MediaTek Dimensity versus Qualcomm Snapdragon. The fight to win in our smartphones is not new, but more than ever, the Taiwanese firm opposes serious arguments to its American competitor. MediaTek explains to us its plan to try to impose more of its presence on the high-end segment.
The Oppo Find N2 Flip is one of the figureheads of these high-end phones that are equipped at MediaTek. Source: Aroged – Chloé Pertuis
If you often read articles devoted to high-end smartphones, a name must come to your ears regularly: Snapdragon here, Snapdragon there, so they are the only ones who manufacture suitable chips? With the end of Exynos on high-end Samsung smartphones, little more than Apple is holding out with its in-house designed chips like the latest A16 Bionic in its iPhones.
However, another player is generating more and more noise: MediaTek. Since the release of its Dimensity 9000, which outstripped its competitor, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and which was the first to integrate WiFi 6E, the brand’s image has improved significantly.
As the months went by, Aroged’s editorial staff was eager to see a little competition set up, to test various high-end smartphones equipped with a MediaTek Dimensity. But the models were counted as a skin of sorrow. We had a Realme GT Neo 3 with a Dimensity 8100 and more recently the Oppo Find N2 Flip or the Vivo X90 Pro. Why not more? That’s the whole question.
MediaTek, the invisible number 1 in Europe
These three high-end smartphones, “these are important steps” (sic, steps in English), breathes Pascal Lemasson, Associate Vice President of Sales for Europe of MediaTek, whom we met at MWC 2023. Gray suit, smiling, he says in a low, calm voice: “Smartphones are important for us in Europe. »
Early benchmarks of the MediaTek Dimensity 9000 and Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 showed a slight lead from MediaTek. // Source: MediaTek/Qualcomm
The businessman has been responding to interviews on the subject of the rivalry with Qualcomm for several years. Throughout our interview, he will never mention the name of his competitor or his products. Quite quickly, he would like to point out that despite the perception we may have of it in Europe, MediaTek is number 1 in the world for sales of chips for smartphones. In Europe, he highlights “good progress” and a clear ambition to reach the top step of the podium. He recalls the insolent growth of the group, whose turnover of 18 billion dollars in 2022 is twice as high as three years ago.
“A time of latency”
So how do we explain that we don’t see them more at the top of the range? Is it due to the reputation of MediaTek, whose poor performance on our smartphones was feared not so long ago? “There is like a latency period”, admits Pascal Lemasson. “Between the moment we design, then before it ends up with the consumer, it takes time. But these problems you mention are behind us. Today we have products that we have developed that are on par with, or even exceed, the competition. The more time passes, the more “the brand is well received,” he assures. “People understand performance and value in general when it comes to benchmarking. »
The Realme GT Neo 3 showed an excellent level of performance. Source: Aroged – Anthony Wonner
However, there is still a long way to go. Two objectives stand out: convince the operators et work on brand image. For operators, the rhetoric is simple: “They are often prescribers. We have to make sure that all that is certification in the modem, the Wi-Fi, the performance of the camera and the video, that all of this is well understood and integrated by the operators, so that they can advise a flagship MediaTek in the future. »
Of course, nothing will go without an irreproachable level of quality. The brand is well aware of this, and Julien Toth, in charge of sales and development of the brand in Europe, confirms this. He struggles to put forward to operators “better autonomy or better energy efficiency which also makes it possible to avoid thermal problems”.
“The cards are reshuffled every three months”
The other subject, much larger and more complicated, is therefore marketing. On this, there is no miracle recipe except patience. “We are in a sector where every quarter, the cards are reshuffled. People’s perception is more based on the situation two or three years ago. We must not do enough to make it clear that we have evolved, ”concedes the executive. That being said, according to their own studies, perception, in the United Kingdom, in Italy, in Spain as well as in France, MediaTek would be “at the same level of perception as the competition”, meaning by this also known and perceived as positively.
Dimensity is more often associated with mid-range phones like this OnePlus Nord CE 2. // Source: Anthony Wonner
Marketing will not do everything. “The brand image is a factor. But the number one factor is quality,” asserts the vice-president. “Our products are the result of investments that were made a few years ago, so that Mediatek is among the first in 5G, in the first in the modem, in the processor, Wi-Fi 7, AI…” The ambitions are therefore limitless. Let’s face it, a little competition in an industry with so few players wouldn’t hurt.
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