Xiaomi is allegedly looking to extend its partnership with MediaTek to build out custom made smartphone chip solutions. According to reports shared with China's Weibo social network, that's in addition to the upcoming Xiaomi devices set to use current MediaTek solutions. So the chips in question wouldn't be available in the devices currently expected from the company. But Xiaomi would effectively be commissioning MediaTek to build in-house chipsets for future gadgets.
Building on a long-standing Xiaomi MediaTek alliance for custom chips
Now, MediaTek and Xiaomi are no strangers to partnered projects with regard to chip-building, setting aside custom solutions. The former company's recently-launched Dimensity 820 chipset will appear in Xiaomi's upcoming Redmi 10X handset. That solution has been announced on the back of a number of others, pushing MediaTek back into the limelight. But its biggest advantage is that Dimensity 820 chipset is 5G capable for the mid-range. That's atop offering an expected flagship-like level of performance.
Even setting that aside, MediaTek has been working hard not just on the mid-range and budget brackets. It also plans to ship a huge number of flagship chips this year. It currently has two chipsets aimed squarely at Qualcomm's end of the market. Those are its Dimensity 1000 and 1000+. MediaTek has geared the latter chipset to take on the Snapdragon 865 directly. And that spells big news for Xiaomi.
Xiaomi is already purportedly going to ship a MediaTek Dimensity 1000+ device before the year is out. A better, custom-made chip at a lower cost bearing its own branding may be just what it needs to compete on a similar level with Huawei. Huawei is presently the number one smartphone maker globally, despite heavy sanctions and an unsure future. And despite not delivering Google's apps.
That's, in large part, thanks to the power of its branding and in-house chipsets, combined with great cameras and other features. Xiaomi has positioned itself well to follow suit. Or, at the very least, to begin building on its current position with less dependence on third-parties.
If MediaTek can retake a good segment of the flagship market with similar or superior performance, the competition in that space is poised to effectively explode. Particularly where 5G technology is concerned. MediaTek plans to ship as many as 80-million next-gen networking chips this year alone.
So this move could ultimately be extremely beneficial to both companies.
Xiaomi is already a huge brand internationally, could this help it make headway stateside?
One question raised by the potential partnership is whether utilizing in-house chips from a trusted brand could help Xiaomi break the barriers to selling devices in the US. Samsung and Apple devices have largely dominated the market, with few competitors making much headway. With MediaTek on-board, Xiaomi might avoid the pitfalls faced by Huawei in terms of entering that market.
That's just one area this deal if it bears out at all, could benefit the company.
Xiaomi is already a massive purveyor of a wide assortment of electronics in its home region too. It makes everything from smart home gadgets like vacuums such as the Roborock S6 series to wearables and less 'smart' home appliances and electric scooters. So it could potentially utilize the custom solutions in more than just smartphones. And those devices might sell well in the US as well.