Qualcomm to Rely on Snapdragon 400 Series for China Market Growth

28 Jul

Qualcomm’s intense promotions for its Snapdragon 800 series might not be having the desired effect in every global region. In China, currently the world’s largest and most crowded smartphone market, well known chip makers like Spreadtrum and Mediatek are all competing viciously with the US chip giant to acquire as much market share as they can and to gain major recognition among the country’s domestic mobile device manufacturers.

According to a recent report from 2Q 2014 covering the performances of leading mobile chip makers, the total sales numbers of smartphones known to be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processors have risen steadily in China since the first quarter of this year, but showed a noticeable decline compared to the same period in 2013. The US chip giant’s overall China market share, as of this moment, still lags behind that of Taiwanese SoC designer MediaTek, whose high-end chipsets have gained a solid reputation among the country’s mobile device makers thanks to their relatively affordable cost.

Qualcomm’s most popular smartphone processor in the second quarter, the Snapdragon 400 series, accounted for nearly 40% of all of the Snapdragon-based smartphones shipped within China. The usage of Snapdragon 400 is revealed to have surpassed that of the Snapdragon 200, 600, and even 800 series, making it one of the key chip lines in Qualcomm’s inventory that’s keeping the entire Snapdragon family’s momentum going.

Perhaps affected by the reliance of the top tier Chinese smartphone brands towards its high end Snapdragon 800 series, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 600 line did not perform nearly as well as expected in the China market, accounting for only 2% of the Snapdragon-based smartphones shipped within the country. On the basis of the disappointingly low ratio alone, there’d been suggestions that the US chip company will either try to reduce the prices of the 600 series significantly in order to make it more attractive compared to the Snapdragon 800 series, or attempt to shift its entire focus to the more successful 800 and 400 product lines while lowering its priority on the Snapdragon 600 series.

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Looking at the remarkable market share of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 400 line, one can begin to understand why Qualcomm is so intent on prioritizing the supplies of its 64 bit Snapdragon quad-core 410 processor—the chip is essentially the US chip company’s main source of growth and revenue in the Chinese regions. Despite the specs of Qualcomm’s 800 series being highly advanced, the chips’ remarkable technological features did not necessarily translate into impressive sales.

The market shares of Qualcomm’s S1, S2, and S3 processors, when viewed collectively, amounted to approximately 36% by the end of the second quarter.

 

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