MediaTek Inc (聯發科), the nation’s biggest handset chipmaker, yesterday said it has formed a global strategic partnership with Twitter Inc to allow users of feature phones powered by MediaTek’s chips better access to Twitter’s social networking services, following a similar collaboration with Facebook unveiled eight months ago.
The latest partnership would help MediaTek build a stronger foothold in emerging markets, as the chipmaker said about 70 percent of mobile phones sold in less-developed countries are feature phones and the chipmaker’s solution would meet the growing demand for mobile Internet access.
According to a recent study by media research firm Informa Telecoms and Media, emerging markets will account for 60 percent of the mobile phone market by next year.
Based on the partnership, MediaTek will pre-load Twitter applications on MediaTek’s MRE middleware as a default feature in its reference design for mobile handsets. That will help mobile manufacturers shrink their time-to-market and develop product differentiation, the Hsinchu-based chipmaker said.
“Our new partnership with Twitter further reinforces MediaTek’s focus on providing differentiated services and value for handset brands, giving them the means to offer affordable, compelling and differentiated mobile solutions to consumers in key emerging markets,” MediaTek vice president Cheng-Te Chuang (莊承德) said in a statement.
MediaTek’s newly launched smart-feature phone chip, the MT6255, would be the first model to carry Twitter applications, according to the statement. The Twitter service pre-load will then be expanded to all MediaTek mobile platforms gradually.
The new handset chip is part of the chipmaker’s efforts to add extra value to its chips in an attempt to stave off falling demand for low-priced feature phones in less-developed countries, where people are replacing their feature phones with low-cost smartphones for a better Internet experience.
With the MRE solution, smart-feature phones will be able to run Twitter with minimal memory and hardware requirements, allowing handset makers to offer devices at affordable prices, MediaTek said.
“Mobile Internet represents a great opportunity for Twitter to reach every person on the planet. Our partnership with MediaTek will help people in emerging markets enjoy the same rich Twitter experience on their mobile devices as more than 140 million other people around the world,” Twitter vice president of business development Jana Messerschmidt said.
MediaTek shares slipped 0.19 percent to NT$264.5 yesterday, underperforming the TAIEX’s 0.09 percent gain.