Qualcomm has unveiled a new chip that promises to bring 4G LTE connectivity to low end handsets and positions it to take on MediaTek’s increasingly dominant place at the top of the emerging markets.
The Snapdragon 210 chip, which was unveiled today, is designed for smartphone handsets that retail for less than $100 [£61] and are popular in emerging markets like China.
Engadget reports that the chip itself includes up to 1.1GHz quad-core Cortex-A7 CPUs, an Adreno 304 GPU, Bluetooth 4.1 and 802.11n Wi-Fi. It supports resolutions up to 720p, cameras up to 8-megapixel, QuickCharge 2.0 with a separate chip, multi-mode 3G and dual-mode LTE and in addition to all this it can be used with a dual-SIM set-up.
Co-president Cristiano Amon made no bones about the new chip being very much geared towards capturing growth in emerging markets and figures released recently show just how far it is already behind. IDC estimates that in Q3 2014, 40 per cent of China’s smartphone shipments had a MediaTek chip whereas just 27 per cent ran on a Qualcomm processor.
China isn’t the only market that Qualcomm is likely to pitch its chip into and India is another that is ripe for its cheaper chips to take advantage of just so long as the introduction of 4G becomes a reality in the near future.
Counterpart Research reported not long ago that annual shipment revenues are on track to increase by almost 50 per cent between this year’s $14 billion [£8.5 billion] and 2017’s $20 billion [£12 billion].
What it must do now is get the manufacturers of sub-$100 [£61] handsets on board and it’s estimated that many of the devices in question won’t get a release until some time in the opening six months of 2015.