Posts Tagged ‘Nokia’

news1_0iPhonAsia comment: Why is the most dominant wireless carrier in the world (China Mobile with 463 million subscribers) dolling out R&D money to handset makers to build TD-SCDMA phones? Especially to the gargantuan Nokia who has dominant marketshare in China (40% of handset sales in China are Nokia) and has much (literally) invested in maintaining their good standing with China Mobile. Serious question. Why? You’d think Nokia would be falling all over themselves to rush deliver a new TD Nokia phone for China. But they’re not. Telling isn’t it?  

lteChina Mobile may have too clearly telegraphed their “as rapidly as possible” move to TD LTE 4G … which gives any spend on TD-SCDMA handsets a very limited life span on a nascent and bug plagued network. Much more via links below >

“China Mobile expresses strong dissatisfaction with the passive attitude of these international manufacturers”…

China Mobile to Invest RMB 600M in Nokia, Phone Makers 

picture-14China Mobile (NYSE:CHL, 941.HK) plans to invest a total of RMB 600 million in Nokia and other handset manufacturers to speed the research and development of TD-SCDMA phones, reports Ccidnet.com. China Mobile Chairman and CEO Wang Jianzhou told the Financial Times that China Mobile has been in talks with Nokia, Samsung, LG and Sony Ericsson regarding R&D funds, but that no agreements had been reached. China Mobile previously announced plans to build a fund to support handset distribution and marketing channels for the homegrown 3G network, said the Ccidnet report. 



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iPhonAsia comment: Nokia holds a dominant yet tenuous 40% share of China’s wireless handset market. No doubt they are grateful

iPhone in Espoo Finland in front of Nokia HQ

iPhone in Espoo Finland spying on Nokia's HQ

to China Mobile. And Nokia thought with all of the talk about China Mobile’s TDD-LTE4G plans, they could just let their TD-SCDMA handset promise slip past China Mobile. “After all, no matter what happens with TD-SCDMA, we’re partners, right?” Think again! All of the golf outings and wining, dining and wenching lavished on China Mobile courtesy of Nokia aren’t going to be enough to placate the world’s largest wireless carrier. Nokia has been dragged kicking and screaming into supporting TD-SCDMA. First they insult China Mobile by failing to pour more money into Commit, the now insolvent TD-SCDMA chipmaker. And now today they belatedly recommit to building a TD-SCDMA handset, but only after China Mobile executives make plans to visit Espoo, Finland to personally share their disappointment with Nokia.

picture-37tdscdma-logo1via China Tech News “According to local Chinese media reports, the upper management of China’s leading telecommunications operator China Mobile will soon go to Finland to promote Nokia’s research and production of TD-SCDMA mobile phones…. China Mobile expresses strong dissatisfaction with the passive attitude of these international manufacturers. To deal with this situation, China Mobile has enlarged cooperation with domestic Chinese mobile phone manufacturers in its purchasing process while sending high level officers to communicate with these international brands’ overseas management.”

picture-26Shanghai. February 18. INTERFAX-CHINA – Nokia China’s plan to launch mobile phones that utilize China’s homegrown TD-SCDMA 3G standard before the end of 2009 will not be affected by a cost-saving program announced by Nokia’s headquarters, an employee from the company told Interfax on Feb. 18.

Full article available via Interfax subscription > HERE

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iPhoneAsia comment: Nokia is now making a bit of amends and “publically” committing to TD-SCDMA. Nokia was late to the party and this no doubt irked officals in China. Nokia will soon deliver a TD-SCDMA handset.  The real back story is long and complicated … suffice to say that while “talking” TD-SCDMA, China Mobile and Nokia will be privately focusing on TD-LTE 4G as they formulate any long-term build/spend plans on future  “TD” technology.

Nokia Reaffirms Commitment to TD-SCDMA

picture-115Nokia has reaffirmed its commitment to TD-SCDMA at the Mobile Asia Congress in Macau. Colin Giles, president of NokiaChina, said at the event: “Nokia firmly supports the development of TD-SCDMA.

“Our goal is to not only develop TD-SCDMA products that can deliver outstanding user experiences to consumers, but also to work with operators, chipset providers, developers and all parties along the value chain to support the creation of a vibrant TD-SCDMA ecosystem in China.”

