Thursday, March 13, 2008

Motorola up to bat at CTIA

A new video on Youtube (since been pulled) looks like it has provided another set of leaks of Motorola's upcoming lineup. Yes, the ones that were originally scheduled for MWC, but were mysteriously pulled at the last minute. Some details and specs are available here.. The 5 Megapixel Kodak enabled handset is the most interesting, but the rest of the devices look like updates to existing designs. If these leaks accurately reflect Motorola's roadmap for the 2nd half of the year, I am decidely underwhelmed.

Right now I'm guessing that Motorola will do better than 2.5G for their Kodak enabled handset and/or just a couple of updates to the Q/Ming, but if not, it really could get worse during the 2nd half of the year. Amazing.

Monday, March 3, 2008

EMP vs. Qualcomm

It wasnt quite an earthquake in the mobile world, but Sony Ericsson's decision to use Qualcomm for their baseband/apps processor in the Xperia was certainly unexpected. After all, the two companies have never been friendly, with Ericsson being one of the six companies that brought an anti-trust complaint before the EU in 2005. On top of that Ericsson has their own in-house chipset division in EMP which is the source of the vast majority of their 3G chipsets. The choice of Qualcomm for the handset was at least as curious as their choice of Windows Mobile.

Well, now we know the reason for that choice. This above specs detailing the EMP enabled ASUS ZX1 tell the story, and it isnt pretty. The fact that the EMP U360 needed to be paired with a TI OMAP2430 to run Windows Mobile with a touchscreen wasnt surprising, but the resulting 3G talktime is stunningly abysmal. A 90 minute talk time guarantees that this handset will be a commercial flop (though the GUI looks very cool). Luckily for shareholders, Sony Ericsson was flexible enough to go in another direction.

This is going to lead us to an interesting decision for Sony Ericsson later this year. The Xperia X1 was the highlight of Barcelona and interest from various mobile forums make it look like it will be a smashing success. So, where will Sony Ericsson go for the baseband of its successor? The EMP U380 is due to be released in the 1st half of '09, so it is the most likly winner....but a succesful X1 launch might give Qualcomm a realistic shot at continued business within SE. That is something I never would have expected a year ago.