5G Drives Double-digit Growth for the Sixth Straight Quarter in Smartphone Apps Processors, Finds Strategy Analytics

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MediaTek and Unisoc Post Triple-digit Revenue Growth

For the sixth straight quarter, the global smartphone applications processor (AP) market clocked a double-digit year-on-year revenue growth in Q2 2021, according to Strategy Analytics’ Handset Component Technologies (HCT) service report.

Figure 1. 2Q 2021 Smartphone Applications Processors Revenue Share (Source: Strategy Analytics, Inc.)

The global smartphone AP market grew 18 percent year-on-year to $7.0 billion in Q2 2021. Strategy Analytics’ research report “Smartphone Apps Processor Market Share Tracker Q2 2021: MediaTek and Unisoc Post Triple-digit Revenue Growth estimates that Qualcomm , MediaTek , Apple , Samsung LSI and Unisoc captured the top-five revenue share rankings in the smartphone applications processor (AP) market in Q2 2021.

  • Qualcomm led the smartphone AP market with a 36 percent revenue share, followed by MediaTek with 29 percent and Apple with 21 percent. After leading the smartphone AP market in both unit and revenue terms in 2020, Qualcomm continued this momentum in 1H 2021.
  • 5G AP shipments grew 140 percent year-on-year, driving an 8 percent growth in average selling prices (ASPs).
  • TSMC and Samsung Foundry manufactured almost 100 percent of smartphone APs shipped in Q2 2021. In addition, 5 nm-based APs accounted for approximately 20 percent of all smartphone APs shipped during the quarter.

Sravan Kundojjala , author of the report and Associate Directorof Handset Component Technologies service at Strategy Analytics, commented, “Despite capacity constraints, both Qualcomm and MediaTek leveraged their scale and long-term foundry relationships to post robust shipment growth in Q2 2021. For the third straight quarter, Qualcomm saw a double-digit smartphone AP shipment growth. However, Qualcomm’s smartphone AP revenue growth outpaced its shipment growth, driven by a high mix of 5G APs. We estimate that 5G APs accounted for 54 percent of Qualcomm’s total smartphone AP shipments in Q2 2021. In light of shortages, Qualcomm shifted focus to premium and high tier APs to make the best use of available capacity. “

Mr. Kundojjala continued, “MediaTek and Unisoc posted triple-digit growth in their smartphone AP revenues in Q2 2021, driven by increased traction at China-based smartphone OEMs. Both companies gained market in 4G APs as the market leader Qualcomm shifted focus to 5G APs. Strategy Analytics observed this phenomenon during the 3G to 4G transition too. Unisoc and MediaTek have a proven track record in capturing long-tail demand in mature technologies.”

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