This past Monday, Qualcomm announced a new 4G platform geared towards feature phones from New Delhi, India The Snapdragon 205 brings LTE connectivity to budget phones, indicating the company has not lost sight of the market segment. The latest SoC is aimed particularly at developing markets including India and other emerging markets in Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, and Africa. Mobile handset growth in these developing markets is outpacing many of the developed markets across the globe and the ability to offer low cost and high feature platforms to enable 4G devices at increasingly lower ASPs will be critical to obtaining and growing market share in these regions.
With Cat4 LTE, the Snapdragon 205 will enable smartphone like data access to feature phones. Besides modem, the SoC includes a 1.1GHz dual core Cortex A7 processor, Adreno 304 GPU, 720p/30fps video encode, 480p/30fps video decode with support for MP4 as well as H.264,and VP8 compression. The multimedia and camera features of the Snapdragon 205 may be an improvement for most feature phone designs but they are a downgrade relative to the snapdragon 210 which is the next highest priced LTE SoC platform currently available from Qualcomm and targeted more toward the entry-level smartphone market segment.
While mobile handset growth in emerging regions can provide an opportunity for Qualcomm to gain traction with the Snapdragon 205 and increase its LTE baseband market share, is the feature phone market really big enough to make a difference for Qualcomm’s LTE market share in mobile handsets?
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