MediaTek’s Premium Push to Counter Qualcomm, Apple


Taiwan’s MediaTek, the leading mobile chip supplier by volume, is foraying into premium categories to take on Qualcomm and Apple. Its new top-end chips focus on performance, graphics, and AI capabilities.

Analysis for a Layman:

MediaTek already powers nearly half the smartphones sold in India, but these are mostly budget phones. With its latest advanced chips, it can support premium features like fast gaming, high-resolution displays, and complex AI.

This helps MediaTek expand beyond affordable devices into high-end categories dominated by rivals Qualcomm and Apple. It can help smartphone brands make top-tier phones at lower prices. MediaTek’s generative AI chips can also accelerate emerging applications like ChatGPT.

MediaTek's Premium Push to Counter Qualcomm, Apple

Original Analysis:

MediaTek’s strategic revamp signals its intent to diversify revenue sources and tap 5G upgrade potential rather than remain confined as a budget chip vendor. Handset makers developing flagship lineups can leverage MediaTek’s solutions without relying solely on market leader Qualcomm.

But MediaTek lags in modem integration critical for wireless networks. And custom silicon and software optimization gives Apple immunity despite smaller volumes. MediaTek must cultivate brand equity with consumers directly. Partnerships with operators around rural 5G solutions do help in reaching untapped segments.

Impact on Retail Investors:

For investors, MediaTek’s thrust aids accessibility of advanced smartphones with the latest features for the masses. Backed by strong domestic demand forecasts, this allows retail participation in hardware chains’ growth.

MediaTek’s moves also promise to counter Qualcomm’s dominance and make the chip ecosystem more competitive. However, execution challenges in grabbing Apple and Samsung’s share globally persist due to their scale and customer stickiness.

Impact on Industries:

MediaTek’s premium segment foray can accelerate AI deployment in devices, facilitating wider reach for software vendors in areas like autonomous vehicles. It also stimulates innovation across the semiconductor design value chain spanning IP licensing, foundry operations, etc.

The competitive pricing can make India an exporter of affordably configured flagship devices even while expanding local consumption levels to aid Make in India.


If MediaTek manages to deliver flagship-grade performance at value prices, it may disrupt established hierarchies in mobile computing. India is well placed to harness this through strategic policies spanning electronics manufacturing, semiconductor incentives, and skill-building.

Citation: Mallick, Subhrojit. “Armed with AI-Capable Chips, MediaTek Now Looks to Rival Apple and Qualcomm.” The Economic Times, 11 Dec

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