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« LG buys Palm, Firefox spreads, Tizen phones in July, and other observations in Smartphone Bloodbath Year Four, Smartphones Galore | Main | The Nokia Catastrophy in Single Pictures: Today the Ultimate Picture, Number 9: The Misery Graph - here is how Nokia's destiny is seen from the future »

February 26, 2013

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timple

Skyfall- here's my review - great until the scene where he is rescued from the island somewhere in the Hong Kong sea - then it gets ridiculous. Bond films should be a sequence of just about plausible (1:100) events in themselves (Bond falls off train into a canyon and survives, Bond claws his way into a carriage with an articulated digger into a railway carriage etc etc) which together add up to total implausibility - but the events themselves should never be totally implausible (Baddy suddenly "controls" all of London etc etc). The producers always end up being tempted into implausibility, when they can resist this temptation they end up with the great Bond films.

tired

Congratulations!

Your blog and the comments are a fount of information, controversial at times, but informative.
Keep up the good work.
Cheers.

Stevan Gvozdenović

Tomi I have sent you an e-mail so tell me what you think :)

foo

Hey, congratulations! :)

Now just a curiosity -- how many of the visitors spend less than 1 minute in the page?

I ask that because sometimes I open the blog just to see if there is something new; if there is nothing new, I immediately close it. I think the technical word for that is "bounce rate".

Anyway -- 4 million is a huge milestone!!! Keep up the great work!!!

John Phamlore

If I may humbly ask, can there be more coverage of manufacturing, hardware, and national industrial policy as far as it relates to the mobile sphere?

For example, the recently announced Firefox OS phones will apparently use Qualcomm chips. Had this site listened to my comments, longtime readers would have instantly been able to surmise that China Unicom would be one of the partners and China Mobile would not. (As I have been trying to argue, China's industrial policy simply will NOT permit Qualcomm to achieve hegemony this mobile generation.)

The most important technology related announcement in recent days may have been Intel's deal with Altera.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/02/26/intel_altera_fab_deal/

Observe despite Nokia's long dance with Intel, Nokia never was able to make a deal on using Intel foundries despite Nokia desperately needing a new partner after TI announced it was exiting the mobile contract fab business, way back in 2008. Well may that's because Intel has a policy of not allowing its foundries to be used by competitors and Nokia was about to become one because Intel was going to buy Infineon and go its own way developing its own baseband chip solution.

It's amazing what can be predicted by just analyzing who is making hardware. It does not appear to me that Jolla / Sailfish's use of ST-Ericsson chips will end well.

dies felices

Congratulations Tomi and thank you!

Please do keep writing.

transformers

disruption, tomi, disruption. youu are so smart on soome mobile concepts but so dense on others.

TDC123

@John Phamlore

Qualcomm recently announced that they designing a chip to work worldwide on all possible frequencies and modulation formats.

What is your take on that, they certainly seem to be aiming to become the Intel of the mobile-sphere simply because they have chip based hardware IP related to the radio communcations which makes it difficult for other chip providers, like NVIDIA (although they are essentilally ARM), to compete.

Who do you think can compete at the moment with Qualcomm ?

Winter

Congratulations Tomi.

The Smartphone bloodbath really is the most important thing happening now. In 50 years, our grand children will learn when the internet was created, and that everyone got a Smartphone to use it. Everything else, financial meltdown and euro crisis, will have been forgotten.

It is an odd experience to have seen the original Star Trek, and to realize that the famous SciFi flip-open "communicator" of the crew is soooo 2000. That the phone in my breast pocket has more computing power than the whole of Houston ground control during the first landing on the moon.

John Phamlore

@TDC123 What I have been trying to start is a discussion about what I think will be the real question about mobile and people's careers: What are people going to do about China?

Qualcomm in the United States and some other places in the developed world has achieved one of the greatest market victories, coming from a position in 2008 where many analysts thought their IP and thus the company would eventually disappear in importance to where they basically dictate what LTE baseband chips are used in the giant market of the United States. But I suspect what the Chinese think is a lot different than what is presented in mainstream Western media. I suspect the Chinese regard Qualcomm as the US version of Huawei, a company that has benefited from close connections to the military industrial complex and US industrial policy in the telecommunications sector.

Qualcomm is also relatively unique even among major US tech companies in that its CEO is a Ph.D. from a major EECS program at Cal-Berkeley. (I suppose one could argue Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google could have earned their Ph.D.s at Stanford if they wanted.)

The Chinese have always known they are behind technologically and have worked very hard including sending many of their best students to the West's best universities. Also the Chinese benefit from Taiwan acting as a buffer to facilitate further technological and business transfer. But make no mistake, the centerpiece of the Chinese strategy is an industrial policy that ruthlessly exploits the potential size of their market to force Western countries, even Qualcomm, to go to Chinese research labs and transfer their technology and business know-how.

