Thursday, June 5, 2008
We are less than a week off from the Apple Worldwide Developer's Conference 2008 (WWDC) in which the 3G iPhone is expected to make its debut. I have, over the past year, covered the 3G iPhone in great detail. As we head to the WWDC, I thought it will be nice to compile my iPhone predictions about some component suppliers. Take them for what they are - just predictions!
3G Baseband: Infineon will be at the heart of the iPhone. The Infineon 3G chip will have a software stack that is jointly developed with InterDigital. The King of Prussia-based InterDigital is also likely to have a good portion of the baseband IP if my guess is right. I am basing this last speculation on the performance of the IFX chipsets in recently conducted tests.Essentially, InterDigital will earn a per-chip royalty for the software stack and possibly for the baseband IP. For more details on the 3G baseband supplier analysis, I will direct you to my article here.
Application Processor: Samsung will perhaps continue to own this part. Marvell has an outside chance.
WLAN: For platform stability issues, I will bet on Marvell grabbing this socket again. Broadcom may spring a surprise with its WLAN-BT-FM integrated solution.
Bluetooth: If WLAN belongs to Marvell, CSR, which is in the current iPhone, will likely own the Bluetooth socket again.
GPS: The next generation will have GPS and it will likely belong to Broadcom. This was recently ratified by a GigaOm report.
I cannot hypothesise on other components. But if I were to guess, I will bet on Apple retaining most existing suppliers. While I have been talking about these component suppliers for around a year now, some of these predictions may appear matter-of-fact to readers today. In any case, now that I have put it all in a list, let us see what my hit-rate is!
[Long IDCC at the time of writing]