Qualcomm Incorporated has unveiled a cheaper PC alternative that it hopes will give wider access to high-speed wireless internet at affordable rates to emerging markets. Qualcomm said the new PC, Kayak, will fill a niche between PCs and smart phones in areas where users cannot access wired broadband connections.
The new platform will be based on Qualcomm's dual-core MSM7 series chipsets and, over time, the design could also include Qualcomm's Snapdragon chipsets, aimed at high-end mobile Internet devices. Kayak devices could be connected to a TV, computer monitor or have a built-in display, supporting a keyboard and mouse and could play music files and 3-D games.
Qualcomm is betting on Kayak to fill a gap between landline connectivity and Internet-capable wireless devices for 3G wireless broadband usage.
Instead of manufacturing Kayak computing devices itself, the company plans to make a reference design and recommended software specifications available to device manufacturers, who can then design their own devices based on the Kayak specification.
With Taiwan's Inventec making products based on the design, Qualcomm said it will begin user trials in the first quarter of 2009 on both CDMA2000 and WCDMA (UMTS ) networks in Southeast Asia.
Anticipating emerging markets to be a huge growth driver for the telecommunications industry in the coming years, a representative of Inventec Corporation said they are upbeat on Qualcomm's Kayak reference design that uses wireless networks to bring internet connectivity to developing markets.
A representative of Opera Software, whose full-featured Web 2.0-capable browser is a part of the Kayak's reference design, says this synergy would create millions of new internet users around the world.
Luis Pineda, SVP of marketing and product management for Qualcomm, sees wireless as the key to Internet access for worldwide markets, especially in emerging regions.
"Web-based applications open up new possibilities for people in emerging markets for whom packaged software can be expensive," said Rod Hamlin, senior vice president of sales, Americas, Opera Software, in a statement.
Trial production of Kayak units will be done by Taiwan-based Inventec in the first quarter of 2009 on both CDMA2000 and WCDMA (UMTS) networks. Qualcomm plans to use its Snapdragon platform for the Kayak in the future.