Follow-up: MediaTek MT6589 quad-core Cortex-A7 SoC with HSPA+ and TD-SCDMA is available for Android smartphones and tablets of Q1 delivery [Dec 12, 2012]
The MT6588 was recently renamed MT6589.
Update: Sold 70 million in the first three quarters, MediaTek smart chip dominates China [The Liberty Times, Taiwan, Oct 2, 2012] translated by Google/Bing with additional manual edits of my own
Qualcomm (Qualcomm) last week launched a lower-priced smart phone chip against rival MediaTek (2,454), but according to the the recent shipment situation MediaTek shipped in China more than 70 million smartphone chips in the first three quarters, 10 million more than Qualcomm there, and become a smart-phone chip superpower in China. Merrill Lynch is bullish on MediaTek outlook because for Qualcomm’s “MSM8225Q” to shake up MediaTek’s leadership still will not be easy.
Barclays Capital analyst Lu Hang increased MediaTek smartphone chip shipments in the next two years to 180 million and 290 million, respectively.
Chinese mobile phone distributors circle recently the hottest topic number the high pass last week, low-cost quad-core mobile phone chip “MSM8225Q/MSM8625Q “, estimated price falls to $ 25, the market worry renewed price war, the impact MediaTek Maori. However, the latest released Merrill Lynch research report pointed out that the dual-core MediaTek chips and the two Qualcomm quad-core chips compared to each other competitively, plus “8225Q” mass production may be in March next year, by about one quarter behind the MediaTek quad-core chip “MT6589″ (formerly known as MT 6588), the cost of which is expected to be cheaper than the dual-core version, meaning MediaTek is still dominant.
Update: Taiwan chip designer MediaTek downgraded amid competitive pressure [WantChinaTimes.com, Oct 2, 2012]
… In a report dated Sept. 27, [independent financial services group] CLSA [Asia-Pacific Markets] said the market was optimistic about MediaTek’s gross margin in the second half of 2012 and in 2013 after the company forecasted a gross margin expansion for the third quarter of this year, ending 11 consecutive quarters of contraction.
However, MediaTek’s management told the press on Sept. 25 that the company’s quarterly gross margin growth is likely to remain flat in the fourth quarter of this year and will not expand until the second half of 2013, the report said. …
… One of the reasons investors were optimistic about MediaTek’s 2013 margin was that they thought its new quad-core MT6588 chip had no competition, as Qualcomm made only very high-end quad-core ICs, [CK] Cheng [a Taipei-based analyst at CLSA] said.
But the launch of the MSM8225Q will change that perception, Cheng said, noting that Qualcomm is aiming to release the chip for customer sampling by the end of 2012 and ship in volume in the first quarter of 2013.
Although the Qualcomm chip is scheduled to be launched a month or two later than MediaTek’s, Qualcomm’s price is likely to be 5% cheaper because of lower specifications, he said.
While MediaTek is believed to have superior products and better low-end smartphone ICs than Qualcomm, price does matter to Chinese handset makers, Cheng added.
“This is the main reason why MediaTek has been struggling to lift its average selling price and improve its margin since the third quarter of 2011, although it continues to offer faster processors and multi-core solutions,” he said.
“We don’t think MediaTek’s quad-core solution can reverse this trend,” Cheng said.
As for Chinese competitors, the increased production of RDA Microelectronics’s connectivity combo chip and Spreadtrum Communications’ 2G smartphone ICs will also weigh further on MediaTek’s margins and average selling price, Cheng said.
CLSA raised its forecast for MediaTek’s earnings per share by 3% for 2012 and by 8% for 2013, factoring in the company’s acquisition of its smaller rival MStar Semiconductor, but the brokerage maintained its target price of NT$250 (US$8.53) on the stock.
As of 10:26am Monday, MediaTek shares had dropped 4.62% to NT$310 (US$10.59) in Taipei.
Regarding actual Cortex-A5 and Krait-related information see on this blog the actual:
Core post: Qualcomm decided to compete with the existing Cortex-A5/Krait-based offerings till the end of 2012 [Sept 30, 2012]
Update: Mediatek [联发科] target price by Barclays is [NT$] 395 [Taiwan’s Commercial Times News, Sept 26, 2012] as translated by Google/Bing with additional manual edits of my own
Lu Hang [陆行] [principal analyst of semiconductors for Asia-Pacific at] Barclays Capital Securities [巴克莱资本证券 Taiwan Limited, 11F, 106 Xin-Yi Road, Sec. 5, Taipei, Taiwan, R.O.C. << from] yesterday (25) revealed, that MediaTek 28 nanometer quad-core A7 smartphone chip MTK6588 launch time is expected to advance to the fourth quarter of this year from the first quarter of next year! Because the price is very competitive, only 18 to 20 dollars, not only quadcore smartphone prices in mainland China will immediately fell to less than 150 dollars following that, the company will also have the opportunity to break into [the market of ] first-tier [i.e. global brand] manufacturers such as Samsung.
Lu Hang said that Mediatek’s biggest “backer” [in terms of stock market performance] is expected to be the launch of MT6588 (quad-core A7 [with] TD-SCDMA/WCDMA) and MT6599 (8 core of the ARM [with] LTE/TD-SCDMA/WCDMA) smartphone chips in 4th quarter [of this year] and in the next year, respectively.
Lu Hang believes that there are 5 items which will affect the profits of the overall market with MediaTek MT6588:
– First, the quad-core smartphone prices in mainland China can immediately be reduced from the current US$ 320 to US$ 150.
– Second, we will see in the near future more dual-core 1.7Ghz Krait-based MSM8960A [on one hand], and MSM8974 [on the other], which is same but with quad-core, rather than next to the launch of 8225Q.
– Third, in the fourth quarter of next year the estimated proportion of MT6583/MT6588 [shipments] within the total smartphone chip shipments will reach 50%, even the year after the fourth quarter launched MT6599 will also have 50% level, thus raised its shipment forecast value.
– Fourth, MT6588 will help to maintain the overall ASP at a level of more than $ 10, and customers can be [serviced via a] unified system design.
– Fifth, with the help of 13 million pixels CMOS the sensing power amplifier manufacturers will focus on mainland China and other emerging markets.
Important remark from Barclays Hires New Taiwan Investment Banking Head [The Wall Street Journal, Aug 19, 2012]:
Barclays … is … an advisor to chip design firm MediaTek Inc. on its proposed acquisition of a minority stake in MStar Semiconductor Inc. worth around $3.8 billion, announced in June, according to Dealogic.
Update: MediaTek will produce small amounts of MTK6588 in October [MTK mobile phone network, Sept 10, 2012] as translated by Google/Bing
Recently MediaTek message there are two who are more concerned about one thing, according to Taiwan media reports, the fastest possible production of MediaTek quad-core mobile processor chip MTK6588 will start in October this year a small amount, quantity should not be a lot, may be available only to large client proofing purposes. Rumored MediaTek MTK6588 manufacturing cost is even less than dual-core MTK6577. Quad-core MTK6588 is using 28 nm technology process to support tens of millions of pixels of camera, support for TD/WCDMA dual-mode network, support 1080P playback and recording, and is equipped with a PowerVR SGX 544 graphics processor.
According to show learned about MTK6588 before, Quad MT6588 or will before the end of trial production, mass production quantities listed in the first quarter of next year.
Update: Lenovo Selects MediaTek to Power New LePad Android Tablet [MediaTek press release, Sept 13, 2012], note: “The MT6577 is pin-to-pin compatible with the previously released MT6575” source: the MT6577 launch release
MediaTek Inc., a leading fabless semiconductor company for wireless communications and digital multimedia solutions, today announced that Lenovo has selected its highly integrated Android mobile platform for the new LePad A2107, dual-SIM 3G/HSPA tablet, which is shipping to customers globally.
The LePad A2107 provides high-speed cellular data and wireless connectivity and is designed for tablet users who want to be “connected always”. The A2107 uses MediaTek’s proven Android mobile platform consisting of the MT6575 and the MT6620 SoCs. The MediaTek MT6575 incorporates a 1GHz ARM® CortexTM A9 processor, a PowerVR™ Series5 SGX GPU (graphics processing unit) from Imagination Technologies, a 3G/HSPA modem and built‐in support for 3D displays and DTV‐grade multimedia capabilities by leveraging the company’s world‐leading DTV platform technologies. The MT6620 4-in-1 connectivity combo integrates an 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0+HS, GPS, and FM transmitter/receiver into a single chip with the world’s smallest footprint and leading low-power consumption. The MediaTek mobile platform is ideally suited to enable mobile device manufacturers like Lenovo, helping them to address the mid and entry‐level tablet market that demands global connectivity for today and tomorrow.
“Consumers are increasingly using tablets as a companion device to the PC and mobile phone to access media and information. We forecast that the tablet market will increase from 119 million in 2012 to 494 million by 2016(*),” said Mr. Mark Hung, Research Director at Gartner. “A company that has capabilities and technologies across different multi-screen platforms, from smartphones to DTV, should be well positioned to benefit from participating in the growing tablet market.”
