QUALCOMM, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM) has launched a new product meant to offer faster wireless services to lower-priced cellphones and basic phones in upcoming market segments. The move is expected to boost the company’s reach to customers who don’t own smartphones.
The product which will be available I the second quarter of 2017 comes with a processor together with a number of software and hardware that will allow featured phones to utilize faster wireless network. The new product which has been designed for phones in the Southeast Asia, Latin America and Indian markets comes with longer battery life as well as faster and easy access to social media platforms.
Qualcomm says in the targeted markets, a phone typically goes for $15 to $50. The produc is designed for the older 2G and 3G networks. The new feature phones with the Qualcomm chips will be selling at around $50.
For a long time Qualcomm has been focusing on high-end smartphone which were on high demand in the past decade. The company is now shifting gears and making inroads in other markets. Feature phones, despite being less luxurious, they its use in upcoming markets is raising.
Around 56% of mobile phones shipped to India last years were feature phones. This is according to a research by research firm IDC Corp. The share was 49% in Vietnam and 62% in Indonesia. Many carriers in India are already upgrading their networks to accommodate the rise in the use of feature phones. A number of companies have set eye on the increasing demand for faster wireless networks in upcoming markets. Lava International Ltd, an Indian handset and tablet manufacturer unveiled the 4G enabled feature phone.
The introduction of the new product gives Qualcomm an extra shit against its rivals MediaTek Inc, a semiconductor company based in Taiwan that for a long time has been a major manufacturer of feature phones. MediaTek Inc has however shifted focus towards the smartphone market in the recent years which has been Qualcomm’s stronghold
Although the 4G enabled devices will be priced higher than typical feature phones, Qualcomm expects the new phones to change and improve user experience.