MediaTek has been making waves lately. They announced their Helio X10 processor back at Mobile World Congress - well it was more of a rebranding really. Which they claimed was on par with Qualcomm's best chips. Just this week, they announced the Helio X20, which is a deca-core processor. Using the big.medium.LITTLE architecture. Which MediaTek says it will outperform the Snapdragon 820, which hasn't even been officially announced just yet.
Currently, China is the biggest market for smartphones, even bigger than the US. Which would explain why there's so much competition over there. MediaTek's Senior VP Chu Shang-tsu says that they expect demand in China and other emerging markets to rise rapidly in the second half of this year. Chu said that brand handset manufacturers and ODMs have stepped up the pace of orders since May. Also MediaTek's shipments of handset chips will be driven by a substantial pick-up in demand for handsets in China and other emerging markets during the second of half of 2015.
MediaTek is targeting to ship 150 million 4G phone chips and a total of 450 million mobile phone processors this year. MediaTek actually saw a decrease in revenue in the first quarter, by about 14% compared to a year ago. They also expect that Q2 will bring in another decrease of about 5%. Compared to a year ago.
Over in China, MediaTek is hugely popular for smartphone manufacturers. The biggest reason is that it's cheaper than Qualcomm. Many won't use Samsung's Exynos because it's like giving money to your competitor. Samsung is a competitor in China, although the likes of Xiaomi, Meizu, Huawei and others have a much larger market share, due to the price of their phones as well as the specs in their phones. Samsung's Galaxy S6 is pretty expensive in China, and in Japan it's actually a flop, surprisingly.
MediaTek is looking to challenge Qualcomm in the coming years, and we think they can actually do it. Their chips are quite good, and don't overheat. What will be interesting is to see the reaction here in the US when MediaTek starts making their way into smartphones that are sold in North America.