updated 12:25 pm EDT, Mon October 4, 2010
Leak has Qualcomm axing FLO TV by end of year
Qualcomm's plans to drop FLO TV may have been confirmed today by reports from sources on Monday that said the project was dead. Division lead Bill Stone allegedly gave notice late last week that the over-the-air digital TV group would ramp down by the end of 2010, paidContent's tips said. FLO TV's technology might live on as a generic white label service after talks with AT&T and Verizon, though these haven't been resolved.
The chipset producer's CEO Paul Jacobs had previously admitted that the company had been trying to offload the group, but the company hadn't floated the possibility of shutting down FLO TV outright.
The service has struggled almost since the beginning due to its nature and the choice of devices. All access was paid and cost over $10 per month for a small selection of TV that only included some live broadcasts and a large number of shows delayed or otherwise altered from their original TV formats. Most of the phones attached to the service were basic phones and led few to pick it up instead of a cheaper to own alternative. Only one smartphone, the Windows Mobile-based HTC Imagio, ever had FLO TV as a selling point.
Qualcomm had eventually taken to shipping its own viewer and showing an iPhone adapter, but neither significantly influenced the market.
Most over-the-air mobile TV in the US is expected to be handled by Mobile ATSC, a version of the HDTV standard optimized to keep a signal on trains and other high-speed travel.