*Source: Forecast: Media Tablets by Operating System, Worldwide, 2010-2016, 2Q12 Update, 4 July 2012, by Gartner
Update: the best smartphone based on the MediaTek MT6577 both technically and in terms of price is the MT6577-based JiaYu G3 with IPS Gorilla glass 2 sreen of 4.5” etc. for $154 (factory direct) in China and $183 [Sept 13, 2012], which is also the best example of The low priced, Android based smartphones of China will change the global market [this same ‘Experiencing the Cloud blog, Sept 10, 2012]
Update: New MediaTek chip efficiency: catching up with iPhone4s [MTK mobile phone network, Sept 6, 2012]
2012 International Semiconductor exhibition yesterday (5) days in Taipei debut, over the years, the first IC design Forum yesterday morning talk show, presenter mediatek Vice President Lu Guohong home 3G smart mobile phone chip specification level, noted that MediaTek MT6577 of the latest dual-core Smartphone chip efficiency, comparable with iPhone4s. By the show’s brief is not difficult to see, MediaTek, engaged global Smartphone chip leader Qualcomm momentum is high.
IPhone4s core processor for Apple A5, the design was based on Cortex-A9 dual core 1GHZ frequency of ARM architecture processors, Lu Guohong comparison list noted that mediatek MT6577 newest 3G Smartphone dual-core chips are used by An Mou with iPhone4s A9 dual core architecture, AP mobile core chips, baseband chip, RF chips and GPU architecture level par with iPhone4s.
Update: MediaTek Launches “Cool 3D”: A Comprehensive Suite of 3D Solutions for Smartphone Platforms [MediaTek press release, Sept 11, 2012]
MediaTek Inc., a leading fabless semiconductor company for wireless communications and digital multimedia solutions announced today the availability of “Cool 3D”, the world’s most complete 3D suite of solutions, for its smartphone platforms. Consumers continue to look for new features in smartphones, such as 3D capabilities, and a report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc, predicts that the global market for 3D enabled smartphones is projected to register 994 million units in annual shipments by the year 2018. Demand for this innovation will be driven by the increased availability of 3D content, such as games, videos and full length movies.
The “Cool 3D” suite for MediaTek smartphone platforms includes support for stereo 3D cameras and displays, real-time 2D-to-3D conversion and an optimal 3D user interface that is designed to provide consumers with a stunning 3D experience. Two distinguishing features are “3D Cool Shot” and “3D Cool Show”. MediaTek’s “3D Cool Shot” solution supports a cost-effective 5 MP, dual-lens camera, which achieves 1080P, 24 FPS 3D images, giving users a high-definition visual experience. The MediaTek smartphone platforms are the first of their kind in the industry to integrate the functionality of the dual-lens bridge devices into the main smartphone platform, reducing system cost and saving precious board area. The “3D Cool Show” technology substantially improves the stereo 3D effect with anti-fatigue capabilities, and real-time transformation between 2D/3D modes, allowing for convenient switching between the 2D and 3D displays. These solutions, which leverage MediaTek’s established 3D technologies from the DTV and Digital Home markets, are aimed at creating an optimal stereo 3D display with a custom-tailored 3D interface.
“One consequence of the rapid developments in the smartphone market is product homogenization or the ‘all smartphones look alike’ phenomena. Creating product differentiation has become one of the biggest challenges for the mobile phone industry “said Ching-Jiang Hsieh, President of MediaTek. “From Dual-SIM to 3D capabilities, MediaTek has always pushed technological innovation in our platforms, enabling rich and compelling devices and solutions. By working together with our customers, we hope our industry-leading, ”Cool 3D” suite of solutions can lead the wave of 3D smartphone popularity, allowing even more consumers to enjoy an extraordinary 3D experience.”
The “Cool 3D” suite of capabilities is already enabled on MediaTek’s shipping MT6575 single-core and MT6577 dual-core platforms. All future launches of MediaTek smartphone solutions will support these 3D capabilities.
Updates: Shares of MediaTek jump on positive shipment target revision [Focus Taiwan, Aug 1, 2012]
… As of 11:15 a.m., shares of MediaTek had added 6.67 percent to NT$272.00 (US$9.07), off an early high of NT$272.50, with 23.82 million shares changing hands. … MediaTek announced Tuesday at an investor conference that it had raised its target for smartphone chip shipments to 95 million units, from a previous estimate of 75 million units, mainly because of strong demand from China.
In the second quarter, the IC designer shipped 21 million smartphone chips, higher than the 18 million to 20 million previously forecast. The company said it would ship at least 30 million smartphone chips in the third quarter.
… MediaTek said it expects its gross margin will improve to 41-43 percent for the third quarter from 40.8 percent in the second quarter. …
MediaTek hikes 2012 target smartphone chip shipments [DIGITIMES, Aug 1, 2012]
… The company expects its MT6575 and MT6577 chips to account for 60% of total smartphone chips sales in the third quarter and 80% in the fourth. …
MediaTek eyes Q3 double-digit revenue growth [Taipei Times, Aug 1, 2012]
MediaTek Inc (聯發科), the nation’s largest handset chip designer, said yesterday revenue in the third quarter of this year is projected to grow between 13 percent and 18 percent from the second quarter, following the launch of new products and strong demand for smartphone chips.
That would mean a quarterly revenue of between NT$26.50 billion (US$883.33 million) and NT$27.70 billion, compared with NT$23.44 billion in the second quarter.
MediaTek said second-quarter revenue rose 19.5 percent sequentially and 11.7 percent from the same period last year, primarily driven by the fast-growing smartphone demand in China.
However, gross margin for the quarter was 40.8 percent, down 1.3 percent and 5.1 percentage points from the previous quarter and the same period of last year respectively. The company attributed that fall to fierce price competition in the market.
Total smartphone chip shipments are likely to reach 95 million units this year, of which between 50 percent and 60 percent will be 3G chips and the remainder 2G chips …
MediaTek a product roadmap leaked: Quad-core code-named MT6588 [MTK Smartphones Network (MTK手机网), July 27, 2012]
From a recently obtained electronic forum information abroad we see that the MT6585 code communicated earlier for the quad-core MediaTek smartphone chipset is wrong. The true model code is MT6588. It is built on the 28nm process in order achieve higher performance level than the dual-core MT6577 technology.
MT6588 has a 4-core CPU [Cortex-A7 (!), see on the second slide below] clocked at 1GHz [1.XGHz rather, see the included slides below], supports dual-channel at maximum 1066Mbps, has an integrated multimode modem for WCDMA [+ it is delivering HSPA+ WCDMA performance (!) vs just HSPA with MT6577/75, see the first slide below] and TD (!), that is it can support both Unicom [latest upgrade to HSPA+ service, see the news in the original post materials much below] and China Mobile 3G network, supports an up to 13 MP camera and 1080P video playback. It finally has a GPU upgrade with SGX544, doubles the resolution to 1280×800 HD level, and has 32KB L1 cache and 1MB L2 secondary cache.
Along the MT6588 there is a 28nm dual-core version, MT6583 on the MediaTek 2012 product roadmap. From the chipset parameters it is evident that MT6583 is a scaled down version of MT6588. It has 2 cores less, the camera support is 8MP, the video decoder is of 720P level, and the resolution is down to 854×480.
It is understood that MT6588 and MT6583 will be in production in the first quarter of 2013, early next year the fastest.
Note: No search reveals the source for the above information.
MediaTek to launch quad-core smartphone solutions in 1Q13, says paper [DIGITIMES, Aug 6, 2012]
MediaTek is expected to launch its first quad-core smartphone solution, the MT6588, in the first quarter of 2013, according to a Chinese-language Liberty Times report. The MT6588 features a quad-core 1.5GHz or 1.7GHzCortex-A7 CPU, supporting WCDMA and TD-SCDMA technologies.
The MT6588, which features a 13-megapixel camera, also supports 1080p video playback and a display resolution of 1280 by 800 pixels. The chip will be built using a 28nm process, the paper said.
Additionally, MediaTek will also roll out a 28nm dual-core solution, the MT6583, during the same quarter. While the dual-core CPU of the MT6853 will also run at 1.5GHz or 1.7GHz, the chip will support a resolution of 854 by 480 pixels targeting a segment different from that of the MT6588, the paper indicated.
End of updates
The original content:
- About the just four months old MT6575-based market
- MediaTek provided general MT6575 information
- Some history leading to MT6575
- Turmoil on the H1CY12 market in China:
International and local brands, as well as white-box vendors are repositioning for the most lucrative CNY500 (US$79) to CNY1,000 (US$157) smartphone market of H2CY12 and on
Greater China mobile solutions – From silicon to software [DIGITIMES Research, June 8, 2012]
The China mobile market has developed rapidly, with smartphone shipments reaching 69 million units in 2011 and tablet shipments soaring from around one million in 2010 to some 10 million in 2011, and potentially exceeding 20 million units in 2012. As consumer spending power increases, local vendors are focusing on more market tiers and makers have begun to make a play for the high-end market.
