Internet of everything will drive mobiles, says Qualcomm

2013-10-10 09:30
Qualcomm processors drive the power of mobile smart devices like the Sony Xperia Tablet Z. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Qualcomm processors drive the power of mobile smart devices like the Sony Xperia Tablet Z. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - The internet of everything will be driven by mobile devices, especially as they become more powerful, a chip manufacturer has asserted.

"Mobile processors are at the centre of the emerging 'Internet of Everything' - in which people, the devices and apps they use, and the machines that serve them - are seamlessly connected in ways that effectively address how we live and work," James Munn, vice president of business development, Qualcomm South Africa told News24.

The company has been enjoying success with their computer chips being adopted by manufacturers to reduce power consumption and increase performance of smart devices.

The buzz-word in the mobile industry is "convergence" - when content can be consumed on a mobile device and smartphones become the single gadget that eliminates the need for multiple devices.

There are signs that this is already happening as the sales of digital cameras indicate.


According to a survey by Mintel Technology, digital camera sales fell by around 30% between 2006 and 2011. Camcorders are facing deep contractions as smartphones become the primary means for users to upload images and video to social networks.

"Although smartphone cameras do not typically match the quality of output of dedicated devices, the technology is consistently improving, as the quality of camera image output becomes too high for consumers to reliably distinguish between competitors," said Mintel Technology analyst Samuel Gee.

But not everyone agrees that convergence will destroy the market for dedicated devices.

"I don't think the word is 'cannibalising', I think the word is 'overlapping' because there are still people who believe, 'Hey I want pure sound', who have vinyl records - they still use them. CDs do not replace them; DVDs do not replace them, and MP3s do not replace them," Mansoor Ahmed, Sony Mobile product marketing manager for Middle East and Africa, told News24 on suggestions that the new Xperia Z1 would take market share away from other products like gaming consoles and cameras.

Fuji camera

Fuji said that it sees cameras evolving into specific market segments.

"The top-end camera - we think this will survive - but the point-and-shoot lower end model will not survive in the future," said Keitaro So, general manager for Electronic Imaging Division in Fujifilm Middle East FZE, as the company updated its premium range of X series cameras in SA.

Qualcomm is preparing to the power demands of mobile devices and it has taken considerable market share with its Snapdragon mobile processors, and the company said that convergence was already here when one considered the capabilities of smart devices.


"Mobile processors deliver high performance and super experiences at low power consumption and allow for thin and light form factors," said Munn.

One of the cheapest tablets available in SA is the Prestigio PMP3670B which retails for around R1 000. It has a 1GHz processor and 512MB of RAM, with an 18cm display.

Munn said that price declines and increased power in tablets will see much larger market adoption.

"In the case of tablets, as we see the low end grow and affordability improve; we will continue to see faster and more capable tablets at the high end.  This will lead to increased affordability and portability in smaller form factors (5-inch to 7-inch screens) and more immersive and versatile use in larger form factors (up to 10-inch screens) all without sacrificing performance at any price point."

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