Qualcomm Pursues China's SME Handset Makers


Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM) recently held a meeting in Shenzhen targeting small- and medium-sized mobile phone makers in the region. Shenzhen Huiye Communications Technologies, a small mobile phone design company present at the meeting, said that it had received an "olive branch" from Qualcomm in late 2011, just as the company was preparing to transition its focus from 2G handset solutions to 3G handsets. The company's 3G handset design plans now all use Qualcomm's MSM7x25/7x27-series chips. Huiye Communications chairman Weng Weimin said that some of Qualcomm's reference designs (QRDs) are priced 5% below Taiwanese fabless semiconductor company MediaTek (MTK) reference designs, and that Qualcomm is rapidly catching up to MTK in its ability to address the various design problems faced by small- and mid-sized OEMs. The stability and low power consumption of Qualcomm's chip platforms, and the company's ability to deliver orders within two to three weeks make Qualcomm an attractive partner for handset makers, Weng said. Some of Qualcomm's SME clients use the company's QRD platforms to ship products at an FOB cost of USD 50, enabling appreciable profits for channels and vendors.


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