Updates: China market: Nearly 195 million handsets shipped in 1H12 [DIGITIMES, July 10, 2012]
There were 194.913 million handsets shipped in the China market during the first half of 2012, consisting of 106.874 million (54.83%) 3G handsets in 801 models and 88.039 million (45.17%) 2G handsets in 1,298 models, according to statistics published by the China Academy of Telecommunication Research (CATR) under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).
Of the shipment volume, 94.855 million or 48.67% were smartphones in 822 models of which 801 models or 97.44% were based on Android. China-based vendors accounted for 75.16% of the half-year shipment volume, and international vendors 24.84%.
The monthly shipment volume of smartphones exceeded that of feature phones for the first time in April 2012, with the corresponding proportion increasing to 56.9% in June.
China market: Breakdown of total handset shipment volume, 1H12 Generation
Number of models
Shipment volume (m handsets)
WCDMA (China Unicom)
CDMA2000 (China Telecom)
TD-SCDMA (China Mobile)
Source: CATR under MIIT, compiled by Digitimes, July 2012
– China smartphone market 2012: Trends and analysis [DIGITIMES Research, July 3, 2012]
The China handset market has exhibited strong growth, with the total number of mobile users in the country reaching 980 million people according to figures from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), an increase of 130 million over the 2010 figure. Digitimes Research estimates that mobile user numbers could top 1.13 billion in 2012.
Digitimes Research estimates that the China handset market reached some 390 million units in 2011, representing 16% growth on 2010; the market is likely to grow to 430 million units in 2012, representing further growth of 9%. Thanks to the expansion of 3G service coverage and further falls in budget smartphone prices, the share of the handset market accounted for by smartphones is likely to reach 32% or around 143 million units, 70% of which will be Android handsets.
Digitimes Research believes that market share rankings for the China smartphone market will change significantly during 2012. Samsung and Apple will take the top two places, while the big four China-based brands – Huawei, ZTE, Lenovo and Coolpad – will take third to sixth places, while Nokia will drop to seventh; these seven firms will collectively account for 85% of shipments.
In other words, the many other brands hoping to seize a share of the market will essentially be confined to competing for a potential market of just 15% of overall shipments or around 21 million handsets. Given such a situation, Digitimes Research projects that many of China’s best known smaller brands such as Xiaomi, TCL, Gionee, Tianyu, Oppo and BBK will see shipments of no more than a few million handsets.
End of updates
China-based white-box vendors expected to ship 200 million smartphones [DIGITIMES, April 17, 2012]
China-based white-box vendors, mainly due to the availability of inexpensive new chip solutions, have been increasing the production of smartphones, with the total shipment volume expected to reach 200 million units in 2012, according to industry sources in Taiwan.
Taiwan-based MediaTek is offering the makers its MT6575 a chip solution for use in entry-level smartphones in the first quarter of 2012 and will offer the MT6577, a solution for high-level smartphones, in the middle of the third quarter of 2012, the sources indicated. MediaTek will ship 50-70 million chips to China-based white-box vendors to account for nearly 30% of smartphones to be shipped by these vendors in 2012.
In addition, Qualcomm has strengthened its marketing in the China market by offering turn-key solutions to white-box vendors, with prices for a chips lowered to US$6, the sources cited eMedia Asia as indicating.
China-based white-box vendors sell more than 60% of their smartphone output to overseas markets, including 2.5G models for markets where deployment of 3G networks is not mature yet, the sources indicated. White-box vendors are expected to see larger market demand if their production costs for entry-, medium- and high-level smartphones drop to US$60, US$85 and US$130 respectively, the sources pointed out.
Huawei adopts MediaTek dual-core chip for smartphones, says report [DIGITIMES, June 27, 2011]
MediaTek’s new MT6577, which uses a dual-core 1.2GHz Cortex A9 CPU, has been adopted by China-based Huawei for as many as four of its upcoming smartphone devices, according to a Chinese-languageCommercial Timesreport.
The new MediaTek MT6577 solution is scheduled to enter volume production starting July, the Chinese-language Economic Daily News (EDN)reported last week (June 22). The chip is built using 40nm process technology.
MediaTek previously upward revised the prediction for its total smartphone-IC shipments in 2012. The firm now expects to ship about 75 million smartphone chips this year, compared to the 50 million estimated initially.
MediaTek Launches Dual-Core MT6577 Smartphone Platform [MediaTek press release, June 27, 2012]
MediaTek Inc., a leading fabless semiconductor company for wireless communications and digital multimedia solutions, today announced the availability of the MT6577, a dual-core platform developed specifically for sub-$200 smartphones, the fastest growing segment of the global smartphone market. The MediaTek MT6577 features a dual 1GHz Cortex™-A9 application processor from ARM, a PowerVR™ Series5 SGX GPU (graphics processing unit) from Imagination Technologies, MediaTek’s proven 3G/HSPA modem, and runs the latest Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich” operating system. By integrating a dual-core application processor architecture widely deployed in the majority of today’s premium smartphones, the MT6577 boosts application and browser performance by up to 40% compared to single-core platforms, bringing unprecedented levels of user experience to mid- and entry-level smartphones.
“MediaTek’s existing HSPA smartphone platforms – the MT6573 and MT6575 – have been extremely well-received by customers and consumers worldwide, and are currently shipping with major international brands such as Lenovo, TCL/Alcatel, and other top tier Chinese OEMs,”said Ching-Jiang Hsieh, President of MediaTek. “The MT6577 adds the next level of performance and enhanced user experience to the MediaTek smartphone family, delivering enhanced user interactivity, mobile connectivity and rich multi-media experience previously only available on high-end devices. Consumers everywhere will now benefit from the affordable, high-performance devices enabled by the MT6577. MediaTek is proud to be in the vanguard of companies enabling the democratization of smartphones.”
“Dual-core processors account for over 20% of current smartphone processor shipments, with these devices being mostly in the premium segment and addressed by standalone application processors. MediaTek’s new MT6577, with integrated dual-core processors and 3G/HSPA modem is well suited to bringing similar user experiences to the fast-growing mid and entry smartphone segment which is forecast to grow from under 200 Mu in 2012 to over 500 Mu in 2016” said Stuart Robinson, Director, Handset Component Technologies service at Strategy Analytics.
The MT6577 is designed to deliver rich multimedia experiences, with an 8MP camera, support for up-to high-definition 1080p video playback and the ability to support high-resolution displays up to HD720 (1280×720) resolution. The platform also pre-integrates MediaTek’s leading 4-in-1 connectivity combo that provides support for dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, BT4.0, GPS and FM. The MT6577 is pin-to-pin compatible with the previously released MT6575, allowing handset manufacturers to easily produce multiple tiers of devices leveraging a single PCBA hardware development effort.
The MT6577 dual-core platform is currently being incorporated into smartphone devices by MediaTek’s leading global customers, and the first smartphone models based on this new chipset are expected to ship commercially in Q3 2012.
MediaTek expects increase in smartphone chip sales [Taipei Times, June 14, 2012]
MediaTek Inc (聯發科) chairman Tsai Ming-kai (蔡明介) said yesterday that he still expects an increase in demand for smartphone chips in the second half of this year, despite a slowing global economy.
Last year, faced with competition that was fiercer than ever, MediaTek posted NT$13.62 billion (US$454 million) in net profit, or NT$12.35 earnings per share (EPS), down sharply from the NT$30.94 billion in net profit, or NT$28.44 EPS recorded in 2010.
Tsai said the worst phase was almost over for the IC designer and the company was gearing up to broaden its product portfolio and win orders to strengthen its profitability.
On the back of robust demand for smartphones, MediaTek has forecast smartphone chip shipments in the second quarter would range between 18 million and 20 million units, up sharply from the 10 million recorded in the first quarter.
For all of this year, the IC designer anticipates smartphone chip shipments to touch 75 million units from rising demand from China and other emerging markets.
MediaTek president Hsieh Ching-jiang (謝清江) said at the shareholders’ meeting that the company would not focus just on the Chinese market, but also target global demand, while operating a total of 23 offices worldwide.
About the just four months old MT6575-based market
ZOPO ZP200 3D Movie Playing [AndroidSale YouTube channel, March 22, 2012]
Note that even for global wholesale there are much more products of the above kind, as you could see from the table below (the ones which are also on the above diagram are highlighted in yellow). Click here for a PDF version in case you want to click on the links:
There are a couple of recent Chinese startups capitalising on the MT6575 opportunity. The most successfull among them is probably ZOPO Mobile Communications-equipment Ltd. in Shenzhen, China, introducing itself as:
ZOPO Company is founded in 2012, which engages in research, development, produce, marketing and service of mobile intelligent terminal products. The ZOPO ZP200 model as” The China‘s first Glasses-Free 3D dual sim smart mobile phone ” has been a hot Star in China mainland.