Nokia has started the development of a TD-SCDMA device based on S60 on Symbian OS, and plans to launch the product before the end of 2009. According to the company, the S60 TD-SCDMA device will enrich the TD-SCDMA device portfolio for Chinese consumers, and promote the development of TD-SCDMA in China.

By launching the S60-based TD-SCDMA device, Nokia combines Symbian’s resources with the market opportunities provided by TD-SCDMA. There are currently over 10,000 third-party S60 on Symbian OS applications commercially available. The current S60 on Symbian OS applications will be compatible with S60-based TD-SCDMA devices, offering enriched experiences to China’s TD-SCDMA users.

Giles added that the development of Symbian-based applications and services not only benefit the TD-SCDMA industry, but also facilitate the 3G services in China.


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NOTE: The following ramblings are based largely on rumor and guesswork. 

The latest on iPhone in China

~ Dan Butterfield – November 5, 2008

tdscdmaChina Mobile wants no pre-publicity over “new” to be announced TD-SCDMA handsets from prominent vendors such as Apple, Nokia and HTC. Why? These new phones will be very popular and China Ministries do not want to effectively shut down the sales of the current TD-SCDMA handsets (18 of the 20 currently available TD-SCDMA handsets are made by Chinese manufacturers). Moreover, China Mobile has been given a major bogey for new TD-SCDMA subscribers in 2009 and they want to keep the momentum going … tepid as it may be.

htc-logonokia-logoOfficial announcements of the three (3) new TD-SCDMA handsets from Apple, Nokia and HTC (Android) will likely be made at the same time.  The rumor making the rounds inside China is a January 2009 launch for the “new” TD handsets.

 New TD-SCDMA phones rumored to be launched Q1 2009:

Current crop of TD-SCDMA handsets in China

Despite the cone of silence, HTC/Google recently leaked their intent to make a TD Android-based handset available in early 2009.  Nokia and Apple have kept the lid on any information.  Just buzz thus far.

Speaking of buzz … There have been a few rumors suggesting that Apple and Nokia have substantial handset “pre-sale” deals with China Mobile. These pre-sales (for China Mobile’s inventory) may have been key negotiating points for Apple and Nokia.  There are major expenses and risks associated with the development of TD-SCDMA handsets for China and both Apple and Nokia have been reluctant to dive into TD-SCDMA without a pre-sale or other assurances that they can recoup costs. The TD-SCDMA network remains a major risk for all … OEMs, China Mobile and China’s Ministries overseeing the tech/telecom industries. 

All of the current TD-SCDMA handsets are subsidized by China Mobile to encourage Chinese consumers to switch over to the new high speed “China built” 3G (TD-SCDMA) network. TD-SCDMA uptake thus far has been disappointing. The most credible number indicates only 200,000 users since network launch in August. 

It is no secret that China Mobile is fast-tracking plans to develop their new “China built II” superfast 4G network – Time Division Long Term Evolution (TD-LTE).  By the time TD-LTE is ready (2010 at the earliest), China Unicom/Netcom will have their W-CDMA 3G network up and running and if China Mobile’s TD-SCDMA continues to disappoint and TD-LTE is behind schedule (both very possible), China Unicom will make a strong play to steal away many of China Mobile’s EDGE 2.5G and TD-SCDMA users. 

2658143551_38c8f3c98fIt’s a fair bet that Apple’s TD-SCDMA iPhone deal with China Mobile (to build a TD iPhone 3G) is non-exclusive … In my view, this would be good news. Apple is smart enough to recognize that the TD-SCDMA network is an unproven gambit.  Placing all bets on TD-SCDMA would be folly.  Yet Apple cannot simply thumb their nose at China Mobile and TD-SCDMA.  China’s Ministries need TD-SCDMA to succeed. Think of the deal with China Mobile as the entrance fee for doing further business in China.

