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Qualcomm CEO says iPhone will force competitors to adapt

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Paul JacobsIn a recent interview with AP, Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs discussed the impact the iPhone will have on mobile manufacturers, and is placing everyone else in a reactionary position.

“It’s caused all the other manufacturers to step up their game,” Jacobs said in an interview with The Associated Press. “I can’t tell you the number of people who say, ‘Oh, this is our iPhone killer.’ It’s already to that point where everybody’s reacting.”

Moreover, if (when) the iPhone sells well at launch, it will prove to other manufacturers that there is a market in premium mobiles if the product is appropriately designed. RIM’s reaction has been pretty low-key, though. At most they’ve said “Thanks for the free press, Apple”, and the Curve doesn’t seem as something especially geared towards competing with the iPhone.

In fact, it’s an altogether natural progression from previous devices that RIM would have developed anyway, even if the iPhone wasn’t on the radar. RIM’s found a comfortable price range that’s working well for them, and they’ve already been selling devices for between $500-$600 for awhile now. So who’s really following who’s lead, here?

Qualcomm shares 3G love with Sagem

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QualcommWhile WCDMA might not be rocking the kasbah right now, it might get a kick in the pants with a little help from Sagem, who just struck a royalty-based deal with Qualcomm to develop WCDMA hardware. This falls well in line with recent incentives Qualcomm has put forward to develop WCDMA in Europe. If the Nokia fight is slowing down 3G progress, at least Qualcomm’s got some alternative direction.

Nokia – Qualcomm fight slows down 3G progress

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Nokia

While Nokia is fighting tooth and nail for GSM rights, they’re admitting more legally unfettered technologies might have time to make progress while Nokia and Qualcomm’s 3G efforts are stunted. In response to a recent competition among manufacturers to produce 3G handhelds in the $100 price range, which was won by LG, Nokia’s Chief Technology Officer Tero Ojanpera said:

“3G is not about cheap price but about new capabilities, … It’s not the first priority to have a cheap phone.”

That’s an especially interesting statement considering their movement in India. If Nokia is setting budget products and 3G as mutually exclusive, then it looks like India’s going to be stuck with second-rate (but accessible) service for some time, that is, unless, someone can step in to fill that higher-end niche.