MediaTek garners record 43% of smartphone chipset market in Q2

MediaTek Dimensity1200
(Image credit: MediaTek)

The domination of global chipset market has boiled down to managing the supply issues. And Taiwanese fabless semiconductor company MediaTek has handled the supply constraints better than its archrival, the San Diego-headquartered Qualcomm. And it shows in the Q2 2021 numbers.

MediaTek has basically run away with the smartphone application processor/system on chip market with a record 43% ,share. According to the Counterpoint research firm MediaTek benefited from less supply constraints including with RFICs (radio-frequency integrated circuits), power management ICs (PMIC), and stable production yields from TSMC. 4G SoC shipments further helped MediaTek to top the table. Just to contrast, its 2020 Q2 share was 26%. Qualcomm, which had 24% share in the corresponding quarter last year has moved to 28% only this quarter.

Overall, the chipset shipments, driven by the rapid growth of 5G smartphones, grew 31% YoY in Q2 2021. The 5G smartphone shipments grew almost four times compared to the same period a year ago.

Qualcomm is tweaking its sourcing strategy

The good news for Qualcomm is that it is lording over the 5G baseband market with 55% share. "It gained from the 5G baseband modem chipset win in the Apple iPhone 12 series and the significant demand for its complete 5G SoC chipsets, from the flagship 8 series to affordable 4 series," Counterpoint research report said. Qualcomm is realigning its component sourcing strategy, and this should stand the company in good stead in the coming quarter.

Meanwhile, Apple maintained its third position in the smartphone SoC market in Q2 with a 14% share.

Global Smartphone AP/SoC Shipment Market Share (%), Q2 2020 vs Q2 2021

Global Smartphone AP/SoC Shipment Market Share - Q2 2020 vs Q2 2021. (Image credit: Counterpoint)

On the other hand, UNISOC has captured the fourth position in the quarter with a 9% share.

UNISOC more than doubled its smartphone AP chipset shipments compared to the first half of 2020. This year, the company has succeeded in expanding its customer base, securing a series of design wins with major OEMs like Honor, Realme and Motorola. 

Samsung Exynos slipped to the fifth position with a 7% share as it is in the middle of rejigging its smartphone portfolio strategy.

Balakumar K
Senior Editor

Over three decades as a journalist covering current affairs, politics, sports and now technology. Former Editor of News Today, writer of humour columns across publications and a hardcore cricket and cinema enthusiast. He writes about technology trends and suggest movies and shows to watch on OTT platforms.