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Taiwan’s MediaTek poised to be global smartphone chip leader in 2021

MediaTek expected to capture 37% of overall global smartphone chip market

MediaTek chip (MediaTek photo)

MediaTek chip (MediaTek photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's mobile chipmaker MediaTek is expected to lead the global smartphone chip market with a 37 percent share in 2021, while Qualcomm will lead the global 5G smartphone chip market with a 30 percent share.

MediaTek will likely continue its 2020 fourth-quarter momentum and account for around 37 percent of the Application Processor (AP)/System on Chip (SoC) market worldwide, up from last year’s 32 percent share, according to Counterpoint Research. The increase can be attributed to strong demand for MediaTek’s 5G chips used in cheaper (below US$150) 5G smartphones and a bigger share of the 4G segment.

The Taiwanese company should also benefit in the first half of 2021 from Qualcomm’s supply constraints for radio-frequency integrated circuits (RFICs) from Samsung’s Austin facility, power management integrated circuits (PMICs), and lower 5 nm production yields, per the report. However, if Qualcomm can secure more capacity from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) to produce its 5G Snapdragon chips and boost RFICs and PMICs supplies, it can expect to capture 31 percent of the overall market share this year.

In terms of the global 5G smartphone chipset sector, Qualcomm is expected to capture a leading 30 percent of the market for 2021, up 2 percent from 2020. According to research analyst Parv Sharma, “MediaTek leveraging TSMC and its affordable 5G portfolio is well-positioned to almost double its market share in 5G smartphone SoC/AP segment” to 28 percent, up from 15 percent in 2020.

The report concluded by saying that overall chip supplies will still remain tight until the beginning of 2022, when 2021 capital expenditures at foundries like TSMC and Samsung translate into actual increased capacity.

Updated : 2022-05-23 20:01 GMT+08:00