Pushed to the wall by MediaTek and Spreadtrum’s low-cost chip competitiveness, the San Diego-based semiconductor giant reportedly “cooperates with Microsoft closely” to deliver a killer dirt-cheap Snapdragon 210 solution for Windows 10 handhelds.
It’s no big secret Snapdragon 810’s failures have badly harmed Qualcomm’s high-end mobile reputation this year. Meanwhile, much like household Western smartphone manufacturers, the renowned processor producer saw smaller but ambitious and cost-conscious Asian companies gradually eat away its share of the non-flagship pie.
It’s time to regroup now and hit back at the likes of MTK, with a bit of support from the inside. Apparently, a Chinese budget specialist by the name of Allwinner Technology will lend QCM a hand in spreading 3G-enabled tablets with voice call functionality to cash-strapped European and American consumers.
More importantly, Redmond wants to stay focused on “value”, entry-level Lumias for the near future, and some Windows 10 Mobile models should pack MSM8909 CPUs.
Also known as Snapdragon 210, those will supposedly allow Microsoft to keep overall retail costs below the $80 mark, despite rocking four ARM Cortex-A7 cores clocked up to 1.1 GHz. And 4G LTE compatibility, and Bluetooth 4.1, and support for 720p display resolution or 8 MP camera prowess.
Of course, at $80 or less, you’re unlikely to get HD screens in addition to new, silky smooth software and quad-core power. The best indication of what’s to come for MS and QCM is the $70 or so Windows Phone 8.1-based Lumia 430 (pictured above).
The humble 4 incher has a dual-core 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 200 SoC inside, plus 1 GB RAM, a 2 MP camera around the back, and 800 x 480 panel resolution. If the chip doubles in speed, the rear cam and screen could themselves see upgrades, but probably to 5 megapixels and 960 x 540 tops. Still a great prospective deal for $80, and a tricky challenge as far as Android OEMs are concerned. Your move, Motorola!