Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Microvision: Lands Order for Laser Pico Projectors with World Leading Mobile Phone Operator

That’s the news from this morning…

Microvision Lands Order For SHOWWX Laser Pico Projectors With World Leading Mobile Phone Operator

Press Release
Source: Microvision, Inc.
On 6:30 am EDT, Tuesday October 27, 2009

REDMOND, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Microvision, Inc. (NASDAQ:MVIS - News), a global leader in innovative ultra-miniature projection display and image-capture products for mobility applications, announced today that it has received an initial purchase order from its European distributor for its SHOWWX™ laser-based pico projector to be sold by one of the world’s top mobile phone operators. The initial quantities of SHOWWX are expected to be deployed within the next month in Europe and at that time more details are expected to be provided by the mobile carrier.

“We are extremely pleased to welcome our first global mobile phone operator as a SHOWWX launch customer for 2009,” stated Alexander Tokman, Microvision President and CEO. “Carriers serve as the frontline to mobile subscribers and as a result often influence mobile handset designs to include new features that delight their customers and help achieve a broader subscriber base and higher revenue per user. We believe that interest from one of the three largest carriers in the world in this application and specifically in Microvision’s PicoP® laser projection technology is an important first step towards future accessory and embedded opportunities.”

Microvision’s Made for iPod® SHOWWX laser pico projector, based on the PicoP display engine, delivers a colorful, vivid “big screen” viewing experience from a device about the size of a mobile phone. Users of the SHOWWX can also connect to other portable media players, mobile phones and notebooks to spontaneously share movies, YouTube™, photos, presentations and more with their friends, family or business associates. The SHOWWX can project images up to 200 inches across, depending on the ambient lighting conditions, without the user ever having to adjust focus.

About Microvision, Inc.

Microvision provides the PicoP display technology platform designed to enable next-generation display and imaging products for pico projectors, vehicle displays, and wearable displays that interface with mobile devices. The company’s projection display engine uses highly efficient laser light sources which can create vivid images with high contrast and brightness. For more information, visit the company’s website (www.microvision.com).
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Here’s the link to the news…
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Microvision-Lands-Order-For-bw-181864591.html?x=0&.v=1

Observations and Comments
This news is huge and historical in nature for Microvision.  Microvision’s laser PicoP projector SHOWwx is the first to be sold or offered by a global mobile phone carrier… to add value to the services it offers. This is the first giant step [no baby steps here] taken by Microvision in its long journey to becoming ubiquitous with its laser PicoP display technology.

There are several tit bits of information that reveal a lot more than the words can say from the press release.

Here are some interesting observations…
• “REDMOND, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Microvision, Inc. (NASDAQ:MVIS - News), a global leader in innovative ultra-miniature projection display and image-capture products for mobility applications, announced today that it has received an initial purchase order from its European distributor for its SHOWWX™ laser-based pico projector to be sold by one of the world’s top mobile phone operators. The initial quantities of SHOWWX are expected to be deployed within the next month in Europe and at that time more details are expected to be provided by the mobile carrier.”

It is only recently that I noticed and then started to pay more attention to how Microvision describes itself in its press releases…

“…, a global leader in innovative ultra-miniature projection display and image-capture products for mobility applications,”

We all understand well, the pico projector used as ultra-miniature projection display for mobility applications. But, what the heck “image-capture for mobility applications” means? Well, at the CC it became quite clear that Microvision is developing “image-capture” applications using the same PicoP display engine that also does the "image-projection” part. Do you get it? A laser PicoP display engine the does all three functions: as an always-in-focus projector; a scanner; and an always-in-focus camera of some sort. That’s a whole new line of high margin, so I’m told, applications for the laser PicoP display engine. All these new applications are possible due only to the laser projection and laser scanning capability of the laser based PicoP display technology.

