The global smartphone application processors and system-on-chip markets have grown by 5% in the 4th quarter of 2021, according to a recent report by market research firm Counterpoint. Among these, 5G SoC for smartphones accounted for half of the total of the SoC shipments.
For System on chip manufacturers, MediaTek led the market with a 33% share, while Qualcomm and Apple came in at 2nd and 3rd place with 30% and 21% market share respectively.
MediaTek’s loss was Qualcomm’s gain, with MediaTek losing 4% of the market share due to many customers building chipset inventories to manage uncertainties in the supply situation.
Meanwhile, Qualcomm saw its shipments increase by 7% as compared to the same period last quarter.
Qualcomm grew 18% quarter on quarter, and 33% as compared to the last fiscal year.
“Qualcomm was able to prioritize high-end Snapdragon sales, which come with higher profitability and less impact from shortages than mid-end and low-end mobile handsets. The company was also able to increase supplies from its major foundry partners by dual-sourcing key products,” said Research Analyst Parv Sharma from Counterpoint.
Qualcomm was also able to capture a 76% share in the 5G baseband shipments owed primarily by Apple’s iPhone 13, 12 and a slew of premium Android launches.
Qualcomm is betting heavily on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 flagship mobile platform that is expected to start shipping from the first quarter of 2022. Starting with the Samsung Galaxy S22 launch, many other original equipment manufacturers are also expected to launch 5G headsets.
“The share of revenues from Android is also growing as more OEMs are adopting Qualcomm’s modem-to-antenna RFFE solution across tiers,” said Sharma.
Among the other system-on-chip companies, Apple maintained its third position with a 21% share led by the launch of iPhone 13 and strong sales in the festive season.
Chinese chip maker Unisoc grew the most and captured 11% market share in the 4th quarter of 2021. On an annual basis, its chip shipments almost doubled, owing to an increased customer base that now includes the likes of HONOR, realme, Motorola, and Samsung, among others.