Marvell’s Mobile Biz Might Merge, But Who With?
Marvell’s search for suitors for its mobile business unit illustrates a dramatic change in the global smartphone business. Nobody seems winning big. The irony is that the longer Marvell hangs onto its mobile division, the narrower the window gets.
Even with the departure from the global market of major chip vendors ST-Ericsson, Renesas Mobile, Broadcom, Nvidia, the survivors, including Qualcomm, MediaTek and Samsung, are suffering from intense price competition — while also looking forward grimly to “weaker demand” for smartphones.
With the prospect of a shrinking market, Qualcomm last month announced that it will lay off 15% of its employees — about 4,700 people. MediaTek last week pared its expectations for 2015 as a result of weaker demand for smartphones and stronger price competition for handset chips.
Against that backdrop, Marvell Technology is back in the rumor mill.
The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company has been reportedly toying with the idea of selling control of its mobile chip business. The latest speculation, as reported by Bloomberg, is that Marvell has attracted interest from Chinese state firms including Leadcore Technology Co. and Shanghai Pudong Science & Technology Investment Co. (PDSTI).