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Sep. 23, 2013, 9:30 AM
- Apple suppliers are responding well to news weekend iPhone sales topped 9M (well above estimates of 5M-6M), and that Apple now expects its Sep. quarter revenue to be at the high end of a guidance range of $34B-$37B.
- CRUS +5.7% premarket. QCOM +1.8%. BRCM +2.4%. SWKS +3.2%. TQNT +4.4%. AVGO +3.3%.
- RF Micro (RFMD) +6.6% thanks to both Apple's news and a Canaccord note indicating the company has grown its RF content share in the iPhone 5S/5C relative to the iPhone 5.
Sep. 20, 2013, 9:24 AM
- On cue, iFixit has posted an iPhone 5S teardown shortly after Apple's latest flagship device went on sale.
- Though no motion sensor supplier is named, Barclays says its initial analysis suggests STMicroelectronics (STM) held onto the gyroscope slot, albeit while adding the evidence isn't conclusive. InvenSense (INVN), expected by many to take the slot, is down 4.3% premarket.
- Parts that are mentioned include a Broadcom (BRCM) Wi-Fi/Bluetooth combo chip and touchscreen controller, a Sony (SNE) rear image sensor (in the past, Apple has used a dual-supplier strategy featuring Sony and OVTI), a Qualcomm (QCOM) baseband modem, RF transceiver, and power management IC, a TriQuint (TQNT) power amplifier module, and two amplifier modules apiece from Skyworks (SWKS) and Avago (AVGO).
- Though the combo chip win was widely expected, Broadcom investors appear relieved about the touchscreen controller win, given rumors Renesas had taken the slot. BRCM +2.4% premarket. TQNT +1.8%.
Sep. 18, 2013, 1:58 PM
- Google (GOOG +0.5%) is launching Calico, a company that will "focus on health and well-being, in particular the challenge of aging and associated disease." Apple/Genentech chairman Arthur Levinson will be Calico's CEO, as well as an initial investor.
- Google is short on details, but full of lofty ambitions. Larry Page: "I believe we can improve millions of lives. It’s impossible to imagine anyone better than Art—one of the leading scientists, entrepreneurs and CEOs of our generation—to take this new venture forward." Tim Cook also provides some kind words about Levinson.
- Calico is the latest in a line of "moonshot" projects to be backed by Page. Others: Glass, Loon, self-driving cars, space elevators
- Meanwhile, in a more prosaic initiative, YouTube is giving mobile users the ability to save video clips for offline viewing for 48 hours. The videos will still feature ads, and uploaders will be allowed to opt out.
- The move could bolster YouTube's already-dominant share of mobile video viewing. Mobile now accounts for over 1/4 of YouTube's total views, and over 40% of its U.S. views.
- Also: Digitimes reports Google's Nexus 5 smartphone will arrive in October and feature a mid-range price in spite of having high-end specs.
- FCC docs and rumors indicate the Nexus 5 will be made by Nexus 4 partner LG, and will feature a 5" 1080p display, 13MP camera, and Qualcomm (QCOM -0.6%) Snapdragon 800 CPU.
- If the Nexus 5 has unsubsidized pricing close to that of the Nexus 4, it should sell well.
Sep. 11, 2013, 4:25 PM
- If that headline sounds familiar, it might be because Qualcomm (QCOM) announced a separate $5B buyback in March (along with a dividend hike). (PR)
- The new program replaces the one announced in March, which Qualcomm made good use of during its short lifetime. $1.04B was spent on buybacks in the June quarter, and Qualcomm now discloses it has spent another $2.7B to repurchase 40.1M shares since July 24.
- Bloomberg observed last month Qualcomm is facing pressure to ramp its capital-return efforts as its shares remain range-bound in spite of solid revenue/EPS growth. Qualcomm's dividend yield is currently at 2%.
- CEO Paul Jacobs says Qualcomm will "further discuss capital allocation" at its November analyst day.
