MediaTek To Lead Smartphone Chip Market in 2021, Qualcomm To Follow: Report

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The leading-edge nodes (7nm, 6nm and 5n) will form almost half of the smartphone shipment volume during 2021

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As companies around the world reel under the pressure of the ongoing chip shortage, a new report released by Counterpoint Research shows that chipmaker MediaTek will be at the forefront of the global smartphone system-on-chip (SoC) market, leading with a 37 per cent share, followed by Qualcomm with 30 per cent share. 

“Together, MediaTek and Qualcomm occupy nearly two-thirds of the 5G smartphone SoC market demand, but the gap between the two has narrowed. Having said that, the foundry capacity will continue to remain tight till early 2022, before the next wave of CAPEX realises at the leading nodes,” said Research Analyst Parv Sharma.

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According to the report, MediaTek leveraging TSMC and its affordable 5G portfolio is well-positioned to almost double its market share in the 5G smartphone SoC/AP segment. 

The leading-edge nodes (7nm, 6nm and 5n) will form almost half of the smartphone shipment volume during 2021. In addition to that, 5G AP/SoC chipset volumes will more than double annually in 2021.

“MediaTek is likely to continue its Q4 2020 momentum into 2021 and likely to capture 37 per cent unit share of all the smartphone AP/SoC shipped for the full year. Further, MediaTek in the first half of 2021 will benefit from Qualcomm’s current supply constraints,” explained Research Director Dale Gai.

Qualcomm, however, is set to bounce back strongly in H2 2021, firstly by securing greater capacity at TSMC to boost its 5G-centric tiered Snapdragon portfolio.

“Secondly, taking key steps to improving the supply of PMICs and RFICs should alleviate the supply constraints in coming months. This will allow Qualcomm to maintain its leadership in 5G SoC market and overall market share of 31 per cent still growing annually,” Gai said in a statement.

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