The Taiwanese chipmaker is on a run to dominate the smartphone SoC market in 2021, MediaTek has again defeated Qualcomm and is way off the race. Every quarter it is gaining more share of this huge Global Smartphone AP/SoC Shipments Market Share as reported by Counterpoint Research.
The market grew by 6% YoY in Q3 2021 as per the latest research data from Counterpoint’s Foundry and AP/SoC Service. Even in this chip shortage, this type of growth is a good sign as more and more smartphones are getting produced each quarter.
Though the pandemic did affect the market and people are less prone to buying smartphones, however, as affordability increases and makers like MediaTek provide more value-oriented smartphone SoCs, the smartphone SoC market will surely grow. While 5G is now booming in the world, so the demand for 5G SoCs have grown by two times compared to the same period last year.
Research Director Dale Gai said, “MediaTek led the smartphone SoC market with a 40% share, driven by a competitive 5G SoC and high demand for the 4G SoC. MediaTek’s revenues grew sequentially as the mix of the mid-end and high-end SoC portfolios grew. The blended ASP will continue to increase due to the launch of flagship products in Q1 2022 and an increase in chipset prices starting Q4 2021. 4G chipsets continued to be in strong demand due to the ongoing shortages, which have affected 4G SoCs more.”
As you see in the chart by Counterpoint Research, Mediatek has increased its market share by 40% in 2021 compared to 33% in Q3 2020. So, Qualcomm has lost its leadership for over a year now and in Q3 2021 further lost market share compared to 2020 and now stand at 27% in 2021 as Apple is seeing a steady growth in the same segment.
As Counterpoint points out, MediaTek has gained share in the low-mid segment 5G portfolio and LTE SoCs further helped it to strengthen its market position. On the other hand, Qualcomm grew 9% sequentially due to dual sourcing from foundries, leading the 5G baseband market with a 62% share.
Commenting on Qualcomm’s performance, Research Analyst Parv Sharma said, “Qualcomm’s smartphone SoC shipments grew both QoQ and YoY in Q3 2021. The key to Qualcomm’s revenue growth was its ability to dual-source manufacturing of key components, namely the Snapdragon 800 series SoCs and its premium 5G modem. Qualcomm led the 5G baseband market with a 62% share. It gained from the 5G baseband modem chipset win in the Apple iPhone 13 series and demand for its complete 5G SoC chipsets, from the flagship 8 series to affordable 4 series. MediaTek also saw strong momentum from the Dimensity 700 and 800 series in the low-mid segment.”
The surprise player here has to be UNISOC, who has gained significant market share thanks to the decline of both Huawei’s HiSilicon and Samsung’s Exynos. Samsung has now dropped to fifth place thanks to UNISOC’s lead and has Huawei is unable to make HiSilicon Kirin chipsets, MediaTek is leading the marked comfortably and gaining more market share each quarter.