Tag: Qualcomm

Chip revenues down

arm_chipRevenues for the global semiconductor market dropped two percent year on year to $295 billion in 2012, IDC’s latest semiconductor application forecast reports.

Consumer spending slumped in the second half of the year which had a significant impact, but this was also combined with a slowing down in industrial and other market segments too. Europe’s economic crisis leaned on the PC market and China, too, was not spending as much as had been hoped. IDC notes the “lackluster” Windows 8 launch did not prove to be the boon for PC sales manufacturers were praying for.

Cheaper Chinese suppliers pressured average selling prices and dragged down overall revenues.

Just 17 companies with revenues of a billion or more, of the 120 that IDC tracks, managed growth of over five percent for 2012. Most saw declining revenues, including the majority in the top ten. Qualcomm, Broadcom, NXP, Nvidia, MediaTek, Apple and Sharp were the few in the 25 largest companies that registered positive growth.

Intel, IDC points out, saw revenues plunge $50 billion for the year, a drop of three percent, attributed mainly to weak PC demand and failing to make significant inroads into the tablet and smartphones market. Samsung saw revenues fall six percent. Texas Instruments , at number four, saw a decline of six percent.

Qualcomm, however, was a winner – ranking third in 2012 and growing revenues 34 percent to reach $13.2 billion. IDC states that this is largely due to Snapdragon and its prevalance in modem technology.

Altogether, the top ten vendors – including Broadcom, Renesas, Hynix, STMicro and Micron, held 52 percent of global semiconductor revenues, seeing a three percent decline compared to the previous year. The top 25 companies overall declined three percent, bringing in revenue of $206 billion.

Semiconductor device types were a mixed bag. Fastest growing were sensors and actuators, but these made up just two percent of overall revenues. ASSPs represented 32 percent of overall revenues and grow four percent thanks to media, graphics, and application processors, as well as RF and mixed signal ASSPs. Optoelectronics made up six percent of the revenues, growing five person on the back of image sensors and LEDs. Microcomponents declined five percent, while memory declined ten percent, holding 17 percent of all industry revenues. Analogue declined by seven percent to account for seven percent of all revenues.

IDC’s semiconductors research manager Michael J Palma said in a statement that the challenge is to “zero in on their key value propositions”.

“Whether that is in modem or connectivity technologies, sensors, mixed-signal processing or power management, there are areas of the market showing strong potential,” Palma said. “However, competing in crowded segments with little differentiation has contributed to the slowdown in semiconductor revenues”.

LTE smartphone shipments surge 1100% in Q4 2012

LTE-logoThe smartphone market is slowly maturing and overall handset sales, including feature phones, remained flat in the fourth quarter of 2012. However, sales of LTE enabled devices skyrocketed in developed markets.

According to Strategy Analytics, shipments of 4G smartphones grew by 1100 per cent in Q4 2012.

The surge was led by Apple and Samsung, while at the same time shipments of 3G phones slowed. The trend coincides with an aggressive carrier push in Europe, including the UK.

Just a year ago, LTE connectivity was reserved for high end smartphones, but the mobile landscape is changing and even cheaper SoCs now offer integrated LTE. Qualcomm leads the way with last year’s Krait-based Snapdragon S4 chips, along with new “century series” Snapdragons coming on line right now. Apple already has LTE in current generation products, although older 4-series iPhones lack LTE support. By the end of the year Nvidia will introduce the Tegra 4i, its first SoC with integrated LTE, and Intel also plans to deliver LTE in its next generation mobile chips, coming in early 2014.

In terms of volume, smartphones are expected to overtake feature phones this year, which means plenty of mid-range LTE smartphones will find their way to consumers’ pockets. Although LTE is expected to be the fastest growing WWAN technology in history, it is still off to a slow start in many markets, including Britain. According to its last earnings report, Everything Everywhere didn’t add many 4G users since it launched its 4GEE network. However, things are picking up and other carriers will enter the market later this year, although Ofcom failed to raise plenty of cash on its 4G spectrum auction.

Nexus 4 shipments estimated at just one million units

nexus4-ceGoogle’s Nexus 4 has been on sale for three months, although one could argue that it has been on sale for a couple of weeks, since it wasn’t really available anywhere. For some reason, Google grossly underestimated demand for its latest vanilla Android phone, resulting in ridiculous shortages in every single market.

Android enthusiasts managed to work out that Google shipped just a million units in the first three months of sales, after four months in production.

Qualcomm raises 2013 outlook

snap dragon Qualcomm has posted  strong quarterly results for the beginning of 2013, which have led to the company raising its revenue and earnings predictions for the upcoming year.

The chip company said saw its net income grow by 36 percent for the first quarter fiscal 2013,  hitting $1.91 billion, while revenues totalled $6.02 billion, up 29 percent year-over-year.

Qualcomm chief exec Paul Jacobs put the results down to a “growing global demand for smartphones” and the company’s portfolio of 3G and 4G LTE processors.

He added that the company’s broad licensing partnerships and “extensive chipset roadmap”, including its new Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 and 600 processors, had also attributed to the growth.

Revenue from licensing fees grew by 20 percent to $1.82 billion, while equipment and services sales rose by 33 percent, generating the company $4.2 billion.

As a result of the stronger than anticipated results, the company said that it is adjusting its full year outlook from a previous revenue prediction of $23.4 billion to $24.4 billion.

Qualcomm also made some announcements regarding its senior level staff.

In a separate statement Qualcomm said that it would be saying goodbye to CFO William Keitel, who it retiring after 11 years at the post.

Keitel, who will step down on 11 March, will be replaced with George S. Davis, who is currently executive vice president and chief financial officer of Applied Materials.

Fixing Nexus supply problems is Google’s new priority

nexus4-ceThe botched Nexus 4 launch has already turned into a rather embarrassing episode for Google, but Larry Page is trying to reassure investors and analysts, although it could be too little, too late.

Page mentioned the problems during Google’s Q4 earnings report, but he did not say much and he did not provide any new details.