There is national face to be lost if TD-SCDMA becomes China’s Spruce Goose. Having cool attractive TD-SCDMA handsets is key to stimulating Chinese consumer interest in their home-grown 3G network. The new Apple, Nokia and HTC offerings should help.  HTC had no choice but to build a TD handset.  In my view, Apple and Nokia had to be convinced. Part of that convincing was likely:

1.    A guaranteed pre-sale of handsets for China Mobile’s inventory (these phones may be customized models with a focus on China Mobile value-added services and branding)

2.    A subsidy to stimulate sales

3.    Pressure from China Ministries (want to do more business in China?)

Remember the breakup of AT&T in the 80s?  Like AT&T, China Mobile got too big and too powerful. As part of China’s telecom industry restructuring, China Mobile was required to pay 50 billion yuan (HK$57.06 billion) to help rivals China Telecom and China Unicom. A substantial portion of this payment (mandated by China’s MIIT) will go toward development of China Unicom’s new W-CDMA 3G network.  W-CDMA is a proven world standard 3G network and is supported by the chipset in Apple’s current model iPhone 3G. 

Again, Apple’s TD iPhone deal with China Mobile is most likely non-exclusive. If Apple also partners with China Unicom/Netcom, this could be a major win for the new China Unicom (the second largest wireless player in China).  Continuing with the non-exclusive theme, Apple could partner with the third new 3G player in China – China Telecom. Feeding this rumor, there have been recent buzz about Apple developing a CDMA iPhone which would work on China Telecom’s network.  The chipset for this CDMA2000 phone might also allow Apple to use the same iPhone on Verizon’s network in the US and abroad.  

More here – October 18th post by iPhonAsia Editor …


iPhonAsia comment: There has been some buzz (flat out rumors) over Apple developing two (2) new iPhones … one loud rumor is that we’ll see a TD iPhone 3G (supporting TD-SCDMA) sometime in early 2009.  The other new iPhone? Hmmm? Many possibilities … in no particular order:

1) A W-CDMA iPhone 3G for the “new” China Unicom, albeit no release may be delayed until mid 2009 as W-CDMA 3G license must be issued and network must be built out in China. Note that the current iPhone 3G chipset already supports W-CDMA. 

2) A EVDO CDMA2000 iPhone for China Telecom and to broaden iPhone distribution to new markets and new carriers… ex: Verizon in the U.S.?

3) A second low-priced “customized” model for China Mobile’s massive pre-pay market (chipset supporting TD-SCDMA and EDGE 2.5 G). 

4) A new model iPhone that will support TD-LTE 4G (doubtful, yet China Mobile is very keen to jump start TD-LTE in 2010 and get past their TD-SCDMA troubles)

5) Readers? … how about a few ideas … love to hear what you think 

China Netcom, China Unicom merger completed

Read full post via China Trade Information > HERE


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Excerpts from Apple’s Q4 earnings call on Oct. 21, 2008 – Steve Jobs: .“iPhone business has grown to about $4.6 billion, or 39% of Apple’s total business, clearly too big for Apple management or investors to ignore. 

 adjusted sales for the quarter were $11.68 billion, 48% higher than the reported revenue of $7.9 billion, while adjusted income was $2.44 billion — if this isn’t stunning, I don’t know what is, all due to the incredible success of the iPhone 3G.

I would like to now highlight two remarkable milestones resulting from iPhone’s outstanding performance last quarter. The first is that Apple beat RIM. In their most recent quarter, Research in Motion, or RIM, reported selling 6.1 million BlackBerry devices. Compared to our most recent quarter sales of 6.9 million iPhones, Apple outsold RIM last quarter and this is a milestone for us. RIM is a good company that makes good products and so it is surprising that after only 15 months in the market, we could outsell them in any quarter.

But even more remarkable is this — measured by revenues, Apple has become the world’s third-largest mobile phone supplier. I know this sounds crazy, but it’s true — as measured in revenues, not units, Apple has become the third largest mobile phone supplier. Let’s look at the ranking — Nokia is clearly number one at 12.7 billion; Samsung number two at 5.9 billion; Apple is number three at 4.6 billion; Sony Ericsson, number four at 4.2; LG, number five at 3.4 billion; Motorola, number six at 3.2; and RIM number seven at 2.1. Pretty amazing.”

iPhone Death Watch


“There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance. It’s a $500 subsidized item. They may make a lot of money. But if you actually take a look at the 1.3 billion phones that get sold, I’d prefer to have our software in 60% or 70% or 80% of them, than I would to have 2% or 3%, which is what Apple might get.”
Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, 30 April 2007 




“We’ve learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone. PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.”
Palm CEO Ed Colligan, commenting on then-rumored Apple iPhone, Nov. 16, 2006

