Vendor News

NVidia Buys Baseband Developer

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Nvidia IceraNVidia acquires baseband processor developer Icera for $367m in its bid to cement its position in the mobile market.

Icera says it has more than 550 patents (granted or pending) in multi-protocol wireless baseband processors with RF components.

NVidia's plan is simple-- combining Icera's chips with its own Tegra offerings (thus potentially doubling its revenue with each device), while saying it will help OEMs to "improve their their time to market and deliver the requirements of next-generation mobile computing".

Since NVidia losing revenue from its graphics segment, it's not difficult to see why it wants to dip further into the movile market-- where the baseband processor market is apparently worth around $15Bn a year.

Go NVidia Plans to Acquire Icera

Google's "Made for Android"

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Google announces its Android Open Accessory standard-- an API allowing developers to build hardware that can interact with Android devices via USB port-- opening the gates to a possible future flood of accessories designed for Android devices.

ADKCurrently most Android devices are only able to act as USB devices, and can't initiate connection with external USB devices.

The API is compatible with both Android 3.1 and Android 2.3.4.

Google also has an Arduino-based reference hardware design, the Accessory Development Kit (ADK), available for developers to see exactly how to implement the standard.

So far it only supports USB, but Google promises Bluetooth support is in the works.

Go Android Open Accessory Development Kit

Blackberry Enterprise Solution Goes Multi-Platform

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RIM opens its Blackberry Enterprise Solution (BES) to other platforms-- now incorporating secure device management for both Android and iOS.

BlackberryThe device management solution (done via single web-based console) comes through RIM's recent acquisition of ubi-Suite developer ubitexx. 

The announcement will prove good news to enterprises wanting to manage their growing mobile device populations-- IT administrators will be able to manage devices over-the-air (functions include device activation, software/app distribution and device locking/wiping). 

Some BES features will remain Blackberry device-exclusive (many from over 550 IT policies available through BES, according to RIM)-- including RIM's push technology, behind-the-firewall enterprise application and system access. 

Also Blackberry-excusive is RIM's other announcement, Blackberry Balance-- technology allowing for the work and personal use of a single device without compromising either corporate data security or personal content privacy. 

Go RIM Announces Multi-Platform Blackberry Enterprise Solution

Nokia's Falling Market Share

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NokiaNokia sells a total of 108.5m devices WW (including 24.2m smartphones) in Q1 2011-- a 1% Y-o-Y increase, with the company reporting total WW net sales worth €10.4BN for the same period (up 9% Y-o-Y, down 18% sequentially).

However analysts say Nokia's Q1 2011 mobile market share is going down-- down to 24%, when compared to Q1 2010's 39% in the smartphone segment, and 29% in the overall mobile device market (down from Q1 2010's 33%)-- its lowest levels since the late 1990s.

Nokia's future is expected to continue being bumpy as it signs a definite agreement with Microsoft. The company expects to transition to Windows Phone as its primary smartphone platform within the next 2 years, moving away from both Symbian and MeeGo (now becoming an open-source mobile OS project).

Go Nokia Q1 2011 Interim Report

Go Nokia's Market Share Falls Below 30% (Forbes)

Apple and Samsung's Patent Battle

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Samsung AppleApple sues Samsung-- claiming its Galaxy smartphones and tablets "slavishly" copy the iPhone and iPad.

The lawsuit continues, for 38 pages, alleging Samsung violates Apple's patents and trademarks due to its copying, well, everything off it-- from the look, product design and UI down to the packaging.

Samsung meanwhile releases its own statement, saying it will take counter-action against Apple-- who, in a worthy twist, is also one of Samsung's major buyers of semiconductors and display panels, accounting for 4% of its annual revenues. There's no word out yet, but legal issues could possibly complicate thar relationship.

This far from Apple's first legal battle, as it's also involved in the courts with HTC, Motorola, Amazon, Nokia, Kodak and Microsoft.

Go Apple: Samsung Copied Design (WSJ)