Futurum’s Olivier Blanchard on Apple’s search for automotive LiDAR supplier fueling new rumors about Project Titan. While it may make more sense for Apple to stay in its consumer electronics lane, where it could focus on building a first rate Smart Home ecosystem to displace Alphabet and Amazon, and make XR cool enough to displace Microsoft, Oculus (Facebook), and potentially other consumer electronic giants like Samsung, Sony, HTC, and more, the real flex play for Apple this decade, its boldest hard swing for the fences, lies in entering the automotive market to take on Tesla.
Microsoft finally optimizing its unified Office mobile app for Apple’s iPad devices isn’t just great news for iPad users – it’s also a clear signal from Microsoft that it intends to be more proactive about servicing segments of its ecosystem that may have, until now, been under-prioritized. Microsoft has also designed for specific segments of the Office User ecosystem, which is impressive. This ability to understand the user preferences and nuances involved in these unique segments of its ecosystem makes it clear that Microsoft has spent time and resources learning what these users’ needs are and that it has developed solutions so as to best to meet them.
Futurum’s Olivier Blanchard takes a dive into Qualcomm’s new Fixed Wireless Access platform, which is expected to bring mmWave 5G performance to the network edge in 2022. Until now, the prevailing expectation surrounding mmWave cell deployments was that network operators would focus mostly on high density markets like urban centers, stadiums, airports, highly industrialized areas, and so on, and that therefore, suburban and rural areas would mostly miss out on ultra-fast mmWave 5G performance. Qualcomm’s introduction of its new mmWave 5G FWA CPE platform changes things. By extending mmWave 5G performance to the network edge, many suburban and rural markets that until now fell just out of reach of the best that 5G has to offer will soon have access to mmWave 5G performance just like densely populated markets.
Qualcomm’s upgradable new Snapdragon X65 modem promises to bring 10gbs speeds to 5G phones as early as this year. Next-gen 5G phones with 10 gigabit per second speeds, all-day battery life, and smart AI-optimized mmWave antennas are coming — and quickly. By delivering not only an upgradeable 10gbs 5G modem but complete RF/RFFE solutions optimized to support global sub-6GHz and mmWave bands, Qualcomm manages yet again to give major OEMs a compelling reason to build their premium and flagship 5G devices around Snapdragon modem-RF systems.
Could Microsoft Viva’s plan to humanize the workplace be the key to boosting employee productivity, creativity, and retention? Seeing technology now being used to re-humanize the workplace, humanize workflows, and give people rather than systems more agency and initiative, seems to Futurum’s Olivier Blanchard to be a very positive and welcome change in the enterprise. Microsoft’s new Viva employee experience platform certainly appears to be aiming to deliver on that vision.
Qualcomm’s automotive sector strategy shifts into high gear this week with a very of announcements combining powerful SOCs, homogeneous system design and 5G to deliver best-in-class technology solutions to global automakers.
In the wake of becoming independent from Huawei last year, the company is now free to work with U.S. chipmakers. While the company reports multiple partnership with key global chipmakers, Futurum’s Olivier Blanchard has his eye on Honor and Qualcomm and the ability of Qualcomm’s mid-range and budget SOCs as early as next year. Why? The Snapdragon platform’s ability to deliver mmWave-ready modems and complete SOCs across a range of price-points is an advantage that may prove difficult for Mediatek to overcome.
In the new GSMA Intelligence report published today, it’s clear that mobile operators may still be underestimating the ROI of 5G mmWave deployments. The comprehensive report shows various inflection points where mmWave begins to become profitable in areas where demand for capacity is concentrated (like dense urban areas, large buildings, airports, advanced manufacturing plants, and stadiums), and where 3.5 GHz networks can no longer keep up with demand, with and without the deployment of FWA solutions. Most importantly, the report illustrates that overcoming misconceptions about mmWave’s financial viability faster than other operators may be the ultimate competitive advantage in a maturing 5G economy.
Futurum’s Olivier Blanchard covers Google’s acquisition of Fitbit and how it could deliver the missing piece in Google’s product ecosystem — and perhaps make Apple nervous in the process. Why? Aside from Google’s wearables business suddenly absorbing Fitbit’s nearly 30 million active users worldwide, Google also finally has the tools to become an implementer of its own Wear OS platform.
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 5G platform powering the Galaxy S21 lineup confirms Samsung’s focus on remaining leader in premium mobile experiences. It is reassuring to note that Samsung chose not to cut corners by selecting a slightly lower-tiered mobile platform for its S21 lineup. Samsung clearly wants to remain a leading player in the premium Android space and isn’t beyond potentially cutting into its own margins this year to protect its enviable market-share in order to achieve that goal.