Taipei, Friday, August 26, 2016 06:41 (GMT+8)
Digitimes Research: Qualcomm to push inexpensive mobile device market with Microsoft and Allwinner solutions
Eric Lin, DIGITIMES Research, Taipei [Tuesday 14 July 2015]

According to Digitimes Research's findings, Qualcomm's development in the high-end market is not stable in 2015 and facing MediaTek and Spreadtrum's fierce competition in the mid-range and entry-level segments, the chip supplier's shipment performance in China has been weakening, causing some of its application processors (APs) to see inventory buildup.

To digest the inventory and maintain its market share, Qualcomm has cooperated with Microsoft closely over the Windows Mobile 10 platform and is planning to release a solution for the fourth quarter, designed specifically for US$80 or even cheaper smartphones. Qualcomm also partnered with China-based Allwinner Technology to release a solution for the tablet with phone functionality, targeting Europe, the US and emerging markets and to enter mass production in the third quarter, Digitimes Research's findings showed.

China's 4G LTE market had surging growth in 2014. Qualcomm's solutions, thanks to their maturity and the company's well-managed roadmap, had strong demand from China vendors in the year and acquired close to 80% share in China's 4G market at the peak.

However, MediaTek and Spreadtrum's competitive 4G solutions plus the company's misoperation in the mid-range and high-end product lines have both caused Qualcomm to see declining market share since the beginning of 2015 despite the company's aggressive promotions on its advanced technologies such as carrier aggregation.

To maintain its market share, Qualcomm has aggressively cooperated with Allwinner to push Windows Mobile 10-based entry-level smartphones and tablets with phone functionality, looking to improve its shipment performance by expanding its market base via more broad partnerships over platforms.

Qualcomm is planning to use its MSM8909 entry-level solution for the Windows Mobile 10 platform and since vendors do not need to pay any licensing fees to Microsoft for using the operating system, the overall costs for the combination will be much more competitive compared to Android-based entry-level solutions and for the entry-level smartphone market that is gradually seeing less profitability, such a solution is rather attractive to vendors.

As for Qualcomm's partnership with Allwinner, Allwinner has currently decided to release several tablet with phone functionality solutions using Qualcomm's 4G/3G products. The high-end 4G solutions will target Europe and the US markets and in addition to white-box orders, the China-based player will also look to sell its solutions to telecom carriers.

The 3G solutions will target emerging markets. Since most emerging markets were still slow in establishing 4G stations, most consumers in the markets still mainly use 3G or even 2G networks. Allwinner is planning to compete against MediaTek and Spreadtrum for these markets with help from Qualcomm's products.

However, Qualcomm's strategies still have some potential risks. Windows Mobile 10 is a brand new operating system and consumers have no knowledge about it. Although the operating system features a runtime allowing it to operate Android-based apps, whether the system's interface is able to satisfy consumers' demand is still uncertain and need more time to observe.

As for Allwinner, since the China-based chip supplier had left the tablet with phone functionality market for a while after losing to MediaTek, the company will need to re-nurture its partnerships with clients and supply chain players in order to return to the market. Since Qualcomm also has some clients using its solutions for their tablet with phone functionality products, how to avoid competition between its clients and Allwinner's clients and jointly compete against MediaTek is also a major task for the two.

Realtime news
  • Consumer IC vendor Sonix to ship over 600 million MCUs in 2016, says report

    Bits + chips - Newswatch | 8h 57min ago

  • MSI may ship 5 million graphics cards in 2016

    IT + CE | 9h 18min ago

  • Interactive Digital Technologies to begin OTC listing in September

    Before Going to Press | 9h 33min ago

  • Henghao Technology steps into automotive touch panels

    Before Going to Press | 9h 34min ago

  • Samsung closing 7G factory to reduce supply of 40-inch TV panels by 10-12 million units in 2017, says IHS

    Before Going to Press | 9h 36min ago

  • Digitimes Research: Panasonic expected to remain largest automotive Li battery maker, steps into LED automotive lighting

    Before Going to Press | 9h 37min ago

  • Asustek will struggle to reach 2016 target shipments of 25 million smartphones

    Before Going to Press | 9h 39min ago

  • WiGig 802.11ad IC shipments may reach 180 million units in 2017, 1.5 billion units in 2021, says ABI Research

    Before Going to Press | 9h 41min ago

  • BOE Technology to start production of flexible AMOLED panels in 2H17 at the earliest, says report

    Before Going to Press | 9h 42min ago

  • China TV vendors expected to procure 28 million Taiwan-produced panels in 2016, says paper

    Before Going to Press | 9h 43min ago

  • SPIL chairman calls for more open government policy

    Before Going to Press | 9h 44min ago

  • Longsys promotes SDP model to boost SSD sales

    Before Going to Press | 9h 44min ago

  • Taiwan market: Sharp unveils flagship Aquos Z2 smartphone

    Before Going to Press | 9h 45min ago

  • Industry supply chain eyeing huge mobile-SoC market potential

    Before Going to Press | 9h 46min ago

  • China firms set to expand presence in global NAND flash market, says DRAMeXchange

    Before Going to Press | 9h 46min ago

  • Demand booming for face- and iris-recognition chips for smartphones

    Before Going to Press | 9h 53min ago

View more
China smartphone touch-panel industry 2016 forecast
Intel strategies in the mobile device market
Analysis of China revised domestic semiconductor industry goals
  • Wireless broadband developments in Southeast Asia markets

    As of 2013, the 10 ASEAN nations had a total of over 700 million mobile subscriptions, with the CAGR from 2003-2013 reaching 24%. This Digitimes Research Special Report analyzes the various mobile broadband markets in ASEAN and looks at the respective trends in 4G LTE development for those markets.

  • 2015 global tablet demand forecast

    This Digitimes Research Special Report provides a 2015 forecast for the global tablet market and analyzes the strategies of key market players such as Google, Apple, Intel, and Microsoft.

  • 2015 China smartphone panel trend forecast

    This Digitimes Research Special Report analyzes the strategies of key China-based major panel makers BOE, Tianma and IVO for attacking the different market segments through technology and pricing, and their relationship to local vendors Huawei, Lenovo, ZTE, Xiaomi and Coolpad.