Qualcomm saw the best growth in smartphone AP (application processor)/SoC (system on chip) chipset shipments globally in Q4 2021. MediaTek is still the leader in the higher number of shipments, but its market share in shipments declined. Qualcomm, on the other hand, posted an 18% QoQ and 33% YoY growth in global smartphone SoC shipment despite the shortage of components and foundry capacity, said research analyst Parv Sharma.
Sharma said Qualcomm was able to prioritise high-end smartphone Snapdragon sales, which come with higher profitability and less impact on shortages than mid-end or low-end mobile phones.
According to Sharma, Qualcomm captured a 76% share in the 5G baseband shipments driven by Apple’s iPhone 13 and iPhone 12 and premium Android portfolio.
Qualcomm is set to benefit further from the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen1 mobile platform, which has already started shipping with many flagship smartphones across the globe. More smartphones ahead in the year will sport the Snapdragon 8 Gen1, which should help Qualcomm further in growing shipment share in the 5G chipset segment.
MediaTek Still the Leader in Overall Smartphone SoC Shipment
Globally, MediaTek still was the leader in the overall smartphone SoC shipment during Q4 2021. Its shipment share was 33% compared to Qualcomm’s share of 30%. On a YoY basis, MediaTek’s global smartphone SoC chipset share fell from 37% to 33%. While at the same time, Qualcomm’s market share increased from 23% in Q4 2020 to 30% in Q4 2021.
Dale Gai, Research Director, said MediaTek’s smartphone SoC volumes declined in Q4 2021 because of the high shipments in the early quarters as the Chinese smartphone OEMs went ahead with inventor corrections.
Gai noted that many customers of MediaTek had built chipset inventories in advance to be prepared against any chipset shortage that may occur in the future due to the pandemic situation. However, that took a correction in the last quarter as the effects of the pandemic subsided.