Taiwanese chipset maker MediaTek has surpassed Qualcomm and become the biggest smartphone chipset vendor in Q3 of 2020 with a 31% market share as smartphone sales rebounded in the quarter, according to Counterpoint estimates. After strong performance in the budget ($100-250) segment in markets like China and India helped it become the biggest smartphone chipset vendor.
The report shows that MediaTek chipsets powered over 100 million smartphones sold globally during Q3 2020. The Taiwanese company’s market share rose to 31% from 26% a year ago. On the other hand, Qualcomm’s market share fell from 31% to 29% YoY.
In the Indian market, MediaTek’s chipset share grew to 46% from 35% a year ago while Qualcomm took another fall to 38% from 42% during the same time period.
Among rivals, Apple’s chipset market share showed a slight growth to 12% from 11% a year ago, while that of Samsung’s Exynos chipset took a fall from 16% to 12% year on year (YoY) in the quarter.
Meanwhile, Qualcomm took the top spot as the 5G chipset vendor in Q3 2020 after powering 39% of the 5G phones sold worldwide. With 17% of all smartphones sold in Q3 2020 being 5G, the demand for 5G smartphones doubled up in Q3 2020 and is likely to continue the impressive growth trajectory. 5G enabled smartphones are expected to occupy one-third of all smartphones shipped in Q4 2020, which poses a chance for Qualcomm to regain the top position in Q4 2020.
Commenting on MediaTek’s market share gain, Research Director of Counterpoint, Dale Gai said, “MediaTek’s strong market share gain in Q3 2020 happened due to three reasons – strong performance in the mid-end smartphone price segment ($100-$250) and emerging markets like LATAM and MEA, the US ban on Huawei and finally wins in leading OEMs like Samsung, Xiaomi and Honor. The share of MediaTek chipsets in Xiaomi has increased more than three times since the same period last year. MediaTek was also able to leverage the gap created due to the US ban on Huawei. Affordable MediaTek chips fabricated by TSMC became the first option for many OEMs to fill the gap left by Huawei’s absence quickly. Huawei had also previously purchased a significant amount of chipsets ahead of the ban.”
Gai added, “On the other hand, Qualcomm also posted strong share gains (from a year ago) in the high-end segment in Q3 2020, again thanks to HiSilicon’s supply issues. However, Qualcomm faced competition from MediaTek in the mid-end segment. We believe both will continue to compete intensively through aggressive pricing, and mainstream 5G SoC products into 2021.”