Chinese handset technology company Spreadtrum Communications announced a partnership with Orange, intended to enable “the delivery of a broad portfolio of cost-effective, feature-rich mobile handsets and smartphones to consumers in Orange’s European and African markets”.
The intention of the partnership is to improve the affordability of smartphones and other mobile handsets in these regions, supporting Orange’s objective of making the mobile internet more accessible to consumers.
The first resulting device is the Alcatel One Touch 1060 feature phone, which is based on a Spreadtrum chipset, and is qualified for launch in Orange’s markets beginning with France. This will be followed by Spreadtrum-based smartphones “in the future”, the Chinese company said in a statement.
Spreadtrum works with a number of vendors, including Samsung, Huawei, Lenovo, HTC, K-Touch, Haier and Hisense, with a particular strength in devices for China Mobile’s TD-SCDMA 3G network, and in low-cost 2G handsets for emerging markets.
It is a fabless semiconductor company, developing chipset platforms for smartphones, feature phones and other consumer electronics products across 2G, 3G and 4G networks.
In 2012, Spreadtrum recorded revenue of $725.2 million, up 7.6 per cent year-on-year. In the fourth quarter, 54 per cent of sales came from smartphones (up from 37 per cent in Q3), with it “exceeding [its] prior target of 18 million [smartphone] units in fourth quarter shipments”.