Things aren’t looking good for Qualcomm, as more and more smartphone makers are choosing to abandon the company’s Snapdragon chipsets in favor of their own, in-house chipsets. Huawei and Samsung have been seriously stepping up their chipset game in recent years, and now it looks like Xiaomi wants to do the same. Reuters reported on Friday that Xiaomi is working on its own chipset for use in its future mid-range and low-end smartphones, which is something that China has been pushing local companies to do in order to reduce the country’s reliance on foreign semiconductors.
China’s most valuable start-up Xiaomi Inc is aiming to use smartphone processor chips designed in-house in some of its lower-priced handsets in the second half of this year, a source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters. The move would mark the first time that Xiaomi has used chips designed in-house, something analysts have said could put pressure on industry leaders such as Qualcomm Inc and MediaTek Inc, which supply the company. The in-house smartphone application processor chips are designed for Xiaomi’s mid- to low-priced smartphone model RedMi Note series, but it is unclear how many Xiaomi is planning to make this year, said the source, who declined to be named because the information is not public. The move comes as Beijing ploughs billions of dollars into home-grown chip companies in a bid to end China’s reliance on foreign semiconductors. The world’s fifth-largest smartphone vendor, Xiaomi has hired 200 to 300 people to work on smartphone chip design in cities including Nanjing, Shanghai and Beijing, the source said.