MediaTek Inc., a Taiwan-based electronics company known for making wireless chipsets, has announced its decision to join the smartphone competition. According to the company, the time is right for them to enter the market, especially since smartphone prices are going downhill, and there is fiercer competition in the brand-handset market. In Southeast Asia alone, the chipset market is predicted to be heading for a 400 percent growth in terms of sales.
MediaTek’s decision will help make locally-based smartphone makers in producing more competitive products in the increasing race to create mobile devices that strike a balance between the functions they offer and the prices they demand. Furthermore, it will aid the second phase of the Thai government’s One Tablet per Child program.
In the past, MediaTek used to focus on manufacturing mobile phone chipsets for feature phones. In fact, the company is an important part of the global supply chain, producing chipsets for 550 million cellular phones for different parts of the world. Apart from feature phones, however, MediaTek’s products may be found in high definition televisions, DVD and Blu-Ray devices, as well as optical storage. According to its website, it is “one of the 10 largest IC design companies in the world, and no.1 in Asia.” Last year, the company earned a revenue of $3 billion.
Now, MediaTek’s objective shifts to entering the smartphone market with MediaTek-branded smartphones that will aim for the entry-level and mid-range market segments. The company will sell such phones for prices under US$200.
This year, MediaTek hopes to hit 95 million smartphone chipsets in sales, which would effectively secure their position as the world’s third-largest smartphone chipset manufacturer.
For starters, the company has unveiled the MediaTek MT6577, a low-end to mid-range Android 4.1 Jelly Bean smartphone with a dual-core 1GHz processor.
MediaTek likewise teamed up with Samart I-Mobile in making a chipset for “the world’s first dual core processor featuring analogue TV.”