Displaying items by tag: Qualcomm
Nokia phone maker HMD Global raises $230 mln investment from partners
HMD Global, the maker of Nokia brand phones, announced it has raised USD 280 million in new financing from investors including Google, Qualcomm and Nokia. The money will go to strengthening its product offering, including 5G devices and new services, and expanding in new markets, such as Brazil, India and Africa.
The company announced four areas where it plans to invest. First, is affordable 5G smartphones, "with an emphasis on strong partnerships with US carriers".
Second, HMD Global will further transition to digital-first offerings as part of a new post-COVID reality, as well as more consumers buying their phones from internet sellers.
Third, the company plans to expand its presence in key growth markets. This includes the recently introduced operations in Brazil, as well as Africa and India.
Fourth, the investment will help the business strengthen its position beyond hardware and into a "holistic mobile service provider".
This year alone, HMD Global launched its international data roaming service HMD Connect, enhanced its mobile cybersecurity capabilities with the acquisition of Valona Labs assets, and started developing its own software, security and services with a new research and development centre in Tampere, Finland.
It last raised external funds with a USD 100 million round in mid-2018. HMD first started selling Nokia phones in 2016 and has since expanded to 91 markets and shipped over 240 million phones.
Smartphone shipments plummet worldwide
Global shipments of smartphones have dropped 38 per cent year-on-year in February, according to the latest research from Strategy Analytics.
It was the biggest fall ever in the history of the worldwide smartphone market, in-line with forecasts of a sharp decline due to the impact of the global Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
61.8 million units were shipped during the month compared with 99.2 million during February 2019.
This trend is cited to both production issues, as factories were forced to close in an attempt to limit Covid-19 cases, along with a drop in consumer visits to retailers.
In a statement, Strategy Analytics executive director Neil Mawston said: “Supply and demand of smartphones plunged in China, slumped across Asia, and slowed in the rest of the world.”
The company expects weak demand to also be reflected in its March figures.
Despite the grim forecasts, Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf was last week confident on global outlook after a slight rebound in handset demand in China.
The CEO noted the company is working towards the future: “I think the biggest issue you have to be prepared for is when this thing snaps back it snaps back hard, and make sure you’re in a position to take advantage of it. And so we’re trying to do the best job we can to be prepared.”
His comments came as cases of Covid-19 virus appeared to be improving in China, with handset and component production also beginning to return to normal.
Qualcomm promises ultimate Wi-Fi 6 connectivity experience with new platforms
Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. a wholly owned subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, announced Qualcomm® Networking Pro Series platforms, its second-generation Wi-Fi 6 networking offerings, designed to deliver the ultimate Wi-Fi 6 connectivity experience across the widest range of applications.
At Qualcomm® Wi-Fi 6 Day in San Francisco, executives demonstrated the Qualcomm Networking Pro Series, comprised of four platforms, the 1200, 800, 600, and 400, distinguished by format, scale of application, and computing needs. The platforms leverage the company’s unique Wi-Fi 6 architecture and approach and are designed for densely congested networks, onboarding of hundreds of devices without degradation of user experience, and high performance.
Modern networks are overmatched by the number of devices and data demands placed on them in the most densely populated environments today. Networks must meet expectations for high bandwidth, low latency, and with fair and simultaneous access. This reality belies the promise of the Wi-Fi 6 standard and demands a new architectural approach to wireless networking silicon optimized for this environment. The Qualcomm Networking Pro Series platforms are built for the dense connectivity requirements of modern Wi-Fi networks, with Wi-Fi 6 features offering increased network capacity for high-density environments such as university lecture halls, malls, stadiums, and office buildings.
“Wi-Fi 6 is a transformational reimagining of how Wi-Fi works, a leap forward arriving alongside 5G and designed to accommodate the massive surge of connected devices,” said Nick Kucharewski, vice president and general manager, wireless infrastructure and networking, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “The Qualcomm Networking Pro Series platforms raise the bar for the management of the ever-growing number of connected devices, the variation and complexity of those devices’ data needs, and the quality of the overall connectivity experiences they deliver.”
EU fines Qualcomm over alleged antitrust violation
US chipmaking giant Qualcomm has been fined 242 million euros by the EU for an antitrust violation.
