Featured Articles

5th Generation Broadwell 14nm family comes in three lines

5th Generation Broadwell 14nm family comes in three lines

Intel's 5th Core processor family, codenamed Broadwell, will launch in three lines for the mobile segment. We are talking about upcoming…

More...
Broadwell Chromebooks coming in late Q1 2015

Broadwell Chromebooks coming in late Q1 2015

Google's Chromebook OS should be updating automatically every six weeks, but Intel doesn't come close with its hardware refresh schedule.

More...
New round of Nexus phone rumour kicks off

New round of Nexus phone rumour kicks off

Rumours involving upcoming Nexus devices are nothing uncommon, but this year there is a fair bit of confusion, especially on the…

More...
Nvidia officially launches the 8-inch Shield Tablet

Nvidia officially launches the 8-inch Shield Tablet

As expected and reported earlier, Nvidia has now officially announced its newest Shield device, the new 8-inch Shield Tablet. While the…

More...
Aerocool Dead Silence reviewed

Aerocool Dead Silence reviewed

Aerocool is well known for its gamer cases with aggressive styling. However, the Dead Silence chassis offers consumers a new choice,…

More...
Frontpage Slideshow | Copyright © 2006-2010 orks, a business unit of Nuevvo Webware Ltd.
Monday, 05 May 2014 08:16

Two thirds of smartphones will be based on reference designs

Written by Peter Scott



By 2019

Chipmakers have been using reference designs for decades and now they are starting to make their presence felt in the mobile market. According to a new report from ABI Research as many as two thirds of all smartphones shipped in 2019 will be based on reference designs.

The research firm estimates that more than a third of smartphones shipped last year was based on reference designs. The majority, 69 percent, was in the sub-$200 segment. ABI Research found that MediaTek and Qualcomm are leading the way in terms of smartphone reference designs.

Vanilla phones for white-box outfits and more


The white-box segment is slowly starting to resemble the vanilla PC craze of the eighties. Companies are rolling out their reference designs for smartphones and tablets, small vendors are using them to compete with big brands and for the time being the approach is working, at least in some markets and some market segments.

However, it’s not just the white-box crowd. Big players are turning to reference designs, too. Samsung, Huawei, ZTE, HTC, LG and even Nokia are using reference designs for certain products, namely cheap devices for emerging markets.

"These trends will take the competition to another level, forcing OEMs to make more compromises on reference design ownership. As a result, reference designs owned by chipset suppliers will gradually entrench to higher price points, making the smartphone market increasingly commoditized," said ABI Research practice director Malik Saadi.

No reference designs for high-end gear


ABI Research concluded that the shift to reference designs won’t have much of an effect on high-end devices. This market segment will remain dominated by big brands such as Samsung and Apple. However, other market segments should see more and more reference designs.

Although reference designs sound like a good way of levelling the playing field and allowing small manufacturers to produce relatively competitive devices without much in the way of R&D, the trend is also benefiting big brands. As they start to embrace reference designs, they will rob small players of their ability to introduce cheap reference designed smartphones and beat the big players to market.

ABI Research concluded that small vendors are at risk of losing their competitive edge as bigger outfits start producing the same devices using the same designs.

Last modified on Monday, 05 May 2014 08:20
blog comments powered by Disqus

 

Facebook activity

Latest Commented Articles

Recent Comments