Sep. 11, 2013, 10:40 AM
- Apple suppliers Cirrus Logic (CRUS -4.7%), Qualcomm (QCOM -3.6%), Broadcom (BRCM -1.9%), Nam Tai (NTE -1%), Avago (AVGO -1.6%), and (in spite of an upgrade) Skyworks (SWKS -2%) are joining Apple itself in heading south as investors/analysts register disappointment over the iPhone 5C's premium pricing.
- Long expected to be a "low-cost" iPhone that would help Apple win back share from cheaper Android phones that have proven very popular with cost-sensitive buyers in both emerging and developed markets, the 5C is instead being priced as a fill-in for the iPhone 5 (now discontinued). The 16GB model goes for an unsubsidized $549 in the U.S, and (thanks to duties/taxes) $735 in China.
- Cirrus had rallied sharply in the weeks leading up to the iPhone 5S/5C launches.
Sep. 10, 2013, 1:32 PM
- The much-rumored low-cost iPhone (AAPL -0.4%) has been officially revealed. As expected, it has a 4" retina display, uses a hard plastic shell, and comes in 5 colors (white, yellow, lime green, light blue, and pink). (live blog)
- The 5C also features an A6 CPU and 8MP camera (same as the iPhone 5), and has a slightly larger battery than the iPhone 5. Apple declares the phone supports "more LTE bands than any other smartphone in the world." That could be a sign QCOM's chip content for the device is high.
- A 16GB model will sell for $99 with a 2-year contract (just $100 less than what the iPhone 5 currently goes for), and a 32GB model will sell for $199. Custom cases go for $29.
- More on Apple
Sep. 9, 2013, 9:28 PM
- The TD Ameritrade Investor Movement Index increased 5.95% to 5.16 in August as markets stumbled, meaning clients continued their pattern of selling the rips and buying the dips - the index previously fell in July as stocks rallied.
- There was no contrarian action in Tesla (TSLA), where clients continued to buy as it gained for the month. Dip-buying was notable, however, in a number of basic material companies, including BP, Kinder Morgan (KMP), and Potash (POT).
- Clients were net sellers in financial names like Bank of America (BAC) and Goldman Sachs (GS), and they faded rallies in Apple (AAPL) and Facebook (FB). Other popular names sold included Chesapeake Energy (CHK), Merck (MRK), and Qualcomm (QCOM).
Sep. 5, 2013, 1:00 AM
- Though Samsung's Galaxy Gear is getting more headlines, Qualcomm (QCOM) has launched a smartwatch of its own, albeit as a proof-of-concept.
- Qualcomm's bulky Toq smartwatch, shown off at the company's annual Uplinq developer conference, makes use of the company's low-power Mirasol displays. Mirasol was pitched as the e-reader display tech of the future before a lack of demand led Qualcomm to end production last year.
- Toq also features Qualcomm's WiPower LE wireless charging tech, can receive smartphone notifications via the company's AllJoyn framework, and presumably has a Qualcomm CPU inside. (PR)
- Other Toq features, such as text-message viewing, Bluetooth connectivity, 3rd-party app support, and the ability to control a phone's music player, strongly resemble those found in the Gear.
- "We expect to make tens of thousands of these, not hundreds of thousands ... A success, for us, looks like our partners picking up and running with this." says exec Rob Chandhok. The company's apparent goal with Toq is to get OEMs to make similar smartwatches, thereby boosting chip sales and saving Mirasol from the technology scrap heap.
- Broadcom (BRCM), which just stepped up its efforts to compete against Qualcomm in the 4G baseband chip market, also sees much potential in wearable device chip sales. The company is hoping OEMs embrace its WICED platform, which allows embedded devices to quickly add low-power, Wi-Fi-based, Internet connectivity.
Sep. 4, 2013, 6:28 PM
- IDC's forecast represents only a slight slowdown in growth from the 44% rate it believes was seen in 2012, and is easily more optimistic than most forecasts made earlier this year. Back in January, Strategy Analytics predicted smartphone shipments would rise only 27% this year to 875M.
