An unverified report indicates that Xiaomi is looking into dropping both Qualcomm and MediaTek in favour of homegrown processors. This could potentially mean another shift in the smartphone market, but could also lead to even cheaper Xiaomi devices in the long run.
The story originates from an Indian news site, that said that Xiaomi is planning to build in house processors starting from next year. Not much other information is available about the rumour, but we wouldn’t put it past Xiaomi to actually attempt this. The company can certainly afford to start up its own microprocessor foundry, and doing so could make producing the smartphones somewhat cheaper.
However, the savings from manufacturing processors in-house could easily be offset by the cost of R&D to keep up with technology. It is substantially cheaper to build processors than it is to continually fund the development of better chipsets. Which is why most companies are more than happy to buy theirs from companies like Qualcomm and Intel.
At the moment, Xiaomi is switching between Qualcomm and MediaTek chips; as noticeable with the Mi4i and the Redmi Note 2. This isn’t unusual as there is little brand loyalty in the consumer electronics space, and manufacturers are often customers to both these companies at the same time.
While it certainly is possible that Xiaomi may one day start building its own processors, it is unlikely that the company will be able to get the necessary facilities up and running within the next year. That being said, it would be a good time to keep a closer eye on what Xiaomi is up to over the coming months.