The global cellular baseband processor market declined 4 percent year-over-year to reach $5.0 billion in Q2 2019, according to Strategy Analytics Handset Component Technologies service report, “Baseband Market Share Tracker Q2 2019: Qualcomm and Samsung Vie for 5G Leadership .”
This Strategy Analytics research finds that Qualcomm, HiSilicon, MediaTek, Samsung LSI, and Intel captured the top-five revenue share rankings in the global cellular baseband processor market in Q2 2019. Qualcomm maintained its baseband market revenue share leadership with 43 percent in Q2 2019 followed by HiSilicon with 15 percent revenue share and MediaTek with 14 percent.
- Strategy Analytics estimates LTE baseband growth slowed down considerably in recent quarters as the industry awaits 5G transition, which could serve as a key growth catalyst.
- 5G baseband market is off to a great start in 2019. Qualcomm and Samsung LSI have seized the initiative with key 5G baseband design-wins.
- MediaTek and Unisoc’s struggles continued in Q2 2019. However, both the companies fared better on a sequential basis.
- Cellular IoT segment continues to be a key opportunity to baseband vendors as incumbent and smaller vendors all fighting for a piece.
Sravan Kundojjala, Associate Director, commented, “Loss of the key iPhone modem design and the weak smartphone market affected Qualcomm’s baseband shipments in Q2 2019. Qualcomm’s flagship chip Snapdragon 855 has been received well and been adopted by all leading Android smartphone manufacturers. Strategy Analytics believes that Qualcomm appears to have an edge in terms of power consumption, performance, field experience, customer relationships, legacy air interface strength and RF front-end strength in 5G and is poised for share gains with its broad range of 5G chips. Qualcomm’s modem shipments to non-smartphone segments including LTE feature phones, cellular tablets, cellular wearables, cellular IoT and automotive accounted for over 10 percent of its total modem shipments in Q2 2019.”
According to Stuart Robinson, Executive Director of the Strategy Analytics Handset Component Technologies service, “MediaTek and Unisoc continued to underperform and both companies struggled to advance their baseband market share in Q2 2019. MediaTek, with its new Helio P90, P70, P65, P22 and A22 chips, performed better on a sequential basis in Q2 2019. Unisoc, the world’s third largest baseband vendor in terms of unit shipments, continued its weak performance in Q2 2019, but showed signs of recovery with its new competitive Tiger and Ivy-branded products and significant LTE design-wins. Strategy Analytics believes that the China 5G opportunity has the potential to bring back much needed growth to MediaTek and Unisoc if they execute flawlessly.”
Christopher Taylor, Director of the Strategy Analytics RF & Wireless Components service, added, “Apple’s recent acquisition of Intel’s smartphone modem business is likely to reduce the addressable market for merchant baseband vendors in the long-term. Samsung LSI emerged as an early 5G market contender in Q2 2019 and Strategy Analytics estimates that Qualcomm and Samsung LSI were neck and neck in terms of 5G baseband market share. HiSilicon, despite the ongoing trade wars, showed a double-digit LTE shipment growth in Q2 2019 and is well positioned for 5G. Intel’s recent decision to exit from the 5G smartphone modem market leaves the market with fewer choices, but reflects the difficulties in navigating network technology transitions.”
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