HTC To Move Away From Qualcomm For Cheaper Chip Alternatives [Rumor]

HTC Desire 601

HTC is reportedly looking to turn its back on Qualcomm and purchase its smartphone processors from other manufacturers instead. The company has already launched two entry-level Desire devices with ST-Ericsson and Spreadtrum Shark chips, but it could be looking for cheaper alternatives to high-end processors as well.

You’ll find a Qualcomm chip in devices from Samsung, Motorola, LG, Sony, and others. The big names use them because they’re the best; they’re faster then their rivals, more power efficient, and incredibly reliable. But there are other chips from other manufacturers that are almost as good.

For example, those clones of high-end devices that come out of China usually pack speedy quad-core chips, but they’re made by MediaTek, or another local manufacturer, and they cost a lot less. Furthermore, the average consumer probably wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between them.

So for a struggling company like HTC, which needs to make drastic changes to turn its smartphone business around, choosing cheaper chips could be an effective way to save cash. And that’s exactly what it’s going to do, according to a new report from Focus Taiwan.

“The Taiwanese firm is mulling a similar strategy for its high-end or flagship products in light of an industry trend of launching more low-cost phones with premium specifications, said Jack Tong, head of China and North Asia President at HTC,” the report claims.

HTC has just launched the Desire 501 and the Desire 700, two entry-level devices that carry chips from ST-Ericsson and Spreadtrum Shark respectively — not one of Qualcomm’s cheaper chips. So it is already buying from other manufacturers.

But it will have to think carefully before putting cheaper chips into high-end, flagship devices. The move may cut costs at first, but if it chooses chips that aren’t as reliable as Qualcomm’s, it could end up costing more later on when HTC is forced to fix devices that have failed.

Would you buy a high-end smartphone from HTC if it wasn’t powered by a Qualcomm chip?