The chip maker told Mobile that consumer demand is driving mobile companies to change the way
they approach the market. The company claims its business model reduces the time spent in the R&D stage of development, enabling mobile vendors and carriers to place a greater focus on differentiation.
Blueprint business model
Chet Babla, senior director of corporate sales for EMEA, explained that the chip maker dips into varying consumer segments to offer different types of technology to its users.
He said: ‘When we started in mobile we realised that we were the new kids on the block, and to accelerate in the market we thought about what our customers really want. We’ve been able to come into this market so quickly because we have a concept of turnkey reference design.
‘This allows us to take a lot of the pain out of the development cycle, so we have a form factor reference design. We’ve already done the design by the time we take it to our customers, so we deliver a blueprint as a very advanced starting point, which saves them R&D. It lets them focus on their differentiation and bring devices to market quicker.
‘We wanted to bring something disruptive, so it started with optic drives and then we tried TV, then feature phones, tablets, smartphones – and it’s all snowballed over time. We realised we have this toolbox of capability and a lot of these features are interchangeable. Why can’t you have an amazing immersive experience of a TV on a smartphone and tablet? It’s about dipping into different consumer segments and cross-pollinating.’
At its Executive Forum in London, Mediatek unveiled a host of new device features, which Babla explained are part of a new phase in the industry, one that focuses on creating an immersive mobile experience for the user.
He said: ‘We’re on this phase of user experience and that’s where the battleground is in mobile today. That’s where we’re putting a lot of effort – differentiating the user experience and making it immersive – and we keep breaking new ground.
‘Connectivity is important but it’s become a standard feature. What’s really going to keep people using smartphones is the user experience. We’re focused on multimedia and immersive user experiences such as imaging to see how close can we can get to a DSLR experience – but also can the user use it all day? It’s all very well having a super computer but not if you have to charge it all the time.
‘We can help the mobile market bring both user experience and price – unfortunately you have to pick one or the other and that has been the case with many of our competitors. If you’re going to deliver good features you pay for it, and if you don’t want to pay the price you don’t get good features. Isn’t there a way to deliver both?’
Mediatek is working on creating low-cost devices to enable mobile carriers and vendors to focus on providing add-on services. Babla explained that the current carrier subsidy model is starting to break down due to the cost of handsets, plus the additional costs of having to provide services to use on the device.
The chip maker is focusing on the entry segment of the mobile market, which it claims isn’t currently being fulfilled. However, Babla says Mediatek is not looking to become a well-known consumer brand, but rather to encourage a certain association with the company.
He said: ‘Once we identify a segment we want the target, the track record is a laser focus to identify how we can differentiate, and it’s by making the solutions affordable that we can do this. We don’t want to differentiate only on price because there will always be someone who is willing to take less margin than you, so that’s not a sustainable business model.
‘We want consumers to have a certain association with the Mediatek name. We don’t want to be a big consumer brand but we want to be an ingredient brand that has the right connotations. We want to get into the high end but we also recognise there is an entry segment that isn’t being fulfilled well today and we want to keep enabling that. We don’t want to do something for the privileged few, we want to do something that everyone can enjoy.’