2013 was a terrible year for both Apple’s competitors and its media critics

Image representing Apple as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

As 2013 draws to a close, I want to reflect on what’s happened in the cell phone industry. I think Apple Insider Editorial posted on December 28th, 2013 is certainly something that is worth a read. It is a pretty long article that discussed the various players such as Apple, Samsung, Google and Microsoft.

Most notable is the reaction to Apple’s iPhone 5c, which did not turn out to be a cheap smartphone that analysts had predicted. Despite its ability to compete effectively against Android phones in US and Japan, analyst slashed outlook for Apple because it did not turn out the way they expected.

I also liked the discussion on Google and Microsoft. The failures of Surface and Windows Phone 8 OS as well as Google’s inability to push out Android 5.0 are undeniably true.

It has been a great year for consumers on the notebook, smartphone and tablet front. We get updated ipad mini, new ipad Air, Google Nexus 7, Kindle Fire HDX 7 and 8.9, Mac Book pro, iphone 5S, Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Moto X, Moto G… So many new products and lots of innovation to make it easier for us to enjoy content everywhere and any time.

I look forward to the new year and the exciting new products that will be released… Happy New Year everyone !

Cheers.

Editorial: 2013 was a terrible year for both Apple’s competitors and its media critics.

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Acer hires former Intel man as CEO

English: acer Español: acer

English: acer Español: acer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Acer Corporate president Jim Wong resigned abruptly in November this year. He was hand picked to be the PC maker’s  new CEO, succeeding J.T. Wang who resigned.  Stan Shih who founded the company had to take over as Chairman and Corporate President.

Acer finally found a former Intel executive Jason Chen to take the CEO position. He is tasked to take over the restructuring effort at Acer. Acer plans to cut 7% of its workforce and overhaul its structure to better compete in the shrinking PC space.

The Making of an Intel 22nm Chip

A fascinating video of how a state of the art 22nm Intel processor is made. It helps break down the multiple steps it takes to manufacture a semiconductor chip into something very easy to understand. Kudos to Intel for creating such a wonderful piece of work!

Avago will acquire LSI for $6.6 Billion

Screen shot 2013-12-17 at 10.56.14 AMBig news on the M&A front. Avago announced today that it had agreed to acquire LSI Corportion for $6.6 billion in cash. This move will further diversify Avago’s portfolio by enabling it to enter networking and storage IC markets, which are considered healthy markets with better margins.

Interestingly, this acquisition will bring with it a client that used to be its former parent, HP. Other notable customers include Cisco and Samsung.

A slew of M&A activities in the wireless industry players took place this quarter, most notably, the acqusition of Mindspeed by MA-COM, acquisition of Mindspeed’s wireless business by Intel and now the acquisition of LSI by Avago.

So, two more high tech names will disappear from our memories in the coming year.

Qualcomm names Mollenkopf to Succeed Jacobs

 

It looks like Microsoft won’t be getting Mollenkopf and the list of candidates for its new CEO is dwindling, at least by one 🙂

 

Image representing Qualcomm as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

Mollenkopf will be taking over from Paul Jacobs who has guided Qualcomm extremely successfully. During Jacobs’ rein, Qualcomm’s market cap doubled, revenues quadrupled and EPS tripled. Mollenkopf will have a tough act to follow.

 

No doubt Mollenkopf has proven himself through the 3.1 billion acquisition of Atheros as well as being a loyal Qualcomm employee for nearly 20 years.

 

It will certainly be an interesting year for Qualcomm as the Jacob family is no longer at the helm of the company Irwin Jacob founded. I believe the transition will be a smooth one, though the challenges ahead will be plentiful.

 

Qualcomm CEO: Mollenkopf to Succeed Jacobs | EE Times.

 

 

TSMC launching 20nm chips next year

tsmc fab12

tsmc fab12 (Photo credit: Tony Tseng)

TSMC’s CEO stated at its annual supply chain forum that the 20 nm system-on-a-chip is the most critical ramp up TSMC has carried out in years. The high volume production of 20nm chips will start next month.

Apple’s A8 processor is in 20 nm, and TSMC has already secured a 3-year agreement with Apple to supply foundry services for Apple’s A-series processors from 20 nm down to 10 nm process nodes.

The capital investment at TSMC enables it to process 50,000 wafers in the first quarter of 2014.TSMC is expected to sip 165,000 20 nm chips to Apple next year. Revenue for 28 nm is expected to be $5.4 billion this year.

TSMC’s two key customers will be Qualcomm and Mediatek. Apple will account for 6.5 percent of TSMC overall revenue for 2014.

Looks like mobile processors and modems will continue to be critical for the foundry business in 2014.

Wireless Quick Facts from CTIA

Wireless Quick Facts

Here are some very interesting facts that were published on the CTIA web site:

  • The economic impact of bringing 500 MHz of spectrum (per the FCC’s National Broadband Plan) to market by 2020 is $87 billion increase in U.S. GDP; at least 350,000 new U.S. jobs; additional $23.4 billion in government revenues; and $13.1 billion increase in wireless applications and content sales.
  • U.S. providers invested $94 per subscriber while the rest of the world spent $16.
  • For every $1 invested in wireless broadband , it will create an additional $7-10 for U.S. GDP.
  • The U.S. wireless industry is valued at $195.5 billion , which is larger than publishing, agriculture, hotels and lodging, air transportation, motion picture and recording and motor vehicle manufacturing industry segments. It rivals the computer system design service and oil and gas extraction industries.
  • The wireless industry directly/indirectly employs more than 3.8 million Americans, which accounts for 2.6% of all U.S. employment. In addition, wireless employees are paid 65% higher than the national average for other workers.
  • The app economy employs 519,000 developers and related jobs and grew into a $10 billion industry.
  • Thanks to the U.S. wireless companies constant innovation and competition to remain the world’s mobile industry leader, America’s users benefit. While U.S. consumers represent only 5 percent of the world’s wireless connections, we comprise 50 percent of the world’s 4G/LTE connections . This number is more than double the share of second ranking Japan and almost triple the share of third ranking South Korea.

We now have 326 Million wireless subscribers in the US and 100% wireless penetration in the US. Total number of cell sites exceed 300,000.  Without innovation in the wireless industry, we won’t be enjoying the convenience of cellular communications. We will also have less jobs and slower economic growth.