Consumers won't see a "Qualcomm Inside" sticker on new Windows Mobile phones, but the chip supplier is playing a big role in powering the first crop of phones based on Microsoft's new operating system.Microsoft announced on Tuesday the first phones to carry the Windows Phone brand and run the Windows Mobile 6.5 operating system--which offers Adobe Flash support, an upgraded browser, and menus that can be navigated with a finger. AT&T has already announced smartphones, with dozens more expected to be rolled out by the end of the year.
Updated on October 5 at 2:00 p.m. PDT: adding information about support for iPhone
Adobe Systems has garnered the support of mobile heavy hitters such as Google, Motorola, Nvidia, Palm, RIM, and Qualcomm for its new Flash Player 10.1 software for smartphones, Netbooks, and other mobile devices. The company plans to announce the support Monday at its developer conference in Los Angeles.
Adobe's goal is to get Flash Player 10.1 accelerated directly on the chips in smartphones, Netbooks, and small laptops based on the ARM chip architecture, called smartbooks. To date, Flash video acceleration has not been available widely on mobile devices.
"It's critical to support in hardware because (Flash) video is really computationally intensive," Tom Barclay, Adobe senior product marketing manager for Flash Player, said in an interview. "Putting that on the hardware provides the ability to play it back fluidly...so you're not going to drain the battery on these devices."
Though Flash-based video is available on virtually all PCs, "the vast majority of mobile devices have been fundamentally closed," according to Barclay. "This means there is a single (device maker) or carrier or handset manufacturer that can stop technology from getting onto those devices. And that's one of the reasons why the Web as been so slow to be directly accessible from those devices."
Toward the end of getting Flash to run directly on small mobile devices, Adobe created the Open Screen Project. "The Open Screen project is about making more of those devices open. In particular, providing flash player for free in an open manner with the requirement that (device suppliers) make it open for developers," Barclay said.
Adobe also announced on Monday that Google has joined the Open Screen Project initiative. Handset manufacturers such as Motorola will ship Google Android based devices with Flash Player support "early next year," according to a Motorola statement. Companies such as Nvidia, Broadcom, Nokia, RIM, and ARM chip suppliers such as Qualcomm, are all participants in the Open Screen Project.
Conspicuous by its absence was Apple. "Flash is not available on the iPhone at this point," said Adrian Ludwig, group manager, flash platforms at Adobe. "So far, we haven't received the support that we need from Apple." (Note: Adobe announced Monday that programmers will be able to create native iPhone applications using Adobe's Flash Professional CS5 developer tool, currently in beta testing, then offer their programs as an Apple App Store download.)
Apple aside, this is all part of an aggressive push by Adobe to get acceleration on mobile devices. More than 75 percent of video on the Web is delivered through the Flash Player, according to Ludwig. "Having the Flash player on your device means you're able to access all the content out there on the Web," Ludwig said, referring to referring to such sites as YouTube, the video inside MySpace, and Facebook, as well as Fox News and CNN.
A public developer beta of Flash 10.1 is expected… Read more
Query: Who makes the Apple-branded chip in the iPhone? Answer: Samsung. This nontrivial detail translated into smartphone chip market share gains for Samsung in the second quarter, according to iSuppli.
The iPhone, largely due to the popularity of the 3GS model, accounted for 13.9 percent of global smartphone shipments in the second quarter, up from 10.1 percent in the first quarter, according to iSuppli. As a result, Samsung accounted for 15.9 percent of global revenue from sales of standalone applications processors. An applications processor is roughly analogous to the main Intel or Advanced Micro Devices processor in … Read more
Cambridge, England-based chip company ARM on Wednesday announced the development of dual-core, quad-core, and eight-core Cortex A9 processor designs, explicitly aimed at markets currently served by Intel's x86 chips and IBM's PowerPC.
"This is a huge departure from what we've done in the past", Eric Schorn, vice president of marketing for ARM's processor division, told ZDNet UK. "We really wanted to take off the handcuffs and see what could be done with performance, performance, performance."
The new designs, available in two variants optimized for low power consumption or high performance, are intended … Read more
Large electronics companies are building a chip for consumer electronics devices in Japan, while a China-based device manufacturer said it is working on devices using the ARM chip design, according to reports.
In Japan, some of the country's largest electronics and chip manufacturers are collaborating in an effort to develop a new low-power processor design for consumer electronics devices, according to Nikkei, which Forbes reported earlier.
The Japan-based group includes Fujitsu, Toshiba, Panasonic Renesas Technology, NEC, … Read more
Imagine consumers en masse dumping their old PC clunkers for a svelte MacBook Air running the sleek, new Snow Leopard operating system. An implausible Orwellian vision but probably not that far removed from Apple's marketing aspirations.
In short, walk into any Apple Store in any tony neighborhood and the message is: relieve yourself of those old bulky PCs and flip phones and we'll give you smaller, more stylish computing with the Apple cachet.
The analogy may be a bit strained, but imagine trading in a 14 mpg Hummer H2 for a 45 mpg hybrid Ford Fusion. The point: … Read more
The gadget industry is waiting in suspense, wondering if you're going to buy an Apple tablet. Because if you do, they're going to flip the production line's on switch.
Apple has a knack for creating new categories of devices. The iPhone arguably created the high-end smartphone segment and the design was parroted by dozens of device makers and carriers. The MacBook Air inspired the ultrathin laptop category.
The expected--and highly anticipated--Apple tablet would do the same. Manufacturing companies in Asia are eager to find a new category of devices to fill up their factories, according to an … Read more
A new study shows that Internet Explorer 8 is the most secure browser in the world. Who paid for the study? Guess. We also uncover the Twitter mafia and a new alliance to fight malware. And Molly's dream of running her car on chickens comes closer to reality. NOTE: There is no video for today's episode due to a technical error. That's right, you can go ahead and blame Jason for this one. Sorry. --Jason Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 1045
Apple lead barely shrinks … Read more
Speculation about a rumored Apple tablet may be an exercise in futility, but it is an interesting exercise nonetheless. In this case, my speculation will extend to what may be inside an Apple tablet.
Will the design philosophy spring from the notion of an upsized iPhone or a downsized MacBook? I believe it will be the former since this is a more natural evolution of the hardware and software. But I will entertain both options.
Because this tablet is rumored to appear in 2010, the Intel silicon possibility--however remote--is, I believe, as follows.
To thank him for letting them spend the last two hours of their workweek playing video games on the company dime, Kevin Grinnell's employees often single him out and shoot him in the head.
To be fair, the employees at Grinnell Computers aren't firing real weapons at their boss but are instead releasing the stresses of their week in a multiplayer online game known as Combat Arms.
Most Fridays for the last couple of months, the six employees of the Beaumont, Texas-based company have been encouraged to spend from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. blasting away … Read more