MediaTek becomes the biggest smartphone chipset vendor in Q3 2020

  • The demand for 5G smartphones doubled in Q3 2020 – 17 percent of all smartphones sold in Q3 2020 were 5G
  • MediaTek’s strong performance in the $100-$250 price band and growth in key regions like China and India helped it become the biggest smartphone chipset vendor

According to a report of Counterpoint Research, MediaTek has turned out to be the leading smartphone chipset vendor with a 31 percent market share in Q3 2020 as smartphone sales rebounded in the quarter. The company’s strong performance in the $100-$250 price band and growth in key regions like China and India has helped it to become the biggest smartphone chipset vendor.

Meanwhile, Qualcomm was the biggest 5G chipset vendor in Q3 2020. It powered 39 percent of the 5G phones sold worldwide. The demand for 5G smartphones doubled in Q3 2020 – 17 percent of all smartphones sold in Q3 2020 were 5G. This impressive growth trajectory is going to continue, more so with Apple launching its 5G line-up. One-third of all smartphones shipped in Q4 2020 is expected to be 5G enabled. There is still a chance Qualcomm will regain the top position in Q4 2020.

MediaTek

Commenting on MediaTek’s market share gain, research director Dale Gai said, “MediaTek’s strong market share gain in Q3 2020 happened due to three reasons – strong performance in the mid-end smartphone price segment ($100-$250) and emerging markets like LATAM and MEA, the US ban on Huawei and finally wins in leading OEMs like Samsung, Xiaomi, and Honor.”

“The share of MediaTek chipsets in Xiaomi has increased by more than three times since the same period last year. MediaTek was also able to leverage the gap created due to the US ban on Huawei. Affordable MediaTek chips fabricated by TSMC became the first option for many OEMs to quickly fill the gap left by Huawei’s absence. Huawei had also previously purchased a significant amount of chipsets ahead of the ban,” added Gai.

On the other hand, Qualcomm also posted strong share gains (from a year ago) in the high-end segment in Q3 2020, again thanks to HiSilicon’s supply issues. However, Qualcomm faced competition from MediaTek in the mid-end segment. We believe both will continue to compete intensively through aggressive pricing, and mainstream 5G SoC products into 2021.

Qualcomm

Commenting on the growth strategies of Qualcomm and MediaTek, research analyst Ankit Malhotra said, “Qualcomm and MediaTek have both reshuffled their portfolios, and consumer focus has played a key role here. Last year, MediaTek launched a new gaming-based G-series, while Dimensity chipsets have helped in bringing 5G to affordable categories. The world’s cheapest 5G device, the realme V3, is powered by MediaTek.”

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