Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM - Analyst Report), one of the leading manufacturers of CDMA-based smartphone chipsets, plans to provide support to the Android application developer with the launch of new Software Development Kit (SDK).
This SDK has the necessary tools and technical support, which the Android application developer can utilize to access programs integrated into the hardware component of Qualcomm’s successful Snapdragon S4 8960 processor. This creates an open source platform, which enables developers to empower Snapdragon S4 processor-based phones with features like facial processing, surround sound, low-power geofencing, and sensor-based gestures.
Initially it will be applied on smartphones running on Snapdragon S4 8960 chipsets and later on will be used on other Snapdragon chipsets-based smartphones.
Even Qualcomm’s close rival, Nvidia Corporation (NVDA - Analyst Report) has launched similar SDK technology for its popular Tegra chipset where application developers can easily integrate programs into chips, which in turn will benefit the ultimate user of the smartphone or tablet as it will provide better gaming experience and increased battery life.
Earlier, developers used to integrate applications on Google Inc.’s Android and Apple Inc.’s (AAPL - Analyst Report) iOS operating system but now chipset manufacturers are also providing these programmers the opportunity to add applications into their chipsets, thereby adding more flexibility to their programming skills as well as improving the smartphone usage. We believe that such practice implemented by the chip maker of bypassing the operating system may give rise to new level of competition between mobile phone operating system and chip provider.
Increased usage of smartphones and higher deployment of LTE networks will drive the mobile application market with leaps and bounds. According to IDC research firm, mobile application market is expected to reach $35 billion by 2014. So providing the Qualcomm SDK toolkit to the Android application developer will further boost the mobile application market as the company is one of the leading chipset providers for LTE-based smartphones.
However, it is to be seen whether Qualcomm limits its SDK toolkit usage to Snapdragon-based smartphones or will likely promote it to other Android devices.
Currently, Qualcomm has a Zacks #3 Rank, implying a short-term Hold rating on the stock.