Apr. 2, 2014, 7:06 PM
- A Chipworks teardown of Samsung's Galaxy S5 has turned up six Qualcomm (QCOM) chips: Two power management ICs, two RF transceivers, an audio codec IC, and the previously-disclosed Snapdragon 801 baseband/app processor.
- One of the power management ICs is part of Qualcomm's much-hyped RF front end, and improves 4G battery life via envelope tracking. Google/LG's Nexus 5 also contains the chip.
- Three Avago (AVGO) RF components are also inside the S5, including a 2G/3G/4G module. It's worth noting a phone's RF circuitry can vary depending on the particular market it's being sold into.
- Other components include an Audience (ADNC) voice processor, a Lattice Semi (LSCC) FPGA, an RF Micro (RFMD) antenna control chip (the company has strong Galaxy S4 exposure), and a Silicon Image (SIMG) MHL video transmitter IC.
- A previous teardown from a Russian site revealed components from Maxim, Synaptics, NXP, InvenSense, and Skyworks (SWKS). Aside from the Skyworks components (apparently swapped out for Avago parts in Chipworks' S5 model), the Chipworks teardown largely turns up the same parts.
- Earlier: Snapdragon 600 inside Amazon's Fire TV set-top
Apr. 2, 2014, 2:11 PM
- Qualcomm's (QCOM -0.1%) quad-core Snapdragon 600, designed last year into Samsung's Galaxy S4 and plenty of other smartphones, is found inside Amazon's new Fire TV streaming/gaming set-top (retails for $99, with an optional $40 game controller).
- The Fire TV's volumes will likely be well below those of the iPhone and Samsung's high-end Galaxy hardware. But it nonetheless acts as an important reference win for the mobile chip giant, which has struggled to improve its living room presence.
- Qualcomm recently cancelled plans to launch the Snapdragon 802, a high-end processor meant for 4K smart TVs, declaring "the overall demand for processors uniquely designed for smart TVs has proven to be smaller than anticipated."
- The Amazon announcement comes shortly after shares topped $80 for the first time since the Dot.com bubble. A furious buyback pace has helped their cause.
Mar. 28, 2014, 10:06 AM
- Tessera (TSRA +1.2%) has struck a deal with Qualcomm (QCOM) to dismiss its suit against the mobile chip giant. As part of the deal, the companies will "explore potential technical collaborations concerning camera functionality and imaging performance of mobile devices."
- In January, Tessera's DigitalOptics (DOC) unit announced plans to cease manufacturing operations. But the company is still looking to monetize DOC's technologies, including its MEMS auto-focus and image-processing tech, within the smartphone camera market.
Mar. 17, 2014, 2:32 PM
- China Mobile's decision (officially announced on Friday) to require all 4G phones sold by the company as of May 31 to support five air interfaces should bolster Qualcomm's (QCOM +3.4%) 4G baseband chip sales and Chinese royalty collections, thinks Goldman's Simona Jankowski.
- Jankowski observes Qualcomm "has the most mature and broad portfolio" of 5-mode mobile SoCs, and that the company could have an easier time collecting royalties from Chinese OEMs on sales of phones supporting the globally-adopted 4G FDD-LTE and 3G W-CDMA standards. Qualcomm has had trouble collecting on sales of phones supporting China Mobile's 3G TD-SCDMA standard (but not W-CDMA).
- She also points out China Mobile is hoping to sell 100M 4G phones this year, after having launched commercial 4G services in late 2013. The Chinese government's antitrust probe remains an overhang, though as Jankowski notes, that's tied to royalty rates rather than Qualcomm's right to collect.
- Previous: Qualcomm could benefit from China Mobile 5-mode requirement
- Update: SA commenter Philip Marlowe notes RF component makers (RFMD, TQNT, SWKS, AVGO, ANAD) should also benefit from the policy change, as 5-mode phones require more RF circuitry than 3-mode phones.
Mar. 11, 2014, 2:54 PM
- BrightWire and Marbridge Consulting report China Mobile (CHL -0.6%) has told its phone suppliers all 4G phones provided from May onwards must support five air interfaces - 4G TD-LTE and FDD-LTE, 3G TD-SCDMA and W-CDMA, and 2G GSM. Currently, OEMs can get away with supplying phones supporting only the three interfaces used by China Mobile - TD-LTE, TD-SCDMA, and GSM.
- The move could benefit baseband chip giant Qualcomm (QCOM -0.4%), given the company's expertise in supporting a huge variety of air interfaces and frequency bands. That is, provided the Chinese government's antitrust probe doesn't get in the way.
- Strategy Analytics estimates Qualcomm, buoyed by a dominant 4G baseband position (97% share as of Q1 2013), had a 64% 2013 baseband revenue share. But competition is intensifying: Intel, Broadcom, MediaTek, and Nvidia are all in the midst of launching 4G baseband parts.
