Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung and others meet with UN’s ITU for patent peace talks

Update: While the meeting apparently didn’t result in any resolution, ZDnet reports the ITU’s Malcolm Johnson said the ‘heated debate’ “has gone a long way to help clarify the positions” of the companies involved:

“Today’s event has gone a long way to help clarify the positions of various stakeholders in determining the effectiveness of FRAND commitments and the impact of litigations surround standards-essential patents,”

ZDnet also reported Motorola argued “Apple was misunderstanding the way FRAND works in the telecoms industry”:

“For 20 years the [FRAND] licensing commitments made by innovators in the communications industry have been sufficient,” Warren said. “Past experience would indicate that [FRAND] has been effective… but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement to improve the present situation.”

The world’s biggest tech companies are meeting today for a Patent Roundtable with the United Nation’s International Telecommunications Union to “assess the effectiveness of RAND (reasonable and non-discriminatory) – based patent policies.” The meeting will take place at the ITU headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland; and according to several reports, it will include Apple, Samsung, Nokia, Google, Microsoft, and many of the industry’s other biggest players. The discussions follow high-profile, patent-related cases and failed settlement talks between Samsung and Apple, while the European Union continues to probe Motorola, Samsung, and others over potential abuse of the patent system. It also comes as Google’s legal chief David Drummond issued statements to the press calling for a reform on software patents.

A report from BBC noted others attending the roundtable include: Qualcomm, Cisco, Research in Motion, Intel, Philips, Huawei, Sony, and Hewlett-Packard. BBC also provided statements from the companies that submitted pre-event arguments (below).

According to the ITU, the meeting will have the following objective: Read more

Apple chip supplier TriQuint having ‘challenging quarter’ due to its biggest customer

According to a report from The Oregonian, power amplifier specialists TriQuint Semiconductor is facing a “challenging” quarter due to a temporary drop in revenues from its biggest customer, Apple. The report noted the company’s CEO Ralph Quinsey did not mention Apple by name, but that Foxconn was responsible for 35 percent of TriQuint’s revenue during 2011:

TriQuint said sales in the current quarter will fall at least 19 percent to the lowest point in at least two years… While Quinsey wasn’t specific about where the problem lies, Apple has incorporated TriQuint chips in the last several generations of the iPhone. Apple is approaching its annual iPhone upgrade — the last upgrade took place in October — and sales tend to fall off before new products launch.

We know from teardowns that Apple included TriQuint chips in many generations of the iPhone and iPad, including the most recent iPhone 4S and third-generation iPad. When iPhone component supplier Qualcomm announced last week it was having “trouble meeting demand” for LTE chips likely to end up in a next-gen iPhone, many analysts speculated that was a clear indication of an October iPhone launch.

Quinsey said in a statement to the publication that he expects to return to normal revenue and growth numbers in the second half of this year:

“I believe this dip will be temporary and remain confident about our long term position,” Quinsey said in a written statement. “We have achieved design win success with our new products and I believe we will return to normal revenue levels and growth in the second half of 2012.”

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Apple LTE chip supplier Qualcomm unable to meet demand, could push back next iPhone launch

According to a report from Reuters, Apple’s LTE chip supplier Qualcomm is having “trouble meeting demand” for smartphone chips and will continue experiencing manufacturing constraints throughout the rest of the year. Qualcomm Chief Executive Paul Jacobs told analysts on a conference call yesterday, “At this stage we cannot secure enough supply to meet the increasing demand we are experiencing.”

With Apple’s next-generation iPhone expected to include LTE capabilities like the recently launched third-gen iPad, many are speculating Qualcomm’s supply issues could lead to delays. It would also make the rumored September or October unveiling and holiday launch all the more likely opposed to June. Is it possible Qualcomm’s supply constraints have anything to do with Apple buying up its capacity?

Apple recently began internally seeding prototype N96— a faster iPhone with 1GB of RAM and an A5X variant to test the performance of the new chip on iPhones.

Qualcomm’s Chief Financial Officer Bill Keitel told Reuters the constraints have lead to increased operating expenses: Read more

New iPad as 25+ hour LTE hotspot, runs cooler than some Android tablets

There are two interesting pieces of information this morning on the new iPad.

