Friday, June 16, 2006

ABI Research: The First Tipping-Point for Mobile TV: the $10 Chipset

According to ABI Research, "several semiconductor companies claim they have designed $10 chipsets for receiving and displaying television on the mobile phone," and the firm believes this "price point marks the first important milestone on a falling price trajectory."

Alan Varghese at ABI Research said, "At a $10 price tag for chipsets, mobile TV will start to gain serious traction in high-tier handsets and smartphones. This ramp-up in market penetration will begin to happen by early 2007."

ABI Research forecasted that "the price of these chipsets will fall to $5 within a few years." Varghese said, "The $5 price point is important: that is when a function migrates from the high-end to the mid-tier handset, and hits the ‘hockey stick' inflection in its take-rate. At that stage, large numbers of consumers will join the early adopters in choosing mobile TV handsets."

ABI Research points out that "several broadcast frequencies and technologies—VHF, L band, DVB-H, T-DMB, ISDB-T, and MediaFLO—are in use around the world, and to address all possible markets, some IC vendors are showcasing solutions that support multiband and multistandard mobile TV."

Varghese noted, "The mobile TV marketplace means different things to different chipset vendors. Leading semiconductor vendors such as Analog Devices (ADI), Freescale (FSL), Philips, ST Micro and TI (TXN) have an advantage: they already understand the innards of the cellphone, and how the mobile TV section has to work intimately with the existing RF, baseband, applications, power management, and display sections, to optimize performance and cost. On the other hand, startups and smaller companies such as DiBcom, Frontier Silicon, Imagination Technologies, Newport Media, and Siano Mobile have the advantage that mobile TV is their sole focus."