Thursday, October 8, 2009

Microvision Secures Global Consumer Electronics OEM To Private-Label Laser Pico Projector

That’s the heading of the Press Release from this morning.

Here’s the link…

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Microvision-Secures-Global-bw-3416063198.html?x=0&.v=1

Source: Microvision, Inc.
On 6:30 am EDT, Thursday October 8, 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 secured an initial purchase order for a global consumer electronics OEM to private-label its PicoP® display engine-based accessory laser pico projector. This purchase order is tied to a marketing and distribution agreement Microvision announced recently with an Asian distribution partner who also has purchased Microvision’s branded product, the SHOWWX™, for distribution within the Asia-Pacific region. (See Microvision press release, “Microvision Receives Purchase Order and Begins Shipping World’s First Laser Pico Projector, SHOWWX,” September 30, 2009.) The Asian distribution partner and global consumer electronics OEM are both planning their own marketing launch activities and will provide specific details regarding timing and locations for initial product availability in the near future. Microvision has begun shipping units to fulfill both customers.

“We are extremely pleased to receive our first purchase order to private label the PicoP based accessory laser pico projector,” said Alexander Tokman, President and CEO of Microvision. “Having a global consumer electronics player, which is targeting a new mobile communication device strategy, attach their name to our product strongly validates the performance and quality of our first laser projector offering. On the heels of announcing our first shipments of the SHOWWX laser pico projector, and receiving the purchase order from an international distributor, this is another significant milestone in our go-to-market strategy.”

Microvision’s SHOWWX Laser Pico Projector, uses the revolutionary PicoP display engine that delivers colorful, vivid, large images that create a truly “big screen” viewing experience from a device about the size of a mobile phone. The SHOWWX can project images from 12” to 150” inches across, depending on the ambient lightning conditions, without the user ever having to adjust focus. This pico projector is a simple plug-n-play device for people on-the-go who want to spontaneously view and share multimedia applications and programs such as mobile TV, movies, photos, user-generated content such as YouTube™, presentations and more with their friends, family or business associates. Users can seamlessly plug Microvision’s pocket-sized pico projector into their portable media players, mobile phones, notebooks and other portable mobile media devices with TV-Out or VGA functionality.

Continues…
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After three years of hard work, anxiously waiting for green lasers and sweating it each passing day, today’s announcement comes as a major milestone accomplished in the history of Microvision. The stakeholders in Microvision [investors, partners and consumers] can finally take comfort in today’s announcement as a milestone that…

“…validates the performance and quality of our first laser projector offering. On the heels of announcing our first shipments of the SHOWWX laser pico projector, and receiving the purchase order from an international distributor, this is another significant milestone in our go-to-market strategy.” ... Alex Tokman, CEO of Microvision.

It is interesting to read how Microvision management perceives the significance of today’s announcement themselves. Here’s what Matt Nichols, Microvision corporate spokesperson, said in his post at the company’s blog The Displayland…

“…we launched, we started initial shipments, we have the SHOWWX brand and now (tada!) an OEM private label brand accessory laser pico projector. This has been a fun few weeks.”

Yes, Matt we agree with you and hope you are enjoying your day [our day] in the sun for a change.

Here’s the link to Matt’s post at The Displayland…

http://www.microvision.com/displayground/

All is well and good; however, it is frustrating, again, to note that the Microvision management withheld the names of the two companies involved in releasing the initial purchase orders. So we grabbed our “trench coats” and went sleuthing to unravel the identity of the mysterious “global consumer electronics OEM” who also happens to be “ targeting a new mobile communication device strategy”.

Without further ado, here’s what we found… thinking loud of course…

“It is quite apparent that the 'global consumer electronics OEM' that is mentioned in today’s news is Sony or Sony Ericsson.”

Some may argue that it could be Motorola, Apple or LG from Korea.  However, when you read the statement made by Alex Tokaman, CEO of Microvision, you can only draw one conclusion. Before we present the conclusion, let me share with you first, what Mr. Tokman said in the press release…

“Having a global consumer electronics player, which is targeting a new mobile communication device strategy, attach their name to our product strongly validates the performance and quality of our first laser projector offering.”

Having said that, the only company that fits the bill, as a global consumer electronics player that is also targeting a new mobile communications device strategy... is SONY… or perhaps Sony Ericsson.  LG from Korea could be another possibility, but not likely considering how strongly Alex Tokman feels about Korean companies that are notorious for copy-cats and getting around patent infringement.

Here’s some more information in support of Sony or Sony Ericsson as the OEM from today’s news…

This is from a recent article that talks about Sony Ericsson ‘Unlimited Entertainment’ strategy built around a high-end feature phone…

“On Sunday evening in Barcelona on the eve of GSMA's Mobile World Congress, the mobile-phone maker, which is a joint venture between consumer electronics maker Sony and telecom-equipment maker Ericsson, unveiled a new strategy that it says fuses "communication and entertainment".

At the core of its new strategy is something Sony Ericsson calls 'Entertainment Unlimited'. Executives were thin on details at the press conference in Barcelona, but the company is planning a strategy that will bring together mobile phones with PCs and the TV to share entertainment content.”

“Given that the smartphone market is where all the action is expected to be over in the next couple of years, it is surprising that Sony Ericsson would choose high-end feature phones to anchor its new 'Unlimited Entertainment' strategy.

The details are still too scarce to know exactly how this will pan out. But Sony Ericsson needs a compelling and affordable smartphone that can take advantage of these entertainment and communication features. And to effectively compete in this market, it is going to need to expand its distribution beyond Europe and Japan. Namely, it needs to bring an affordable and desirable smartphone to North American consumers."

Here’s the link to the full story…
http://news.zdnet.co.uk/communications/0,1000000085,39616107,00.htm

As I said before, over the years there have been several hints in the past press releases to a possible Sony – Microvision relationship of some sort.

Here’s another hint from the past…
http://seekingalpha.com/article/51145-microvision-s-seemingly-obvious-manufacturing-partner

Here’s some more tit bit of news in the media that will surely get Microvision investors excited, all over again, and wondering who could that be now?…

Laser based projector phones coming soon
10/08/2009

Digitimes reports that Asia Optical has begun small-volume shipments of pico-projector modules for handsets. These are based on Microvisions' Laser-Beam-Steering (LBS) technology. The modules cost around US 80$, and they expect it to drop to around 40$-50$ in 2011, and 35$ in 2012.

They expect to sell 5 million modules in 2011 and 10 million in 2012.
*****
Here’s the link…

http://www.picoprojector-info.com/laser-based-projector-phones-coming-soon

There will be lots of exciting times in Microvision’s future.

However today, Matt Nichols gets the top billing for the excitement category for his post at The Displayland…

“…we launched, we started initial shipments, we have the SHOWWX brand and now (tada!) an OEM private label brand accessory laser pico projector. This has been a fun few weeks.”

Anant Goel

http://www.wealthbyoptions.com/