Taiwanese fabless chipmaker MediaTek is gearing up to expand its customer base beyond the increasingly saturated smartphone segment to include connected devices for smart homes, electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers and the smart retail field.
Chunyan See, Thailand country manager for MediaTek, said the company is offering chipsets beyond the smartphone segment to WiFi 7-linked products, set-top boxes (with video streaming so popular aren’t STBs a thing of the past?), telematics, and Internet of Things. Some market leaders and mobile operators plan to launch WiFi 7 products in the first quarter of 2023. Mediatek previously announced chipsets for WiFi 6 and 6E.
“We see the gaps to change from WiFi 6 to WiFi 6E and WiFi 7 becoming shorter and shorter,” said Mr See. “Service operators typically take one to 1.5 years for internal testing to get the requirements finalized.”
Demand for higher wireless connection speed in Thailand is pushing local mobile operators to aggressively invest in 5G and fixed broadband services, he said. With rising inflation and a weaker baht, the overall smartphone market in Thailand will be tough this year, with the market size expected to drop to 19.2 million units, from 20-21 million last year, he said. In the second half of this year, 5G-enabled smartphones are expected to account for 40% of the total market, versus 32% in the first half and 24% in 2021, said Mr See.
MediaTek is also working with local partners beyond the smartphone segment in three fields — smart homes, smart retail, and smart logistics. For smart homes, the company will power the next generation of smart home accessories, including smart lighting and sensors. In smart retail, the firm supports smart point-of-sale devices that can cater for face payments, which is already the norm in China. Regarding smart logistics, 5G equipment powered by the firm’s chipsets can play a key role in telematics, which is a method of monitoring vehicles and other assets by using GPS technology, and can serve EVs. Chinlin Low, technical account manager for Asia-Pacific at MediaTek, said.
ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) is expected see a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 83% for 5G subscriptions from 2021 to 2027, when they are forecast to reach 570 million.
Mobile data traffic per smartphone is expected to reach 45 gigabytes per month in 2027, up from 9.4GB in 2021, with a CAGR of 30%, driven by the rise of virtual and augmented reality services.
MediaTek has a broad range of chipsets to offer, including Dimensity 9000, 8100 and 8000 to cater for premium smartphones, he added.
Daniel Lin, MediaTek’s deputy director of corporate sales and emerging markets, said the company sees an opportunity to increase its share of the global premium smartphone segment. “MediaTek has a strong market share in smartphones costing between US$99 to $299, but the firm aims to increase its share in premium smartphones with the launch of new chipsets,” he said.
In 2021, the firm’s overall market share in the smartphone segment rose to 42%, from 32% in 2020. Its share in Android-powered handsets surpassed 50% in 2021, up from 38% in 2020.
MediaTek posted revenue of $17.6 billion in 2021, up from $10.9 billion a year earlier.