Samsung Taking PortalPlayer's Business?

Discussion in 'MacRumors News Discussion (archive)' started by MacRumors, Apr 26, 2006.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Samsung will be the beneficiary of last week's announcement that PortalPlayer's media chip will not be used in upcoming flash-based iPods.

    PortalPlayer's media chip has been used in Apple's iPod from the beginning, but PortalPlayer's stock dropped on the news that Apple had decided to pass on their upcoming PP5021 media processor chip.

    While PortalPlayer's current chip will continue to be used in current iPods, eeTimes reports that Samsung has been working with Apple on a "PortalPlayer killer" 32-bit chip based on ARM technology. This new chip has been chosen for use in future flash-based iPods.

    Few details are provided on the benefits of the switch. Samsung, however, is also the supplier of much of the NAND flash memory provided in the recent Flash-based iPods.

    Based on these component reports, there has been speculation that the flash iPods will see a revision later this year.

  2. macrumors P6


    Feb 3, 2005
    Right side of wrong
    this seems like good news, but we'll have to wait and see
  3. macrumors member

    Apr 24, 2006
    Ithaca, NY
    as long as the iPods are still awesome, it's all good!
  4. macrumors 6502

    Jul 14, 2004
    Until we see how this affects us in any way (cheaper prices mebbe?), who cares?
  5. macrumors newbie

    Apr 29, 2004
    go samsung!

    i love samsung. i really do think that they put out amazingly good products, and i'm happy to see them get more business!
  6. macrumors 6502

    Feb 1, 2006
    i see samsung winning on so many levels with this

    portalplayer only made/designed chips

    samsung has its own line of players, plus making iPods?

    hell of a marketshare in the manufacturing world, hell of a marketshare
  7. macrumors 68030

    Oct 24, 2003
    The Amalgamated States of Central North America
    Confuse me?

    I believe I have seen Samsung MP3 players (that obviously don't compete well with the iPod). So isn't there some corporate dissonance here? Even if it helps their bottom line to sell Apple this technology, aren't they sort of selling their own MP3 players short? --which is based on the assumption they won't adopt this technology for their own MP3 players..what am I missing?
  8. macrumors 68000


    Feb 2, 2006
    wasn't samsung in the middle of a big scandal not too long ago? I know that doesn't really mean anything about this but it seems strange to go into big contract/deals like this so soon afterward.
  9. macrumors 6502a


    Jun 4, 2005
    2,000 light years from home
    Any chances this new chip could bring video to the next nano ?

    That would be excellent...
  10. macrumors 68000


    Feb 2, 2006
    agree, but other than size, what would be the point of buying the regular ipod?
    seems like it wouldn't justify the cost at that point.
  11. macrumors 68000


    Feb 2, 2006
    but I totally see it happening, you can sell a lot more videos to people who can put them on their 'pods
  12. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 26, 2005
  13. macrumors 68040


    Jan 16, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    I think more than 7x the storage for $50 is more than enough to justify the price. There was a time when the only distinguishing feature was a larger capacity and it worked well.
  14. macrumors 6502a

    This makes for some strange bedfellows. Samsung not only competes in the MP3 player market, but also they are/were considered one of the top competitors to apple, as one of the few companies with the sense of style and ease of use to pull off such a move. Further, they've made statements about their intentions of gaining market share in the Asian market from apple, and those have been quite brazen and exact. Odd conflict of interests for samsung, but also a sweet situation, b/c they make money whoever wins, and they get some control over apple by being their supplier, not to mention inside info.
  15. macrumors 6502a


    Jun 4, 2005
    2,000 light years from home

    Good points - also makes me think of the Apple - HP iPod partnership that brought Apple products into stores that had no relationship with Apple.
  16. macrumors 68030

    Analog Kid

    Mar 4, 2003
    Now this is getting interesting... Particularly given that Samsung has the closest thing to an iPod competitor right now. So what are they up to?

    It's not inconceivable that this is just different divisions of the company behaving independently. That's not uncommon in US companies. Each division is responsible for it's own profits and they'll get there however they can. Motorola was particularly bad in this way-- the automotive group introduced a microprocessor (M-core) that they said was target at mobile applications while the mobile group was singing the praises of ARM. Given a company the size of Samsung, there has to be some of that...

