Minor players might shake Qualcomm's stronghold on the LTE market in 2014
Analyst Christopher Taylor adds: “Low-cost Chinese baseband suppliers RDA Microelectronics and Spreadtrum, both of which recently received buyout offers from state-owned Tsinghua Unigroup, together ranked number two in baseband unit share terms in Q3 2013. With its low-cost advantage and strong financial back-up from Tsinghua, RDA and Spreadtrum’s combination has the potential to take on global players such as Qualcomm.”
That's some strong foundation for upcoming market changes. However, we believe Qualcomm will maintain its leading position in the mobile LTE SoC landscape for another 12 months, as the American chipmaker has established itself with reliable and fully featured products that outpace the competition. More on that below.
The cellular baseband processor market grew 10.3% year-over-year to reach $4.9 billion in Q3, with Qualcomm grabbing two thirds of the revenues
Indeed, with MediaTek announcing their eight-core LTE solution next January, and the aforementioned state-owned Chinese vendors rushing to supply the largest mobile market in the world with 4G equipment, Qualcomm will be feeling the heat next year. But, as US president Herbert Hoover said in 1930, “Competition is the incentive to progress.”
The smartphone applications processor market achieved 31% year-on-year growth in Q3 2013
The fourth place in the ranking is for Samsung, with analyst Sravan Kundojjala stating that the Exynos 5 Octa CPU "so far has not attained the same level of success as its predecessor, the Exynos 5 Quad." According to Mr. Jundojjala, "Samsung’s latest LTE-integrated Exynos chip, which started shipping from Q3 2013, can enable Samsung to go after the high-volume mid-range market in 2014, and thus regain some volume share."
LTE-hopefuls Broadcom landed the fifth spot in the smartphone AP market.
The tablet application processors market grew 30% year-on-year to reach $1.2 billion in Q3 2013
The Top 5 spots in the tablet application processors market are occupied by Apple, Qualcomm, Intel, Samsung and MediaTek, accordingly. Apple's revenue share in Q3 is 40%, followed by Qualcomm with 13% revenue share, and Intel with 8% revenue share. Sravan Kundojjala comments: "Qualcomm rose to the number two position in tablet applications processors in Q3 in revenue terms, thanks to its Google Nexus 7 2013 and Amazon Kindle Fire HDX design-wins. This is quite a dramatic change in position as the company hadn’t even made it to the top-five just two quarters ago."
source: Strategy Analytics via Electronics Weekly