“You could look at Apple and the iPhone as something that’s come out of nowhere, essentially, and changed the dynamics of the smartphone space–there’s every opportunity to do that in our case as well,”
Palm CEO Ed Colligan, May 28, 2008

“[iPhone] just doesn’t matter anymore. There are now alternatives to the iPhone, which has been introduced everywhere else in the world. It’s no longer a novelty.”
Eamon Hoey, Hoey and Associates, April 30, 2008 




“We are not at all worried. We think we’ve got the one mobile platform you’ll use for the rest of your life. [Apple] are not going to catch up.”
Scott Rockfeld, Microsoft Mobile Communications Group Product Manager, April 01, 2008

“Microsoft, with Windows Mobile/ActiveSync, Nokia with Intellisync, and Motorola with Good Technology have all fared poorly in the enterprise. We have no reason to expect otherwise from Apple.”
Peter Misek, Canaccord Adams, March 07, 2008

“[Apple should sell 7.9 million iPhones in 2008]… Apple’s goal of selling 10 million iPhones this year is optimistic.”
Toni Sacconaghi, Bernstein Research, February 22, 2008

eb_xpromo_stone_120x1201“What does the iPhone offer that other cell phones do not already offer, or will offer soon? The answer is not very much… Apple’s stated goal of selling 10 million iPhones by the end of 2008 seems ambitious.”
Laura Goldman, LSG Capital, May 21, 2007

“How do you deal with that? How do they deal with us?”
Ed Zander, Motorola CEO/Chairman May 10, 2007

“The iPhone is going to be nothing more than a temporary novelty that will eventually wear off.”
Gundeep Hora, CoolTechZone Editor-in-Chief, April 02, 2007

“Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone… What Apple risks here is its reputation as a hot company that can do no wrong. If it’s smart it will call the iPhone a ‘reference design’ and pass it to some suckers to build with someone else’s marketing budget. Then it can wash its hands of any marketplace failures… Otherwise I’d advise people to cover their eyes. You are not going to like what you’ll see.”
John C. Dvorak, Bloated Gas Bag, March 28, 2007

“Even if [the iPhone] is opened up to third parties, it is difficult to see how the installed base of iPhones can reach the level where it becomes a truly attractive service platform for operator and developer investment.”
Tony Cripps, Ovum Service Manager for Mobile User Experience, March 14, 2007

“I’m more convinced than ever that, after an initial frenzy of publicity and sales to early adopters, iPhone sales will be unspectacular… iPhone may well become Apple’s next Newton.”
David Haskin, Computerworld, February 26, 2007

“Consumers are not used to paying another couple hundred bucks more just because Apple makes a cool product. Some fans will buy [iPhone], but for the rest of us it’s a hard pill to swallow just to have the coolest thing.”
Neil Strother, NPD Group, January 22, 2007

“The iPhone’s willful disregard of the global handset market will come back to haunt Apple.”
Tero Kuittinen, RealMoney.com, January 18, 2007

“[Apple’s iPhone] is the most expensive phone in the world and it doesn’t appeal to business customers because it doesn’t have a keyboard which makes it not a very good email machine… So, I, I kinda look at that and I say, well, I like our strategy. I like it a lot.”
Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, January 17, 2007

“The iPhone is nothing more than a luxury bauble that will appeal to a few gadget freaks. In terms of its impact on the industry, the iPhone is less relevant… Apple is unlikely to make much of an impact on this market… Apple will sell a few to its fans, but the iPhone won’t make a long-term mark on the industry.”
Matthew Lynn, Bloomberg, January 15, 2007

“iPhone which doesn’t look, I mean to me, I’m looking at this thing and I think it’s kind of trending against, you know, what’s really going, what people are really liking on, in these phones nowadays, which are those little keypads. I mean, the Blackjack from Samsung, the Blackberry, obviously, you know kind of pushes this thing, the Palm, all these… And I guess some of these stocks went down on the Apple announcement, thinking that Apple could do no wrong, but I think Apple can do wrong and I think this is it.”
John C. Dvorak, Bloated Gas Bag, January 13, 2007

“I am pretty skeptical. I don’t think [iPhone] will meet the fantastic predictions I have been reading. For starters, while Apple basically established the market for portable music players, the phone market is already established, with a number of major brands. Can Apple remake the phone market in its image? Success is far from guaranteed.”
Jack Gold, J. Gold Associates, January 11, 2007

