According to a report from a research organisation, MediaTek maintained its lead in the smartphone system-on-chip (SoC) market in the third quarter of 2021, with a share of 40%. Qualcomm is struggling to reclaim its market leadership due to MediaTek’s continued growth.
However, the chipmaker located in San Diego, California, remains the market leader in 5G smartphone modems. Qualcomm’s dual-sourcing strategy from foundries is also assisting the company in growing smartphone SoC shipments quarter over quarter and year over year.
According to Counterpoint, thanks to its competitive 5G SoCs and robust demand for its 4G processors, MediaTek increased its market share to 40% in the third quarter, up from 33% the previous quarter. The Taiwanese manufacturer won market share in the low-mid section of 5G SoCs, according to the firm, however, it’s 4G LTE SoCs also contributed to the company’s market dominance.
Qualcomm, unlike MediaTek, lost one percent of its market share in the quarter, falling to 27%, according to Counterpoint Research. However, thanks to dual sourcing from foundries, the company managed to gain nine percent sequentially. In the third quarter, Qualcomm’s SoC shipments increased both quarters over quarter and year over year, the company stated.
“With a 62 percent market share, Qualcomm lead the 5G baseband market.” It benefited from the Apple iPhone 13 series’ 5G baseband modem chipset victory and demand for the whole 5G SoC chipset line, from the flagship 8 series to the more economical 4 series,” said Parv Sharma, Counterpoint Research Analyst.
Qualcomm’s refresh portfolio of the Snapdragon 7, 6, and 4 series, according to Counterpoint, will help Qualcomm win market share in the fourth quarter.
Following Qualcomm, according to Counterpoint’s data, Apple remained in third place in the market in the third quarter, with a 15% share. The company increased its market share by 3% in the third quarter and is expected to gain even more in the fourth. The arrival of the iPhone 13 series, as well as the ongoing holiday season, will drive the increase. Counterpoint, on the other hand, predicted that component shortages would hurt Apple’s holiday sales.
In the third quarter, China’s Unisoc maintained its growth momentum for the third consecutive quarter, with its market share reaching double digits at 10%, according to Counterpoint.
Honor, Motorola, Realme, Transsion, and ZTE were added to the company’s customer base.
It has also begun selling its SoC for Samsung’s Galaxy A range of smartphones.
According to third-party data, Samsung, on the other hand, fell from fourth to fifth place in the third quarter. Samsung Exynos chips helped the South Korean conglomerate gain a 5% market share.
Samsung is rejigging its smartphone portfolio strategy, according to Counterpoint, which includes both in-sourcing and outsourcing to Chinese original design manufacturers (ODMs). The move aided MediaTek and Qualcomm in expanding their presence across Samsung’s smartphone portfolio, from ODM-produced mid-range 4G and 5G handsets to flagship models.
According to Counterpoint’s research, Huawei’s HiSilicon continued to lose market share in the smartphone SoC market, dropping to 2% from 13% in the third quarter. Due to the US trade embargo, the company has been unable to produce its new HiSilicon Kirin SoCs, and its old Kirin chipset inventory is nearing exhaustion, according to Counterpoint.
Market share of global smartphone SoC shipments, Q3 2020 vs Q3 2021:
According to Counterpoint Research, global SoC shipments increased 6% year over year in the third quarter. When compared to the same period last year, 5G smartphone SoC shipments increased nearly double.
According to Counterpoint, Qualcomm was the leader in 5G smartphone baseband modem shipments, followed by MediaTek and Samsung. Other race participants’ share of the market shrank from 34% to 4% in the third quarter.
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