back to article Texas Instruments sounds alarm on 3G

Texas Instruments, one of the world's largest semiconductor manufacturers, is sounding the alarm over the demand for 3G phones. The company said one of its major clients had sharply cut back on its orders. Though TI declined to name the customer, analysts are speculating it is Nokia, TI's largest customer for mobile chipsets …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    see we said we didnt want em!

    The confusingly unclear and often expensive approach to the way these services are charged for, combined with nothing that is really much of a killer app makes 3G still the realm of the early adoptor.

    I have a 3g data card and its useful for client meetings and laptop work on the train, but i would never consider getting a 3g phone .. for a start i can use skype on my laptop over 3g with vodafone.. which i dont think you can on a 3g phone..

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    See....

    Lord Jobs told us that 3G was unnecessary when he bestowed us with the resurrection-phone.

    Hail Jobs for he is truly visionary.

  3. John Browne

    Nokia now buy from ST

    Didn't Nokia say a few months ago that it was partnering with ST Microelectronics for its handsets.

    Therefore it's not exactly surprising that they would cut back on orders from TI.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    3G Market or just TI?

    Didn't Nokia effectively announce they would be sourcing 3G chipsets from elsewhere last year?

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/08/10/nokia_chipset_strategy/

  5. Damian Skeeles
    Thumb Down

    Hmm...

    Sounds like "Developed World market saturation" to me. None of the manufacturers would go back producing any quantity of 2G-only phones, as the operators wouldn't touch them - they need the phones to use 3G so that they have the network capacity to carry all those calls.

    However, if the demand for new phones is slowing simply because there's no compelling new features to upgrade to ("So, you're telling me it's exactly the same as the old model, but the camera's slightly better?"), then the mfrs have to look to developing markets for their volumes - which are 2G only. And so 3G gets less of a look-in.

  6. Mark W

    3G Useful?

    Every 3G phone I've ever had I turned off 3G as it was a recipe for dropped calls, missed calls and noisy calls.

    I also have never made nor recieved a Video call, and know no-one who has!

    Call me a luddite, but I love the 3G inside my Laptop, but on a phone it's kinda pointless.

  7. Mage Silver badge

    Skype

    Fring brings Skype & many other IM clients to 3G symbian. "3" has a proxy client for Skype as part of their E series offerering

    But without HSDPA everywhere and ideally HSOPA, then VOIP is very poor.

  8. Andus McCoatover
    Coat

    Bleedin' obvious...

    I've a Nokia 6151, which has 3G as well as GSM/EDGE. Turned 3G off (oddly, from Nokia - it's a menu option(?) ) which incidentally almost doubled my battery life. Send data through a modem, not a smegging expensive network operator. Or any internet café worth its salt in Finland. Or, PAN-Oulu (free service in t' city)

    Now, if I want piccies, I use a friggin' camera. Listen to music, I use a gramophone ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H MP3 payer/CD home player. Watch video - use a TV. Talk/SMS to people by using it as Speaking Telephone. Which is what the fuck*ing thing was made for.

    If I want high bills, I'll turn 3G back on, and watch some American crap film on a tiny screen. Plus, adverts. Which I can do at home. For sod all.

    FFS, if the bloody 'phone goes tits-up, at least I can do everything else....

    Like Mr. Kipling, they make exceedingly nice phones, nonetheless. However, unlike said Mr. Kipling, exceedingly crappy cameras/radios/MP3 players pour out of China/India/Hungary/any cheap labour place. (And incidentally, Mr. Kipling wrote exceedingly crappy poetry)

    Motorola Way for TI, I wonder?

    Lawyer-repellant coat, pse, as I was made redundant from Nokia (B'stards...).

  9. Madeye
    Paris Hilton

    The 3G killer app is ...

    data transfer. The only thing it's good for. Forget video calling, forget all those other services - the only useful thing a 3G phone does that a 2G can't is shift data by the bucket load. But to my mind that makes it worth it. Ever tried checking into Facebook via GPRS?

    Paris Hilton once accidentally left her 3G phone making a video call after retiring for the night - the rest is history ...

  10. Charlie Clark Silver badge
    Dead Vulture

    The announcement doesn't really say much about the market

    If demand for 3G chips is dropping this indicates market saturation as much as anything else. 3G phones have become standard in Europe largely down to the networks trying to get people to use the services. But it isn't enough - people are upgrading to 3G on contract renewal but generally not renewing or signing up for 3G. Margins are being squeezed by market saturation networks are not as keen to sell phones as they used to be - many offer cashback instead of a new phone on renewal. And despite the flurry of "me too" offers for e-mail and web on the phone most people (surprisingly) still want to use their phone for voice or SMS only.

