Battle of Smartphone Chipmakers: Why Do Users Prefer MediaTek Over Qualcomm?

Qualcomm offers Snapdragon series of chipsets while MediaTek features Helios and Dimensity lineup.

Tech and Auto
2 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>Phone enthusiasts pick a smartphone with a processor that offers just the right amount of power, while still fitting comfortably in their budget.</p></div>

Smartphones rely upon processors – also called the 'brain of a smartphone' – to carry out all tasks. These include, functioning of camera, Wi-Fi, screen, security, graphics, Bluetooth, network connectivity and other operations.

Naturally, phone enthusiasts pick a smartphone with a processor that offers just the right amount of power.

The most preferred processors that flagship phones in the market today use are Qualcomm Inc and MediaTek. Both the companies are dominant players, accounting for over 50 percent of the smartphone application processor market share.

It should be noted that Qualcomm offers Snapdragon a series of chipsets while MediaTek features Helios and Dimensity lineup.

But as per latest research by Counterpoint, a global industry analysis firm, majority of smartphone brands are relying on MediaTek’s chips to power affordable phones.

Let's understand why.


How MediaTek Overtook Qualcomm?

In 2020, MediaTek overtook Qualcomm to be the largest smartphone processor supplier.

After the Huawei ban, and the company’s vision to power 5G devices with the Dimensity 800 series, MediaTek became the most widely used processor especially under mid segment smartphone range.

If you are spending less than Rs 40,000 on a phone these days, chances are that you're buying a MediaTek processor. Be it the Realme X7 Max , the Poco F3 GT , or the OnePlus Nord 2, all powered by MediaTek processors.

Not only flagship devices but a majority of affordable models from Motorola, Realme, Oppo, Vivo and others, have MediaTek processors pre-installed.

Meanwhile, it seems that the global chip shortage has not affected the company. MediaTek is able to match the high requirements to its consumers whereas Qualcomm seems to be on the back foot.

Why Do Users Prefer MediaTek?

The simple answer is 'lower cost'. The company sells its devices to manufacturers at lower costs, which allows smartphone companies to pass the benefits on to their customers.

Mumbai-based smartphone enthusiast Nandu Iyer, 27, told The Quint, "MediaTek's Dimensity chips can balance high levels of performance and still consume less battery power. These chips can easily beat Snapdragon chipsets as well."

Another phone enthusiast Anushka Rajan, 23, called Qualcomm chips 'overpriced' while speaking to The Quint. "Snapdragon processors offers less performance potential than MediTek's Dimensity 1200, yet several devices such as Motorola Edge 20 and Realme GT Max using Snapdragon chip cost more," she said.

Qualcomm's Future in India

Undoubtedly, Qualcomm's Snapdragon 888 is still one of the best processor, in terms of performance and endurance. However, more phone manufactures are adopting MediaTek for their mainstream phones to ensure affordable pricing.

It should be noted that there’s a threat to Qualcomm from phone manufacturers as well. Reports suggest that Google and Samsung will also step into the chip manufacturing business later this year.

Qualcomm can still edge out MediaTek only if it can stay relevant in the affordable phone space.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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