Zopo ZP100 MT6575 4.3″ qHD $174 street price [ARMdevices.net YouTube channel, April 9, 2012]
I’m back in Shenzhen! Here getting ICS installed on my Zopo ZP100 MT6575 [ARMdevices.net YouTube channel, April 9, 2012]
The author of the above videos (Nicolas Charbonnier, aka Charbax, see also a recent interview with him about his videoblogging) went through quite a tour about the new MT6575-based entries in the first half of April:
– $158 5″ WVGA MT6575 Cortex-A9 Smartphone presented by www.yooe.com.cn
– Zhenai A900 waterproof MT6575 smartphone
– $79 3.5″ MT6575 Orient Smart Development Ltd
– MT6575 phone shown by Quality Industrial Co Ltd
– $142 Galaxy Nexus clone, runs ICS on MT6575, with 4.65″ LCD
– Hyundai Brilliant H950, 5.2″ MT6575 phone runs Ice Cream Sandwich at the HKTDC Electronics Fair
– $140 5.2″ MT6575 Android phone by Daza Electronics at the HKTDC Electronics Fair
– ICS on 5″ MediaTek MT6575 Dolphin A80 phone [from Yooe] (note that this is represented on both the above diagram and the table)
– Shenzhen Factory Entrance (note that this is also where Yooe is manufacturing, quite likely)
– The Shenzhen Speakers Factory (the same factory was manufacturing speakers during the visit)
Then he returned in the end of May with these video reports:
– Yooe MT6575 phone now selling
– MT6575 Cutepad 5″ phone
He was showing off some of the latest gadgets that he found in Shenzhen in this video as well: Interview with Nicolas Charbonnier at Linaro Connect, Hong Kong [jasonderose YouTube channel, June 4, 2012]
MediaTek provided general MT6575 information
MT6575 [MediaTek product page, March 29, 2012]
Dual-SIM smartphone platform for the mainstream mid and entry level market
MT6575 is MediaTek’s new dual-SIM smartphone platform for the mainstream mid- and entry-level smartphone markets. Enabling browsing, gaming and multimedia features that will delight consumers, support the latest Android releases and the industry’s best dual-SIM performance for voice and data calls, the MT6575 is MediaTek’s most advanced and competitive smartphone platform to date.The MT6575 combines a software and hardware reference design solution to enable dramatically faster time to market at a highly competitive price point. The MT6575 is set to redefine the performance of mainstream smartphones.
- 1GHz ARM CortexTM-A9 CPU allows for outstanding web browsing and application performance
- High-performance 3D gaming and UIfeatures enabled by PowerVRTM SGX Series5 GPU
- High-definition 720p videoplayback and record
- Per-packet Rx antenna diversity
- 8 MP camerawith enhanced image processing capabilities
- Up to high-resolution qHD (960×540) displays
- Supports both portrait and landscape display modes by built-in dedicated HW
- Features stereo 3D video playback and advanced 2D-to-3D image/video conversion
- No lost calls on either SIM – even with active data transmission on either SIM
- Better Power Efficiency – Up to 500 hours of standby and over 8 hours of talk-time on 3G, 45 hours of audio playback and 6 hours of 3D gaming.
MediaTek – MT6575 [a featured product page, July 5, 2012]
Redefining performance of mid/entry smartphones in 2012
MT6575 is MediaTek’s new dual-SIM smartphone platform for the mainstream mid- and entry-level smartphone markets. Enabling browsing, gaming and multimedia features that will delight consumers, support the latest Android releases and the industry’s best dual-SIM performance for voice and data calls, MT6575 is MediaTek’s most advanced and competitive smartphone platform to date.
The MT6575 platform offers a 1GHz ARM® CortexTM-A9 processer for outstanding web browsing and application performance, a proven 3G/HSPA modem and runs the latest “Ice-Cream Sandwich” Android 4.0 release. Other key features include:
♦ Superior CPU, GPU, and System Performance
– High-performance 3D gaming and UI features enabled by PowerVRTM SGX Series5 GPU
♦ Richest Multimedia Features
– High-definition 720p video playback and record
– 8 MP camera with enhanced image processing capabilities
♦ World-First Integration Of Stereo 3D Display Controller And 3D Video Processing
– Features stereo 3D video playback and advanced 2D-to-3D image/video conversion
♦ Best Display Picture Quality
– Brings the same level of LCD-TV picture quality to mobile devices
♦ Leading Dual-SIM Features and Performance
– No lost calls on either SIM
♦ Lowest BOM costs
– Highly integrated platform includes the world’s smallest 4-in-1 connectivity combo (MT6620) that allows for small size and lower BOM costs
♦ Better Power Efficiency
– Up to 500 hours of standby and over 8 hours of talk-time on 3G
– Up to 45 hours of audio playback and 6 hours of 3D gaming
The MT6575 is currently being incorporated into the latest smartphone offerings by many of MediaTek’s leading customers and the first smartphone models based on this new platform have already hit the market in the first quarter of 2012.
MediaTek – MT6620 [a featured product page, Sept 21, 2011]
Highly Integrated 4-in-1 WLAN/Bluetooth/GPS/FM Combo Solution
MediaTek MT6620 integrates WLAN, Bluetooth, GNSS and FM, to provide the best performance and most convenient single chip. MT6620 implements advanced and sophisticated Radio Coexistence algorithms and hardware mechanisms. MT6620 also supports a single shared antenna (2.4 GHz antenna for Bluetooth and WLAN, 5 GHz for WLAN and 1.575 GHz for GPS).
Enhanced overall quality for simultaneous voice, data and audio/video transmission on mobile phone and tablet PC can be achieved. The small size with low power consumption reduces PCB layout area. The software package “Symphony” comes with many advanced features.
Low power, small size and high performance
WLAN/Bluetooth/GPS/FM solution WLAN 802.11 a/b/g/n dual band single stream (20/40MHz) with dual band LNA and 2.4GHz PA integration
Bluetooth 3.0+HS and V4.0 Low Energy support with LNA and PA integration
Support GPS/Galileo/QZSS/SBAS with -165dBm tracking sensitivity FM Tx/Rx with RDS/RBDS support
Support Wi-Fi Direct and WAPI hardware encryption
Support FM over Bluetooth
PLC (Packet Loss Concealment) technology for superior audio quality
Advanced AlwaysLocateTM location awareness technology with ultra low power consumption
Flexible host interfaces support include single SDIO interface for all wireless functions
MediaTek Launches MT6575 Android Platform [MediaTek press release, Feb 13, 2012]
MediaTek Inc., a leading fabless semiconductor company for wireless communications and digital multimedia solutions, today announced the availability of the MT6575, its 3rd generation platform for mid and entry‐level Android smartphones. The MT6575 platform offers a 1GHz ARM® CortexTM‐A9 processer, a proven 3G/HSPA modem and runs the latest “Ice‐Cream Sandwich” Android 4.0 release.
“We expect significant growth in entry and mid‐level smartphones, with wholesale prices under US$190, over the coming years. We forecast that this segment will almost triple in size from 191 million shipments in 2012 to 551 million by 2016. At that time, we also expect approximately 75% of those entry and mid‐level smartphones to ship to emerging markets” said Neil Mawston, Executive Director, Global Wireless Practice, at Strategy Analytics. The MediaTek MT6575 platform is ideally suited to cater to a wide range of smartphone devices that target this growing segment in multiple markets around the world.
“Leveraging the energy‐efficient, high‐performance Cortex‐A9 processor in Android smartphone applications is an extremely compelling proposition and a great proof point for the scalability of the ARM architecture. During 2011 the Cortex‐A9 processor has powered many of the most up‐to‐date and highest performance smartphones. The proliferation of Cortex‐A Series processors into lower cost, mainstream mobile devices will deliver a significant uplift in the user experience,” said Laurence Bryant, Director of Mobile, ARM.
For mid‐range smartphones, the MT6575 platform supports 720p high‐definition video playback and recording with an 8MP camera and qHD (960×540) high‐resolution displays via a PowerVRTM SGX Series5 GPU (graphics processing unit) from Imagination Technologies. In industry‐standard benchmark testing, the MT6575 offered over 35% improvement for browser applications and over 20% improvement in graphics capabilities for gaming when compared to competitors’ best offerings in these segments.
Additionally, the MT6575 platform provides built‐in support for advanced features such as integrated capabilities to drive 3D displays and proprietary algorithms for mobile display picture processing. In sum, the MT6575 provides DTV‐grade picture quality on a smartphone by leveraging MediaTek’s proven technology as a world‐leading DTV platform provider.
The MT6575 platform also supports entry‐level smartphones with smaller display sizes, lower resolution, less memory and reduced multimedia requirements. In addition, the MT6575 boasts the world’s lowest power consumption and most comprehensive integration of hot swap dual‐SIM capability compatible with the Android platform. With the MT6575 dual‐SIM solution, consumers will no longer have to worry about dropped calls while active data transfer is happening on either SIM card, and will experience automatic resumption of data exchange once calls on the other SIM card have ended, in addition, with the hot swap feature enabled, the SIM card can be inserted without switching off the mobile.
The 3G/HSPA modem integrated in the MT6575 platform has been qualified at major 3G operators world‐wide.
