“Of course, our handset customers are equally skeptical, when it comes
to the performance of CPU/GPU performance of our chips. So before they
decide to use our chips, they run a test. They use, for example,
Geekbench, an application designed to offer a comprehensive set of
benchmarks to quickly measure processor and memory performance,” said
Li. “Our 1-GHz low-cost smartphone platforms can process data as fast as
that of iPhone 4. Our Geekbench score is as high, or even better than
that of iPhone 4.”
MediaTek vs. Spreadtrum
both MediaTek and Spreadtrum are carving up what appears to be an
explosive mid- to low-end smartphone market in China, what’s
Spreadtrum’s game plan to compete against MediaTek?
“That market is so big that the two companies can comfortably coexist,” said Li.
not quite. Spreadtrum leads in China Mobile’s TD-SCDM-based smartphone
market with its single-core smartphone platforms. The company is said to
have had more than a 50 percent market share among China Mobile’s
TD-SCDMA handsets in 2012. Spreadtrum is expected to hang onto a
similar 50 percent share also in 2013. MediaTek focuses on the mid-range
smartphone market, armed with its dual-core solution. More important,
MediaTek leads in non-China Mobile segments with its WCDMA solutions.
is finally ready to move into the WCDMA market sometime between the
second and the third quarter this year, according to Li. “Our first
product will be using a 40-nm process, but we are quickly moving to a
28-nm process by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. in the fourth
quarter.” Spreadtrum’s first WCDMA-based smartphone chip will be based
on a single core. But the company plans to jump to a new quad-core
solution in the fourth quarter, Li said.
No dual core?
address that later. But for now, we see the dual-core market is a busy
area, very crowded. We want to pick a spot to move into the quad-core
Competing with MediaTek on the WCDMA market
won’t be easy. But “whatever number of WCDMA chips we can sell this
year, we will be contributing to what used to be a zero market share for
us,” said Li.
If there is a 50$ smartphone with decent build quality and reasonable user experience there would be market in the developed world as a second/backup phone. I would gladly buy one for backup. But the problem is that these devices, even though may be functional, lacks in build quality and UI, which makes it a pain to use them after using iOS or Samsung devices.
Why do you assume there is no demand for $50 phone outside China ? Cheap phones are in huge demands in developing countries such as India and Indonesia where per capita income are still very low compared to developed countries such as US and Western Europe.
When a new product starts, people will typically tolerate size and price. Towards market matureness, consumers will demand variety which include different size and form factor. In particular, in the Asian and European market, consumers will demand smaller phones, for ease of carrying, and different look, for uniqueness. The cell phone market development followed the trend from Motorola DynaTAC 8000X to Motorola MicroTAC; then, comes the Nokia 8850 with style.
Consumers are price sensitive, in particular, once the smartphone becomes a commodity.
There is no doubt the market is moving towards $50.00 smartphone. Nonetheless, the high price tag smartphone will still be around.
Junko - Is the $50 price really unsubsidized? That's how I read your article and if so that's amazing. A year ago people didn't expect to see $50 smartphones for much longer.
Incidentally, the previous commentators are underestimating the demand for cheap phones, even in the U.S. There are plenty of poorer folks, cheapskates and large families who are on prepaid in the U.S. with a cheap phone. Upgrading to a smartphone at that price is a no brainer for occasional use of the net.
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