Chinese handset makers Huawei and Xiaomi reportedly will increase the use of in-house built ARM-architecture application processors (APs) in their smartphones.

Huawei’s subsidiary IC designer HiSilicon has improved its technological capability and Xiaomi has acquired licences from China-based Leadcore Technology to develop its own APs, according to a report by DigiTimes.

The shift is expected to impact AP providers such as MediaTek and Qualcomm. Four of the top-5 smartphone vendors — Apple, Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi and LG, which account for more than 60 per cent of worldwide shipments — already use in-house developed APs or have been aggressively increasing their adoption, which DigiTimes said could “seriously damage” independent ARM-AP suppliers as well as x86-based solution supplier Intel.

While Intel has gained support from Taiwan’s Asus and some China-based smartphone vendors, Intel’s mobile business continues to suffer losses. Over the past year Intel has invested in a number of mainland semiconductor firms – including Spreadtrum and Rockchip — to expand its reach in China.