MediaTek will integrate Twitter into its chipset middleware
MediaTek has just announced a partnership with Twitter, that will see the social network’s features integrated into MediaTek’s MRE middleware for its ‘smart-feature phone’ platform.
In other words, MediaTek is trying to make feature phones (sometimes referred to as ‘dumb phones’) as smart as possible. And it’s trying to make this change as easy as possible on its phone making partners. Hence, the integration of a Twitter app into the Taiwanese company’s middleware as a “default feature in its reference design for mobile handsets”.
This will let people in emerging markets, who’ll buy a feature phone powered by one of MediaTek’s chipsets, enjoy a similar Twitter experience to those who use a smartphone. The Twitter app that MediaTek will bundle into its MRE will be able to run on “minimal memory and hardware requirements”, so it shouldn’t add to the cost of feature phones.
MediaTek knows that emerging markets will account for 60% of the global mobile market by next year, and as of now 70% of people in emerging markets buy feature phones (since they probably can’t afford smartphones). So, despite the developed world’s renewed focus on smartphones, there’s a big part of the world where feature phones are still big. Sure, in the mid-to-long term they’ll probably slowly disappear from there too, just like they’re now doing from developed markets. But until that happens, MediaTek knows it can still sell a bucketload of cheap chipsets.
The MRE middleware basically adds to MediaTek’s systems-on-a-chip (SoCs), letting phone makers develop cheap offerings with minimal involvement. Already, dozens if not hundreds of Chinese ‘white box vendors’ are using MediaTek chipsets to power their phones, and the added value coming from the Twitter integration should help the Taiwanese company sell even more. Especially since it’s going to be a ready-to-use solution, requiring no integration work from the phone makers themselves.
The MediaTek MT6255 will be the first chipset that will come with this Twitter integration built-in. In time, the Twitter preloading will be expanded to the entirety of MediaTek’s mobile platforms.
MediaTek is one of the leading feature phone chipset designers, best known for its tremendous success in China and Southeast Asia. Until recently, the company was focused entirely on feature phone chipsets, but it’s made some strides into the smartphone market as well. Still, the feature phone business is at its core right now, and that’s obvious given how much attention it’s paying to this space.