stories filed under: "chips"
Wed, Feb 18th 2009 10:27pm
Qualcomm and Nokia have been involved in a long-running series of patent disputes over chips in mobile phones. The two companies settled the bulk of their disputes last summer, with Nokia throwing a chunk of change at Qualcomm and the two making nice. This week, the two companies announced they'd work together to put Qualcomm chips in Nokia devices. Nokia, the top global handset vendor, has never used Qualcomm chips, and the work will first be focused on devices for the US market, where Nokia's market share lags far behind its share in the rest of the world. So Qualcomm gets a big new chip customer, Nokia strengthens its offerings for the US markets, and consumers benefit from increased competition. Sounds good all around, and makes you wonder why the companies resisted such an approach in favor of the patent fight for so long.
Wed, Aug 29th 2007 9:29pm
from the back-and-forth-and-back-again dept
The market for PCs and PC components continues to give off mixed signals. Earlier this month, there were reports that the PC makers would enjoy comfortable profits, as component prices were looking soft. Then, barely a week later, the opposite view came to prominence, as analysts and chipmakers alike called for good times. Now things are flipping once again, as DRAM prices are expected to collapse, with weakness continuing through the end of the year. Meanwhile, hard drive maker Seagate is upping its forecast, citing strong PC and mobile volumes. With all of these markets flipping around on a week-to-week basis, it should be pretty clear that there are very few significant trends here. In the long term, you can predict that component prices will continue to decline in price, just as all technology does, but it's not particularly worthwhile to read deeply into short term price and volume changes.
Tue, Aug 21st 2007 9:36am
from the flip-chip dept
Just a week ago, there were reports that big PC makers were likely to benefit from low component costs, at least in the short term. But even something as simple as current or recent prices of chips can be difficult for analysts to get a handle on. Now a Wall Street analyst is calling for an upswing in component prices, particularly flash memory chips and LCD panels. Meanwhile, Samsung has also announced that it's seeing a strong pricing environment for its NAND and DRAM chips. While these conflicting reports demonstrate how hard it is to get a handle on the market, the deeper point is that any trend is likely to reverse itself rapidly, as no party will enjoy strong pricing or cheap pricing very long without things balancing out.
Mon, Aug 13th 2007 4:19pm
from the fleeting-profits dept
Commoditization is always a threat to PC manufacturers like HP and Dell, although by most accounts HP has done a better job of differentiating its products than the competition. But there's also an upside to commodization for these companies: cheaper components. A new research note from a Wall Street analyst argues that both HP and Dell will realize meaningful benefits from cheaper components when they report their coming quarterly earnings. In addition to lower DRAM and LCD prices, the ongoing price war between Intel and AMD will prove particularly beneficial. Whether these companies are actually taking advantage of these savings or whether they've been forced to completely pass them on to consumers depends on the market dynamics. Between Dell and HP, they may have enough of a grip on the market to avoid an all-out price war themselves, but such a situation can only be temporary as they'll be forced to cut their own prices eventually.