Qualcomm and Unisoc are growing in the chipset segment


Back in the last year, we saw an impressive comeback from MediaTek after years in limbo. The company managed to overcome Qualcomm and became the top chipset supplier in the world. This certainly came in light of the successful MediaTek Dimensity lineup that made several brands ditch Qualcomm for MediaTek offerings. However, this may be changing this year. According to the latest report from Counterpoint Research, the Taiwanese firm has lost market and Qualcomm is coming close. The component shortages and shifting market demands have been changing the market and we even saw brands not getting a slice of the market.

Despite the continuous constraints in the industry, the smartphone chipset market grew 5 percent in the final quarter of 2021 when compared to the fourth quarter of 2020. MediaTek remains on top, despite dipping from 37 percent to 33 percent market share. The analysts explain that smartphone vendors stocking up with extra units as a precaution against the chip shortage. Supply however was stable enough and they had more than they needed, therefore lowering the shipments in the fourth quarter.

Counterpoint

The new Dimensity 9000 SoC and higher demand for 5G phones will certainly boost MediaTek’s revenue. However, Counterpoint also issues a warning. Apparently, TSMC is increasing its wafer prices recently and the impact on chipset prices is already starting to be felt. Despite this, forecasts point to a very positive 2022 for MediaTek. Qualcomm had s strong quarter and grew to a 30 percent share. Despite not being able to source as many chips from its partner foundries. The company has prioritized the high-end, high-margin Snapdragon chipsets. It also managed to increase the supply by dual-sourcing chips.

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Unisoc is becoming a relevant chipset maker

When it comes to the 5G modem market share, the company remains an unchallenged leader. The company currently controls 76 percent share up from the 63 percent from 2020. This was driven by the high demand for iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 models. Both of them use Qualcomm modems alongside Apple A chips. The strong sales of Android flagships also increased the company sales.

Samsung Exynos chips were holding on to third place until recently, but in 2020 they were even ahead of Apple chips. A surprising arrival is Unisoc. The company is up 11 percent and doublet its market share in a year. As we told several times, Unisoc is on the verge to become a popular chip maker. Its chips are already present on a myriad of devices from Honor, Realme, Motorola, ZTE, Transsion, and even Samsung smartphones. This month, for instance, we had the Realme C35 and Nokia G11.

Meanwhile, HiSilicon is suffering an impact. As per the analysis, the chip stockpile has almost run out and it has had major issues manufacturing new ones. Huawei had to switch to Qualcomm chips with a 4G limitation.

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