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Multicores powering Smartness!

Posted in Device Platforms by Manas Ganguly on September 7, 2013

Multiple cores for smartphone apps processor chips is an increasing trend, reports Strategy Analytics, with 66% of smartphones using multi-cores in H1 2013 – double the amount of H1 2012.

Multi-core penetration continues to rise and, by end of this year, could cross 75% with smartphones containing multi-core processors now selling for under $100.

Processors Smartphones

Qualcomm leads in the multi-core market, Spreadtrum in the single core.

For the first time, multi-cores out-shipped single-core in Q3 2012, thanks to strong traction for flagship chips such as Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 and low-cost Cortex-A5 / Cortex-A7 chips from multiple vendors.

Quad-core smartphone applications processor shipments registered five-fold growth in 1H 2013 compared to 1H 2012, while single-core smartphone applications processor shipments declined by 14% in the same period.

Qualcomm led themutli-core market with 43% volume share followed by Apple, Samsung, MediaTek and ST-Ericsson in 1H 2013.

Qualcomm overtook Apple to become the leading multi-core vendor in Q4 with in the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 among others.

NVIDIA’s upcoming LTE Tegra chip Tegra 4i could generate more volume in the smartphone market.

HiSilicon, Huawei’s in-house silicon designer, has its K3V2 quad-core chip. Broadcom, Intel, Marvell and Spreadtrum started shipping multi-cores in 1H 2013.

Single-core has the highest baseband-integrated chip penetration while quad-core segment has the lowest baseband-integrated chip penetration. This can be attributed to time-to-market advantage with stand-alone applications processors.

While it is debatable how many number of cores would be enough, the market is expected to see the first true octa core chip from MediaTek later this year.

Will Amazon do a Gillette?

Posted in Mobile Devices and Company Updates by Manas Ganguly on September 7, 2013

Guess the latest gate crasher on the Smartphone party? The rumours have been doing rounds for a while now – But Amazon, the king of digital distribution seems set to take on the likes of Apple, Google and Samsung on smartphones. Amazon already has a current portfolio of Kindle Fire tablets and Kindle eBooks – and is reported closing down on 2 smartphones and 1 audio streaming device.

amazon 2

One of the devices that Amazon is working on is a 3D screen smartphone. Details are sketchy – but this could be Amazon’s flagship device – with retina movement sensors and a 3D effect overlay.Also of interest is the rumour that Amazon could release a smartphone for its consumers free of charge without a wireless contract. That could be a very significant departure in pricing strategy in smartphones.

The smartphone game is changing. New smartphone entrants Amazon and Google are beginning to generate revenue primarily through e-commerce sales and online advertising, respectively. As such, they are more willing than their competitors to sacrifice device profit for market share and reach to build on their digital distribution networks.

Its interesting to see how the Apples, Samsungs, Microsoft-Nokia’s of the world react to Amazon’s disrupting pricing. Amazon is doing a Gillete with a easy entry price for the razors and making the consumers pay for catridges.
1. The key for Amazon is to establish a user experience and interface so uniquely engaging that users would stayed hooked to it. Associate that to the Gillette shaving experience and how the user was not able to get rid of the Gillette habit and would spend more and more monies on catridges, foams and others… Yes, Amazon must do the Gillette magic.
2. It has the digital content that can upend a lot of device-only players – such as Samsung.
3. Also key to this equation is the reach and penetration of Digital content in the third world countries – it will require a lot of different other monetization models for Amazon to get threshold volumes in such markets.

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