The Xiaomi Mi 5 is taking a long time coming, but what we knew was that it would have a Snapdragon 820 processor. It turns out, there’s a twist to the story… at least a possibility.
Word is that Xiaomi isn’t too happy with the royalties Qualcomm will charge for the Snapdragon 820, which has prompted the Chinese phone maker to look elsewhere for an SoC for its next phone. You would expect things such as these to be cleared well ahead of launch normally, but for a company like Xiaomi that operates on a razor thin margin, every penny is important (figurative speaking, of course).
And by ‘looking elsewhere’ for an SoC you probably know what I meant — MediaTek. Ever since their MT67xx series of 64-bit processors came out, MediaTek have been making big strides not only in the entry-level and mid-range market, but also the high-end market with the Helio X10 and upwards.
As for the Mi 5, the MediaTek Helio X20 looks like an obvious choice for Xiaomi. It’ll be interesting to see how it turns out in the end, however, because almost exactly one year back, Xiaomi were asked to stop selling their MediaTek phones in India… a market that happens to be of immense importance for Xiaomi and one where they’ve gone closest to replicating their Chinese success.