Qualcomm leads Android smartphone chipset market share in Q1 2022

MediaTek Helio G90 series

Qualcomm and MediaTek, the two most popular chipset manufacturers, recorded healthy growth for the first quarter of 2022, a sign that the slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic might now be a thing of the past.

MediaTek’s revenue grew 32% year-over-year, while its quarter-over-quarter growth was recorded at 10.2% to reach $4.8 billion. Qualcomm on the other hand broke its quarterly record revenue for the third time in a row to reach $11.6 billion, with the company’s business unit recording an annual growth of between 28% and 61%.

In the data provided by Counterpoint Research, MediaTek led the overall Android smartphone chipset market in 2021 with a 44% share, while Qualcomm came in second with a 35% share.

With Qualcomm recording record growth for the third quarter in a row, Counterpoint Research points to the premium smartphone segment (phones costing more than $500) as a key driver in the company’s growth.

The Snapdragon 800 series as well as the Snapdragon 700 series, in particular, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and Snapdragon 778G, have been pinpointed as the key volume drivers in gaining market share in the premium smartphone segment.

For instance, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Series which shipped with both Snapdragon and Exynos chipsets saw an overwhelming reception of more than 75% for the Snapdragon-powered Galaxy S22 while the Exynos powered Galaxy S22 was left out in the cold.

In previous Galaxy S series devices, the split between the Snapdragon-powered variants and the Exynos ones was more even, almost 50-50. The Exynos variant being plagued with slowdowns and bugs at launch, as we covered earlier, did it no favours, pushing more customers to the Snapdragon-powered Galaxy S22.

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Turning gears to MediaTek, the company dominates the lower mid-tier smartphone market (smartphones costing between $100 – $299). The key volume drivers in this segment are the Dimensity 700 and Dimensity 900 series.

The P35, G80 and G35 chipset models which are 4G SoCs intended for devices costing less than $199 have also been identified as volume drivers for MediaTek.

MediaTek with the Dimensity 9000 series has also ventured into the premium segment, but Counterpoint Research notes that the sales for this particular chipset will be reflected in the Q2 2022 results.

Samsung did not experience the positive growth as its two counterparts, with the company recording an 11% decline in the premium segment, from 34% to 23%. This was a direct result of the Exynos’s poor performance against Snapdragon, while also the low yields of the 4 nm premium Exynos chipsets played a major role.

In the low-to-mid segment ($100-$299), the South Korean firm’s share also declined from 10% to 7% as a result of outsourcing its models (A, F and M series) to ODMs (Original Design Manufacturers), which integrated mostly Qualcomm, MediaTek or UNISOC solutions in different models depending on the target price bands.

Lastly, UNISOC continued to gain share in the low end of the smartphone market (phones costing less than $99) to 47% up from 20% in the same period last year.

The company also captured an 8% share in the $100-$199 price band thanks to partnerships with HONOR, Realme and Samsung.

Counterpoint Research concludes by predicting continuous growth into Q2 2022 for UNISOC as the company produces more 4G capable chipsets, as well as having plans for releasing a few 5G capable chips further down the line.

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Naftaly is a Computer Science graduate with a passion for tech, video games and pop culture. When he is not writing articles for AndroidKenya, he is probably rewatching the Lord of the Rings trilogy for the hundredth time. Email at criskariuki@gmail.com Twitter @KarisNaftaly

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