Qualcomm Plans To Take On Netbooks, Cheap PCs with Affordable Kayak Platform

In a bid to capitalize on the opportunities in emerging markets where conventional broadband connectivity isn’t commonly available, Qualcomm has announced a low-cost computing platform, which is touted as a “cheaper alternative to PCs”.

The platform, tagged as “Kayak”, runs on company’s own dual-core MSM7 series chips, and it could also incorporate its Snapdragon chipsets that offer both, CDMA-based 3G and GSM-based connectivity.

With Kayak’s 3G capabilities, the company claimed that it would bridge the gap between web-supported wireless devices and traditional landline connectivity.

The company further purported that Kayak would feature recommended software and reference design that would enable device manufactures to create their own low-cost devices.

In addition, the new PC alternative from Qualcomm offers, support for both TV and computer monitors as displays, Web 2.0 compatible browser from Opera software, music player, and support for standard mouse and keyboard as input devices.

While announcing the platform, Luis Pineda, Qualcomm’s senior VP for marketing and product management, said, “The broad footprint of 3G networks means that wireless is the answer to Internet access for worldwide markets--especially in emerging regions”.

Taiwan-based Inventec will manufacture the initial units of Kayak on both WCDMA and CDMA2000 networks, on trial basis in the first quarter of 2009.

Qualcomm expects that the Kayak- based devices would ship for less than USD 400, when linked with some 3G network carrier.

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