MediaTek takes aim at U.S. smartphone market

Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) is the dominant smartphone chipset supplier around the world and in the U.S. market, but MediaTek hopes to change that, especially as average selling prices for phones continue to drop. MediaTek is the premier silicon provider in the entry-level and mid-range smartphone market in China and the company has been steadily boosting the performance of its chips, especially by combining them with LTE modems. Now, MediaTek is looking beyond China and East Asia.

As CNET notes, in 2014 MediaTek opened offices in India and Finland, and is now looking to gain a foothold in the U.S., where it has opened an office in San Diego, Calif., Qualcomm's hometown. It will be an uphill climb, as thus far only T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS) has certified its chips among U.S. carriers. MediaTek's chips have been in a handful of entry-level and mid-range phones in the United States, including the Alcatel OneTouch Fierce, Evolve and Evolve 2.

MediaTek executives told CNET earlier this month at the Consumer Electronics Show that they have big plans in the U.S., adding that if they can succeed in North America, they can do well anywhere. "If you intend to be the most global [player] in the mobile business you should be selling a chip in North America," MediaTek President Ching-Jiang Hsieh told CNET.  The company aims to compete in the entry-level device market, but it will face competition from Qualcomm, Intel and others. Article