What good is a phone without cellular connectivity? ST-E can provide the WLAN solution but its not always that it can provide cellular connectivity. Lets leave it at that as I am not in a position to elaborate.
Renesas Mobile never existed before Nokia sold its modem division. That should be a clear indication that RM is what former Nokia modem was. The Mitsubishi, Hitachi and NEC alliance was doing mobile multimedia and nothing to do with cellular modems and was later merged with RM. Nokia modem was the first in getting many technologies deployed in handsets.
I tend to agree with the sentiment that offering a me too strategy is not going to lead to growth. But then I look at what Samsung has done relative to Apple. Samsung in many ways has been a successful me too relative to Apple. And the other players are all jealous of both Apple and Samsung.
The Arm players are doing well and Intel is somewhat on the defensive end these days since the PC market is not growing much these days. Most of the Arm players are not doomed.
ST has failed in its wireless business because it is insular and too cautious. Most of ST's American offices are already shutdown or going that way. Bozotti is just a empty suit compared to his predecessor with no vision and most of ST management is like that these days. The governments of Italy and France probably don't have the money to bailout ST. ST will only get broken up when it faces bankruptcy. So I think ST will still exist, but I don't see ST as particularly innovative any more. ST has always focused on the process and not on the end product. So its successes have been more by accident rather than by good management.
As far as connectivity is concerned, WLAN is the cheapest wireless connection right now, NOT the cellular modem. If you take a large picture view of connectivity, you should see that cellular modem without WLAN is half-baked. Mobile Phone is only a subset of the universe of Connected Devices.
ST-E has,over the years, absorbed EMP (Ericsson Mobile Platform), Philips Semiconductor's cellular modem group. Further, STM was a reasonably contender for cellular modem ICs before ST-E was formed. There were trade articles claiming that STM also absorbed some modem related groups from Nokia.
In contrast, Renesas Mobile's core was the former cellular modem groups from Mitsubishi, NEC, Hitachi Semiconductors (more dominated by Mitsubishi). It acquired the over-1000 people team from Nokia when it became a financial and operational burden for Nokia. Considering the contribution of Japanese semiconductors in cellular modems since GPRS and CDMA2000, it is only logical to rate ST-E way above Renesas Mobile. "Laughing Stock" refers to the fact that Renesas Mobile is loosing good money due to bad management since it was formed.
Most of the ARM Players are doomed. Look at TI, Freescale, Marvell. ST is not a different story either. When things become commodity, companies involved lose big time. They are all peddling commodity products with MeToo features. They will all get burnt
I think throwing away some business units that are competitive anymore should be very natural for large companies like STM. I think keeping the MCU , MEMS and analog segments are good but STM really should think about other digital functionalities.
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