HTC is developing its own CPU with ST-Ericsson for lower end smartphones.
Following in the footsteps of Apple and Samsung, HTC is now working on its own dedicated applications processor. According to ChinaTimes, the Taiwanese smartphone maker has already signed memorandum of cooperation with ST-Ericsson to co-develop the chip.
Contrary to high performance Samsung and Apple CPUs which power their flagships, the new HTC processor will run the lower end smartphones. The devices with new chip will start shipping next year.
Rumour has it that HTC is becoming increasingly unhappy with Qualcomm, which powered most of HTC devices until this year. They had signaled their unhappiness in early February, and may even consider Qualcomm one of the reasons for the sales problems of the last few months. HTC has already added NVIDIA to its application processor supplier list –quad core Tegra 3 is powering non U.S. version of the new One X flagship. But it has yet to diversify on the lower end.
Looking to ST-Ericsson and co-developing its own, cheaper CPU, could be the way forward for HTC to start moving to lower-powered, lower-priced devices. Up until now, HTC was blinkered, mostly focused on the premium high-end smartphones, more or less, ignoring the lower-powered end of the market.
But as component prices get cheaper, and ever better quality Android devices are released at ever lower price points by Samsung, ZTE and Huawei. HTC has to find a way to respond.
And this move may be one of them but, I think that this may not be the only component they will be looking at.
UPDATE: HTC Source.com release details
Side note: The Sony Xperia sola is powered by the ST-Ericsson NovaThor U8500
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