- Last November, Qualcomm announced the Gobi 9x35, a next-gen 4G baseband that offers theoretical max speeds of 300Mbps (2x its predecessor) and supports six air interfaces.
Mar. 5, 2014, 6:06 PM
- After growing ~60% in 2013 (and fueling global shipment growth of 39%), IDC expects Chinese smartphone shipment growth to slow to ~20% in 2014 and just ~10% in 2015.
- Though only 40% of China's 1B+ mobile users now use a smartphone, IDC's Kiranjeet Kaur notes most users who can comfortably afford a smartphone have already bought one. Plunging low-end Android prices could expand the addressable market in a country whose nominal per capita GDP is around $6K.
- India, which has a sub-10% smartphone penetration rate, still presents a major growth opportunity. But with a nominal per capita GDP of ~$1,500, the country is even more cost-sensitive than China.
- With China slowing down and developed markets living up to their name, IDC expects global smartphone growth to slow to 19% in 2014; that still spells total volumes of 1.2B. Tough competition and the ongoing mix shift towards emerging markets is expected to lead the industry's ASP to fall $27 to $308.
- Smartphone OEMs with strong Chinese exposure: AAPL, SSNLF, LNVGY, ZTCOY
- Chip suppliers: QCOM, BRCM, CRUS, SWKS, RFMD, MRVL
- Chinese carriers: CHL, CHU, CHA
Mar. 4, 2014, 7:46 AM
- The quarterly dividend is raised 20% to $0.42 per share for an annualized yield of 2.3% based on last night's close. $5B is added to the buyback program, bringing the total authorization up to $7.8B. Thus far this year, the company has bought back 7.6M shares for $2B.
- QCOM +3.2% premarket
Feb. 24, 2014, 2:40 PM
- As expected, Samsung (SSNLF, SSNGY) has unveiled its next-gen flagship smartphone at a Mobile World Congress event (live blog). Whereas the Korean electronics giant trumpeted a variety of bells and whistles (some might say gimmicks) when launching the Galaxy S4 a year ago, it's taking a more low-key approach with the S5.
- The S5 has a 5.1" display, just slightly larger than the S4's 5" display. The resolution is unchanged at 1080p; past reports had pointed to a 2K resolution. Like Apple (AAPL) with the iPhone 5S, Samsung is integrating a fingerprint sensor into the S5's home button, and is offering a gold model.
- A 16MP camera supporting 4K video recording is included (the S4 has a 13MP camera), as is a perforated back meant to provide better grip. Qualcomm's (QCOM +0.2%) Snapdragon 801 baseband/app processor (2.5GHz., quad-core) powers the device. A heart rate monitor and slightly larger battery are also on board.
- Remarks from co-CEO JK Shin point to a shift in Samsung's product philosophy, one that arguably meshes with reports of a deal with Google to tone down Samsung's efforts to customize its hardware. "Our consumers do not want eye-popping technology or the most complex technology."
- Likely S5 suppliers with strong exposure: OLED, MXIM, SYNA, ANAD
Feb. 24, 2014, 9:21 AM
- Skyworks (SWKS) is up 3.2% premarket, Qualcomm (QCOM) is up 1%, and Anadigics (ANAD) is up 3.7% following news RF component vendors TriQuint and RF Micro are merging. The merging companies themselves are up sharply.
- RF Micro/TriQuint, which comes on the heels of Avago/LSI, appears to be fueling hopes of additional consolidation in the RF component space. There might also be expectations rivals will be able to take share, as common customers such as Apple and Samsung try to stay diversified.
- Though Qualcomm's chip unit is best known for its baseband and app processors, it also has a large and growing RF component business, one Qualcomm hopes to expand via its innovative/ambitious RF front end platform.
Feb. 24, 2014, 4:14 AM
- Chip makers such as Intel (INTC) and Broadcom (BRCM) are using the Mobile World Congress to demonstrate technology that will increase network speeds.
- One new service is expected to provide download rates of up to 300 megabits a second, four to six times the top speeds of existing LTE networks.
- The companies are out to chip away at the dominance of Qualcomm (QCOM), which holds 9% of the LTE market.
- Other companies that are putting out decent LTE chips include Nvidia (NVDA), MediaTek, Marvell Technology (MRVL), and Spreadtrum Communications (SPRD).
- More on the Mobile World Congress.
Feb. 19, 2014, 1:17 PM
- China's anti-monopoly regulator has made its first public remarks about its probe of Qualcomm's (QCOM +0.2%) licensing deals with local OEMs, and the comments (by mentioning the regulator has received complaints Qualcomm "abuses its dominant position in the market and charges discriminatory fees") suggest authorities aren't backing down.
- At the same time, the regulator says it's in talks with another 3G/4G patent owner, InterDigital (IDCC -1.2%), about a potential settlement. InterDigital has previously claimed the Chinese government threatened to arrest or detain its employees over its efforts to collect royalties from Huawei.