“Apple will launch a mobile phone in January, and it will become available during 2007. It will be a lovely bit of kit, a pleasure to behold, and its limited functionality will be easy to access and use. The Apple phone will be exclusive to one of the major networks in each territory and some customers will switch networks just to get it, but not as many as had been hoped. As customers start to realise that the competition offers better functionality at a lower price, by negotiating a better subsidy, sales will stagnate. After a year a new version will be launched, but it will lack the innovation of the first and quickly vanish. The only question remaining is if, when the iPod phone fails, it will take the iPod with it.”
Bill Ray, The Register, December 26, 2006

“The economics of something like [an Apple iPhone] aren’t that compelling.”
Rod Bare, Morningstar, December 08, 2006

“Apple is slated to come out with a new phone… And it will largely fail…. Sales for the phone will skyrocket initially. However, things will calm down, and the Apple phone will take its place on the shelves with the random video cameras, cell phones, wireless routers and other would-be hits… When the iPod emerged in late 2001, it solved some major problems with MP3 players. Unfortunately for Apple, problems like that don’t exist in the handset business. Cell phones aren’t clunky, inadequate devices. Instead, they are pretty good. Really good.”
Michael Kanellos, CNET, December 07, 2006


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 Nokia to pay Qualcomm $2.3 billion in royalty settlement


See companion story via Boy Genius Report > HERE
4:04 a.m. October 17, 2008


SAN DIEGO – Qualcomm Inc. will receive at least $2.3 billion as part of a settlement with Nokia Corp. in a royalty dispute, it was reported Friday.The San Diego-based chip maker and the world’s leading cell phone maker have been engaged in a three-year legal battle that the telecommunication industry worried would slow the growth of the cell phone market, the Los Angeles Times reported.   

Nokia announced the impending one-time payment on Thursday, when it reported its third-quarter financial results, according to The Times. As a result, Qualcomm’s shares gained $2.60, or percent, to $38.89. Nokia’s shares jumped $1.50, or 10 percent, to $16.57.

The lengthy legal battle stemmed from how much in royalties Nokia, which is based in Espoo, Finland, should pay Qualcomm for using its chips in cell phones that run on third-generation, or 3G, wireless networks, according to The Times.

They also disagreed over how long Nokia should pay.

Nokia said it would pay 1.7 billion euros, which was $2.3 billion at Thursday’s exchange rate, in the fourth quarter to settle the dispute, while a Qualcomm spokeswoman said the company would receive $2.5 billion but would not explain the discrepancy or comment further, The Times reported.

Qualcomm faces other legal challenges and patent battles with its chief rival, Broadcom Corp. of Irvine.


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iPhonAsia Comment: We have previously speculated that Nokia would join the group of handset manufacturers in support of China’s TD-SCDMA protocol.  The article in South China Post (by subscription) below, now confirms this guess.

Nokia and China Mobile have very close ties and this is no surprise … sort of “what took you so long” … Yet Nokia, like China Mobile, may be privately looking at any TD-SCDMA development efforts as a springboard to China’s 4G future … TD-LTE.

Nokia Expects to Support China’s TD-SCDMA Standard

Nokia is planning to support all three of the proposed 3G standards in China by releasing handsets for each of the networks. It is anticipated that China Mobile will use the Chinese developed 3G standard, TD-SCDMA, while China Telecom will use CDMA2000 and China Unicom will use WCDMA.

Nokia’s vice-president of Greater China sales, David Tang told the South China Morning Postthat the company aims to retain its number one position in the market.

As China Mobile has a market share of around 70%, supporting the TD-SCDMA format is essential for any handset vendor seeking to retain their market position.

“Nokia supports the development of TD-SCDMA. We will have the handsets in the market when the service becomes active,” said Mr Tang in an interview at Nokia’s Green Campus headquarters in Beijing.

Although Nokia does not currently have any TD-SCDMA based handsets, the company is a 49% holder in a Chinese joint venture, Potevio with China Putian to develop network infrastructure based on the 3G standard, so it has access to the necessary technical expertise. Potevio was set up in 2005 and has also been the major supplier of equipment to China Mobile’s TD-SCDMA trial networks in Tianjin and Qinhuangdao.

Nokia sold just over 70 million mobile phones in China during 2007, giving it a 42% market share.

On the web: South China Morning Post


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