If used solely as an LTE MiFi, AnandTech got a mind-numbing 25.3 hours of Verizon LTE hotspotting out of the new iPad. That is equal to about five to seven MiFis.

Now for the killer. If you have an iPad on Verizon’s LTE network and use it as a personal hotspot (not currently possible on the AT&T version), it will last you roughly 25.3 hours on a single charge. Obviously that’s with the display turned off, but with a 42.5Wh battery driving Qualcomm’s MDM9600 you get tons of life out of the new iPad as a personal hotspot.

By my calculations, that means you could download 182GB of data at 2MB/sec on LTE through a single charge or over 18 times Verizon’s highest data plan in a single day.

In addition, PCWorld tested the heat on the new iPad and compared it to the ASUS Eee Transformer Prime and Samsung Galaxy Tab under the same conditions. Without the charger plugged in, the new iPad was actually cooler than the Samsung Galaxy Tab—even with a bigger battery after playing a game for an hour.

The point is that the new iPad runs only slightly hotter than high-end Android tablets and only when charging. The cool champion is still the iPad 2 when playing graphic intensive games.

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5 reasons why the new iPad runs hotter than the old ones

CNET spoke with DisplayMate’s Raymond Soneira who offered a few reasons why the new iPad is a bit “toastier”…

  1. Twice the LEDs: That means more heat coming from more LEDs. This is especially a problem at full brightness.
  2. 2.5X the power needed: The brightness efficiency is lower, because the new iPad has more pixels (which means more transistors) compared to the iPad 2. More pixels and transistors take up more space, meaning less opportunity for light to pass. “So they basically have to blast light through the LCD to make it come out.” Soneira adds: “I measured the LED power at maximum brightness–it’s two and a half times greater than on the iPad 2.”
  3. Battery generates more juice: The battery has to push out more power. This makes the battery warmer.
  4. Traditional LCD technology: Sharp’s power-efficient IGZO technology was not ready for the new iPad, which forced Apple to use traditional —and less power efficient— amorphous silicon tech. [To be fair, the older iPads also used this tech. Perhaps Apple was hoping to go 100-percent IGZO to offset the above].

The biggest heater in the new iPad is the new processor that has four graphics cores. If you look at the heat maps Consumer Reports and Tweakers did, the center of the heat is right where that A5X sits on the left side of the device.

As a bonus, do not forget those hot and schweaty Qualcomm LTE chips that bring the “faster than home broadband” goodness directly to your 4G iPads.

With all the above said, it is a minor miracle Apple managed to keep temperatures within 10 degrees to 15 degrees of the earlier versions.

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Qualcomm hyping previously announced chips that fit Apple’s mobile needs

UPDATE: Qualcomm at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain took the wraps off three next-generation modem chipsets, first to support 84MBps HSPA+ Release 10 and LTE-Advanced with carrier aggregation  technology.

Chipmaker Qualcomm today issued a press release highlighting a fifth iteration of its Gobi reference platform that had actually been introduced back in February 2011. That said, these chips include in a comprehensive support for TD-SCDMA, TD-LTE, LTE on FDD and TDD networks worldwide, in addition to embedded GPS capability.

Of course, the platform also supports the usual HSPA+ and EV-DO for backwards compatibility and (unlike current 6000 series chips) voice. Such a powerful combo in theory allows Gobi products to connect to the faster LTE network locally and stay connected to the Internet globally on 3G networks worldwide.

Now, Qualcomm noted in the release included after the break that both the MDM9615 and MDM9215 work with Windows 8 and Android devices plus x86 and Qualcomm’s own dual- and quad-core Snapdragon system-on-a-chip solutions. For all we know, this could be the chip inside the iPhone 5.  The yet-to-be-announced iPhone 5 running this new Gobi chip would theoretically enable Apple to tap a single hardware in targeting a variety of carriers that often use different and incompatible radio technologies.

This includes the world’s biggest carrier China Mobile whose infrastructure revolves around TD-LTE radio technology. Put simply: These Gobi chips allow for true world-phone compatibility. It is worth noting that almost every 3G iOS device since the Verizon iPhone uses Qualcomm’s Gobi platform. The only exception is the AT&T iPad that still runs an older Infineon chip. Whichever way you look at it, one thing is certain: Apple will soon ship its first 4G LTE mobile device.

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