According to the Nikkei Chinese website, Chinese 5G smartphones have landed in the Japanese market, showing a price advantage, especially the Xiaomi “Redmi Note 9T” exclusively sold by Softbank that was unveiled on February 26. Although it is a 5G terminal, the price excluding tax is only 19,637 yen, or 21,600 yen (about 1,295 yuan) including tax. If you sign a contract with SoftBank at the time of purchase, you can also enjoy student discounts, which can be purchased for 1 yen as long as you meet the conditions.
If you can buy a 5G mobile phone with good performance in the early 1000s, what is the secret to the price advantage of Chinese enterprises’ 5G terminals? According to the analysis results of the dismantling investigation of Xiaomi mobile phones by Japanese research company Fomalhaut.
Display cost is greatly reduced
The Xiaomi Mi10 Lite 5G screen is 6.6 inches. Although it also uses an OLED Display, it is not an OLED with a resin substrate similar to that of high-end models such as the iPhone 12, but an old-fashioned Panel coated with three primary color luminescent materials on a glass substrate. . Compared with OLED with resin substrate, the cost is greatly reduced, but the rate is higher than that of LCD screen.
Fomalhaut believes that the cost of each type of display is roughly as follows:
Glass substrate OLED: about $45 (used by Mi10 Lite 5G)
Resin substrate OLED: about $100 (used by iPhone 12)
LCD screen LCD: about $40 (used by Redmi Note 9T)
Xiaomi’s Mi10 Lite 5G uses Qualcomm’s “Snapdragon 765G”. Fomalhaut said that this SoC “is not suitable for complex processing such as 3D games, but it can play enough functions in general use of smartphones. Compared with the 865, 875, and 888 SoCs used in flagship machines, the 765G should be cheap enough. The Redmi Note 9T uses a MediaTek processor, which can further reduce costs.
In addition, Fomalhaut said that the Mi10 Lite 5G phone “has not reduced the number of lenses and pixels of the camera, and the battery is also equipped with an average capacity”. Since these two Xiaomi phones do not support the especially high-speed “millimeter wave” in 5G communication, the cost of the antenna is not significantly different from that of 4G. The iPhone 12 series only supports millimeter waves for the US market, and the conditions are the same in Japan and other markets.
Directly use the communication module provided by the supplier
Compared with Apple and Samsung, which pursue their own design, “there are many cases where Chinese companies directly use communication modules provided by suppliers” (suppliers), etc., and the simple design that helps to reduce costs is also a feature.
China’s low-cost 5G phones will further dominate the market
From October to December 2020, with the debut of the iPhone 12, the sales of high-end models are considered to have increased, but Chinese companies such as Xiaomi and vivo have launched terminals below 2,000 yuan, which has promoted lower prices.
For example, the 5G terminal “V3” of OPPO’s Realme launched in China in the fall of 2020 was priced at 999 yuan. The price is cheap to less than 1000 yuan.
Realme claims to be a “5G popularizer”, trying to use low-priced models as a weapon to win over price-sensitive young people and emerging market countries.
Suppliers are also expanding their product lines for low-cost terminals in order to seize business opportunities. The entry-level SoC “Snapdragon 480” released by Qualcomm in January supports 5G for the first time in the series.
In addition, UNISOC, a subsidiary of China Unisplendour Group, has also commercialized 5G-oriented SoCs, which are being adopted by China Hisense Group and others. Kashiwao said that “compared with Qualcomm and MediaTek, it can further reduce costs.”
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