- Thanks to strong smartphone demand, IDC now expects total mobile phone shipments to rise 7.3% this year to 1.8B, after declining 1.2% last year.
- Android (GOOG) is expected to claim 75.3% of 2013 shipments; its Q2 share was pegged at 79.3%. The iPhone, aided by an upcoming refresh, is expected to have a 16.9% 2013 share vs. 13.2% in Q2.
- Chipmakers with strong mobile exposure: QCOM, BRCM, SWKS, TQNT, ANAD, RFMD, SYNA, CRUS, MXIM, HIMX, OVTI, AUDC.
Sep. 4, 2013, 2:38 PM
- As expected, Samsung's (SSNLF.PK, SSNGY.OB) Galaxy Note 3 phablet has a mammoth 5.7" 1080p display. It also features a 13MP camera that can record 4K video, a split-screen feature called Multi Window (can run different apps or the same one), an improved S Pen stylus, new handwriting apps, and a menu of stylus-related actions (called Air Command) that pops up whenever the stylus is pulled out. (live blog)
- As with the S4, Qualcomm (QCOM +0.9%) will be powering a large chunk of shipped units, no doubt thanks to its 4G baseband edge. While the 3G-only version of the Note 3 uses Samsung's (1.9GHz.., 8-core) Exynos Octa CPU, 4G models will use a (2.3GHZ., quad-core) Qualcomm Snapdragon 800.
- Though featuring a bigger display than the Note II, the Note 3 is a bit lighter. The phone will hit all major U.S. carriers in October. Samsung is looking to both profit from burgeoning phablet demand, and keep competitors such as Sony, Huawei, LG, and (soon) Nokia/Microsoft at bay.
- Also launched: a new Note 10.1 tablet featuring a high-res display (2560x1600), an 8MP camera, a revamped S Pen, and many of the apps/UI tricks found in the Note 3. Though Samsung's tablet share has grown to 18% (per IDC), the iPad still dominates the high-end segment, thanks in part to its edge with regards to tablet-specific apps.
- Samsung is doing what it can to differentiate via unique software/services in spite of its heavy dependence on Google. The S4 came packed with proprietary Samsung tools, but sales have nonetheless fallen short of (high) targets.
- Previous: Samsung launches $299 Gear smartwatch
Sep. 4, 2013, 1:29 PM
- Analyst Srini Pajjuri sees the purchase of Renesas' 4G LTE baseband chip unit eventually allowing Broadcom (BRCM +1.9%) to become "a viable second source in LTE" after Qualcomm (QCOM +0.9%), an to thereby (as a result of being able to offer more comprehensive solutions) "stem potential share losses" in the Wi-Fi/Bluetooth combo chip space.
- Strategy Analytics estimates Qualcomm had a 97% share of the LTE baseband market in Q1, as the company's big head start in offering multi-mode (2G/3G/4G) basebands and (through the Snapdragon line) integrated baseband/app processors continues paying dividends.
- However, Broadcom, Nvidia, and Intel are all prepping multi-mode LTE basebands, and are looking to have them inside OEM hardware by early 2014. Broadcom says the Renesas deal will speed up the arrival of its LTE baseband, and also provide it with patents and top mobile engineers. Qualcomm is looking to stay ahead with the help of its Snapdragon CPUs, strong multi-band support, and 4G RF front end.
- Broadcom still dominates the combo chip market, but Qualcomm has scored some noteworthy design wins lately.
Sep. 4, 2013, 11:09 AM
- In-line with rumors, Sony's (SNE +1.2%) Xperia Z1 (codenamed Honami) sports a 20.7MP camera, replete with a high-end sensor and large aperture, and Qualcomm's (QCOM +0.9%) top-of-the-line Snapdragon 800 CPU (quad-core, 2.2 GHz.). (live blog)
- It also features a 5" 1080p display (similar to the Xperia Z, but the LCD panel has been upgraded), a unibody aluminum case (very iPhone-like), waterproofing, a giant 3,000 mAh battery, and Facebook livestreaming support.
