Ruminations on the electronics industry from David Manners, Senior Components Editor on Electronics Weekly.
Qualcomm Inside is said to be the current marketing strategy from the San Diego wireless supremo.
Apparently it is preparing films and advertising to spread the glories of Snapdragon to the mobile chattering classes.
All very well. Intel Inside did a fine job for the x86 architecture in PCs. Good harmless fun – dancing fab guys etc etc.
But there was a dark side to Intel Inside – a series of nasty deals whereby customers were induced not to buy rivals’ chips.
Japan, Korea and the EU all punished Intel for these inducements and the US FTC severely reprimanded Intel for implementing them.
It is to be hoped that Qualcomm Inside will not replicate the nasty side of Intel Inside.
However Qualcomm has form in the writing of tough contracts. Back in 2009, the Japan Fair Trade Commission told Qualcomm to rewrite contracts for Japanese customers which included clauses to prevent Qualcomm customers suing Qualcomm for patent infringements, while requiring the Japanese customers to give royalty-free licenses for their own technology tho Qualcomm.
Qualcomm is now in a much stronger position vis a vis its customer base than it was in 2009, thanks to the demise of ST-Ericsson and other competitors, and the fear is that it may use its muscle unfairly.