We looked at revenue and operating income per employee for the big semis companies, and since that was so much fun, we looked at another dozen companies. Broadcom and Apple are in a league of their own. It is good to have a software or licensing business.
Apple’s M3 launch stood out for its focus on how people actually use computers, the lack of AI acronyms and the fact that they launched 3 chips all at once. It is only getting harder to compete with them.
Microsoft is opening up the market for Arm-based laptop CPUs. This is bad news today for Qualcomm, and potentially bad for Intel over the very long term
Apple’s antipathy towards Qualcomm pre-dates the launch of the iPhone and seems to be deeply ingrained in their culture. Qualcomm would probably be very flexible to normalize the relationship, but has limits to what i can offer, especially around IP.
We are going to start hearing a lot more about Handheld Game devices (PC grade graphics in devices smaller than a PC). This will not supplant phones of PCs, but could be a good segment for a few companies.
Somebody needs to reignite excitement in the software ecosystem for phones. The semis vendors have an opportunity to rejuvenate the industry, but the changes it would require for their organizations likely means someone else will capture the opportunity.
Apple has signed up to keep using Qualcomm’s modem. We would never say ‘We told you so’, but this development does not come entirely as a surprise. Building modems is hard.
The Vision Pro looks like Apple has once again delivered something magical. We have a lot of questions as to how it will work in real life, but our first impression has searching through our couches to come up with a spare $3,500.
Apple just raised the stakes for VR. Absent Meta developing their own VR OS, the best case for the market is smartphones where Apple has all the profits. The worst case is the tablet market where Apple has all the profits AND all the volume.
Apple has a history of relegating its homegrown chips to the Apple Watch. Is that the fate of their future cellular modem?