Develop own chip

Several media reported that OPPO, a Chinese electronics giant, is planning to develop own chips for its high-end smartphones. In fact, the company is planning to work with TSMC, a Taiwanese chip giant, to produce a system on a chip (SoC). SoC combines the required electronic circuits of various computer components onto a single, integrated chip. SoC is a complete electronic substrate system that may contain analog, digital, mixed-signal or radio frequency functions.

OPPO and TSMC declined to comment about this news as of October 22nd, 2021. However, this trend in the smartphone industry seems to be accelerating. For instance, our media has already reported that Google is developing its own chip, Tensor, for Pixel 6 series.

Who is OPPO?

According to its official homepage, OPPO is the world’s leading smart device manufacturers and innovators. In fact, even though the founders established the company in 2004, it has offered products and services more than 50 countries. The Chinese tech giant has clear its vision and mission.

 Vision: We strive to be a sustainable company that contributes to a better world.

 Mission: We exist to elevate life through technological artistry.

In the first quarter of 2015, OPPO had only 2.2% share of smartphone shipments worldwide. However, this number is growing drastically in 7 years. In fact, in the second quarter of 2021, the number became 10.5%.

Of course, its market share is relatively low in several advanced countries. For example, Japanese presenters did not know OPPO itself in the local TV show. On the other hand, it is gaining its market share rapidly in some countries at the same time. For instance, in department stores in Spain including El Corte Engles, there are big spaces to sell OPPO’s smartphones. Trade war has also changed the situation because there were spaces for Huawei’s smartphones before.

Key Component

Chips or semiconductors are really important components in smartphones. Due to US chip ban, Huawei, a Chinese telecom giant, cannot use it for its smartphones. As a result, the company is not top 5 companies in terms of global smartphone shipments. In fact, it delivered more than 200 million smartphones in 2019 and was ranked the second.

OPPO is also a Chinese company, so it would be better for the company to learn the challenge from Huawei. That is why the company puts much effort to recruit specialists in the US, Taiwan and Japan. This is because to develop own chips needs not only huge investment but also talented employees.

In addition, chip shortage has a big impact on many industries such as automotive and smartphone in 2021. Experts and workers in the industries predict that this shortage will continue in 2022. Therefore, we do not know how long it is going on and when the next shortage will happen in the future. In order to cope with unexpected external events, it does makes sense that smartphone companies are developing their own chips. Of course, the reality is easier said than done, so we should keep eye on what OPPO will do next.