Qualcomm's Atheros Deal: Weekly Tech Recap

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -Qualcomm (QCOM) kicked off 2011 with the year's first big tech acquisition, buying chipmaker Atheros (ATHR) for $3.1 billion, in a deal which could help Qualcomm compete more effectively with Broadcom (BRCM) and Intel (INTC) .

Atheros, which makes chipsets for wireless devices like laptops and tablets, is a longstanding Qualcomm partner. Atheros shares surged nearly 19% Tuesday after the deal was announced. Qualcomm's stock rose about 1%.

Speaking at CES earlier this week, Paul Jacobs, Qualcomm's CEO, told TheStreet that Atheros' technology will complement Qualcomm's existing chips in smartphone handsets. "Your phone will be kind of a remote control for the world around you," he said, explaining that it could be used to control the likes of printers, TVs and Blu-Ray players. "It really fulfills a vision that we have of where the industry is going."

Qualcomm shares closed down 94 cents, or 1.78%, at $51.73 on Friday. Atheros' stock ended the day up 12 cents, or 0.27%, at $44.68.

Motorola's Big Split

After eight decades as a single entity, Motorola ( MOT) split into two separate, publicly-traded, entities on Monday. A consumer-focused company, Motorola Mobility ( MMI) is responsible for technologies such as handsets and tablets, while Motorola Solutions ( MMI) is handling the company's enterprise and networks businesses.

Wall Street's reaction to the split -- particularly the advent of Motorola Mobility -- has been generally positive, with Goldman Sachs initiating coverage of the consumer firm with a buy rating and $37 price target.

Shares of Motorola Mobility closed up 5 cents, or 0.15%, at $33.06 on Friday. Motorola Solutions' stock closed down 78 cents at $38.90.

CES Tablet Fest

Tablets were the unquestionably the big technology at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week, with Motorola showing off its Xoom device, and Research In Motion's ( RIMM) PlayBook leading a slew of announcements.

The first device to run Google's ( GOOG) designed-for-tablets Honeycomb OS, the Xoom features a 10-inch screen, 5 megapixel camera, and a 1-gigaherz Tegra 2 processor from Nvidia ( NVDA). The Xoom will launch with 3G this quarter and will be upgradable to 4G later in the year.

Other companies making tablet announcements at CES included Lenovo, Asus and Dell ( DELL), which joined forces with T-Mobile to launch a 7-inch version of its Streak mini-tablet.

Also at CES, Intel ( INTC) launched Sandy Bridge, its new 32-nanometer chip, and Microsoft ( MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer demonstrated several notebooks running a future version of Windows on a "system-on-a-chip," or ARM ( ARMH) processors.

Dell shares closed down 28 cents, or 1.96%, at $13.98 on Friday. Microsoft's stock was down 22 cents, or 0.76%, at $28.60.

Verizon's Swanky Press Event

Verizon will kick off next week by holding a New York City press event Tuesday morning. The service provider laid out its 4G roadmap at CES and unveiled a slew of Android smartphones and tablets, but made no mention of Apple's ( ARMH) iPhone, which is widely expected to appear on Verizon's network this year.

Cue intense speculation about next week's event, which takes place at a Lincoln Center jazz club. Chatter around the blogosphere speculated that Apple CEO Steve Jobs could very well join Verizon's Lowell McAdam at the New York event, but specific details remain shrouded in secrecy.

Verizon has not yet responded to TheStreet's request for comment on this story.

Verizon shares closed down 30 cents, or 0.83%, at $35.93 on Friday.

--Written by James Rogers in New York.

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