>> By offering OEMs everything from firmware to drivers and a qualified vendor list, MTK efficiently enables customers to launch their end products probably much faster than anyone else.
More than 90% of Android phones in Africa run on MediaTek chipsets. Anyone can be a phone manufacturer. Just have a decent cleanroom for packaging. Buy the chipset from MediaTek and you have a brand. If they do same in wearable, Samsung and co will see more pains.
Having a list of qualified vendors who can devise their own products for the market running your technology makes a company like MediaTek all the more confident going into new areas. They are expanding geographically--into China--at the same time that they are expanding into a new market segment--namely wearables. Given that that is the case, they are in a much stronger position when they can spread their influence in this way.
Mediatek has been doing interesting things in emerging markets for some time, but wearables are hot right now and there's opportunity for growth here unlike anything else they've gotten themselves into. It's definitely a threat to vendors that have established themselves with their own chipsets and who directly compete with Mediatek in the smartphone space.