- The Qualcomm probe is widely seen as an effort to obtain lower royalty rates as Chinese 4G LTE adoption ramps. Given Qualcomm often doesn't collect royalties on sales of phones supporting China Mobile's TD-SCDMA 3G network, the launch of LTE networks by all three Chinese carriers stands to boost the percentage of local phone sales Qualcomm collects on.
- It also stands to increase Qualcomm's Chinese baseband chip share. The company mentioned on its FQ1 CC (transcript) its mid-range Snapdragon 400 processor had scored 70+ 3G/4G design wins with Chinese OEMs.
Feb. 10, 2014, 2:09 PM
- Sources tell the WSJ Nokia's unit phone, soon to be in Microsoft's (MSFT +0.4%) hands, will show off its first Android phone this month at the Mobile World Congress (runs from Feb. 24-27).
- In-line with past reports, the phone is said to be a low-end device aimed at emerging markets, and thus appears meant to be an alternative to Nokia's Asha feature phones than mid-range or high-end Lumia models.
- Recent leaks have indicated the phone will have a Windows Phone-like UI, and come with unmistakably low-end specs (4" 800x480 display, dual-core 1GHz. QCOM Snapdragon CPU).
- Both the WSJ and others have reported the phone won't support the apps/services that come with Google's version of Android (Play, Gmail, Maps, Now, etc.). Instead, Nokia/Microsoft services will be pre-installed, including a Nokia Android app store (its selection is bound to be much smaller than Google Play's).
- Nokia's phone unit posted a 29% Y/Y sales drop in Q4, a decline that had much to do with plunging feature phone sales in the face of booming low-end Android phone sales in emerging markets. Though Windows Phone's price points have fallen considerably, they still don't match those of the cheapest Android devices.
Jan. 31, 2014, 6:33 PM
- Two Chinese sites report Qualcomm (QCOM +1.3%) is working on an 8-core, 64-bit mobile processor (the Snapdragon 810) that would act as its new flagship. The cores are reportedly clocked at 2.5GHz. apiece, and to be accompanied by a next-gen GPU (the Adreno 430).
- Two versions are said to be planned - a smartphone-focused chip with an integrated baseband modem, and a tablet-focused chip with no baseband.
- It was just two months ago Qualcomm announced its latest flagship, the quad-core Snapdragon 805.; the chip will reportedly be used in certain variants of Samsung's Galaxy S5. But Qualcomm has been expected to launch a high-end 64-bit part following the arrival of Apple's A7, and both Intel (Bay Trail/Merrifield) and Nvidia (Tegra K1) have stepped up their high-end challenges.
- Shares moved higher again today following Qualcomm's mixed results and guidance. In addition to improving cost controls, the Street is pleased with Qualcomm's aggressive buyback activity ($1B spent in FQ1), and the fact the company kept its FY14 3G/4G device ASP guidance unchanged at $216-$230 in spite of an ongoing mix shift towards emerging markets.
Jan. 29, 2014, 4:10 PM
- Qualcomm (QCOM) expects FQ2 revenue of $6.1B-$6.7B and EPS of $1.15-$1.25, below a consensus of $6.72B and $1.26.
- However, the company has slightly upped its FY14 (ends in September) EPS guidance to $5-$5.20 from $4.95-$5.15 (consensus is at $5.09). FY14 revenue guidance is unchanged at $26B-$27.5B (consensus is at $27.06B). The company has been cutting costs under new CFO George S. Davis.
- 213M MSM baseband and app processor chips were shipped in FQ1, above guidance of 195M-210M. Qualcomm expects to ship 180M-195M in seasonally weak FQ2.
- QCOM +2.2% AH. Expectations had fallen in the wake of Apple and Samsung's results/guidance. CC at 4:45PM ET.
- FQ1 results, PR
Jan. 29, 2014, 4:01 PM
- Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM): Q1 EPS of $1.26 beats by $0.08.
- Revenue of $6.62B (+10.0% Y/Y) misses by $70M.
Jan. 29, 2014, 3:44 AM
- Qualcomm (QCOM) is facing a penalty of over $1B in China as it continues talks with the country's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) over an antitrust probe.
- Earlier this month, Qualcomm said it was uncertain what the investigation was about.
- The NDRC can fine a company 1-10% of a company's revenues for the previous year - in FY 2013, Qualcomm earned $12.3B in China.
- Qualcomm could get away with a lower penalty if it makes licensing and commitments of its technology.
- Qualcomm is due to report FQ1 earnings after the bell, with analysts expecting that EPS dropped to $1.18 from $1.26 but that revenue rose 10.8% to $6.67B.
QUALCOMM, Inc. engages in the development, design, manufacture, and marketing of digital telecommunications products and services. It operates through three segments: Qualcomm CDMA Technologies, Qualcomm Technology Licensing, and Qualcomm Strategic Initiatives. The Qualcomm CDMA Technologies... More
Industry: Communication Equipment
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