Spreadtrum, a fabless semiconductor provider in China, has invested $10 million (approximately Rs 50 crore) in Micromax Mobile and will become one of Micromax’s preferred chipset vendors. Till now, Micromax has typically launched phones that run either on MediaTek or Qualcomm’s chipsets.
With this partnership, the two companies will work together through a joint R&D collaboration to deliver feature-rich innovations across Micromax’s portfolio of products. Micromax currently ships more than 60 models ranging from dual-SIM feature phones to 3G Android smartphones. Spreadtrum will collaborate with Micromax on the development of new innovative products in order to gain major market share.
According to Spreadtrum’s website, Samsung used its chipsets in the Chinese variant of the Galaxy Note. Apart from feature phone solutions, it also has chipsets for entry-level Android 2.2 smartphones as well as mid-end smartphones running on Android 2.3 with 1GHz processor (albeit on ARM A5). It also has TD-LTE chipsets in its portfolio. The company had $267.5 million in cash and cash-equivalent at the end of December 2011 and clocked a revenue of approximately $675 million in fiscal year 2011, up over 94 percent from 2010.
Micromax has an established sales presence across India and in Hong Kong, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri-Lanka, Maldives, UAE, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Afghanistan and Brazil. It claims to be the 12th largest cellphone vendor globally and ships over four million handsets every quarter. Micromax made its name in India by launching its dual-SIM phone portfolio when the likes of Nokia and Samsung had dismissed the category all together.
This investment is likely to open up Spreadtrum’s doors to the Indian market, where many home-grown brands aspire to become the next Micromax.