Mediatek is a Taiwanese chipset vendor that usually has the reputation of being a cheaper alternative to Qualcomm chips. For computer people, think about an Intel vs AMD type situation. They’ve usually fallen by the wayside in favor of Qualcomm, but as of last year, they beat out Qualcomm by about 30 million units, increasing their shipments in total by about 120 million from 2019.
This victory comes from a few different things, one of the most notable changes being the fact that Huawei can no longer buy chips from the United States, forcing them to look a little closer to home. Besides Huawei, other phone makers such as Xiaomi and Samsung saw an almost 200% growth in their shipments of Mediatek phones. Another big contributor to this change is the fact that 2020 saw a lot of folks needing cheaper options for phones due to the recession caused by COVID, giving Mediatek a firm foothold in the low and mid-range.
Analysts expect this lead to continue as Huawei and the now-independent Honor seek chip supplies in 2021 as well as the growth of emerging phone markets, though I am interested to see if this lead continues once the general global economy begins to recover. However, Mediatek has also began to develop their Dimensity 1000 series, bringing them into the flagship and upper mid-range phones, even making it into last year’s LG Velvet at T-Mobile.