Tag: manufacturer

Nortel reports $3.4 billion loss, cuts 1,300 jobs

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Woo boy, I guess I was a little more right than I thought about more bad economic news; this time it hits a little closer to home.

¬≠Canadian telecommunications equipment manufacturer Nortel Networks has posted a loss of US$3.4 billion in Q3 2008, it’s largest loss in the past seven years. Revenue was down 14% year over year to US$2.32 billion and 1% year-to-date.

Commenting on the market dynamics, Nortel President and Chief Executive Officer Mike Zafirovski said: “In September, we signaled our view that a slowdown in the market was taking place. In the weeks since, we have seen worsening economic conditions, together with extreme volatility in the financial, foreign exchange and credit markets globally, further impacting the industry, Nortel and its customers. We are therefore taking further decisive actions in an environment of decreased visibility and customer spending levels.”

Nortel also announced plans to cut a further 1,300 jobs, on top of a previous round of cuts of 1,200 staff. About a quarter of the job cuts will occur this year, with the rest in 2009. None of the remaining staff will receive pay rises in 2009, unless already agreed. The cost savings are expected to reduce annual gross costs by approximately US$400 million in 2009.

|via CN|

BusinessWeek: BlackBerry Bold costs $169.41 to produce

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BlackBerry Bold

Estimating how much any given smartphone costs to produce is always a interesting topic, because it allows industry analysts to guess at just how much money manufacturers are making off their devices. BusinessWeek is reporting that market research firm iSuppli has performed a ‘tear-down analysis’ of the BlackBerry Bold’s private parts and determined that the parts and materials used to make the Bold cost $158.16. With the added cost of assembly and testing, the final cost is $169.41.

“That’s a nice price,” says Charles Wolf, an analyst at Needham & Co. in New York. Assuming RIM sells the device to carriers at about $350, the component costs imply a gross margin of about 45%, in keeping with the gross margins on other RIM devices, he says. The cost estimates from iSuppli don’t include several expenses, including software, marketing, and shipping, and so don’t give a precise indication of the device’s margins.

In comparison, the estimated assembly cost for the BlackBerry Curve is $103, while the iPhone 3G came in at $174.33. If RIM can ever get the Bold launched on AT&T, they’ll be seeing a pretty good return, and a better margin than Apple’s making on the iPhone 3G.

(via BusinessWeek)

Smartphone supplies running low

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An empty warehouseA new report on Electronista says that smartphone makers in the US are having a tough time keeping up with demand. According to Tavis McCourt, an analyst at Morgan Keenan, AT&T has had issues keeping the Pearl in stores since March, and won’t be stocking the 8120 for home users until the 24th. BlackBerrys aren’t the only phones MIA: Apple has been having supply problems and Palm’s Treo 755p is reported to have been missing from Sprint stores for over two weeks. Of course, a lack of supply is vastly better than a lack of demand, but hopefully RIM will be able to ramp up manufacturing.

Broadcom working on low-power single-chip GPS

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GPSBroadcom will be showcasing a new chip at the Institute of Navigation conference in Ft. Worth, Texas today. The BCM4750 chip is aimed to have low power consumption and high sensitivity, as well as some new advancements which would allow for signals to reach indoors and into urban canyons. We often forget that Broadcom actually does some, y’know, engineering amidst all the litigation.

“The Broadcom BCM4750 is produced in a low cost 90 nanometer CMOS process and features superior receiver technology and tracking sensitivity. The receiver makes full use of the Global Locate architecture, and can measure the faintest GPS signals deep indoors and in “urban canyon” environments at signal levels as low as -162 dBm. It also consumes less than 15 mW while navigating with one second map updates, less than half the power of competitive solutions according to published datasheets.”

RIM’s testing partner expands facilities

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MetricoMetrico has recently announced that they have expanded their testing facilities sixfold, and are ready to continue doing testing for not only BlackBerrys, but for Samsung, AT&T and T-Mobile’s devices as well. Wireless testing is no small endeavor – these guys create simulated human skulls, complete with fluids, to test their effects on transmission quality. Some of Metrico’s dummies use $20,000 ears that mimic human characteristics. Yow, testing really is no joke for these guys.

Engadget lectures Palm

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PalmWe all know that Palm’s not doing so hot, but the Engadget crew has laid out all of Palm’s problems and what they need to do to get back in the game. It might not be BlackBerry-related, but the open letter is a really concise way of identifying what customers’ baseline expectations are for smartphones these days, and there are more than a few things on the list that RIM’s managing to do that Palm isn’t. Don’t mess with the keyboard, make your handheld look nice, add Wi-Fi, support multitasking, embrace developers, cultivate multimedia, get with Google, and make better ads all seem like things that RIM is doing, but there’s also a couple things that BlackBerry could take a hint from. Do you guys think there’s anything RIM could learn from Palm’s mistakes?