HTC evaluating additional 3.5G chipset supplier….again

People seem to have short memories and are jumping all over the following Digitimes story as if HTC was dropping Qualcomm as their main chipset supplier. According to sources quoted by Digitimes, HTC is evaluating Broadcom has an additional 3.5G Chipset supplier (they already use Qualcomm and Ericsson):

HTC (High Tech Computer) is evaluating the possibility of adding Broadcom to its supplier list of 3.5G chipset solutions to fulfill its goal of introducing more entry-level and mid-range smartphones, according to market sources.

The evaluation is also part of HTC’s continuing strategy to reduce the risk of relying on a single supply source, said the sources, noting that HTC is dealing mainly with Qualcomm for the supply of 3.5G chipset solutions at present.

Although HTC has entered design-in process for the development of new handset models using Nvidia Tegra CPUs paired with 3.5G baseband chips coming from ST-Ericsson, no Tegra-based handsets have been shipped, the sources noted.

HTC is considering adopting Broadcom’s dual-core CPU solutions as the offerings are cost effective and also match HTC’s development strategy, said the sources.

Now, where is there even a mention of Qualcomm in there? Let’s remember a couple of things please. Qualcomm owns a stake of HTC since June 21 2001. HTC did exactly the same thing last year as reported by Digitimes:

High Tech Computer (HTC) is evaluating the possibility of adding a 3G chipset solution supplier in addition to Qualcomm so as to reduce the risk of relying on a single supply source, according to company CFO Hui-ming Cheng.

HTC was annoyed by recent media reports stating that concerns of a possible shortage of 3G chipsets at Qualcomm may affect HTC’s revenues in the first quarter of 2008 and that Qualcomm’s recent defeats in patent lawsuits against Broadcom has undermined the willingness of some telecom operators in North America to purchase Qualcomm-based handsets from HTC, said sources in Taiwan’s handset industry.

HTC wants to make money, Qualcomm’s upcoming Cortex8/9 (SnapDragon) chipsets are expensive for entry-level smartphones (HTC used TI’s OMAP 850 for this particular segment before) and are currently not TD-SCDMA (China’s 3G) compatible. Finally, relying on several supplier is common sense (you do know that HTC/Apple etc.. have several LCD suppliers for the same SKU for example). So I still don’t see how this is a sign of doom & gloom for Qualcomm. Folks, don’t let the MSM72XX hate blind you.

Source: Digitimes here & here

Qualcomm gets fined $208M by South Korean regulators

Just whe you thought Qualcomm’s legal troubles where a thing of the past,here comes the South Korean regulators slapping Qualcomm with a record $208M fine over what it said was abuse of market dominance. THe company was under investigation since 2006 for abusing its dominant position in CDMA mobile phone chips, charging higher royalties for companies that used rival chipsets and favouring customers who used its products by offering rebates.

Full Release here