July 25, 2014

Is "Quadroid" the New "Wintel" and Do You Care?

Android enthusiasts and tech savvy gadget fans will already know this, but Qualcomm is becoming a pretty big deal in the mobile world.  Thanks to handsets like the G2, Droid Incredible, and EVO 4G, Qualcomm’s chips are found in three out of every four Android phones. As Android continues its dominance in the smart phone universe, Qualcomm and the ever-popular Snapdragon processor is becoming the de facto benchmark for super phones.

To their credit, NVIDIA and Texas Instruments are trying hard to change the landscape, slowly tipping things in their favor with the release of phones like the Droid X and rumored LG Star.     However, for the time being, Qualcomm and Android are the new Intel and Microsoft. Wintel, meet Quadroid.

As Qualcomm pushes the time-to-market down lower and lower, other chip makers are having  a tough time getting a foothold.  If you need a new device and want to turn it around quickly, what do you do?  You go back to the well, like HTC continues to do.  In this case, Qualcomm is there to provide the bucket of water.

Here’s my question to you guys – do you care if smaller players fall aside as fewer, bigger handset makers establish themselves?  Looking back at the PC era, we saw this happen with computer manufacturers.  Microsoft and Intel did alright for themselves while HP and Dell were eating everyone else’s lunch.  As smart phones become more popular, we could see the same effects with companies like HTC, Samsung, and Motorola pushing Lenovo, Huawei, and Dell aside.  In other words, will you miss phones like the T-Mobile Comet or Dell Aero?

If Qualcomm is Intel and Android is Microsoft, NVIDIA and Texas Instruments are fighting to be AMD.  You know, that equally impressive company putting out compelling hardware.  Thankfully, there is plenty of time for things to shake out.  Who really knows where we’ll be by the time smart phones outsell feature phones?