Cheap chipsets for Google Android smartphones due out in Q3

MediaTek holds the biggest share of China's market for handset chips

Taiwanese chipset developer MediaTek will start rolling out low-cost chipsets designed for handsets that use Google's Android mobile software in the third quarter of this year, promising to drive down the cost of such handsets in China.

MediaTek holds the lion's share of the market for mobile phone chips in China through its focus on low-cost chips and partnerships with dozens of small mobile phone makers throughout the nation. The development of a chipset specifically for Android could unleash hundreds of new smartphone designs in China.

MediaTek has worked with Chinese handset makers for years, providing the chips and other hardware, while the handset makers focus on the external design of the phones and handset sales.

A MediaTek representative confirmed the new time frame on Tuesday. Previously, the company had simply said "in the second half of this year."

The deal with Google is similar to one with Microsoft announced early this year, though the Microsoft pact combines MediaTek chips and hardware with Microsoft's Windows Mobile software.

The goal for both initiatives is the same, to put thousands of new, low-cost smartphones on the market in places such as China and India. Chipsets are usually the most expensive part of a mobile phone.

Google could not immediately be reached for comment.

MediaTek needs the deals to counter a crackdown on counterfeit handsets, called gray-market handsets, in China.

Some of the small electronics companies MediaTek deals with put out low-cost smartphones that are cheap imitations of the most popular brands, including iPhone look-a-likes. But years of pressure by major handset vendors as well as other issues, including tax evasion by some gray-market vendors, have led to the government investigation, according to market researcher iSuppli.

"Recent developments indicate that the Chinese government is beginning to take seriously the long-festering problem of smuggled handsets and counterfeit handsets, a thorny issue that not only undercuts the tax revenue but also tarnishes China’s image abroad," said Kevin Wang, director of China Research at iSuppli, in a report.

The researcher believes gray-market handsets will be greatly affected by the investigation and that MediaTek stands to lose out the most because its chipsets are the most popular among gray-market handset makers. The MediaTek representative declined to comment specifically on the issue.

The market for these counterfeit handsets in China will reach 172 million units this year, according to iSuppli, up nearly 19 percent from 145 million last year.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MicrosoftsmartphonesGoogleAndroidPhonesconsumer electronicsComponentsMediaTek

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Dan Nystedt

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Cygnett 2500 ChargeUp Pocket Lightning Portable Power Bank

Learn more >

Mobile

Exec

Budget

TerraCycle Zero Waste Box Pens and Markers Small

Learn more >

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?