Xiaomi are the darling of the Chinese tech world, but as they have grown they have started to step on a few toes, one being their long time partner and chip supply Mediatek.
It’s not secret the Qualcomm is a larger investor of Xiaomi’s, but it has been Mediatek who have largely helped the brand gain a foothold in the bread and butter smartphone market. The original Redmi and Redmi Note both came with Mediatek chips at launch, but later replaced with Qualcomm chips, this obviously hurts Mediatek (as customers are shown Qualcomm is an upgrade) but not so much as Xiaomi buying it’s own processor manufacturer.
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Just a few weeks ago Xiaomi bought the controlling stake in Chinese SoC maker Leadcore. The idea being that Xiaomi can produce it’s own low-cost chips and cut out Mediatek to reduce retail costs further. This has not gone down well with Meidiatek though it sounds as though the two companies might come to an unhappy split.
On the grand scheme of things this is barely going to hurt Mediatek’s business as they are still the leading supply of processors to Chinese and Indian smartphone makers, but hopefully it wakes them up a little and explorer newer, more open source avenues to build a larger user base.
Mediatek are currently on top form with the launch of their powerful MT6595 chip in the Meizu MX4 and a couple of 64Bit SoC’s headed in to mid-range phones before the end of this year.