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Entries in Mediatek (2)

Monday
Aug122013

Qualcomm sweeps aside Chinese firms in TD-LTE device tender

Qualcomm-powered devices have dominated China Mobile’s just-completed TD-LTE tender, sweeping aside local firms.

The 200,000-unit tender was not large by Chinese standards, and comprised mostly data cards and MiFi devices, but is significant as China Mobile’s biggest single procurement of 4G terminals to date.

A rueful piece in 21st Century Business records that the only China-built chipset to win was Huawei’s Hisilicon, which was used primarily in Huawei’s own devices.

Qualcomm won primarily because of its ability to support ‘5 modes and 10 bands’ (the modes are GSM, W-CDMA, HSPA, TD-LTE and FDD-LTE; the bands vary from market to market). Moreover, the US firm last year gave a big assist to China Mobile’s plan to make TD fully global by declaring that all of its chips would support both modes of LTE.

The outcome of the tender “frustrated” local players Spreadtrum and Leadcore, and Taiwan’s Mediatek, the story said.

An executive from one firm complained that at the current stage, the market was all about data cards and CPE, which didn’t require “all modes”.

He said the 4G handset era, still a year or so away, would allow domestic chip players to play to their strengths in pricing, but also called on operators “to give us more opportunities and time.”

In the meantime, for focus for all three firms would be on developing multi-mode single chip products, the article says.

Friday
Nov302012

China Mobile, MTK lead China's mobile web 

Two things stand out in the latest quarterly survey of China’s mobile web by search firm Easou.

First is the dominance of China Mobile. Sure, it’s the 800lb gorilla, with over 700m subs, or 69% of the market.

But when it comes to the mobile web its share actually rises to 83%, according to Easou, China’s third largest mobile search provider.

Yet in the 3G market it has just a modest lead, with 37% of customers.

China Mobile is still mainly a 2.5G operator. Even today, more than four-fifths of China’s 1.02 billion mobile users carry a 2G device, and some 80% of online visits are via WAP, according to the Easou survey (in Chinese only). Many sessions are via multiple platforms, with WiFi accounting for 16% and non-WAP for 36% of visits.

The positive for the other two operators is that Mobile's market share is down six points over last year, thanks mainly to their 3G gain.

Bearing in mind that this survey is drawn from Easou's search traffic, which accounts for more than a fifth of the market, the other striking point is the two biggest mobile operating systems. They’re not the usual suspects.

The largest in fact is MTK, a platform offered by Taiwan chip firm Mediatek and which is popular among local brands such as Bird and Lenovo. Between them the many shanzhai firms have racked up just under 30% market share, well ahead of Nokia (25%) and Android (22%). iOS is well back in fourth spot on 5.77%.

Not to write off the latter two - Android added 4.8 points this quarter and is on track to overtake Nokia, which shrank, while iOS grew 1.3 points.

The success of MTK should give pause to global handset players, especially those eyeing developing markets. You wouldn't bet against it.