NESABAMEDIA.COM – MediaTek last year toppled Qualcomm as the world’s largest smartphone chipset vendor. The Taiwanese company has since increasingly dominated its American rivals.
According to research firm Counterpoint Research, MediaTek captured a 43 percent share of the global smartphone SoC market in the second quarter of 2021. That’s the company’s “highest” share to date, and a huge growth from the 26 percent share it achieved a year earlier. Qualcomm, on the other hand, saw its market share drop from 28 percent to 24 percent during the same period.
Overall, smartphone SoC shipments grew 31 percent year-on-year in the last quarter. Growth is driven by the growing popularity of 5G smartphones. Sales of 5G smartphones alone grew almost four times from Q2 2020.
Chinese chipmaker UNISOC was another big winner in the second quarter of the year. Its market share jumped from 4 percent in the second quarter of 2020 to 98 percent in the second quarter of 2021. UNICOS has now surpassed Samsung and Huawei’s HiSilicon to enter the top five.
HiSilicon itself is unable to produce the new Kirin chipset due to US sanctions. The result is that its market share fell from 16 percent in the second quarter of 2020 to only 3 percent in the second quarter of 2021. Samsung’s market share also fell from 12 percent to 7 percent during the same period. Apple, meanwhile, sees no change in SoC shipments thanks to consistent demand for its iPhones.
The latest report received by nesabamedia.com, MediaTek is relatively less affected by the ongoing chip scarcity issue. The company also strengthened its low-cost 5G portfolio and managed to gain market share in this segment, as well as in the LTE segment. This helped MediaTek to be able to grow sales of 5G baseband modems as well, capturing a 30 percent share in the second quarter of 2021. The Taiwanese giant accounted for about 11 percent of global 5G baseband shipments a year earlier.
Qualcomm still leads this market. The American company supplies 5G modems to Apple for the iPhone 12 series, which helped it grow bigger. Qualcomm dominated the baseband market with a 55 percent share during the second quarter of this year. That’s almost double the 29 percent share it gained in the second quarter of 2020.
Samsung may be the one that lost the most in its market share in this period. Its share fell from 18 percent to 10 percent. Counterpoint said the Korean company is “reshaping” its smartphone ODM (original design manufacturing) portfolio strategy, which now uses more MediaTek and Qualcomm chipsets than their own Exynos SoC.
Going forward, the battle between Qualcomm and MediaTek at the top could be even fiercer. Both companies are getting ready to launch their respective biggest smartphone SoCs. Recent reports reveal that the two chipsets are very difficult to compare, but time will tell.