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2Q22: Smartphone RF Front-end Market Revenues Drop

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  • Global smartphone shipments declined 9% YoY in Q2 2022; estimated to further downgrade
  • Economic headwinds are causing a prolonged smartphone replacement cycle

As per the recent reports for the second quarter of FY22, the overall smartphone RF front-end market revenues dropped by 14% QoQ and 6% YoY. RF Front End (RFFE) refers to a set of mobile device components which converts information into radio signals to transmit and receive it over the air. The figures include the market revenue for diverse smartphone-related RF front-end (RFFE) components, mainly including RF PA (Power Amplifier) integrated modules, receiving modules and discrete components such as filters, switches, LNAs (Low-Noise Amplifiers) and power trackers.

The report said that global smartphone shipments declined 9% YoY in Q2 2022 while estimating the growth rate to decline further in the upcoming quarter. Given this uncertain background, OEMs focussed on managing inventory and their destocking efforts led to significant order reductions for general RF components. It led to major disruptions in the secular growth trend of the smartphone RFFE sector and hence, the big vendors saw a mixed trend in sales.

Mixed Trends

While Qorvo’s smartphone RFFE revenues declined 11.3% YoY in Q2 2022, Skyworks’ RFFE revenues largely equated to the revenues from Q2 last year. However, despite the overall drop, Qualcomm witnessed a 7.6% revenue growth YoY.

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Broadcom also managed to deliver positive revenue growth of 12.2% YoY. The report suggested the production ramp-up of the iPhone SE 2022 to be the primary driver of this lift.

According to the report, major Android Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have lowered their production targets for H2 2022 and the resulting inventory correction is expected to persist through early 2023.

Interestingly, the smartphone replacement cycle has been elongated due to high inflation, which is prompting consumers to cut unnecessary spending worldwide. As the low-end smartphone segment is more vulnerable to the global economic downturn, the report suggested that greater danger looms over the China RFFE vendors.

Counterpoint Research, which came up with the report, said that they have revised the 2022 revenue growth projection for the smartphone RF front-end component market to a low single-digit amid an unfavourable macro environment. It further clarified that in the longer term, however, the RFFE market is riding on the back of the worldwide spread of 5G and mmWave and has great potential for secular growth.


 

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