When it comes to chip companies, you can count the ones that matter on one hand. There’s Apple, who technically doesn’t make their own chips, but they do design them, and I don’t have to tell you how many iOS devices ship every quarter. There’s Samsung, who designs and manufacturers the chips that go inside their premium devices. There’s Qualcomm, who powers just about every Android phone on the face of the planet. There’s Broadcom, who Samsung uses for their high volume midrange devices. And finally there’s MediaTek.
MediaTek is a Taiwanese company that designs chips and then has them manufactured by someone like TSMC. Many of the fake Android devices you see on Chinese websites are powered by MediaTek’s products. Most of the phones that are made by the major Chinese brands (Lenovo, Coolpad, TCL) use MediaTek chips. That recently announced Acer Iconia A1 and
HP’s Slate 7, they have MediaTek chips inside too.
Why go with MediaTek? Cost. Pure and simple. They’re not going to charge you the insane premiums that Qualcomm charges. They’re like most other Taiwanese companies, meaning they’re in the low margin and high volume game.
With that out of the way, say hello to the Sony C3. It looks like a premium version of the Xperia ZL, and it’s supposedly rocking a quad core MediaTek chip inside, which is a first for the Japanese company. Not much else is known about the phone, so I can’t tell you about the screen or which version of Android it’s running or whether or not it’ll ever be sold outside of China. All I know is that Qualcomm should start worrying if MediaTek starts penetrating Western markets.