Qualcomm announced that it has purchased gesture recognition technology from GestureTek on Monday. “Applications processors are enabling a range of new ways for consumers to interface with their home entertainment and mobile devices,” said Qualcomm executive vice president and group president Steve Mollenkopf. “Our acquisition of key technology and assets from GestureTek will strengthen Qualcomm’s smartphone product portfolio and enable our customers to launch products with new and compelling user experiences.” The company said that it plans to build GestureTek’s gesture recognition technology into its current and future Snapdragon processors. The tech will allow manufacturers to create mobile devices with interactive user interfaces based on “natural human gestures.” The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Read on for the full press release. More →
On Wednesday, VIA Technologies and WTI announced that the two have reached an agreement to sell holdings in S3 Graphics to HTC for $300 million. S3 Graphics builds hardware graphics solutions for a number of consumer devices including game consoles, PCs, and mobile devices. VIA will receive $147 million from the deal while WTI will take home $153 million. “The transaction would allow VIA to monetize a portion of its rich IP portfolio, yet retain its graphics capabilities to support the development and sale of its processors and chipsets,” said Tzu-mu Lin, Senior Vice President and Board Director of VIA. The deal is still subject to regulatory approval but is expected to close before the end of this year. Read on for the full press release.
Following the lead set by its chief executive Dan Hesse, Sprint has been one of the most outspoken opponents of AT&T’s proposed $39 billion T-Mobile USA takeover. Hesse said the deal would “stifle innovation” and hurt U.S. wireless subscribers, and Sprint subsequently voiced its concerns formally on numerous occasions. Among AT&T’s main arguments are the deal’s potential to bring high-speed 4G LTE coverage to over 95% of the U.S. population, and the fact that it needs T-Mobile’s spectrum in order to curtail the massive strain on its network. In a new filing with the Federal Communications Commission on Monday, however, Sprint explained that AT&T’s acquisition is not necessary in order for the carrier to alleviate its network woes. Sprint contends that AT&T could increase its network capacity by more than 600% over the next three years simply by putting its current resources to better use. “AT&T could increase its capacity by developing its warehoused spectrum, accelerating its 4G network buildout, and implementing a more efficient network architecture,” Sprint said in a statement. But AT&T responded immediately by questioning Sprint’s knowledge on the subject considering the carrier outsources the management of its own network to Ericsson. “A company that has outsourced the management of its own network shouldn’t be giving advice to others,” an AT&T spokesman said. More →
On Tuesday Garmin announced that Navigon’s shareholders have signed an agreement for a Garmin subsidiary to purchase Germany-based Navigon. “This acquisition is a great complement to Garmin’s existing automotive and mobile business. Navigon has invested significantly in the European automotive OEM business, and we feel that we can rapidly expand our automotive OEM footprint and capabilities through this transaction,” said Cliff Pemble, Garmin’s president and COO. “With Navigon, we are also acquiring one of the top-selling navigation applications for the iPhone and Android platforms – something that we expect will help drive revenue for the combined company going forward. Combining Navigon’s and Garmin’s strength also improves our competitiveness and standing particularly in Europe.” Garmin said that Navigon will continue to operate as a subsidiary of Garmin and that the deal is still subject to regulatory approvals. Financial terms were not disclosed. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →
Nokia CEO Stephen Elop once again addressed rumors of a possible sale of Nokia’s phone business. Rumors emerged on Wednesday suggesting Samsung was preparing to bid on Nokia’s cell phone division, but Elop addressed them on Thursday while speaking to The Wall Street Journal. Elop insisted that the rumors are “completely groundless.” The CEO continued, “Nokia is not for sale.” While Elop has been steady with his message, there is of course wiggle room in his choice of words. Neither the initial report suggesting a deal had been struck with Microsoft nor the subsequent Samsung rumor suggested that Nokia, as a company, was up for sale. Instead, these reports — at least one of which is well-sourced — suggest Nokia may be shopping a portion of its business; specifically, the cell phone division, which has been spiraling downward as Nokia’s market share diminishes rapidly. More →
As Research In Motion continues on its quest to recapture consumers’ hearts, minds and wallets, the Canadian BlackBerry maker on Tuesday announced its acquisition of Scoreloop. California-based Scoreloop is a self-professed pioneer in mobile social gaming. According to a post on RIM’s Inside BlackBerry developer blog, the team at Scoreloop is “bringing their expertise in creating social and collaborative gaming toolkits for mobile developers to the BlackBerry platform.” Scoreloop had previously developed tools that supported cross-platform social gaming, and the company says it will continue to support cross-platform solutions following the its transition to RIM, though it will focus mainly on RIM’s QNX-based operating system. More →
According to industry insider Eldar Murtazin, Microsoft has struck a deal to purchase Nokia’s mobile phone business for $19 billion. Just two weeks ago, Murtazin — who has a proven track record and was the first to report that Nokia has struck a deal to use Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform on its smartphones — suggested that Microsoft and Nokia were about to enter closed-door meetings to negotiate a possible purchase that could close sometime before the end of this year. It could make sense: Nokia’s CEO is former Microsoft executive Stephen Elop, and the two companies have already reached a deal to create new Windows Phone devices, a dozen of which are expected to launch next year. We’ll have to see how this pans out, but a Nokia spokesperson had already addressed Murtazin’s earlier claims, saying “Eldar’s rumors are getting obviously less accurate with every passing moment.” Nokia declined to comment on Murtazin’s claim this time around. More →
