MediaTek accelerates Android adoption with low-cost SoC

MediaTek is expected to significantly accelerate the adoption of Android in Western mobile markets with its low-cost, System-On-a-Chip (SoC) platform for smartphones.

Indeed, the SoC platform already powers numerous entry-level mobile devices, which have primarily been sold in mainland China.

However, MediaTek’s recent cross-licensing agreement with Qualcomm and its decision to join Google’s Open Handset Alliance will allow the popular SoCs to reach eager Western Android markets. 

“Effectively, MediaTek SoCs can now get official hardware drivers and performance optimizations for Android. What this will mean in the short term is a possible growth in the use of Android to power some of the phones designed specifically for the Chinese market,” explained UnWired’s Vlad Bobleanta.

“In the long run, though, there is the potential for either big brand manufacturers, or smaller (by number of devices sold) Chinese manufacturers such as Huawei and ZTE to develop and sell extremely affordable Android smartphones in the developed world.”

Phandroid’s Kevin Krause expressed similar sentiments.

“The benefit of joining the Open Handset Alliance is that MediaTek now has access to official releases of Android drivers and optimizations, not to mention the added benefit of being closely tied to over 71 companies in the mobile industry, greatly increasing their chances of finding an outlet to pump their chipsets through on the way to Android-based phones,” opined Krause.

“This covers everything from the big-name OEMs to smaller operations based of China. With the number of Android phones seeing a release increasing by what seems like tenfold every day, the addition of MediaTek as an OHA member will surely do little to stem the tide of new devices, which isn’t a bad thing by any means.”