The MT6575, delivered in 40nm CMOS technology, builds on the proven track record of the 2nd generation MT6573 platform – i.e., the platform that powers the Lenovo A60, China Unicom’s top selling handset in the sub‐RMB 1000 (approx. $160 USD) smartphone category.
“We are very excited by the prospects of the MT6575 platform. It combines MediaTek’s innovative chipset technology with our proven reference design and complete software solution model. We believe this platform is ideally suited to enable our customers to address mid and entry‐level smartphone cost and performance needs on a global basis – today and tomorrow,” said Ching‐Jiang Hsieh, President of MediaTek.
The MT6575 is currently being incorporated into the latest smartphone offerings by many of MediaTek’s leading customers and the first smartphone models based on this new platform will hit the market in the first quarter of 2012.
MediaTek’s Full Line of 3G Platforms Aims to Address Mid to Entry-Level Smartphone Market [MediaTek press release, Feb 27, 2012]
MediaTek Inc., a leading fabless semiconductor company for wireless communications and digital multimedia solutions today announced the availability of the MT6515, its next generation TD smartphone solution for China sub-RMB 1000 (approx. $160 USD) smartphone market. The MT6515 TD smartphone platform solution integrates a powerful 1GHz ARM CortexTM-A9 processor, 3D hardware, and runs the latest “Ice-Cream Sandwich” Android 4.0 release. MediaTek’s latest foray into the 3G smartphone market enables high system performance with low power consumption and high cost-performance ratio that raises the bar for what consumers will come to expect from a TD-SCDMA smartphone experience.
According to a recent report released by the market research firm, Strategy Analytics, in the 3rd quarter of 2011, China overtook the US as the world’s biggest smartphone market. Sub-RMB 1000 smartphones were one the fastest growing segments of this market, due in large part to multiple purchases of these models by China’s three major operators in response to consumer needs. As a result, China has seen a sharp rise in smartphone sales starting in the beginning of 2011. MediaTek, with its years of experience serving the industry, attention to continuous innovation, and recent investments in the arena of 3G technologies, has been perfectly poised to meet the growing needs of this new market. With its cost effective, yet high performance smartphone platforms, MediaTek, along with industry partners (i.e. mobile device manufactures and operators), has emerged as a leader in the recent explosion of popularity of mid and entry-level smartphones.
As a member of China’s TD Industry Alliance (TDiA), MediaTek has invested heavily in the R&D of TD chipsets following the initial release of the TD-SCDMA standard. MediaTek’s signature high integration, yet low power consumption platforms have been introduced into TD operators’ handset customization strategies, and MediaTek currently offers a TD mobile device platform series uniquely customized to meet the needs of the Chinese market. As such, it is little surprise that among the mobile devices included in China Mobile’s multiple terminal procurement lists, one finds a variety of end user products that run on MediaTek-driven TD platforms.
Today, MediaTek announced the availability of the MT6515, its next generation TD smartphone platform for the sub-RMB 1000 smartphone market. The platform offers a powerful 1GHz ARM CortexTM-A9 processor, 3D hardware, and runs the latest “Ice-Cream Sandwich” Android 4.0 release. Multi-media applications and Internet speed have also been optimized. Additionally, the MT6515 TD-SCDMA offers a complete China Mobile 3G package, thus helping increase the speed in which manufacturers can get their products to end-users.
In the field of WCDMA and 3rd generation wireless standards, MediaTek has continued to build upon its proven track record of offering complete mobile device solutions. Worthy of note is the MT6573, MediaTek’s 3.75G smartphone platform released last year. This platform powered the Lenovo A60, China Unicom’s top selling handset in the sub-RMB 1000 smartphone category, and an important factor in the uptick of popularity in phones within this market segment.
Building on the success of the MT6573, MediaTek has released the MT6575, which is designed to run on the latest Android driven platforms. The MT6575 offers a 1GHz ARM® CortexTM-A9 processor and runs the latest “Ice-Cream Sandwich” Android 4.0 release. The platform supports dual-SIM solutions, and its web performance, power consumption rates, and multimedia features all meet or exceed industry-leading benchmarks, thus guaranteeing that the MT6575 will deliver a significant uplift in the smoothness of user experience. The MT6575 is currently being incorporated into the latest smartphone offerings by many of MediaTek’s leading customers and the first smartphone models based on this new platform will hit the market at the end of this month.
“Using innovative products to help our customers accurately reflect the needs of the market has always been one of MediaTek’s greatest strengths, and we have continued with this tradition of excellence as we expand into the growing smartphone market. MediaTek’s innovative chipset technology, with our proven reference design and complete software solution models, will ensure that our customers find a place in the growing mid and entry-level smartphone market of tomorrow where, along with power and functionality, cost effectiveness has become a must-have feature,” said Ching-Jiang Hsieh, President of MediaTek.
MediaTek Announces World’s Smallest 4-in-1 Combo Chip Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/GPS/FM Solution [press release, July 21, 2011]
MediaTek Inc., a leading fabless semiconductor company for wireless communications and digital multimedia solutions, today announced its most advanced wireless combo chip designed to enrich multimedia experience with small footprint and long battery life for smartphones, tablets and portable devices. The MediaTek MT6620 integrates 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0+HS, GPS, and FM transmitter/receiver on a single chip with superior size and power benefits, making it the best solution for smartphones, tablets, and portable devices.
Bringing connectivity features to mainstream products such as smartphones, tablets, portable media players (PMPs), gaming devices, and personal navigation devices (PNDs), the MediaTek MT6620 integrates Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, and FM, to provide superior performance and rich features. The MT6620 implements advanced and sophisticated radio coexistence algorithms and hardware mechanisms to enhanced overall quality for simultaneous voice, data, and audio/video transmissions. Its small size significantly reduces PCB layout area and simplifies design efforts. In addition, the MediaTek Symphony™ software package supports all advanced wireless features on the Android operation system. BlueAngel™ Bluetooth software currently can support up to 15 profiles to fulfill most user scenario and bring customer product differentiation.
The MT6620 supports all the leading standards: dual band 2.4GHz and 5GHz 802.11n Wi-Fi with WiFi Direct and Hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0+HS for simultaneous dual mode Bluetooth BR/EDR/HS and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) operations, GPS with Galileo/SBAS/QZSS and patent pending AlwaysLocate™ technology, FM radio with both transmitter and receiver, making the MT6620 ideal solution for portable devices that require superior performance and long battery life. The MT6620 passes 802.11n WiFi certificate including WPS2.0, WAPI and Bluetooth 4.0+HS on both the controller and MediaTek BlueAngle™ host software.
SR Tsai, General Manager of the Wireless Connectivity Business Unit at MediaTek said, “MediaTek is one of few in the industry to offer 4-in-1 SoC solution for a wide range of mobile applications. As a result of this attention to mobile device manufacturers’ needs, the MT6620 was designed to meet strict requirements, such as low power modes to conserve battery life, a reduced footprint to fit into small, sleek handset designs, and low cost to enable mass market mobile Wi-Fi enabled handsets. We believe that the MT6620 is optimized for mobile devices at the hardware, firmware, and driver levels to speed time to market of innovative designs.”
The MT6620 has entered mass production and is shipping to lead customers in sizable quantities now.
MT6620 Product Highlights:
– Low power, small size and high performance Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/GPS/FM solution
– Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n dual band single stream (20/40MHz) with dual band LNA and 2.4GHz PA integration
– Bluetooth 4.0+HS support with PA integration
– Supports GPS/Galileo/QZSS/SBAS with -165dBm tracking sensitivity
– FM Tx/Rx with RDS/RBDS support
– Supports Wi-Fi Direct and WAPI hardware encryption
– Supports FM over Bluetooth
– PLC (Packet Loss Concealment) technology for superior audio quality
– Advanced AlwaysLocateTM location awareness technology with ultra-low power consumption
– Flexible host interfaces including single SDIO for all wireless functions
Some history leading to MT6575
Stephen Elop’s (Nokia CEO) “Burning Platform” memo leaked by Engadget [Feb 8, 2011]:
In 2008, MediaTek supplied complete reference designs for phone chipsets, which enabled manufacturers in the Shenzhen region of China to produce phones at an unbelievable pace. By some accounts, this ecosystem now produces more than one third of the phones sold globally – taking share from us in emerging markets.
White-box handset makers gearing up smartphone and 3G handset production, MediaTek to benefit [DIGITIMES, Dec 3, 2010]:
White-box handset makers in China are gearing up their production of in-house designed smartphones and 3G handsets, a trend which will benefit Taiwan-based IC design house MediaTek. China’s white-box handset industry in 2010, has begun to place more emphasis on upgrading specifications and added value to enter the high-end segment, and has allocated more resources on development of intellectual property.
Even the China government has voiced its support for the white-box industry. Yang Xueshan, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), recently said that the government will support the white-box business model as long as there is no infringement of IP.
Yang pointed out that from imitation to innovation is a process white-box handset makers have to go through, citing China-based telecom equipment maker Huawei Technologies as a success story. Huawei’s foray into the handset sector began with low-cost products and the company now has research and development capability, he said.
