It’s no secret: The smartphone has become more than just a business tool for on-the-go executives. Today’s smartphones are mobile computers for the masses, devices that allow everyone from teens to seniors the freedom to stream movies, chat with friends, play games and more.
Certainly, robust mobile data networks and well-stocked mobile app stores have been driving forces behind the adoption of smartphones in developed nations. But none of these bells and whistles matter if the average Joe can’t afford one of his own.
Affordability coupled with high performance is key for putting the technology within reach. And that’s where Broadcom comes into play.
The Complete Package
Over the last few years, Broadcom has emerged as one of the top five players among chipmakers who design applications processors. Today marks yet another significant milestone for Broadcom – the launch of T-Mobile’s Concord prepaid smartphone, the first Android smartphone in North America with a Broadcom 3G baseband platform.
Read T-Mobile’s news release here.
Following the launch of Vodafone’s Smart2 earlier this year, the T-Mobile Concord, which is powered by the BCM21553, is the second tier 1 operator-branded smartphone powered by a Broadcom platform announced this year.
With a 3.5-inch HVGA display, 7.2/5.8Mbps HSPA modem, WLAN, AGPS & BT, the T-Mobile Concord offers a rich Internet, multimedia and connectivity experience at an incredible price, under $100 at some retailers, including Wal-Mart and Target.
Driving Down Costs
What’s driving down the costs of smartphones?
First is the emergence and continued development of the Android operating system, a powerful software platform that smartphone makers are leveraging to build a huge ecosystem of devices. In June, Google announced that nearly 1 million new Android devices are activated daily – yes, every day – according to Hugo Barra, Google’s director of product management for Android. That momentum encourages software developers to create an ever-growing offering of apps and services targeting these handsets.
Second, technology companies like Broadcom are providing a complete platform approach, doing much of the system development work in advance so that smartphone manufacturers can quickly bring their devices to store shelves.
But, arguably the most important development is the rise of integrated smartphone system-on-a-chip (SoC) solutions, an area where Broadcom excels.
The baseband SoC — the nerve center of a smartphone — enables all the key functions to happen from one piece of silicon. Broadcom’s baseband SoCs offer cellular connectivity, the ability to run the operating system and a vast array of applications, and provide cutting-edge multimedia capabilities — all on a single chip.
Higher levels of integration and overall fewer chips in the phone not only lowers power consumption and extends battery life. It means that smartphone makers pay less than if they had to buy a handful of discrete chips to accomplish all these tasks. They can then pass that savings on to consumers and offer a feature-rich smartphone experience that’s affordable for all.
- Vodafone Launches Smart II, an Affordable Smartphone for the Masses
- Broadcom Fuels the Affordable Smartphone Revolution
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- Broadcom’s Smartphone Platforms Optimized for Android Ice Cream Sandwich