Samsung has done it, Apple has done it and now HTC could be making a similar move. According to China Times, the Taiwainese firm is looking to partner with ST-Ericsson with a mind to bring production of application processors for future low end devices in-house.
Apple with it’s A5X chip and Samsung with it’s Exynos chipsets have both created their own processors in-house for flagship devices, allowing for greater control over manufacturing and costing of such hardware. HTC will be looking to ST-Ericsson to help them tackle the lower end markets in much the same way.
By producing processors in-house and with better components becoming more affordable, Apple and Samsung have already brought lower end devices to market that have been cheaper to manufacture.
HTC kicked off 2012 with the One Series in an attempt to streamline its device portfolio, particularly at the higher end, but HTC knows it cannot overlook such markets by limiting itself to the high-end/flagship tier devices exclusively.
In 2011 we saw devices such as the HTC Wildfire S and HTC Explorer offering up smartphone talents to a low-end market, the HTC Golf may well offer a similar experience with an easy to swallow price point and could well be one of the first devices to include an HTC chip – a lower manufacturing cost allowing it to replace both devices for that same market segment.
Secondary reasoning behind the move to in-house chip development could reduce HTC reliance on Qualcomm chips. The non-US version of the flagship HTC One X already demos Nvidia’s latest Tegra 3 quad core processor.