Broadcom says operators will offer free tablet computers

Cliff Edwards and Ian King
13 Apr 2010
00:00
Controlling TVs
 
The tablets will be able to play music and video and send content wirelessly to other devices in the home, controlling and feeding multiple televisions. Service providers will be able to boost revenue by offering advertising, home automation and home- security services through such devices, Humphries said.
 
Broadcom fell 23 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $34.40 at 4 p.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. The shares have gained 9.3 percent this year.
 
Apple uses Broadcom chips in the iPhone and new iPad tablet, according to researcher ISuppli Corp. and technology analysis firm Chipworks Inc. Irvine, California-based Broadcom, whose revenue fell 3.6 percent to $4.49 billion last year, has been trying to broaden the market for its products by promoting devices to carriers that use either Google’s Android operating system or Linux variants.
Broadcom is one of several chip companies hoping to capitalize on tablet computers. Market analyst IMS Research predicts that, by 2012, more than half of all tablets sold each year will be distributed by mobile and fixed-line broadband providers.
 
Freescale, Intel
 
Privately held chipmaker Freescale Semiconductor Inc., whose applications processor is used in Amazon.com Inc.’s Kindle electronic book reader, showed its own tablet prototype at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. Intel Corp., the world’s largest semiconductor company, also has said its Atom chip currently used in most netbooks sold today would work well with tablet-style devices.
 
Apple may have a year’s lead in the U.S. before any major carriers begin offering subsidized or free tablets as part of service packages. Apple is selling three models of the iPad that work in the U.S. via Wi-Fi. Three other versions that work with both Wi-Fi and 3G mobile-phone networks will debut later this month.
 
--Editors: Stephen West, Tom Giles.

To contact the reporter on this story: Cliff Edwards in San Francisco at [email protected]; Ian King in San Francisco at [email protected]
 
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at [email protected]
 
BusinessWeek

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