Sony looking at cut-price chips to save its smartphone business?

Sony dropping Qualcomm in favour of MediaTek for mid-range phones
Sony Xperia E4

It's no secret Sony's smartphone division is struggling, with staff cuts and a recent report suggesting the company may be planning to sell its Xperia mobile division.

However, the brand could be looking to save the Xperia brand by moving to low cost CPUs for its low and mid range phones, meaning less reliance on chipset goliath Qualcomm.

The rumour comes from DigiTimes, which claimed 'supply chain sources' have stated Sony will continue using MediaTek processors in its next range of low to mid-range handsets and for the foreseeable future.

MediaTek's processors are known for being low priced and are present in a variety of budget smartphones, particularly in China.

Sony announced the entry-level Xperia E4 earlier this week that packs a quad-core 1.3GHz MediaTek MT6582 CPU.

Low price processors

Sony's next flagship smartphone is the heavily rumoured Xperia Z4, which will likely sport a 64-bit octa-core Snapdragon 810 CPU, which was corroborated in the Digitimes piece.

We expected to see the Xperia Z4 at Mobile World Congress in February but Sony has yet to announce a press conference at the event, meaning we may have to wait until later in the year.

Meanwhile Samsung is rumoured to be going on step further and dropping Qualcomm as a manufacturer of its flagship chipsets.

Qualcomm previously said it has lost a deal to supply chips for a "large customer's flagship device" but the company refused to comment on which customer the deal referred to.

It suggests Samsung won't be looking toward Qualcomm for the chipset inside the rumoured Samsung Galaxy S6 or the Galaxy S Edge devices, and instead will use its own Exynos processors to power them.

  • For a full look at the Xperia Z4 rumours so far check out our round up.
James Peckham

James is the Editor-in-Chief at Android Police. Previously, he was Senior Phones Editor for TechRadar, and he has covered smartphones and the mobile space for the best part of a decade bringing you news on all the big announcements from top manufacturers making mobile phones and other portable gadgets. James is often testing out and reviewing the latest and greatest mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, virtual reality headsets, fitness trackers and more. He once fell over.