Chinese phone maker will be able to use Qualcomm’s patents for future Xiaomi devices
Xiaomi has secured the backing of another major supporter after signing a deal with chipmaker Qualcomm.
The agreement means that Xiaomi will now be allowed to build and sell 3G and 4G-equipped devices using Qualcomm patents, giving the company access to some of the leading smartphone components on the market today.
“Xiaomi prides itself on embracing and leading smartphone innovation through its popular line of Mi devices,” said Lei Jun, CEO of Xiaomi. “A license from Qualcomm will play an important role in helping us bring the newest and most innovative products to our growing customer base.”
The deal puts another feather in Xiaomi’s rapidly-growing cap, as the company continues to go from strength-to-strength in terms of its market presence.
The company has grown rapidly since its formation in 2010 to become the leading smartphone maker in China, beating even the likes of Apple and Samsung thanks to an extensive range of mid and low-range devices.
Xiaomi announced its long-awaited entry into the UK market back in May with the launch of a dedicated online store, however customers will not be able to purchase any Xiaomi devices on the site, but instead a limited supply of accessories, including the 5000mAh and 10400mAh Mi power banks, Mi Band and Mi Headphones.
Pushing the boundaries
“Qualcomm is committed to the success of its partners in China as they continue to grow their businesses and we are pleased to reach this new agreement with Xiaomi,” said Derek Aberle, Qualcomm president.
“We work closely with our partners, such as Xiaomi, to push the boundaries of what’s possible and drive the advancement of the mobile industry.”
Today’s news also marks Qualcomm’s re-entry to the Chinese market following an antitrust investigation by authorities for well over a year over claims that it reportedly charged higher prices to Chinese companies than in other countries, claims which could still land Qualcomm with a $1bn fine.
The chipmaker is also facing two similar investigations from EU authorities amid accusations that it abused its position as a leader in the production of semiconductors for the lucrative consumer market.
This includes investigating whether Qualcomm moved to influence customers by offering financial incentives to buy baseband chipsets for their products exclusively or almost exclusively from the company, with a second investigation examining if Qualcomm ever tried to undercut its competitors by charging prices below costs, a practice known as ‘predatory pricing’.
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