The fine is the second penalty imposed on the company by Brussels, the previous fine being 997 million euros back in 2018.
“Our investigation found that Qualcomm abused” its dominant position in the market between mid-2009 and mid-2011 by “engaging in predatory pricing,” read the statement issued by the EU.
According to the EU’s case, the chips in question are “key components so that mobile devices can connect to the internet” and that “Qualcomm sold these products at a price below cost to key customers with the intention of eliminating a competitor,” said EU antitrust commissioner Margrethe Vestager.
The EU also stated that Qualcomm sold chipsets to Huawei and ZTE, strategic customers which are Chinese tech giants, “with the intention of eliminating Icera, its main rival”.
Qualcomm said in a statement that it would appeal this decision as a means of exposing “the meritless nature” of it.
The EU fine, according to the chipmaking giant’s General Counsel, Don Rosenberg, is “unsupported by the law, economic principles or market facts, and we look forward to a reversal on appeal.”
Rosenberg added that the Chinese tech giants chose Qualcomm because “rival chipsets were technologically inferior”.
Qualcomm was also recently fined in Korea and Taiwan for antitrust concerns. In fact, the chipmaker finalized a two-year-long legal battle with Apple over royalties.
Trump has criticized Vestager’s cases against US tech giants such as Amazon, Google and Apple. In fact, Google was previously given 3 major fines from the European Commission amounting to a total of 8.25 billion euros.
US chipmaker sees shares plunge after antitrust ruling
The US manufacturer of superchips that powers our smartphones has seen its shares plummet following an antitrust ruling.
Qualcomm stocks soar on Wall Street following Apple resolution
US chipmaker Qualcomm has seen its shares prices soar on the New York Stock Exchange following the end to a long-running dispute between them and iPhone manufacturer Apple over patent license agreements.
The pair where set for another protracted legal battle in San Diego but managed to broker an agreement that satisfied both parties over royalty payments.
It has been reported that resolution deal between Apple and Qualcomm includes a six-year license agreement with the option to extend for two years, and a payment to Qualcomm from the US tech behemoth.
Qualcomm shares rocketed by 15.2% as news of the deal broke on Wall Street. Apple saw its share price rise by 0.7% although it was significantly less than that of Qualcomm. Dow member IBM saw its shares plummet by 4.6% after Q1 sales fell short of analyst projections.
The US economy has been under the microscope in recent weeks after some fiscal analysts had claimed it was slowing down. However, Wall Street stocks were mostly higher following better-than-expected Chinese economic data. China's first-quarter growth came in at above expectations at 6.4 percent following government stimulus measures, a report that eases concerns about slowing global growth.
Intel exits 5G modem business following resolution between Apple and Qualcomm
US electronics behemoth Intel has made the decision to withdraw from the 5G smartphone modem business following the unlikely resolution agreement that was brokered between Qualcomm and Apple.
Apple and Qualcomm managed to settle the dispute between both parties over royalty payments and reached a deal ahead of fresh court case that was set to get underway in San Diego next week.
The modems that connect smartphones to telecommunications networks were at the heart of the battle between Apple and Qualcomm. Following the announcement the dispute had been resolved Intel wasted no time in exiting the 5G smartphone modem business.
Intel had clearly recognized and identified that there was an opportunity for them to capitalize on the dispute between Apple and Qualcomm, and then Apple had turned to Intel before reaching the agreement with Qualcomm.
The lawsuit was expected to be a protracted legal battle, but after the unlikely resolution it’s expected that Apple and Qualcomm will now become partners again before there fall out in 2017.
Intel issued a statement in which it indicated that it would complete an assessment of the opportunities for 4G and 5G modems in PCs, Internet of Things devices and other data-centric devices while pursuing investment opportunities in its 5G network infrastructure business.
CEO Bob Swan insisted that 5G will remain a key focus for the US electronics conglomerate and said its diverse portfolio of products will help them to become a major player in the 5G space.
Swan said, “5G continues to be a strategic priority across Intel, and our team has developed a valuable portfolio of wireless products and intellectual property. We are assessing our options to realize the value we have created, including the opportunities in a wide variety of data-centric platforms and devices in a 5G world."