I argue what we have really been seeing over the past five years are the opening skirmishes of a China vs Qualcomm struggle in mobile. China just wants to force a stalemate in LTE and not let Qualcomm achieve worldwide domination, one chipset to rule them, one chipset to bind them.

What China has done is to use the previous generation TD-SCDMA and now the next generation TD-LTE in the same way Qualcomm used CDMA in the US as a barrier. Apparently Huawei has some sort of patent cross-licensing agreement with Qualcomm, and China has used demonstration projects to induce industry leader Ericsson to share its expertise so that Huawei can sell abroad their new expertise in both TD-LTE and LTE FDD. The Chinese I believe wish to force a draw now with Qualcomm for the early adopter LTE makets and win the second much bigger generation of worldwide adoption of LTE.

This is the type of person the Chinese have been hiring as their CEOs in areas of tech they feel are vital:

http://www.smics.com/eng/about/management.php

Tzu-Yin Chiu is another Ph.D. in EECS from Berkeley who went on to follow the best in technology at all the best places.

And that's going to be the big China question for readers of this site who are trying to manage young careers. As so much manufacturing has shifted to Asia, and so much technology is being transferred and developed there, is the proper career trajectory going to change to where one needs to have experience at the best Asian tech companies. Or will it be possible to get such experience without the right connections? The Western universities take students from everywhere, but is it even possible for a Western student to get a Ph.D. in Asia and rise through an Asian company?

There is also a branding issue with nationalism and industrial policy involved. The United States has an extensive campaign against allowing Huawei any access into critical network infrastructure. In the US it might be a good idea for a young person to take an internship with a defense-related company, especially anything to do with AI and robotics, on the other hand if one's future is to do business in China that might just make one a target.

This is where I think the Europeans have advantages, as Ericsson has been able to benefit from. As a more neutral party, European companies like Ericsson can get lucrative contracts now providing LTE infrastructure, contracts that will require support services for decades.

I'm sorry if the above is totally incoherent, but I wanted to do a great brain dump to show how much larger the world is than debates about Microsoft's influence over Nokia.

Winter

@John Phamlore
"What are people going to do about China?"

Sell them stuff? Buy stuff from them?

The Germans make a lot of money selling machinery to China. They also buy a lot of stuff from China. Straight out the economics classics (Ricardo etc). You trade and get rich.

@John Phamlore
"And that's going to be the big China question for readers of this site who are trying to manage young careers."

The answer is: Learn Mandarin and get acquainted with China. If you do not like that, learn Hindi instead. Portuguese might be valuable if you rather drink good coffee.

What you will find out is that all these "rivals" are just people trying to make a living. Help them make a good living, and you can prosper. Try to stop them making a living, and you will not prosper yourself.

Olav

Congratulations. We come here for the excellent analyses and the famously accurate forecasts.

Simon

Windows Phone and Nokia mentioned near the bottom of this article:
http://www.semiwiki.com/forum/content/2077-who-allegedly-broke-tela%92s-patents-samsung-qualcomm-real-villain.html

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Available for Consulting and Speakerships

  • Available for Consulting & Speaking
    Tomi Ahonen is a bestselling author whose twelve books on mobile have already been referenced in over 100 books by his peers. Rated the most influential expert in mobile by Forbes in December 2011, Tomi speaks regularly at conferences doing about 20 public speakerships annually. With over 250 public speaking engagements, Tomi been seen by a cumulative audience of over 100,000 people on all six inhabited continents. The former Nokia executive has run a consulting practise on digital convergence, interactive media, engagement marketing, high tech and next generation mobile. Tomi is currently based out of Hong Kong but supports Fortune 500 sized companies across the globe. His reference client list includes Axiata, Bank of America, BBC, BNP Paribas, China Mobile, Emap, Ericsson, Google, Hewlett-Packard, HSBC, IBM, Intel, LG, MTS, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Ogilvy, Orange, RIM, Sanomamedia, Telenor, TeliaSonera, Three, Tigo, Vodafone, etc. To see his full bio and his books, visit www.tomiahonen.com Tomi Ahonen lectures at Oxford University's short courses on next generation mobile and digital convergence. Follow him on Twitter as @tomiahonen. Tomi also has a Facebook and Linked In page under his own name. He is available for consulting, speaking engagements and as expert witness, please write to tomi (at) tomiahonen (dot) com

Tomi's eBooks on Mobile Pearls

  • Pearls Vol 1: Mobile Advertising
    Tomi's first eBook is 171 pages with 50 case studies of real cases of mobile advertising and marketing in 19 countries on four continents. See this link for the only place where you can order the eBook for download

Tomi Ahonen Almanac 2009

  • Tomi Ahonen Almanac 2009
    A comprehensive statistical review of the total mobile industry, in 171 pages, has 70 tables and charts, and fits on your smartphone to carry in your pocket every day.

Alan's Third Book: No Straight Lines

Tomi's Fave Twitterati