Supporting the white-box business model, given that no patents are infringed, is a good way to protect intellectual property rights as well as provide the most cost-effective products to consumers, Yang added.
More information: MediaTek as the catalyst of the white-board ecosystem
section within Be aware of ZTE et al. and white-box (Shanzhai) vendors: Wake up call now for Nokia, soon for Microsoft, Intel, RIM and even Apple! [Experiencing the Cloud, Feb 21, 2011]
Look at the MTK History :MTK6575 Heading Toward 1Ghz smartphone for below $200? [Lady Panda, April 14, 2012]
Let’s look at the MTK History:
They first created chipsets for general phone such as MT6225, MT6235 based on their own MTK RTOS. MTK RTOS is known for fast, features rich and very customizable interface with most features support such as Dual SIM Dual Standby, Dual Camera(Front/Rear), ,MicroSD-HC up to 16-32GB, WiFi, Bluetooth (A2DP/Stereo and most other profiles), Very good J2ME support, Analog/digital DVB, FM Radio. A lot of features rich and very affordable handsets become to appear on marketfor prices below $100.
Then they were one of the first to create a dual SIM WCDMA chipset MT6268 which had even better J2ME support and also 3g features such as WCDMA data and 3G Video calls support. A lot of Dual SIM 3G handsets started to appear for about $150. They all were fully unlocked by default and without any contracts. It provided handsets with a lot of features for a very low price.
Then back in 2009 they have decided to enter the smartphones market with the new MT6516 chipset which provided a solution for fully featured yet low price Windows Mobile 6.5 and Android 2.2. handset with a price tag of below $150 while maintaing the popular Dual SIM Dual Standby Quad Band GSM feature, TV, FM, Bluetooth,GPS/AGPS, HQ Youtube playback, Capacitive Multi-touch screen, Dual Camera with flashlight,Android Market, Voice Search. This chipset was not a high performance gaming chipset, But it’s performancewas surprisingly well and exceeded even a lot of high end expensive chipsets.
Then in 2011 they have released the new MT6573 chipset. Now the MT6573 Android 2.3.4 phone cost $150-$210 and they still maintain the Dual SIM Dual Standby with Quad Band GSM and WCDMA/HSPA support. This chipset, Which main ArmV6 core is clocked at 600-650Mhz, integrate the PowerVR Series 5 GPU so it can run fluently games like Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja, Asphalt 5 and many more games. Most of them have 5-8MP back camera with HD video shoting and flashlight supported, HD Videos decoding. Still maintain the analog tv, Capacitive Multi-touch screen, FM Radio, 32GB MicroSD Slot,Bluetooth, GPS/AGPS, WiFi, Voice search and a lot of other advanced smartphonefeatures. The performance is very impressive for such a low price.
Turmoil on the H1CY12 market in China:
International and local brands, as well as white-box vendors are repositioning for the most lucrative CNY500 (US$79) to CNY1,000 (US$157) smartphone market of H2CY12 and on
The development of China’s smartphone market has drawn much attention, particularly in 2012, during which the local brands Huawei Device and ZTE will make it to the global top-10 smartphone vendor list. Digitimes Research expects two other brands, Lenovo and China Wireless Technologies (Coolpad), to see their smartphone shipments surpass the 10 million mark in 2012.
In the domestic market, Huawei and ZTE both have been trying to expand their share in the mid-range to high-end segments, resulting in a decline in shipments of low-priced models. While smartphone shipments by Huawei and ZTE will continue increasing in 2012, the two vendors are expected to see the ratios of their shipments to total smartphone shipments in China decline to 12% and 9%, respectively in 2012 from 16% and 11% of a year earlier.
Lenovo, which has been maintaining a close relation with chipset solution vendor MediaTek and has been focusing on the entry-level segment, is expected to ship 12 million smartphones in 2012, Digitimes Research estimates.
Coolpad is migrating to the smartphone sector rapidly and is likely to ship 11.1 million smartphones this year, accounting for 70% of its total handset shipments.
Digitimes Research predicts that shipments of smartphones in China will top 140 million units in 2012, with Samsung and Apple accounting for a combined 40% share. Huawei, ZTE, Lenovo and Coolpad are expected to together take up another 40%, limiting the development potential of other brands.
Taiwan IC designers looking to orders from China-based white-box smartphone vendors [DIGITIMES, June 20, 2012]
Taiwan-based IC design houses have rekindled their hope that they can cooperate once again with China-based white-box handset makers to make a strong presence in China’s smartphone market thanks to the offering of inexpensive chipset solutions from MediaTek and MStar Semiconductor and the rising popularity of smartphone models priced at around CNY1,000 (US$158), according to industry sources.
The availability of the mature and inexpensive chipset solutions and reference designs has lowered the barriers for white-box makers to also jump into the smartphone segment, the sources indicated.
Taiwan-based IC design houses which made a fortune previously by supplying related 2.5G ICs to the white-box manufacturing sector, have begun building up their inventory to meet anticipated demand from China-based white-box makers, noted the sources.
Given that international handset brands have a tendency to cooperate with a limited number of IC vendors, shipments to white-box handset makers in China will serve as a growth driverfor Taiwan-based IC vendors in the second half of 2012, said the sources.
Taiwan-based LCD driver IC vendors Novatek Microelectronics, ILi Techonology (Ilitek), Sitronix Technology, Orise Technology, and controller IC vendors Elan Microelectronics, Egalax-empia Technology (EETI), as well as analog IC makers Richtek Technology, Global Mixed-code Technology and Anpec Electronics will bebenfit from the re-rise of white-box handset makers, commented the sources.
China market: Small-scale makers and retail channels to stage comeback in smartphone segment [DIGITIMES, June 15, 2012]
Small-scale handset makers as well as retail handset channels in China may stage a comeback in the smartphone segment optimizing the availability of low-priced models, according to industry sources.
Under the aggressive marketing strategy and heavy subsidies launched by telecom carriers, sales of smartphones have been strong in the replacement market, said the sources, but added that the top carriers have been dominating the market with their customized models, affecting sales in retail channels, said the sources.
However, the availability of reference designs for the production of smartphones has enabled a large number of small- and medium-size handset makers in China to also jump into the segment, triggering a sharp decline in prices of smartphones, noted the sources.
Prices of unlocked smartphones are expected to drop to below CNY500 (US$79) soon, making it affordable for consumers to pick up smartphones at retail shops without signing subscription contracts with carriers, the sources commented.
China market: Qualcomm pushing sales of 3G solutions to small- to medium-sized handset makers [DIGITIMES, June 12, 2012]
Qualcomm has geared up efforts to push sales of its smartphone solutions to small- to medium-sized handset makers in China, attracting a number of vendors shifting away from the comparable solutions offered by Taiwan-based MediaTek, according to industry sources.
To counter Qualcomm’s strategy, MediaTek has also stepped up sales of its 3G solutions to first-tier handset makers in Chinainstead of its previous focus on small- and medium-sized vendors, the sources indicated.
In addition to Qualcomm and MediaTek, other chipset vendors including ST-Ericsson, Intel, Spreadtrum Communications and MStar Semiconductor, are exerting all-out efforts to grab the handset solution market in China, said the sources, adding that competition between Qualcomm and MediaTek is the fiercest.
But a large number of branded and white-box handset makers in China still prefer Android- and 3.5G-enabled solutions as well as dual-core solutions from MediaTek, since they have established mature business relationships with MediaTek, the sources commented.
Digitimes Research estimates that China handset shipments will grow to 430 million units in 2012, with smartphones likely to take 32% of the market, equivalent to 143 million handsets. Given that China already accounted for 22% of global handset shipments in 2011 and the country’s mobile user base is projected to hit 1.13 billion people in 2012, the potential of the country’s smartphone market is staggering.
The boom in China’s smartphone market that began in 2011 was sparked by the expansion of 3G service coverage and falling budget smartphone prices. Carriers have driven this change in an attempt to bolster flagging ARPUs, which stood at just CNY37 (US$6) per month for 2G users of China Unicom in 2011; the ARPU for the carrier’s 3G subscribers was a much more respectable CNY110, according to an upcoming Digitimes Research Special Report on China’s smartphone market.
Carriers have been able to entice China’s price-conscious consumers to make the 3G switch chiefly by offering extremely cheap smartphones priced at around CNY1,000, a figure which could yet fall as low as CNY599 in 2012. This concentration in the low end of the market is a major contributing factor to the dominance of Android in China.
However, consumers in this sector are not willing to spend heavily on profitable 3G services and ARPU for 3G users is already falling steeply. At the current rate of decline, the 3G ARPU will fall to an estimated CNY82 during 2013. China’s smartphone switchover may therefore not prove to be quite as lucrative as the country’s carriers had hoped.
Android 4.0 in entry-level to mid-range smartphones to rise in 2H12 [DIGITIMES, June 7, 2012]
While Android 2.x versions take up about 90% of Android-based smartphones, Qualcomm and MediaTek have begun to offer Android 4.0 common chip solutionsfor smartphone vendors and therefore version 4.0 is expected to be widely adopted for entry-level to mid-range smartphones in the second half of 2012, according to industry sources.
