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Strategy Analytics: Q1 2018 Baseband Market Share: Samsung LSI Overtakes MediaTek

The global cellular baseband processor market grew a modest 0.3 percent year-over-year to reach $4.9 billion in the first quarter Q1 2018, according to Strategy Analytics Handset Component Technologies service report, “Baseband Market Share Tracker Q1 2018: Samsung LSI Overtakes MediaTek .”

This research report from Strategy Analytics estimates that Qualcomm, Samsung SI, MediaTek, HiSilicon, and UNISOC (Spreadtrum & RDA) captured the top-five revenue share rankings in the global cellular baseband processor market in Q1 2018. Qualcomm continues to gain market share and finishes Q1 2018 with 52 percent baseband revenue share followed by Samsung LSI with 14 percent and MediaTek with 13 percent.

  • The LTE baseband segment continues to be the sole positive performer registering an impressive 9 percent shipment growth in Q1 2018 while contrasting with double-digit declines in the 2G and 3G baseband segments.
  • MediaTek and UNISOC (Spreadtrum & RDA) continue to cede market share and Q1 2018 was no exception.
  • Altair, HiSilicon, Intel, Qualcomm, Sequans and Samsung LSI all grew baseband shipments year-over-year in Q1 2018.

Sravan Kundojjala, Associate Director, commented, “Samsung LSI, a prime beneficiary of the 3G to 4G transition, overtook MediaTek in Q1 2018 to propel itself to the number two revenue share position in the baseband market. In the wake of multiple high profile baseband market exits in the last decade, Samsung LSI stepped in to fill a supplier void at its primary customer Samsung Mobile. Strategy Analytics believes that Samsung LSI’s LTE baseband technology, product portfolio and integration capabilities are now in the same league as the market leader Qualcomm. Samsung LSI, however, to date have not struck gold outside its in-house customer Samsung Mobile. Strategy Analytics feels that the current global trade wars have opened a rare window of opportunity to Samsung LSI, as a South Korean company to compete for external baseband customers and it remains to be seen how the company will respond.”

According to Stuart Robinson, Executive Director of the Strategy Analytics Handset Component Technologies service, “MediaTek and UNISOC (Spreadtrum & RDA) continued to cede market share and for the fourth consecutive quarter both companies saw a double-digit year-over-year baseband shipment decline in Q1 2018. MediaTek showed signs of recovery in late Q1 2018 and is on track to perform better though the rest of 2018 with the help of an improved product portfolio. UNISOC (Spreadtrum & RDA), despite gains in LTE feature phones, continued to lag the competition in terms of product strength. Both MediaTek and UNISOC (Spreadtrum & RDA) need to address the weakness in their modem product portfolio and claim their stake in 5G to enable themselves to match fast moving Qualcomm.”

Christopher Taylor, Director of the Strategy Analytics RF & Wireless Components service, added, “For the third consecutive quarter, Qualcomm saw its shipments grew year-over-year in Q1 2018, thanks to the company’s share gains at Chinese handset manufacturers. After playing a pivotal role in multi-mode LTE smartphone commercialization, Qualcomm is set to repeat the feat in multi-mode 5G New Radio (NR) with its pioneering efforts. Aside from handsets, Qualcomm also continues to progress in cellular tablets, IoT and automotive baseband segments. Strategy Analytics estimates that non-handset baseband segments accounted for approximately 10 percent of Qualcomm’s total baseband shipments in Q1 2018 registering faster growth than the handset segment.” – CT Bureau

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