    Growth is still in emerging markets which have less sophisticated networks, although data is probably of greater importance because of the lack of competing infrastructure, and are more sensitive to price. This might change if the demand for data picks up but there's no guarantee that our 3G technology will be adopted over anything inferior but cheaper (WLAN with 3G backhaul) or competing technology from China, when it's ready to dump it on the world market.

  11. David Shaw
    Coat

    I like 3G phones

    I've bought a couple of them, of course, I then have to select/configure like mad(*) to get rid of every access point, profile, link, bookmark, service that might accidentally start the 3G service. (*)Including changing model identity code, flashing firmware, updating and downgrading!

    then you have a nice modern GSM/WiFi phone with a switched-off 3G, which I could optionally re-awake should someday I find A REASONABLE (CHEAP) EU WIDE ROAMING DATA TARIFF.

    /Yes, mine's the flat 'cap; ee, tha's reet, ah'm from Yorkshire!

  12. Donald Matheson

    No problems with my 3G phone

    I'm happy with my 3G phone. True I don't bother with video calls, but as a 3G modem for travelling for work and for ad-hoc in phone browsing it's perfect. Can't say I've noticed any issues with dropped calls. I don't bother with all those extra Mobile TV services and whatnot though.

    Of course it helps I've got a heavy discount on my plan because my sister works for the mobile operator I use.

  13. Alistair
    Thumb Down

    You knows it.

    3G has never made sense from either a technical or commercial standpoint. The standards process was scuppered early on by the likes of Qualc0m who really wanted to see it fail. They pushed the specs far beyond what can be implemented cost-effectively either back then (10 years ago - jeez) and even still today. The spectrum license auctions drove the operating costs into a chunnel-esque black hole of debt scenario. Plus, 3G is a feature not a benefit - you can't sell a phone on the basis that its 3G or 2G, the customer just wants a decent battery life on a cheap-enough tariff, neither of which is possible in 3G . And no they never wanted video calls.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Ha ha ha ha

    Ha ha ha ha...............

    ha ha ha..............

    ha ha ha..........

    ..........Ron Slaymaker - is that his real name? Does he work for Father Christmas? Or is he a baddie from a Marvel Comic?

  15. Daniel B.

    @Andus

    "Talk/SMS to people by using it as Speaking Telephone. Which is what the fuck*ing thing was made for."

    Except here its MXN 1 (~$0.10) for an SMS, MXN 5/minute local calls (~$0.50) and MXN 7.50/minute long distance (~$0.75). Guess what? SMS is more widely used in Mexico than actual calls, because the largest mobile company wants to pluck our eyes out. (ok ok, the pricing is for PAYG schemes, but most people here have PAYG'd stuff anyway)

    I do, however, agree that TV on my cellphone is something for sad people; videoconferencing well... hasn't even been in normal phones, I just don't see the use for that in mobiles. Data transfer's another thing, if I got a smartphone I would definitely want to have data transfer. Except I want it cheap, which seems to be non-existant.

  16. Rob

    @ Mark W

    "I also have never made nor recieved a Video call, and know no-one who has!"

    I've tried to do so, once, from my Orange SPV M3100 to my wife's Orange Tityn II, while she was sat in the same room as me, with a very strong 3G signal.

    It didn't work.

    Rob (not using the "C" word, as at least one editor seems to have had enough of it).

  17. Ian Michael Gumby

    3G makes sense.

    Ok, here in the states we don't have *3G* (the 3G service being offered isnt the same as the 3G in the EU)

    But don't say 3G is for shite.

    I bought an (Nokia) E90 for the keyboard because I tend to do more e-mail with my phone that I do calls. (My crackberry died and I have large hands so the newer models just didn't feel right.)

    Now on the E90

    The GPS sucks compared to GPS devices, but the mapping and being able to download maps is a good thing. And for that, you're going to want to have 3G.

    (And thats the point of my rant.)

    So overall, for faster data transfers, 3G is a nice to have. Considering I'm stuck with EDGE, I'd say you're all pretty lucky.

    If you want to talk about a possible dream phone, imagine a Nokia N810 tablet that has a cell phone, and a memory expansion slot along with more memory crammed in. Add a blue tooth head set and you can keep the phone tucked away until you need to do outbound calls. (I only mention this in hopes that someone from Nokia is listening.)

