After relinquishing the top spot in the global wireless semiconductor market in the first quarter of 2007, did Texas Instruments (TI) manage to regain its customary lead in the second quarter? Qualcomm in the first quarter replaced TI as the world's top supplier of semiconductor for all types of wireless products - including mobile handsets - according to iSuppli. This marks the first time that TI has not occupied the leadership position in this area since iSuppli began tracking handset market share in 2004.
Qualcomm bucked the seasonally slow market conditions in the first quarter to achieve a 2.4 percent increase in revenue generated by sales of wireless ICs. Company revenue in this segment rose to $1.26 billion during the first quarter, up from $1.23 billion in the fourth quarter of 2006. In contrast, the global market for wireless ICs declined by 5.5 percent during the period, falling to $6.97 billion, down from $7.37 billion in the fourth quarter.
Meanwhile, TI underperformed the market in the first quarter with a 7.1 percent decline in revenue. TI posted wireless semiconductor revenue of $1.15 billion in the first quarter, compared to $1.24 billion in the fourth quarter.
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"Qualcomm took the top spot on the strength of healthy growth in EvDO and WCDMA baseband chips," said Francis Sideco, senior analyst, wireless communications, for iSuppli. "This achievement caps a sustained period of gains for Qualcomm. TI is likely to report improving business conditions in its second-quarter results. The company in its mid-quarter update said it was experiencing a rebound in orders.
"With production of the company's LoCosto single-chip solution for mobile phones starting to really ramp, as well as its continued focus on the high-end custom market ASICs for 3G phones, TI has some significant growth drivers in its arsenal. Whether these drivers will be sufficient to allow TI to regain the top spot from Qualcomm during the next couple of quarters and to come out ahead for the year remains to be seen. The outcome of this market-share battle will be a telling sign of things to come," Sideco said."
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