jacobs was also among the speakers.
Mainly because Qualcomm has offered an inexpensive 4G chip solution to compete with Taiwan-based MediaTek and market competition for 4G smartphones among China-based vendors has been heating up, prices for a 4G smartphone have dropped to below US$200 and are expected to further slip to below US$100 in the first half of 2015, according to Taiwan-based supply chain makers.
HONG KONG: Qualcomm’s latest 210 Snapdragon processor will power sub-$100 4G-enabled smartphones by the middle of next year as the US chipmaker gets into a segment that is expected to see strong growth. Larry Paulson, vice president, product management, told ET that his company was working with several Indian handset manufacturers to develop reference designs to bring out the entry-level 4G devices next year.
[SAN FRANCISCO] Nvidia Corp has sued rival chipmakers Qualcomm and Samsung Electronics, accusing both companies of infringing its patents on graphics processing technology. The US chipmaker vies with Qualcomm in the business of providing chips for smartphones and tablets. It said on Thursday that Qualcomm and Samsung had used Nvidia’s patented technologies without a license in Samsung’s mobile devices, including the just-launched Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge.
Qualcomm and MediaTek reportedly are each holding a new round of negotiations with United Microelectronic Corporation (UMC) in order to gain an additional capacity for 28nm chips made using its PolySiON process, according to industry sources. Tight production for 28nm chips at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and Globalfoundries’ plan to shift to its HKMG process have forced the two chipset solution vendors to seek additional capacity at UMC, the sources explained.
While Uber has hit its toughest regulatory road block yet in Seoul, last-mile delivery service Naldo pushes forward with its plan to upend South Korea’s logistics industry. The company last week received an undisclosed series A round from Softbank Ventures Korea and Qualcomm Ventures. Tech in Asia soon after caught up with founder Ludolf Ebner to get the lowdown on his startup.
More and more money is pouring into funds specifically for Asia-based startups. Today San Diego-based mobile chip manufacturer Qualcomm announced it has established a US$150 million fund for startups based in China (hat-tip The Next Web). Despite being best known as a maker of chips and telecom equipment Qualcomm is no stranger to startup investments. In China, its been actively funding young companies for ten years, and currently boasts companies like phonemaker Xiaomi, mobile app makers Dolphin Browser, and Uber-esque limo-on-demand app Yongche among its roster of investments.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) should support MediaTek with its technology and production capacity to counter the alliance between Samsung Electronics and Qualcomm in order to prevail in the 14/16nm segment. TSMC chairman Morris Chang admitted recently that TSMC will lose out to competitors in the 14/16nm process segment in terms of market share in 2015 before regaining its leading market position in 2016-2017.
Qualcomm, a leading player in terms of LTE technologies, started supplying LTE solutions to markets worldwide including China in 2013. But because of regulations and issues over licensing issues, China’s LTE service started later than most of the developed countries. At the same time, restrictions from the China-dedveloped TD-SCDMA standard and policies over multi-mode support also limited the number of chipmakers who were able to enter China’s LTE chip supply chain initially.
Qualcomm plans to sell its first batch of smartphone chips customized for the Chinese market later this year. David Tokunaga, Qualcomm’s senior director for product management, said at Computex Taipei that Qualcomm’s three types of chip sets, which were launched in February 2014, will be first applied to Chinese mobile phones. Tokunaga also said that in the second half of 2014, the company will launch the first batch of products customized for the Chinese market.
Qualcomm reportedly plans to shift its 20nm process orders from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to Samsung Electronics or Globalfoundries, according to industry sources. Qualcomm’s move comes after TSMC began volume production of Apple’s A8 processors based on advanced 20nm process in the second quarter of 2014 and has thus allocated much technological resources to the production – a favor with Apple that has upset Qualcomm, currently TSMC’s largest client, the sources explained.