  18. leslie
    Unhappy

    3g data on a phone, cant even buy it!

    Online 3 ask a sales question popup, well i had to, I want mobile broadband in my lappy.....

    [Lez] I wish to try mobile broadband with a pay-as-you-go solution, I see you do this but only with an included dongle for £99, I do not require a dongle/modem as my phone will do the same thing, so all I require is a sim, this does work I tried it with a friends vodafone sim, but i do not want to use vodafone, I have a three contract as does my wife and sons etc, so i want my mobile data to be with 3 also.

    [Sachin] hi

    [Sachin]

    we don't sell sim only deals ...sorry

    [Lez] So I will have to buy a modem, will the sim from the modem work in a phone or is it paired to the modem?

    [Sachin] you will need to buy the modem and the sim is paired to the modem.

    [Lez] ok thanks. do you do anyother modems, ie plug in card ones, I do not have USB<cough>, only pcmcia and bluetooth.

    [Sachin] we only have the modem for the internet deal.

    [Lez] yes, a good answer to what I Asked, well looks like a vodafone deal then, sorry you could not supply.

    [Sachin] ok then

    [Sachin] is there anything else i can assist you with ?

    [Lez] no thats it thanks i just needed a data solution for when working in the car

    [Sachin] Thanks for contacting us. Please do not hesitate to contact us again if we can be of further assistance. Good bye

    Once again three customer service sucks, well not so much sucks, this is sales, and here is a sales person not even offering to sell me anything, hell he should have suggested a broadband add on or even a data bolt on or something, I said I already had a phone/contract with 3 etc, so I could have had add on data, he should not let me go on my way thinking of a competitor as a solution.....

    any wonder 3g sucks when they wont even sell it to you anymore........

  19. Steve Sutton
    Paris Hilton

    IMHO...

    ...3G is a brilliant, very useful facility which has tremendous potential. I frequently find myself in a position when I want to use the services that are possible with 3G. There's just one problem. It is almost invariably considerably more expensive than I am prepared to pay, and as a result, I don't use it.

    That's it....the only reason....it's the price....nothing else. If that was reasonable, I'd be making full use of 3G.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Price point aversion

    Yep, definitely the price. If I could use it as a mobile Internet modem for anything even remotely approaching a reasonable price, I'd pay. But I can't. So I don't.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    you know

    it's funny - in Japan everyone uses email on their phones, nobody uses texts because they're just over priced garbage in comparison. Everyone uses the internet to look things up on their phones, you ask questions and people just pull out their phones and bam there's your answer. They have 3mb as standard. They're forever watching TV on the things on the metro.

    Where as here we're still stuck in the nineties. The states is still in the eighties mind you.

  22. c

    'Elreg full of luddites

    Despite what they luddites say here 3G services are driving significant uplift in ARPU for carriers that have deployed it. Customers want and use 3G services.

  23. Michael Kean
    Happy

    Ways to survive...

    Here in Aus, if you want to use Telstra for casual 3G access, it's $30AU for 80MB. (Telstra has much more 3G coverage than any other.) With that, you can use your mobile as the modem, either USB or via BlueTooth. To survive on any really restrictive 3G plan, here's some tips.

    1 - Set email program to download headers only, or perhaps the first 10kb. (If necessary, use a separate forwarded mailbox for convenience.)

    2 - Use Firefox with NoScript, Quick Preference Button (to turn off loading of images with two clicks) and FlashBlock.

    3 - Close Skype (it can be chatty), Hamachi (or set it offline), other VPN clients, and if necessary disable automatic updates for Windows and your AV.

    4 - Replace WLM with Miranda or another basic messaging client so it's not sucking down ads.

    That way you can survive a long time on a small plan - just don't download anything big and you should be right for a while :) Save the big stuff for when you get home.

  24. b166er

    Mobe AP

    I've got web'n'walk on my WM6 phone and an app that bridges the 3G connection to the Wifi chip in the phone. My phone acts as a wireless access point. Brilliant!

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Heart

    I use my 3g every day.

    I phone China on Skype daily on my 3g phone, read web pages on the short train ride to work, hook it up to my laptop for a quick download when I'm away from home and when I am at home, I use it as a pocket browser using the wifi instead of the 3g.

    I love 3G, roll on 4G!

  26. tony trolle
    Thumb Down

    still waiting

    for 3G in SoCal :-(

    5 years (that long ago) 3G on the top of a Italian ski top video calling back to the UK to show off the new ski boots.

    Still got the power sucking NEC 616 and better V975

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