MediaTek tops global smartphone processor shipments in third quarter of 2021




Global smartphone AP (Application Processor)/SoC (System on Chip) shipments grew by 6% YoY in the third quarter of 2021, according to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Foundry and AP/SoC Service. According to the report, 5G smartphone SoC shipments grew almost 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 the first quarter of 2022 and an increase in chipset prices starting in the fourth quarter of 2021. 4G chipsets continued to be in strong demand due to the ongoing shortages, which have affected 4G SoCs more.”

Global Smartphone AP/SoC Shipments Market Share, Q3 2020 vs Q3 2021

Counterpoint Research Smartphone AP SoC Chipset Share Q3 2021

Source: Counterpoint Research Quarterly AP/SoC/Baseband Shipments Tracker, Dec 2021

Commenting on Qualcomm’s performance, Research Analyst Parv Sharma said: “Qualcomm’s smartphone SoC shipments grew both QoQ and YoY in the third quarter of 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.”

Global 5G Smartphone Baseband Shipments Market Share, Q3 2020 vs Q3 2021

Smartphone 5G Baseband share Q3 2021

Source: Counterpoint Research Quarterly AP/SoC/Baseband Shipments Tracker, Dec 2021

Market Summary:

MediaTek dominated the smartphone SoC market in the third of 2021 with a 40% share. It gained share in the low-mid segment 5G portfolio. LTE SoCs further helped it to strengthen its market position.

Qualcomm grew 9% sequentially due to dual sourcing from foundries. It dominated the 5G baseband modem shipments with a 62% share. The refreshed portfolio in the Snapdragon 7, 6 and 4 series will further help it gain share in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Apple maintained its third position in the smartphone SoC market in the third quarter of 2021 with a 15% share. With the launch of the iPhone 13 and festive season, its share will grow further in the fourth quarter of 2021. However, component shortages will affect its festive season sales.

UNISOC shipment growth continued for the third consecutive quarter in the third quarter of 2021. Its market share entered double digits during the quarter at 10%. The company has succeeded in expanding its customer base, securing a series of design wins with major OEMs like HONOR, realme, Motorola, ZTE and Transsion. Further, it also had a design win in Samsung’s Galaxy A series.

Samsung Exynos slipped to the fifth position with a 5% share as it is in the middle of rejigging its smartphone portfolio strategy of in-sourcing as well as outsourcing to Chinese ODMs. Therefore, the share of MediaTek and Qualcomm has been growing across Samsung’s smartphone portfolio, from the mid-range 4G and 5G models manufactured by ODMs to the flagship ones.

HiSilicon remained affected by the US trade ban. Huawei was unable to manufacture the HiSilicon Kirin chipsets. The accumulated inventory of Kirin SoCs is on the verge of being exhausted. As a result, Huawei is launching its latest series with Qualcomm SoCs but limited to 4G capabilities.

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