Because Samsung Electronics, HTC, LG Electronics and other vendors have launched Android 4.0 smartphones, and have offered upgrades for older models in the second quarter of 2012, the penetration rate of Android 4.0 has risen from 2.9% in April to 7.1% currently, the sources indicated.
China market: Entry-level smartphones to feature dual-core CPUs in 2H12 [DIGITIMES, June 5, 2012]
Smartphones featuring dual-core CPUs are expected to begin penetrating into the CNY1,000 (US$157) smartphone segment in China in the second half of 2012 thanks to dual-core reference designs offered by MediaTek and Qualcomm, according to industry sources.
Other chipset solution vendors such as ST-Ericsson are also expected to enter the dual-core segment soon, indicated the sources.
Dual-core smartphones may even become the mainstream white-box models in the second half which will squeeze market share from single-core models, and hence triggering a price war, the sources said.
In addition to pushing the clock speeds of CPUs from 1GHz to 1.2GHz, China-based handset makers will also adopt 4.3-inch displays for mainstream entry-level and mid-range modelsinstead of the prevailing 4-inch screens, added the sources.
Prices of single-core smartphones in China are likely to fall below CNY500 in the second half, which may result in a dumping of entry-level and mid-range smartphones by China-based handset makers in the global market, the source commented.
Qualcomm scores points in promoting QRD in China [DIGITIMES, June 4, 2012]
Qualcomm began to offer Qualcomm Reference Design (QRD), a platform for developing smartphone components including memory, sensors, touch screens, cameras and RD devices as well as application software, for vendors and makers in China two years ago and has made significant achievements in boosting inexpensive smartphones by helping its China-based partners, according to company senior vice president and Greater China president, Wang Xiang.
QRD aims to reduce input of resources in development and time to market for China-based smartphone vendors and makers, Wang said. 28 models of smartphones have been launched by 17 vendors under QRD, and more than 100 models are being developed for launch in 2012, Wang indicated.
Qualcomm has set up four China branches in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Xi’an and two R&D centers in Beijing and Shanghai, according to company senior vice president and QRD director, Jeff Lorbeck.
Qualcomm will focus promotion of QRD in China to reduce component costs in 2012 and plans to help China-based partners tap emerging markets in India, Latin America and Southeast Asia through providing technical support in 2013, Wang said.
Lenovo aims to triple smartphone shipments in 2012 [DIGITIMES, June 4, 2012]
Lenovo plans to launch as many as 40 new models of smartphones in 2012, aiming to ramp up its smartphone shipments to 18 million unitsin the year compared to six million units shipped in 2011, according to the company.
Lenovo aims to roll out a lineup of smartphones with different price tags to meet demand from all segments of customers, the company said. Smartphone models priced below CNY1,000 (US$157) currently account for 30% of smartphones sold in China, models priced at CNY1,000-1,499 take another 30%, and those priced above CNY1,500 make up the remaining 40%, Lenovo indicated.
Lenovo saw its smartphone shipments in China grow 21-fold on year in the first quarter of 2012, enabling the company to take up a 10% share in the quarter compared to just 1% a year earlier. The vendor also captured the fourth-rank position in the smartphone segment in China in Aprilwith a 10.21% share, said China-based Sino Marketing Research.
WCDMA models account for 49% of all smartphones sold by Lenovo currently, followed by CDMA EV-DO models at 26% and TD-SCDMA models at 18%, the company noted.
Lenovo also plans to roll out dual-core models in the second half of 2012, using MediaTek’s MT6577 solutions and Qualcomm’s QRD 8×25 and 8×26 solutions, according to industry sources.
Lenovo’s handset OEM partners, including Foxconn International Holdings (FIH), Compal Communications and Wistron NeWeb, are expected to benefit from increasing shipments by Lenovo, the sources indicated.
China market: China Unicom gearing up for sub-CNY800 WCDMA smartphones [DIGITIMES, June 4, 2012]
China United Network Communications (China Unicom), the only WCDMA mobile telecom carrier in China, will promote sale of WCDMA smartphone models priced at below CNY800 (US$127) to attract 2G subscribers to shift to WCDMAin the China market, according to the company.
Of handsets sold at CNY599 or below in the China market in April 2012, TD-SCDMA models took up 24%, CDMA2000 EV-DO models 15% and WCDMA models 1%, according to China-based Sino Market Research. Of handsets sold at CNY600-799, TD-SCDMA, CDMA2000 EV-DO and WCDMA accounted for 20%, 10% and 6% respectively, Sino indicated.
The demand for smartphones in the China market in 2012 is forecast at 200 million units and 44% of which, that is, 88 million units, will be sold at below CNY800, meaning big opportunities for China Unicom, the company said.
In addition to inexpensive smartphones, China Unicom has cooperated with international vendors including LG Electronics, Nokia, HTC, Motorola Mobility as well as China-based vendors K-Touch and Xiaomi Technology to launch mid- to high-level models in the China market for market segmentation, the company noted.
China Unicom has been upgrading HSPA+ service and has deployed 21Mbps HSPA+ networks in 56 cities in China, the company said. While there have been 245 models of HSPA+-enabled terminal devices around the world, China Unicom plans to launch price-competitive models of such devices, the company indicated.
China market: First-tier local brands shifting focus to CNY1,000-1,500 smartphones [DIGITIMES, June 1, 2012]
First-tier local brand handset vendors in China have begun adjusting their strategy to focus on marketing mid-range smartphoneswith prices ranging CNY1,000-1,500 (US$157-236) instead of the previous focus on sub-CNY1,000 models, according to industry sources.
The launch of sub-CNY1,000 smartphones by the top-3 telecom carriers as well as the roll-out of CNY500 models by second-tier handset makersin China has induced top-tier vendors to shift their focus, said the sources.
The second-tier handset makers have been engaged in cut-throat competitionin order to win open bids released by the top-3 telecom service companies, noted the sources, adding that China Mobile has even launched a sub-CNY200 model.
Top-tier vendors, including Coolpad, ZTE, Huawei and Lenovo, are expected to reduce the number of their the sub-CNY1,000 smartphones and will be more active to participate in bidding for CNY1,000-1,500 models, said the sources.
The move by China-based top smartphone brands to the mid-range segment will see them take on some international players including Samsung Electronics, HTC, Nokia, Motorola Mobility which have ventured into the CNY1,000-2,000 segment, the sources commented.
Rumor: China’s Smartphone Prices to Drop to RMB 600 [Marbridge Daily]
Southern Daily, 5/31/12
Industry sources claim that China’s smartphone prices could drop to RMB 600 in H2 2012 due to increasing availability of low-priced smartphone chips. Smartphones featuring Taiwanese fabless semiconductor company MediaTek’s (MTK) MT6573 processor are available on B2C e-commerce sites such as Taobao and Paipai for RMB 800 and below. MediaTek’s MT6575 chipset, released in March, has already appeared in handsets from domestic handset vendors such as Lenovo (0992.HK), Gionee, ZTE (0763.HK; 000063.SZ), and Yulong (Coolpad), as well as foreign brands such as Motorola. The MT6575 is currently available for between RMB 1,000 to RMB 1,500. Taiwanese chipmaker MStar Semiconductor plans to release its first dual-core chipset solution for RMB 1,000 smartphones next week.
According to a source within Lenovo Mobile, ST-Ericsson released its U8500 dual-core chipset platform in Q1 2012, and handset models using the platform are available from overseas brands at prices no higher than RMB 2,000. Domestic brand handset models featuring the chipset are expected to reach the market in Q2 and Q3 priced at approximately RMB 1,500. Chinese internet company Shanda Interactive will soon release its own branded smartphone using the U8500 priced at RMB 1,199. In addition, Qualcomm will launch its MSM7x27A and MSM7x25A low-priced chipset platforms this year, which will feature in a number of RMB 1,000 smartphones from domestic handset manufacturers.
China-based smartphone vendors to compete with big players with ultra-thin models [DIGITIMES, May 29, 2012]
China-based handset vendors have ventured into the production of ultra-thin smartphones, enhancing their strength to compete with international brands in the global market, according to industry sources.
China-based vendor Oppohas highlighted this manufacturing trend in China by releasing the Finder recently. The Android 4.0-based Finder has a thickness of only 6.65mm.
The Finder also features a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, 16GB ROM, a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus screen, an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 1.3-megapixel front camera, for a suggested retail price of about CNY3,500 (US$555)in China.
Oppo, one of the top-10 local brandsin China, focuses on the production of smartphones priced above CNY2,000 instead of the prevailing sub-CNY1,000 models, the sources noted.
Thickness of ultra-thin models by brands
Ascend P1 S
HTC One S
Galaxy S III
ST-Ericsson seeking cooperation with China-based low-cost smartphone vendors, says paper [DIGITIMES, May 28, 2012]
ST-Ericsson has won adoption of its U8500 chip solution by China-based Shanda which will launch a smartphone for sale at about CNY1,000 (US$158) in the China market on June 6, according to China-based 21st Century Business Herald.
