Published in Mobiles

High end phones belong to Samsung and Apple

by on13 May 2013

Nvidia simplifies the market

It was interesting to hear how Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang sees the high-end phone market. In his words he sees it dominated by two players, Samsung and Apple. Since both of them have their own application processors, there is simply no place for Nvidia or Qualcomm. This is why Nvidia wants to focus more on Grey aka Tegra 4i that should compete in the mainstream market, head to head with Snapdragon 400.

Nvidia still sees some chance in engaging the high end market that doesn’t belong to Samsung or Apple and we have seen that this time around Snapdragon 600 landed in most high-end Android phones. Snapdragon 800 and Tegra 4 will also get into a few phone designs, but having them in mid-2013 didn’t help them win key design wins, like the HTC One and Galaxy S4 international. Most high-end phones have already been rolled out in the first half of 2013 and the major refreshes will only come in spring 2014. There will be some phones that should come before shopping season, late 2013 that will feature this high end chips.

HTC, LG, Sony and a few other players will continue to fight for the remaining part of the market. Some of these companies will be able to stand out with their designs, getting some much needed attention and all of these companies did quite a good job in creating good phones over the last few months.

Samsung and Apple still throw way too much money into marketing and promotions, making it really hard to fight with the rest of the market on a level playing field. Still, there will be a lot of ARM licensees that will continue to fight, but just like Texas instruments pulled out of the high-end phone race, we currently see only Qualcomm and Nvidia as main phone and tablet SoC manufactures based on ARM architecture.

It doesn’t not help that Intel and AMD have quite a good portfolio for this market in the second part of 2013 and that their chips can run X86 applications and real Windows.

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