A few weeks go, I reported a conversation with a Chinese-American investor who confirmed my suspicion that the next game-changer for the smartphone market is going to come out of mainland China.
He wouldn’t name the company, but I think they’ve just unstealthed. ICube matches the hints he was dropping exactly.
And what is ICube touting? Unit-cost and power-efficiency advantages from an Android SoC. It’s exactly the scenario I’ve been predicting. No volume production planned until 2012, but it means the SoCs that are supposed to be coming out in 3Q2011 from Broadcomm and Nvidia will, not long after launch, have price competition from an outfit that can tolerate lower margins.
And that makes three. Not that these will be the last chips in their class. Heck no – color me astonished if we don’t see two or three very similar announcements in the next six months, some from startups and some from players at the scale of ZTE and Huawei and Samsung. Potential unit volume is, after all, in the billions. That’s billions, not milllions.