Infineon, Samsung sign chip deal

Samsung Electronics started buying chipsets, a key part of handsets, from German chipmaker Infineon in a move to reduce its reliance on Qualcomm, a Reuters report said.

Samsung, the world's second largest mobile handset maker, had depended wholly on wireless technology firm Qualcomm, which holds patents for code division multiple access technology, for chipsets used in advanced 3G mobile phones, the Reuters report added.

The Reuters report quoted Samsung spokesman Kwak Bum-joon as saying that 'to raise cost competitiveness, we have been supplied by Infineon.'

Kwak made the comment after the Chosun Ilbo daily reported that Samsung had developed a mobile phone model equipped with Infineon's chipsets in April and exported the model to Europe since early this month.

The newspaper said Samsung's move would help give it leverage in price negotiations with Qualcomm and likely have a substantial impact on other domestic mobile phone makers.

'Infineon's chipsets are more than 20% cheaper than Qualcomm's, but their quality does not lag behind Qualcomm's at all,' a senior Samsung Electronics official was quoted by the newspaper as saying.

'We will be able to not only secure mobile phone chipsets for lower prices, but can strengthen price negotiations.'