Google was recently granted permission to purchase a patent portfolio previously held by Modu, a now defunct Israeli cell phone maker that couldn’t find a market for its minuscule mobile phones. Modu emerged in 2008 touting a peculiar modular cell phone that could be placed in a variety of sleeves to perform different functions. The unique phones, while certainly interesting, lacked mass appeal and were only picked up by a few carriers. Modu would later unveil several new tiny cell phone models as it prepared for an IPO, but the company would instead be forced to shutter its operations when it ran out of cash. Proceeds from Google’s $4.9 million IP purchase will be used to pay back Modu’s creditors and former Modu employees who are still due wages. Google is likely eyeing future Android functionality that might be made possible by its acquisition of Modu’s patent portfolio, though the company has not revealed any plans related to Modu’s former patents. More →
AT&T on Thursday filed documents with the United States Federal Communications Commission regarding its proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA from Deutshe Telekom. The potential merger has been strongly opposed by many, such as Sprint, and one FCC official has a hard time believing such a deal could ever be approved. AT&T has a lot to lose of course, so you can believe the carrier is ready for a fight. AT&T’s position is that the merger will push the wireless industry forward by bringing high-speed 4G LTE service to over 97% of the U.S. population — revised up from the carrier’s earlier estimate of 95%. AT&T says its data traffic is growing at a remarkable pace and its proposed acquisition of T-Mobile will allow the carrier to utilize new spectrum and accommodate the rising demand for cellular data. AT&T also says the merger will create jobs and spur economic growth in small towns. Hit the break for the full press release. More →
Motorola on Wednesday announced that it has closed a deal to acquire Swedish IPTV software company Dreampark. The terms of the acquisition, which is expected to close in the second quarter of 2011, were not disclosed. Dreampark’s core software product is called Dreamgallery, a middleware solution that allows operators to provide services over television networks. Motorola will integrate Dreamgallery and other Dreampark solutions into its Motorola Medios software suite. “This transaction enables us to continue to enhance our Medios software portfolio and capitalize upon the convergence of wireless technology, media, mobile computing and the Internet,” said Motorola Mobility’s SVP and GM of Converged Experiences, John Burke, in a statement. “With the acquisition of Dreampark, Motorola Mobility will strengthen its ability to provide systems integrators, service providers, enterprises and content providers with innovative solutions for deploying converged media experiences. It’s great to have the Dreampark team on board.” Hit the break for the full press release. More →
Verizon Wireless CEO Daniel Mead said on Monday that the company has no interest in a merger with Sprint, a notion that had been tossed around by analysts over the weekend following news that AT&T intends to Acquire T-Mobile USA. “We’re not interested in Sprint. We don’t need them,” Mead told Reuters reporters in Florida ahead of this year’s CTIA Wireless conference. Should AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile USA from European telecommunications giant Deutsche Telekom receive regulatory approval, AT&T would become the nation’s top wireless carrier by subscriber count. Verizon Wireless currently holds the No. 1 position, which it took from AT&T back in January 2009 when the carrier completed its acquisition of top regional carrier Alltel. AT&T’s merger with T-Mobile USA stands to create a much more substantial lead where subscriber count is concerned, however, making AT&T home to over 130 million wireless subscribers compared to Verizon Wireless’ 102 million. More →
In a note to investors on Monday, RBC Capital Markets Managing Director Mike Abramsky highlighted several implications surrounding AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile USA. Interestingly, RBC sees the merger as having the potential to provide various benefits to each of three staunch rivals — Apple, RIM and Google. For Apple, this deal will drastically increase the company’s addressable market for the iPhone, and could result in an additional 6 to 8 million iPhone subscribers over the next 2 to 3 years. Abramsky also notes that additional pressure could be put on Sprint to offer its own version of the iPhone, which would make the device available from all major U.S. carriers. For RIM, Abramsky writes that while T-Mobile only accounted for between 5 and 7% of RIM’s revenue in 2010, the company could potentially put more BlackBerry devices in the hands of users when devices that would normally be AT&T exclusives become available to T-Mobile’s 46 million subscribers. Finally, RBC’s note points out that while Google may be losing a strong Android partner in T-Mobile, AT&T has shown that it is now committed to Android as a platform, which could lead to better device selection moving forward for former T-Mobile subscribers. AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile is expected to close within the next 12 months, pending regulatory approval.
On a call with investors Monday morning, AT&T confirmed its plans to use the AWS spectrum gained in the potential T-Mobile acquisition for its 4G LTE network. Following the carrier’s announcement on Friday that it will acquire T-Mobile from Deutsche Telekom pending regulatory approval, AT&T on Monday revealed one of many factors that motivated it to offer $39 billion for the nation’s No. 4 cellular carrier: spectrum. According to the roadmap pictured above, AT&T will free up T-Mobile’s 1700MHz AWS spectrum by migrating T-Mobile subscribers off the frequency. The carrier then plans to pair its 700MHz spectrum with T-Mobile’s newly-cleared AWS to cover 95% of the U.S. population with 4G LTE service. We know how important 4G is to carriers right now, so the move will potentially give AT&T a huge bump in the race against Verizon Wireless, which has already deployed LTE service in several markets.