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Jon Peddie Research Reports on Handheld Multimedia DevicesCovers multimedia semiconductors and IP for handhelds and phones (August 16, 2004)
There is no doubt that the handheld market is very exciting with over 540 million handheld devices shipped in 2003; 98% of those shipments are mobile phones. Today, only a few of those devices have multimedia capabilities. While JPR predicts that multimedia will be a driving force in the growth of the market, there are tough times ahead for suppliers. There are approximately 29 semiconductor suppliers jockeying for position in this uncertain market. By 2006, JPR believes consolidation will have taken its toll leaving only a handful of semiconductor suppliers.
This extensive, 450 page report will be available the week of August 16 for $2,999.95 and it can be purchased online or by calling 415.435.9368.
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In this issue:
* Alias buys Kaydara in a surprise announcement at Siggraph. As Alias builds its portfolio and fills in some gaps in its capabilities, it seems smaller products face big challenges.
* Apple makes big splash with Motion -- Debuted at NAB, Motion takes center stage at Siggraph ... Literally. Apple took the front and center position at Siggraph to demonstrate Motion, Shake, Final Cut Pro and the Tiger version of OS X.
* Imagination redefines the game -- JPR reports on its latest field trip, a visit to Imagination Technologies. The company is building its business out of IP and it is turning old models on its head as it does so.
* TI takes its show on the road -- Every year TI goes on the road and shows off the latest devices putting TI technology to work.
Did you see the news about Sonic buying Roxio's content creation software? Yep, the company formerly known as Roxio has sold off its content creation software and it has dedicated itself to its troubled child, Napster. You always fall in love with the ones that will break your heart. The people at Napster are betting big on music rentals. So far, we have had very mixed results with the idea but the latest version of Windows Media will allow rented media to be downloaded to players and Napster hopes this will help push the market. We've been using the service which lets you download and listen to all the music you want as long as you subscribe to the service but we have had decidedly mixed results on using it when we're not online. The idea is interesting, the execution needs work.
We'll have more news from Siggraph in the next issue of TechWatch but we'll raise this question: how can the smaller companies survive? So far, it's an emotional choice. Artists with a soft spot in their heart for certain products can demand the tools they want. And, why not? Interoperability has become less of a problem and the work of an artist is and always will be a subjective process influenced by emotion as well as skill. Well, Apple is suggesting that in projects costing millions of dollars it might be more important to concentrate on consistency, reliability, and interoperability. It's an argument that holds some sway in the video business. And, it's an argument that Discreet, Alias, and Avid have made on more than one occasion as well.
We note however, that this year there seemed to be many more artists at Siggraph than engineers. How could we tell? It was a very complicated and scientific process involving ratios between cargo pants, red hair, pony tails, and hawaiian shirts. There was a time and it was not too long ago when it was mostly engineers who roamed the aisles of Siggraph and that's because the tools were so difficult to use that it required users who combined the skills of computer science and artist to get real work done. Finally, blessedly, artists have taken their rightful place in the command chair and the results are evident on the screen. That's good news for the small companies.
We will note, for the sake of controversy as much as anything else, that one of the big aids to interoperability has been the evolution of the FBX format developed by Kaydara and supported by the major players which allows models and animations to be exchanged between packages. Will there be the same spirit of cooperation now that Alias owns FBX? For their part, Alias pledges to keep FBX neutral.
About Jon Peddie Research
Jon Peddie Research is a technically oriented marketing and management consulting firm. We have worked in the graphics and multimedia fields for more than 30 years. Based in Tiburon, California, JPR provides specialized services to companies in high-tech fields including graphics hardware development, multimedia for professional applications and consumer electronics, high-end computing, and Internet access product development.
For information about our services call us at 415 435 9368 or write us at email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com (you get the idea). A list of our products and services is available at http://www.jonpeddie.com/services. Check out our online store at www.jonpeddie.com. If you get the urge to do a little impulse shopping -- why we're here for you.
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