ST-Ericsson cannot survive against Qualcomm (high end) and Mediatek (low end). They should stop but splitting analog and digital units will not help. Their advantages in the sensor area will decrease as many other suppliers are active in this market.
ST-E has much better fundamental core strength than the laughing stock like Renesas Mobile. For this to survive and to prove its might, persistent investment are needed. STM doesn't seem to have the cash. The investment community in Europe has unfortunately been following their greedy counterparts from Wall Streets and is unlikely to put up with the investment. So, the best course is to find a good home for the STE. STM should look east for the takers - Korea or China!
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.
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.
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.
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.
If the greedy Wall Street analysts and the fat cats from the big banks are willing to follow your suggestion of "try, try again" to give ST time and money, I'll buy you a ticket from anywhere in the world to Switzerland and pay you for a 5-day decent hotel accommodation.
STM32f4 discovery is the best arm processor available in the world produced by St; But there is insufficient support on all over product portfolia of ST. if you have not a beginner side of view you generally loss...
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.
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 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.