Samsung's 128GB integrated storage module
One area where affordable smartphones have trailed their more expensive counterparts is integrated storage size, but a chipset Samsung launched last week may signal a change. The company's new 128GB storage product is targeted at mid-range smartphones and tablets, the company said.
Even though high-end smartphones use storage with better performance, the development adds to the attraction of budget smartphones, which have recently improved to such an extent that they make it harder to decide whether buying higher-end models is really worthwhile.
Samsung expects to see devices with 128GB of storage in the near future. To what extent that happens remains to be seen, but it seems unlikely since vendors like to upgrade their products in small increments, and many existing models have just 8GB of storage today. Samsung hopes vendors will forego microSD card slots and instead use its chipset to keep consumers happy. That's what the company has already done on its own Galaxy S6 and S6 edge.
Wireless charging chipset from MediaTek
So far, wireless charging has mainly been an option on high-end smartphones, but that looks likely to change this year. This month MediaTek launched a chipset that aims to make the technology available on more affordable devices.
One of the main advantages with the MT3188 is compatibility with all existing standards for wireless charging, so users aren't limited in what chargers they can use. The chipset is currently in mass production and will be adopted by smartphones as well as tablets and wearables, according to MediaTek.
Chip maker NXP Semiconductors is also helping lay the groundwork to boost wireless charging adoption. Just last week the company introduced a reference design that will help cut the cost of wireless chargers based on the Qi specification. A reference design is a blueprint that makes it easier for vendors to build products, in this case a charger based on NXP's components.
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