This year, Philips has been bumped off the top 10 global semiconductor vendors list. They need a break-out strategy. The bet is on a $10-$12 Mobile TV module for the US market, hoping that Mobile TV will be a standard feature in 10%-20% of the cellular phones by 2008 (1.2 Billion Handsets).
Philips has been sampling the system-in-package (SIP) device since the summer to the top six mobile handset vendors. TI and ST have plans of releasing Mobile TV modules as well, but Philips’ product is the only one currently in the market. A single package solution from one supplier is attractive to handset vendors, because it offers better logistics.
Low power operation is also a key requirement for TV-on-mobile solutions. The Philips SIP, together with the TV tuner and the demodulator, consumes less than 50 mW of power in DVB-H mode, consuming 300 mW in continuous mode. It currently comes in a small module package measuring 15 by 25 by 2 mm, shrinking next year to 9 by 9 by 2 mm.
DVB-H is not the only mobile TV broadcast standard being pitched to the cell phone industry in the U.S. Qualcomm, promoting its proprietary mobile TV technology called MediaFLO, announced that Verizon will provide real-time mobile video over the MediaFLO multicasting network.
How quickly mobile TV services catch on as a popular feature remains to be seen, but mobile content is getting a lot of attention in the venture circles as well.
Besides, in every dimension of the digital content industry, there are changes happening, and it is perfectly legitimate for Philips to hope that some of these trends will come in their direction. After all, Samsung, Intel, AMD (via Spansion), & Hynix have all gained tremendously from the iPod driven demand for Flash Memory.