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Sep 19

Future of MTK6573

                                                            Hope? Trap?
6573, the HSPA SOC to be launched by MTK soon, has absorbed more and more attention. It was said that Lenovo and ZTE would be the first team of companies to deploy 6573. Moreover, Lenovo was said to have given MTK a big order of 1 million units.
The future of 6573 is hard to make accurate forecast. However, we can make fundamental judgment from the response of MTK’s competitors and clients.
                                                           The Response of Qualcomm
Firstly, strategically, Qualcomm keeps close watch on the launch of 6573 to prevent the replay of MTK’s story in 2G handsets.
Secondly, MTK beats western rivals usually from two sides, price and technical support. Regarding pricing, Qualcomm would probably use combination blow and lower pricing as a defense weapon. Specifically, 7225A, a 600M A5 SOC without GPU inside, is highly likely to be priced lower than 6573. If you are not a game or video zealot, your requirements would be well fulfilled. Even if you are, 7227A, a 800M A5 SOC with GPU of 42M triangles per second, would definitely meet with your demands. It is highly likely to be priced a bit higher than 6573. As a contrast, 6573, a 650M ARM11 SOC with GPU of 15M triangles per second, is estimated to price at $15. Under the attack of Qualcomm’s combination blow, 6573’s performance-to-price ratio is not easy to please clients. Regarding technical support, Qualcomm may leverage the human resource of its partner, Thundersoft, to provide timely and customized services. Admittedly, MTK, based in Taiwan, can understand the Chinese-style company management and clients much better than Qualcomm. If Qualcomm failed to pay enough attention on its demerit, the possibility of failure cannot be excluded completely. It was said that an obvious change would be seen on Qualcomm soon in terms of technical support mechanism.
Thirdly, Qualcomm may take up the royalty weapon and mimic Microsoft.
                                                       Response of Handset Makers
Mainstream handset makers are very cautions to 6573. Firstly, CP is comparatively more difficult to develop than AP because CP has to interoperate with diverse telecom equipments. Unexpected problems and risks are likely to occur to the CP of 6573. Secondly, they want to wait for the market performance of 6573 and then decide. For them, Early participation brings much more risks than benefits. I was told by a friend from a tier-1 handset maker that 6573 would not be considered for the time being.
                                                        Implications
If MTK failed to innovate in local support and local resource integration, the future of 6573 is gloomy. It is likely that 6573 secures a certain market share in short term, but the share would be small forever.