The big picture: The global transition to 5G is accelerating, and this is where Qualcomm continues to dominate. As the company lost some control of LTE and Huawei lost the ability to build its own chips, MediaTek quickly took action and got some of its business back. It is not known at this time what he will do after leaving the position.
In December 2020, MediaTek surpassed Qualcomm in market share for the first time, with over 100 million smartphones sold in the third quarter of 2020 using Dimensity and Helio chipsets. The company is still the king of 5G chips with 55% of the total, but now its dominance appears to be being challenged more than ever.
According to new data from Counterpoint Research, MediaTek's share of the global smart SoC and baseband modem market increased to 43% in the second quarter of this year, up from 35% in the previous quarter. Last month he had a healthy increase. By comparison, Qualcomm captured 29 percent of the market in the first quarter, but only 24 percent in the second.
The main driver of MediaTek's growth in the three months to June was its relentless focus on the lower and middle class. In addition to the huge price of LTE chips, it includes 5G ready chips. This allowed the Taiwanese company to capture 30% of the 5G modem market, while Qualcomm currently leads with 55%. Both companies face costs from Samsung, Huawei and others compared to last year - Qualcomm's share has increased by 90%, while MediaTek's share has nearly tripled in the same period. The company has been hit hard by the current chip shortage, especially in the high-end segment, as it has been unable to reduce supply chain bottlenecks. In the meantime, Apple appears to be the only company to have had little impact, but that could change in the coming months. Anyway, the main reason Qualcomm dominates the 5G space is Apple's iPhone 12, but that will be gone in 2023 when the Cupertino giant moves to compact 5G modems.
Samsung's share is declining The mobile chip market is down just seven percent this year, but the company recently started selling Exynos chips to Chinese ODM as well as Google, so it won't be long before market share returns. In addition, the Korean giant is preparing the Exynos 2200 chipset with Radeon "Voyager" graphics, which will increase the pressure on Qualcomm.
MediaTek has traditionally been in the middle and upper class, but the company has big plans for high-end areas and is slowly entering the lucrative US market. Rumor has it that MediaTek's upcoming Dimensity 2000 chipset will be built on a 4nm TSMC node and could compete with Qualcomm and Samsung in terms of performance and power efficiency. If so, we certainly look forward to exciting times in the future.
MediaTek is slowly losing Qualcomm's mobile chip market share