ST-Ericsson is seeking adoption of its chip solutions by more China-based vendors looking to launch smartphones priced at CNY1,000-2,000, the paper indicated. Smartphones for sale at CNY1,000-2,000 accounted for about 50% of all smartphones sold in the China market in 2010 and 2011, with ZTE, Huawei, and Coolpad the leading vendors, the paper said.
China market: 4 local vendors amid top-5 in 3G smartphone market in April [DIGITIMES, May 25, 2012]
In the China market, Samsung Electronics recorded the largest market share of 22.75% for 3G smartphones in April 2012, followed by four China-based vendors — Coolpad with 11.17%, Huawei with 10.92%, Lenovo with 10.21% and ZTE with 9.28%, China Economic Netcited China-based Sino Market Research as indicating.
Other international vendors’ market shares were 8.52% for Apple, 4.14% for Motorola Mobility, 3.95% for Nokia and 2.82% for HTC, the report indicated.
The increased market occupation by China-based vendors was mainly due to selling of their entry- to mid-level 3G smartphone models through contract-bundled sales by China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom, the report said.
MediaTek lands 2.5G handset solution orders from Nokia, say sources [DIGITIMES, May 21, 2012]
MediaTek reportedly has landed orders for 2.5G handset solutions from Nokia with shipments to begin in the third quarter of 2012, according to industry sources. MediaTek declined to comment.
Given that global demand for 2.5G handset solutions still reaches one billion units a year, there is room for MediaTek to further expand sales in the segment although the company’s sales of 2.5G solutions have been turning weak recently, indicated the sources. MediaTek shipped 550 million 2.5G solutions in 2011.
With a revised goal of shipping 75 million 3G solutions in 2012, mostly to first-tier handset makers in China, MediaTek is expected to post strong revenue growth in the second half of the year, the sources noted.
Qualcomm has seen supply of its Snapdragon S4 processors fall short of increasing demand and the situation has pushed international smartphone vendors, including Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, HTC and Sony Mobile Communications, to consider other suppliers, according to Taiwan-based handset supply chain makers.
The short supply of Snapdragon S4 is because Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company’s 28nm foundry capacity is not sufficient and/or the yield rate of the process is not high enough, the sources pointed out.
MediaTek looks to ship 75 million 3G solutions in 2012 [DIGITIMES, May 9, 2012]
MediaTek is expected to ship 75 million 3G handset solutions in 2012, a 50% increase from 50 million units it projected earlier, according to industry sources.
Insufficient capacity of the 28nm process at Qualcomm has forced China-based Huawei Device and ZTE, in addition to existing client Lenovo, to source 3G solutions from MediaTek, contributing to a sharp increase in orders for the IC design house, indicated the sources.
Huawei’s and ZTE’s 3G smartphones built based on MediaTek’s MT6575 solutions are expected to hit the market at the end of the second quarter or early in the third quarter of 2012, said the sources, adding that the new M6575 models from Huawei and ZTE will directly take on Lenovo’s comparable model, the A750, in the China market.
Meanwhile, MediaTek has reported consolidated revenues of NT$7.942 billion (US$269 million) for April, decreasing 3.48% on month but increasing 4.19% on year. For the January-April period of 2012, consolidated revenues amounted to NT$27.557 billion, up 0.25% on year, said MediaTek.
China-based white-box vendors expected to ship 200 million smartphones [DIGITIMES, April 17, 2012]
China-based white-box vendors, mainly due to the availability of inexpensive new chip solutions, have been increasing the production of smartphones, with the total shipment volume expected to reach 200 million units in 2012, according to industry sources in Taiwan.
Taiwan-based MediaTek is offering the makers its MT6575 a chip solution for use in entry-level smartphones in the first quarter of 2012 and will offer the MT6577, a solution for high-level smartphones, in the middle of the third quarter of 2012, the sources indicated. MediaTek will ship 50-70 million chips to China-based white-box vendorsto account for nearly 30% of smartphones to be shipped by these vendors in 2012.
In addition, Qualcomm has strengthened its marketing in the China market by offering turn-key solutions to white-box vendors, with prices for a chips lowered to US$6, the sources cited eMedia Asia as indicating.
China-based white-box vendors sell more than 60% of their smartphone output to overseas markets, including 2.5G models for markets where deployment of 3G networks is not mature yet, the sources indicated. White-box vendors are expected to see larger market demand if their production costs for entry-, medium– and high-level smartphones drop to US$60, US$85 and US$130 respectively, the sources pointed out.
China market: Motorola moving into CNY1,000 smartphone segment, says paper [DIGITIMES, April 13, 2012]
Motorola Mobility has ventured into the CNY1,000 (US$159) smartphone segment in China with the launch of its XT390 smartphone in cooperation with China Unicom, according to a Chinese-language Commercial Timesreport.
The XT390 is also the first Android-enabled smartphone rolled out by Motorola using MediaTek’s 6575 chipset solution, indicated the paper.
Motorola has outsourced the production of the XT390 to Arima Communications and may place orders for up to one million smartphones with the Taiwan-based handset ODM in the second quarter of 2012, said the paper.
China market: Top-4 local vendors to keep entry-level smartphone prices around CNY1,000 in 2012 [DIGITIMES, March 30, 2012]
The top-4 China-based branded handset vendors – Huawei Device, ZTE, Lenovo and Coolpad – will continue to develop the CYN1,000 (US$159) smartphone segment in China in 2012 and will prevent their channel operators from engaging in price-cutting competition with white-box vendors, according to industry sources.
More newcomers have entered the smartphone sector in China, propelled by the launch of related reference designs for smartphones by MediaTek, MStar Semiconductor, Qualcomm and Spreadtrum Communications, raising the possibility that prices of the entry-level smartphones may drill downward to a range of CNY400-700 compared to the prevailing prices of around CNY1,000, the sources noted.
Despite increasing pricing competition from white-box handset makers as well as international brands including Nokia and Samsung Electronics, the top-4 local brand vendors are unlikely to lower their prices further until makers in the handset component supply chain are able to reduce their quotes substantially, said the sources.
To maintain competitiveness and brand images, the top-4 vendors are expected to roll out models with higher hardware specifications for the CNY1,000 segment, the sources commented.
Shipments of smartphones in China are expected to grow 40-60% on year in 2012, the sources estimated.
China-based white-box handset players may face bankruptcy [DIGITIMES, March 29, 2012]
China-based white-box handset players are suffering as larger local players ZTE, Lenovo and Huawei are aggressively entering the CNY1,000 (US$159) smartphone segment, while first-tier smartphone brands such as Samsung Electronics and Nokia are also reducing their prices. White-box players are expected to see a 30% drop in their overall sales in 2012 with several hundred expected to go bankrupt, reshuffling China’s handset industry, according to sources from smartphone players.
As consumers in China have increasing demand for Internet connectivity, while their recognition of brand names is also rising, the white-box handset market in China, which is mainly focused on low price and design flexibility, is shrinking rapidly.
Since China-based telecom carriers are aggressively providing subsidies to ZTE, Huawei and Lenovo to allow these players to lower their smartphone prices, while white-box players are losing their advantages in price as they are unable to acquire cheap components due to their shipment scale, it has helped larger smartphone players to narrow the price gap with white-box handsets.
With more brand vendors pushing into the mid-range and entry-level smartphone market, the average price of entry-level smartphones is expected to reach CNY700 (US$100), a level almost the same as cost. In addition, white-box players’ advantages in design flexibility is also no longer attracting consumers as the size of the touch screen has already become the major criteria for consumers.
China market: Chip vendor competition heating up for 1GHz processors used in inexpensive smartphones [DIGITIMES, Jan 17, 2012]
As China Mobile, China Telecom and China United Network Communications will procure large volumes of inexpensive smartphones equipped with 1GHz processors, there is increasing competition among handset chip vendors Qualcomm, Taiwan-based MedaTek, Broadcom and China-based Spreadtrum Communications, according to Taiwan-based handset makers.
While the four vendors and others have offered 1GHz chip solutions supporting 3.5G, Android, multimedia and dual-mode functions, the Qualcomm-developed MSM7227A [Cortex-A5 based @ upto 1GHz]solution has gained the upper hand, followed by MediaTek-developed MT6575, the sources indicated. In contrast, Spreadtrum and Broadcom are competing for orders by virtue of differentiation in function, with the former focusing on TD-SCDMA, a China-developed 3G standard, solutions and the latter’s solutions featuring integration of NFC (near field communication), Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11n and GNSS (global navigation satellite system) functions, the sources pointed out.
In the China market, Nokia, Samsung Electronics, Motorola Mobility, Sony, HTC as well as China-based vendors Huawei Device, ZTE, Lenovo, TCL, Haier and Hisense will launch inexpensive entry-level smartphones equipped with 1GHz processor in 2012, the sources noted. China-based vendors are expected to release ODM or EMS orders to Taiwan-based makers, the sources indicated.