MediaTek Inc, the Taiwanese manufacturer of wireless chipsets, is jumping on the smartphone bandwagon with the introduction of high-performance chipsets for mid-range smartphones priced below US$200.
Dr Moynihan (left), MediaTek’s general manager for business development, and Thananan Vilailuck, the president of Samart I-Mobile Plc, show an I-Mobile smartphone powered by MediaTek’s MT6577 processor.
The move is intended to help local household handset makers to compete with branded smartphones in terms of compatible functions and prices.
It is also aimed at enhancing local tablet makers' capacity to join the second phase of the government's One Tablet per Child scheme, said Finbarr Moynihan, the general manager for business development.
"Our goal is to support local wireless device makers in increasing their share of the smartphone market, particularly the entry-level to mid-range segments," he said.
MediaTek previously focused only on making chips for feature phones. It is the cellular handset chip global market leader by unit sales.
The company supplies chips for 550 million mobiles worldwide.
"We expect to sell some 95 million smartphone chipsets in 2012, a 10-fold surge from last year," said Dr Moynihan, adding that MediaTek will become the world's third-largest smartphone chipset firm if it achieves the sales target.
MediaTek is introducing MT6577 dual-core one-gigahertz processor running on the Android 4.1 operating system, serving entry- to mid-range smartphones priced below $200.
The research firm Strategy Analytics said the entry to mid-level smartphone markets will see 45% compound annual growth rate over the next five years.
Dr Moynihan said MediaTek has joined with the local household handset maker Samart I-Mobile to produce a new chipset for Android-based smartphones in what it says is the world's first dual core processor featuring analogue TV.
Dr Moynihan acknowledged that competition in the brand-handset market has intensified, especially as smartphone prices fall.
Arthur Wang, MediaTek's director for business development, said the handset chipset market in Southeast Asia is expected to see at least four-fold growth in unit sales.
"Thailand is one of the fastest growing smartphone markets," he added.
MediaTek is increasing its co-marketing support with local phone makers to promote their smartphone brands.
Mr Wang said he believes the market share of the local household handsets will rise to 25% by early next year from 15% now.
MediaTek achieved global revenue of $3 billion last year.