Qualcomm, MediaTek and Unisoc post robust growth in smartphone apps processors - The EE

Qualcomm, MediaTek and Unisoc post robust growth in smartphone apps processors

The global smartphone applications processor (AP) market grew 17% to $8.3 billion (€7.34 billion) in Q3 2021, according to Strategy Analytics‘ Handset Component Technologies (HCT) service report.

Strategy Analytics’ research report “Smartphone Apps Processor Market Share Tracker Q3 2021: Qualcomm, MediaTek and Unisoc Post Double-digit Shipment Growth” estimates that Qualcomm , Apple, MediaTek , Samsung LSI and Unisoc captured the top-five revenue share rankings in the smartphone applications processor (AP) market in Q3 2021.

  • Qualcomm maintained its smartphone AP leadership with a 34% revenue share, followed by Apple with 28% and MediaTek with 27%.
  • MediaTek exited the first nine months of 2021 with a 26-million-unit lead over Qualcomm. Consequently, MediaTek is on track to become the leading smartphone AP vendor in unit terms for the first time on an annual basis in 2021.
  • Qualcomm deprioritised mid-range and low-end 4G APs to focus on premium and high tier APs to make the best use of available foundry capacity. As a result, MediaTek gained volume share in 4G APs with its Helio A/G/P lineup.
  • 5G-attached AP shipments grew 82% year-on-year, driving a 19% growth in overall AP average selling prices (ASPs).
  • Qualcomm’s premium tier AP Snapdragon 888/888+ was the top-selling Android AP during the quarter.
  • TSMC manufactured three-fourths of total smartphone APs shipped in Q3 2021, followed by Samsung Foundry.
  • Smartphone APs manufactured in7 nm and below process technologies accounted for 47% of total smartphone AP shipments in Q3 2021.

Sravan Kundojjala, author of the report and Associate Directorof Handset Component Technologies service at Strategy Analytics, comments, “Qualcomm, MediaTek and Unisoc all posted solid double-digit shipment and revenue growth in smartphone APs in Q3 2021. Qualcomm and MediaTek benefited from HiSilicon’s forced exit while Unisoc saw strong growth in its 3G and 4G AP shipments. Strategy Analytics believes that 4G AP foundry capacity continues to be tight. We expect AP vendors to focus more on 5G in 2022 to maximise their revenue and profit.”

Mr. Kundojjala continues, “HiSilicon, hit by trade sanctions, saw its smartphone AP shipments decline 96% in Q3 2021. On the other hand, Samsung LSI posted a 12% decline in its AP shipments. Google, a new entrant, captured a 0.1% unit share with its Pixel Tensor AP. Strategy Analytics believes that Google needs to acquire 5G modem technology to strengthen its cost competitiveness in the smartphone AP market.”

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