Global Baseband Chip Revenue Ranking: Mediatek Remains in Second Place, Spreadtrum Rises Past Intel for the First Time

30 Jun

Chinese chip maker Spreadtrum Communications has recently made a respectable run in the baseband chip industry, replacing Intel to become the third largest baseband chip maker in the world. The emerging company is currently only behind Mediatek and Qualcomm when it comes to revenue, but isn’t in any position to challenge their dominance just yet.

Citing the latest statistics from a recent Strategy Analytics report, Electronics Weekly on June 25th revealed the Q1 2014 baseband chip market shares of Qualcomm, Mediatek, and Spreadtrum Communications to be 66%, 15%, and 5%, respectively. Intel, whose 2G and 3G mobile chip shipments declined sharply during the first quarter, is revealed to have dropped out of the industry’s top three spot for the first time in three years, ending in fourth place.

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According to Strategy Analytics analyst, Christopher Taylor, the main reason why Qualcomm is able to dominate as much as two thirds of the Mobile baseband market is that it has a diverse customer base and a respectable LTE product portfolio. Despite the decline of its revenue share from 95% in 1Q 2013 to 91% in 1Q 2014, Talylor expects Qualcomm to eventually find more opportunities with its LTE product mix as less than “50% of the market’s baseband shipments were LTE base bands in the first quarter.”

Like the case with Qualcomm, a lot of high expectations are being placed on Taiwan’s renowned SoC designer MediaTek. The research firm is reasonably optimistic that the Taiwanese company would show improved performances in the upcoming quarters, but pointed out that it would have to ramp up its “LTE efforts” significantly in order to keep its momentum going.

At present, the majority of Mediatek’s growth tends to only come from the 2G and 3G mobile device markets. Its LTE baseband share in 1Q 2014, according to Strategy Analytics, was virtually nonexistent.

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