Strategy Analytics: Qualcomm maintains processor lead, but competition growing - Mobile World Live

Strategy Analytics: Qualcomm maintains processor lead, but competition growing

19 DEC 2013

While Qualcomm remains the “company to beat in mobile processors”, the company is seeing competition from rivals including fast-growing Taiwanese vendor MediaTek, according to the latest research from Strategy Analytics.

Qualcomm’s strength comes from “its broad product portfolio, integration capabilities and strong relationships with manufacturers around the world”, the analyst firm said. The company dominates the smartphone application processor market, with more than twice the market share of its nearest rival

Qualcomm has also risen to the number two position in tablet application processors during the third quarter of 2013, which is “quite a dramatic change in position as the company hadn’t even made it to the top five just two quarters ago”.

Looking at smartphone application processors, Strategy Analytics said that Qualcomm accounted for 53 per cent of revenue, followed by Apple with 18 per cent and MediaTek with 10 per cent, with Qualcomm benefiting from the adoption of its latest Snapdragon 800 processors by a number of device makers.

And while MediaTek has secured number three spot, its nearest challenger – Samsung – is likely to benefit from availability of its latest LTE-integrated Exynos chip, which “can enable Samsung to go after the high-volume mid-range market in 2014 and thus regain some volume share”.

The global smartphone application processor market registered 31 per cent year-on-year growth to reach $4.9 billion in the third quarter of 2013, the research firm said.

Moving on to tablet application processors, it is Apple that holds top spot, thanks to the strength of its own iPad line. It had 40 per cent revenue share, followed by Qualcomm with 13 per cent and Intel with 8 per cent.

The numbers show that Intel is finally seeing some reward for its efforts in the mobile market, although in the smartphone space it is still failing to make headway against its established rivals.

Stuart Robinson, director of the Strategy Analytics handset component technologies service, said: “During Q3 2013, Intel, Marvell, MediaTek and Nvidia all made progress and registered double-digit sequential growth in their tablet applications processor shipments. Strategy Analytics believes that these companies have the potential to continue to improve their tablet applications processor share in the next few quarters.”

As a whole, the global tablet processor market grew 30 per cent year-on-year to reach $1.2 billion in Q3 2013.

Finally, moving on to the cellular baseband market, Strategy Analytics again estimated that it was Qualcomm in top spot, with 66 per cent revenue share, followed by MediaTek with 12 per cent and Intel with 7 per cent.

Qualcomm’s dominance was attributed to its “stranglehold on the LTE baseband market”, although it was noted that “we believe that certain competitors’ products are production-ready and have the potential to take share from Qualcomm in 2014, especially in the mid-to-low tier”.

Robinson said: “Strategy Analytics believes that Broadcom has the potential to emerge as a key LTE alternative to Qualcomm in 2014. Broadcom is still a minor player in the baseband market and cannot afford any missteps as the year 2014 is shaping up to be an important one for the company.”

The global cellular baseband processor market grew 10.3 per cent year-on-year to reach $4.9 billion in the third quarter of 2013.

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Steve Costello

Steve works across all of Mobile World Live’s channels and played a lead role in the launch and ongoing success of our apps and devices services. He has been a journalist...More

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