That’s a wide open high margin market: for precision measurement; diagnostics; and depth oriented imaging that no one can compete for a foreseeable future. Here’s what Alex Tokman, Microvision CEO, said at the CC…

AT:  "We are constantly looking at the new vertical markets that take advantage of similar tech that is inside accessory projector and later will be inside cell phones. These applications not just include projections applications we also, our tech, is also fully-reversible. Which means we can use it for imaging as well as _______(?) presenting an image, we can capture an image. And combination of these two powerful features in one device gives us certain unique offerings that nobody else can touch. For example, ability to, with high precision, diagnose and measure something and then display it is only something we can do because we use MEMS mirrors and because we use lasers. I can’t give you any details on the phone because we are not ready to discuss this but all I can tell you is that you will see some of the initial demonstrations of these applications next year starting at CES."

• “…announced today that it has received an initial purchase order from its European distributor for its SHOWWX™ laser-based pico projector to be sold by one of the world’s top mobile phone operators.”

This news is huge and historical in nature for Microvision. And I say that, because, for the first time ever a global mobile phone carrier has taken under its wings a pico projector to enhance the value proposition of its service offering. In simple language, Microvision’s laser PicoP projector SHOWwx is the first to be sold or offered by a global mobile phone carrier… to add value to the services it offers.
• “…The initial quantities of SHOWWX are expected to be deployed within the next month in Europe and at that time more details are expected to be provided by the mobile carrier.”

Well, that’s where the rubber meets the road… and Microvision can only travel this road when more green lasers become available from Osram during November. The green lasers from Corning are destined to build SHOWwx PicoP projectors going to Asia-Pacific region.

The quantities of green lasers from Osram are the wild card… because the production numbers are still up in the air. However, in the matter of a month or two the green lasers from Osram should start coming off the line and Microvision will have better handle on quantities.

One thing is for sure, with today’s announcement as one of the three largest carriers in the world taking interest in SHOWwx, PicoP projector, there will be an ample customer demand for whatever Microvision can supply for a long time to come.

• It is interesting to note what Alex Tokman said in the press release…

“Carriers serve as the frontline to mobile subscribers and as a result often influence mobile handset designs to include new features that delight their customers and help achieve a broader subscriber base and higher revenue per user. We believe that interest from one of the three largest carriers in the world in this application and specifically in Microvision’s PicoP® laser projection technology is an important first step towards future accessory and embedded opportunities.”

Selling directly to a global mobile carrier allows Microvision higher margins for now [like $500 per SHOWwx] and also opens the doors to future opportunities for its accessory and embedded product line. In my opinion, selling directly to the global mobile carrier is the ultimate objective of a successful marketing and sales campaign… if you want to sell millions of units at pop to the captive customer base of hundreds of millions.

Think about it?

Could Apple sell 7million iPhones in a quarter without any help from AT&T?

I very much doubt it!

Case in example is Samsung, looking to sell its smartphone with built-in pico projector. Do you know how many global mobile carriers have signed-up to offer Samsung’s smartphone with built-in pico projector to their customer base?

Right!

None!

Closing comments…

Today Microvision announced initial purchase order from a European mobile carrier. It is a huge win, considering that it’s an initial PO from a purchaser who is "one of the three largest carriers in the world." There are some speculations that it could be Vodaphone. However, when it comes to Microvision customers, speculating is not a fun pass-time. So, we should just wait and see who or what turns-up in the next 30-days.

I’m glad to see a global mobile service provider get engaged with Microvision at this early stage, since they're ultimately the target frontline customer with eventual distribution to millions of existing subscribers. Today’s announcement should not be a surprise though. We have known for some time now that there will be one more OEM announcement by year's end. All this information has been out there from previous press releases and conference calls.

Even though this European mobile carrier news is obviously huge and it's great news, unfortunately we also know that the quantities of SHOWwx for 2009 are going to be very low (like in thousands).  However, with Osram coming on-line towards the end of this year, the quantities for 2010 are expected to be in "hundreds of thousands" of units, and that's when things will get really interesting.

Consider this for a moment…

“Assuming that during 2010, Microvision was to ship, to all of its sales channels, a total of 200,000 SHOWwx units at an average price of $500 each… then that would translate into $100 million in high margin revenue.”

I’ll leave you with that thought to ponder upon and share the “best news” from a fellow Microvision investor…

“The best news is not this announcement, but the fact that October is almost over and 2010 begins in only two months.” … mvisbuzz

Anant Goel
http://www.wealthbyoptions.com/