- Sony has also launched its anticipated QX10/100 "lens camera" accessories (previous), which are compatible with 3rd-party Android and iOS hardware, and a second-gen SmartWatch. The Verge calls the latter device an improvement over its predecessor, but doesn't like its €199 price tag.
- 4K-capable projectors, camcorders, and Bravia TVs are also being shown off, as are new VAIO PCs.
- Thanks to healthy Japanese/European demand, Sony's smartphone sales have grown rapidly this year in spite of having a strong high-end tilt at a time when industry growth has been shifting towards low-end/mid-range devices. The company is counting on the Z1 and the 6.4" Xperia Z Ultra to help maintain that momentum.
Aug. 23, 2013, 7:38 AM
- The sale of QCOM's North and Latin American transportation and logistics business is to Vista Equity Partners for $800M in cash.
- Shares +0.2% premarket.
Aug. 21, 2013, 6:30 PM
- Mom-and-pop investors like to see where the "smart money" is going, but Goldman Sachs finds the 50 stocks (with market caps over $1B) that hedge funds are heavily shorting have averaged a 30% gain YTD.
- Top 10 most shorted, based on the number of funds owning the stock: EQIX, LCC, HLF, RDN, BBRY, WNR, VVUS, PHH, DECK, OUTR.
- Top 10 best loved, based on the same criteria: GOOG, AAPL, AIG, C, GM, JPM, BAC, MSFT, QCOM, PFE.
- Complete lists: the 50 most shorted; the 50 best loved.
- Earlier: picks from Goldman's Hedge Fund Monitor.
Aug. 21, 2013, 2:28 PM
- Digitimes reports the launch of Intel's (INTC -1.6%) 22nm Bay Trail Atom tablet CPUs (expected in Q4) will be followed by the launch of 14nm "Cherry Trail" Atom tablet CPUs in Q3 2014, and 14nm "Willow Trail" Atom tablet parts in Q4 2014.
- Intel is also expected to follow up on the launch of its 22nm Merrifield Atom smartphone CPUs (due at year's end) with 14nm "Moorefield" CPUs in 1H14, and 14nm "Morganfield" CPUs in 1H15.
- Cherry Trail is said to use Intel's next-gen Airmont CPU architecture, and Willow Trail a succeeding architecture codenamed Goldmont.
- Barron's recently noted Intel Intel wants to narrow the delay between Core (PC) and Atom CPU launches for a given architecture, as it makes an all-out effort to gain mobile CPU share from ARM-based (ARMH) suppliers such as Qualcomm (QCOM). Nvidia (NVDA), and MediaTek.
- In June, new CEO Brian Krzanich stated Atom launches could actually precede Core launches for a particular architecture in the future. Digitimes' report suggests that might just happen with Willow Trail. But it's worth noting a mere one-quarter gap between CPU architecture upgrades would be very rare for Intel.
- If Intel can ramp 14nm Atom production in 2014, it should have a process edge over its rivals, who will be at 20nm. But Intel still needs to develop chips that fuse powerful CPUs with 4G baseband modems (something Qualcomm has excelled at).
- Bay Trail has stoked cannibalization fears. Its successors could heighten them.
- Intel's 14nm Broadwell Core CPUs are expected in 2H14. Broadwell's 14nm successor, Skylake, is due in 1H15.
Aug. 21, 2013, 3:15 AM
- Facebook (FB) has got together with Samsung (SSNLF.PK), Qualcomm (QCOM), Nokia (NOK) and other technology companies to launch a project called Internet.org that aims to make Internet access available to the two-thirds of the earth's population who are not yet connected.
- The group also includes Ericsson (ERIC), Opera Software and Taiwan's MediaTek.
- The effort mirrors Google's Project Loon, an attempt to bring Web access to remote regions via the use of balloons.
- Around 5B people aren't yet connected to the Internet, which is a mighty number of potential Facebook users. (PR)
Qualcomm Inc develops digital communication technology called CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access), & owns intellectual property applicable to products that implement any version of CDMA including patents, patent applications & trade secrets.
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