Feature Article

October 09, 2012

Smartphone Apps Processor Growth Drives Broadcom, MediaTek and ST-Ericsson Growth in First Half of 2012

It should come as no surprise to anyone that given the enormous uptake in smartphone sales over the last three years that the related global smartphone applications processor market would also deliver similarly enormous uptake. And in fact it has.

A newly released report from Strategy Analytics, “Smartphone Apps Processor Market Share Q2 2012: Qualcomm Captures 48 Percent Revenue Share As Competition Intensifies,” clearly shows the market continuing to move rapidly, with the new research showing robust 61 percent year-on-year growth overall for the first half of 2012 to reach $5.5 billion.

Image via Shutterstock

As the report title pointedly points out, Qualcomm continues to maintain its overall dominance in the smartphone applications processor market with an overall 48 percent revenue share in the first half of 2012. The good news overall is that competition among all the players continues to grow. Aside from Qualcomm – which may very well begin to see pressure from competitors going forward, the applications processor market amongst all other players here has grown intense and even more competitive than it has been in past years.

Some of the highlights of this Strategy Analytics report include the following:

  • Qualcomm led the smartphone applications processor market in both unit and revenue terms in 1H 2012.
  • Samsung, MediaTek, Broadcom and Texas Instruments took the rest of the top-five spots in the smartphone applications processor market in 1H 2012.
  • MediaTek showed 13 times increase in year-on-year growth in 1H 2012 and ranked number three on the strength of its strong momentum in the low-to-mid range smartphone segment.
  • Broadcom ranked number four in 1H 2012 with the help of its strategic low-end Android smartphone design-wins at Samsung.
  • ST-Ericsson continued its recovery and the company’s NovaThor-branded applications processors showed 28 percent sequential growth in Q2 2012 to register the highest quarterly shipments for over four years.
  • Intel, which interestingly enough is a new entrant here, took a minor 0.2 percent unit shipment share in 1H 2012 with the help of its 32 nm-based Medfield processor.

Qualcomm’s high-end LTE Snapdragon processor MSM8960 gained strong traction and is featured in multiple LTE flagship devices from global tier-one smartphone manufacturers – including the newly released iPhone 5. Strategy Analytics points out that Qualcomm’s early LTE modem leadership has helped the company to stay ahead of the competition.

Among the other players in the space, MediaTek surged to the number three position in the market for the first half of 2012. The company continues to leverage its strong position in the strategic Chinese smartphone market – which remains the world’s largest future market for smartphones - to boost its share. MediaTek is well-situated to translate its success from feature phones to smartphones and to ride the smartphone wave in emerging markets.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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