There is a great demand towards Internet-enabled devices on the emerging markets, where there is wireless broadband network coverage, but even low-cost netbooks may be too expensive for those markets, partly because they require additional equipment to connect the Internet. Qualcomm on Wednesday announced a new PC alternative to make high-speed wireless Internet access more widely available and affordable in emerging markets.
The Kayak PC alternative leverages the widespread availability of 3G wireless broadband to bring Internet connectivity to markets where wired Internet access has often been difficult to access or unaffordable. The Kayak PC alternative fills the niche that exists between desktop PCs, which normally require landlines or separate accessories for connectivity, and Internet-capable wireless devices. Devices based on the Kayak reference design will offer:
- A full-featured Web 2.0-capable browser from Opera Software able to perform at desktop resolutions
- Access via the browser to Web 2.0 productivity applications
- Support for both television sets and computer monitors to be used as displays and/or for a built-in display
- Compatibility with a standard keyboard and mouse for input
- Music player and/or a 3D gaming console functionality
Qualcomm Kayak PC alternative platform fully relies on Internet-based software, thus, does not require truly expensive hardware inside.
“Web-based applications open up new possibilities for people in emerging markets for whom packaged software can be expensive. Combining the Opera browser with Qualcomm's chipset is a great way to help bring the power of connected computing to millions of new Internet users around the world,” said Rod Hamlin, senior vice president of sales in Americas at Opera Software.
The Kayak PC alternative includes a reference design and recommended software specifications that will be made available to device manufacturers. Manufacturers can then design a wide range of devices based on the Kayak reference design that take advantage of the high level of integration, inherent connectivity and comprehensive functionality. The Kayak reference design uses Qualcomm’s dual-core Mobile Station Modem (MSM) MSM7xxx-series chipsets to provide both computing and connectivity. In the future, commercial Kayak-based devices may also be powered by Snapdragon solutions.
Initial Kayak PC alternative units, manufactured by Taiwan-based Inventec Corporation, will be used to initiate user trials during the first quarter of 2009 in Southeast Asia on both CDMA2000 and WCDMA (UMTS ) networks.