The company also added that it would meet commitments to customers for its existing 4G smartphone modem product line, though it has no plans to launch 5G smartphone modem products, including those previously set to premiere in 2020
Currently under deployment, ultra-fast 5G wireless networks require terminals that are equipped with 5G models and specific network infrastructure.
Apple looking to take a ‘bite out’ of Qualcomm as court battle kicks-off
Apple and US chipmaker Qualcomm will resume their long-running feud as a new court case between the two titans of American enterprise begins in San Diego next week.
The two companies have been embroiled in a bitter row over patent licensing practices for the best part of two years. Last month, a Californian jury ruled in favour of Qualcomm and awarded the company $31m after it found that Apple’s iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 8 and 8 Plus and X infringed two patents.
Apple has expressed its confidence that this new lawsuit in San Diego will rule in their favour as they seek damages of up to $27bn after accusing its one-time supplier of engaging in patent license practices that amounted to double-dipping.
Qualcomm on the other hand are claiming that the US technology behemoth forced some of it business partners to stop paying the company royalties and is seeking $15bn in damages.
The initial lawsuit was filed by Apple back in 2017, which forced the US chipmaker to counter-sue the iPhone maker and winning bans on the sale of some iPhone models in some markets for patent violations.
Qualcomm charges its customers for the chips themselves and also adds on patent licensing charges. It asks customers to sign an agreement before supplying any products.
Apple has termed this "no licence, no chips" policy a way of charging twice for the same thing. Along with its business partners, Apple is seeking an end to this practice and a refund of something in the region of US$9 billion.
This amount could be tripled if the jury comes to the conclusion that Apple's anti-trust allegations against Qualcomm are correct. Apple claims Qualcomm's practices kept rivals like Intel - from whom Apple is now sourcing chips - from competing in this sector for a long time.
Companies that are on contract with Apple, such as Foxconn, have paid the royalties to Qualcomm and been reimbursed by Apple. But Apple has pushed some of these firms to violate their contracts and deprive Qualcomm of about US$7 billion in royalties, the chip producer claims.
A victory for Apple will not mean much in terms of money but it would destroy a business model that Qualcomm has used with great success for many years.
US tech giant could forge unlikely partnership with Huawei
US technology giant Apple is reportedly mulling over the prospect of entering into an unlikely partnership with Chinese vendor Huawei in an effort to address issues with the modem technology in its flagship iPhones.
US judge places temporary ban on iPhone imports
On Tuesday, a US trade judge has called for a ban of some iPhone imports as Apple was found to have violated a Qualcomm chipmaker patent.
International Trade Commission administrative law specialist MaryJoan McNamara recommended a “limited exclusion order together with a cease and desist order” against the tech ginat.
Since the iPhone does not compeet with Qualcomm products, Apple will not be required to post a bond while US President Donald Trump and a panel of judges review the order.
Qualcomm released a statement which read: "We appreciate Judge McNamara's recognition of Apple's infringement of our hardware patent and that she will be recommending an import ban and cease and desist order.”
Apple has not replied to a request to post a comment on the matter as of yet.
The patent which is being investigated involves extending power and battery life. The issue at hand constitutes for one of the two complaints that Qualcomm officially issued against Apple to the commission.
Qualcomm shares went up by 2.4 per cent while Apple’s shares were down by at least 1 per cent as soon as the ruling was released.
The California-based tech giants have been involved in a long-term battle over patents and royalties which have taken to the courts and other administrative bodies on a global scale.
Last week, Qualcomm won a case against Apple over patented technology which was found to be used in iPhones and won $31 million. These chips were found to have been used on the iPhone 7, 8 and X.
Other patents at issue were “flashless booting” which allows for devices to connect to the internet quickly as soon as they are switch on and allows smartphone apps to move data online in an efficient manner.
In addition to this, another patent would be using rich graphics in games whilst still maintaining battery life.
Apple sued Qualcomm a couple of years ago over payments for a preliminary ruling which involved Qualcomm owing Apple around $1 billion in patent royalty rebate payments which has not been paid yet. The judge’s decision is still to be determined.