Qualcomm Maintains Lead in Smartphone Apps Processor Market

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Note -- this news article is more than a year old.

Global smartphone applications processor market showed an impressive 58 percent year on year growth in Q3 2012 to reach $3.8 billion according to Strategy Analytics. Based on Strategy Analytics estimates Qualcomm led the smartphone applications processor market with 42 percent revenue share in Q3 2012.

However, Qualcomm came under pressure from the growing competition during the quarter.

According to Sravan Kundojjala, Senior Analyst, "Qualcomm's 28 nm-based LTE Snapdragon processors have helped Qualcomm to widen its technology lead over competitors. However, Qualcomm faced increased competition in the crucial Android ecosystem from integrated processor vendors including Broadcom, MediaTek, Spreadtrum and ST-Ericsson in Q3 2012. Strategy Analytics estimates that Qualcomm's share in the Android ecosystem dropped from over 60 percent in early 2011 to about 35 percent in Q3 2012. Strategy Analytics believes that Qualcomm still has plenty of room for growth in future quarters despite increasing competition as less than 50 percent of Qualcomm's chipsets are smartphone applications processors."

Some of the highlights of this Strategy Analytics report include:

  • Qualcomm, Samsung, MediaTek, Broadcom and ST-Ericsson captured top-five spots in the smartphone applications processor market in Q3 2012.
  • Samsung ranked number two with 27 percent revenue share on the strength of its relationships with Apple and Samsung's handset divisions.
  • MediaTek ranked number three with 12 percent revenue share in the smartphone applications processor market in Q3 2012 with the help of its EDGE, UMTS and TD-SCDMA applications processors.
  • Broadcom ranked number four in Q3 2012 as the company continued to benefit from its low-end Android smartphone design-wins at Samsung.
  • ST-Ericsson grabbed the number five spot as the company's dual-core NovaThor processors gained strong traction at Sony and Samsung in Q3 2012.
  • For the first time, Texas Instruments dropped out of the top-five smartphone applications processor rankings in both unit and revenue terms in Q3 2012 as the company continues to retrench from the handset processor market.
  • Despite its very impressive performance in the tablet market, NVIDIA's smartphone market share has been relatively flat on year-over-year basis in Q3 2012. NVIDIA's up-coming LTE-integrated Tegra processors could change its smartphone fortunes in 2013.
  • Spreadtrum showed significant growth in the smartphone applications processor market in Q3 2012 and captured 1.7 percent revenue share with the help of its EDGE and TD-SCDMA smartphone applications processors.
  • Intel made slow progress and captured just 0.2 percent revenue share in the smartphone applications processor market in Q3 2012.

According to Stuart Robinson, Director of the Strategy Analytics Handset Component Technologies service, "MediaTek's smartphone applications processor shipments showed ten-fold year-over-year growth in Q3 2012. MediaTek continues to chase Qualcomm hard with its integrated strategy and the company gained significant share during the quarter. Strategy Analytics believes that MediaTek has room for improvement in order to break into global smartphone manufacturers' supply chains."

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