Chinese handset makers say quad core phones will drop to sub $100 this year

by: ŠtefanJanuary 24, 2013

Remember when LG announced the Optimus 4X HD, the “world’s first” quad core smartphone? That was back in February 2012 at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Over the next few months we saw several other quad core devices get unveiled, namely HTC’s One X, Samsung’s Galaxy S3, the second generation Note, and so on and so forth. Those phones are all considered “high end”, meaning they cost over 500 EUR.

According to a report on DigiTimes, next month, during the Chinese New Year, we’re going to see a ton of quad core phones that cost less than $250 hit the market. The piece goes on to say that by the end of this year, several Chinese handset makers are predicting that quad core phones will cost less than $100.

What kind of chips will be powering these budget quad core devices? A majority of them will be using MediaTek’s MT6589. That chip in particular uses four ARM Cortex A7 cores. We’ve already seen a few benchmarks, courtesy of Engadget, and it looks like MediaTek’s quad core solution is barely faster than a dual core Snapdragon S4. Is that such a bad thing though? People will see the word “quad core” on the box and think they’re getting something high end, but in reality they’ll be buying a device that’s about as fast as some of the best phones from the past 12 months. The American HTC One X for example, that had a dual core S4.

Will these kind of devices ever land on American shores? We’ll just be blunt and say no. The American market depends on subsidies to work. In other words, most people really think that their $199 iPhone 5 is really just $199 when it’s actually more than triple the cost. There’s no room for “budget” phones.

That being said, maybe these devices will hit Europe? The prepaid market is strong there.

  • I think the MT6589 is actually better for the Android market than all the fancy new A9 and A15 chips. Just because they are not much faster than a dual-core A9 is not the point – they are fast, cheap. have lower power use and can support Full HD – what exactly does anyone need in addition to this ?

    • Mike Reid

      >what exactly does anyone need in addition to this

      A device that isn’t cheaply made and breaks within a year.

      And a popular device that gets custom ROMs for the latest S/W features.

      • Peter

        Let me just list some companies making phones with these chips:
        lenovo, ZTE, Huawei. Cheap- yes, cheaply made definitely not! And some other factories that produced crap, now have better quality control, simply to survive in the face of these I mentioned above.

  • Pele

    The main point is how much processor spent battery time and how much heating.
    Those are the main problems regarding android mobiles phones today.

    The mobile companies should better look for bigger and better batteries and cooling down processors.

  • john lewis

    Im sorry your disappointed with a quad A7 being only slightly better than a dual core krait … The krait is aim for the A15 end of the market! So the fact that an A7 beats it is absolutely amazing and the chips will be approximately half the price! Look at the specs before you start throwing round criticisms!