    Are they trying to learn as much as they can from Apple before applying it to their own products? You have to think that they closer they get to the iPod group, the more they're going to pick up on-- even if just by osmosis. It also gives them some advance strategic knowledge as far as release dates and what not. [Edit: didn't they hire the iPod UI designer?]

    Are they trying to "draft" off of Apple? Hoping that once the world figures out that all of the guts of the iPod are Samsung they might think more favorably towards the Samsung players?

    Have they decided they can't beat Apple so they're trying to at least get the component sales? Faced with a war they know they can't win, they started selling bullets?

    Are they trying to hollow Apple out? Once Apple is heavily dependent on Samsung for key components (and I'd say Flash and CPU qualify as such...) then it gives Samsung a lot of control. Sudden component shortage around the time of a new Samsung product release for example?

    Was this part of the original Flash deal? Did Samsung say "we'll give you Flash at our internal cost (cost between divisions) if you agree to take the controller chip we've been working on too"?

    All so very, very interesting.

    In truth, it's probably not anywhere near that interesting-- Samsung probably just went ahead and signed the biggest LSI deal in their history without caring about any of this. Profit's profit.
  17. macrumors G3


    Aug 30, 2003
    Apple have collaborated with what are seen by the public as competitors many times over the years, with Microsoft and IBM standing out in front as examples.

    It will be amusing to watch all the trash talk about Samsung media players reverse as soon as they are encased in white rectangles with Apple logos.
  18. macrumors member

    Feb 27, 2006
    New York, NY
    A trash talking Samsung VP. What is that about?
  19. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 26, 2005
    I thought it was humorous, show's they're full of spirit!
  20. macrumors 68040


    Mar 24, 2003
    Whoa! Doesn't that make Apple's kind of backstabbing PortalPlayer here somehow? Apple and Samsung have been working together to make a "PortalPlayer killer"?? Did Apple not like PortalPlayer? Did i miss something?
  21. macrumors 6502


    Jun 1, 2005
    San Diego, California
    didnt apple quit samsung? now they're coming back to samsung?
  22. macrumors newbie

    Apr 26, 2006
    I'm thinking that this probably will go beyond just the obvious as far as the iPod market goes. Apple will still make a huge profit off them, regardless of who is making the internals - the end user doesn't really care. Certainly, this would be a bonus for Samsung, but it also offers clear benefits for Apple. By getting cozy with Samsung they likely get access to more than just an ARM-based processor. Samsung makes Hard Drives, Flash Memory, SDRAM, Smart Cards and LCDs. Getting more components from a single supplier reduces costs from a logistical perspective.

    Additionally there's that rumor floating about that Apple are interested in the PDA/Portable market. Getting an ARM chip could well be a strong step towards that. They can use them in their iPods and everything, but they'd also be a very likely choice for a PDA processor. In fact, Apple used an ARM-derived chip in the Newton. You'll also see the ARM-derived XScale processor used in a myriad of modern handhelds such as the Blackberry and much of Palm's recent offerings.
  23. macrumors 6502

    Nov 19, 2002
    Stuttgart, Germany
    I don't think they'll have so much control over Apple; if something goes wrong in the partnership, Apple can always switch suppliers again, like going to Intel for iPod chips. Intel also makes chips for portable devices.
  24. macrumors 68030


    May 7, 2002
    2 Much Infinite Loops
    only geeks or insiders would know what kind of proc or part is in a device.

    if we could poll everybody with an iPod and ask if they know portalplayer, i would guess, only a minimum would know what portalplayer is.
  25. macrumors 6502

    Nov 19, 2002
    Stuttgart, Germany
    The more I think about this deal, the more I wonder if Apple and Samsung are not teaming up on more than just iPod chips.

    I worked at the CeBIT in Hannover, Germany (the world's largest electronics trade show) six weeks ago, and Samsung was showing off some extremely cool new cell phones. I was thinking about one model in particular, the SGH-D800, that could easily be made into the fabled iPhone, with a slight design modification. Samsung is currently the world's third largest mobile phone manufacturer behind Nokia and Motorola, and pretty much have the Asian cell phone market on lockdown. Apple using Samsung to build a cell phone is a pretty big deal, if that were indeed the case.


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