HTC is following in the footsteps of Apple and Samsung, and is now working on its own dedicated applications processor. According to China Times, the Taiwanese smartphone maker has already signed memorandum of cooperation with ST-Ericsson to co-develop the chip.
Contrary to high performance Samsung and Apple CPUs which power their flagships, the new HTC processor will run the lower end smartphones. The devices with new chip will start shipping in volume sometime in 2013.
It seems that HTC is getting increasingly unhappy with Qualcomm, which powered most of HTC devices until this year. They have signaled their unhappiness in early February, and may even consider Qualcomm one of the reasons for the sales problems of the last few months. HTC has already added NVIDIA to its application processor supplier list –quad core Tegra 3 is powering non U.S. version of the new One X flagship. But it has yet to diversify on the lower end.
Turning to ST-Ericsson and co-developing its own, cheaper CPU, may also be a way for HTC to start moving down market with lower priced devices. Up until now – HTC was mostly focused on a premium high-end smartphones, pretty much ignoring the low-end of the market. But as component prices get cheaper, and ever better quality Android devices are released at ever lower price points by Samsung, ZTE and Huawei – Taiwanese vendor has to find a way to respond.
And this move may be one of the responses.
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