Intel grabs 15% of cellular baseband market

April 20, 2012 // By Peter Clarke
Qualcomm and Intel were the two market leaders in the 2011 cellular baseband market according to market researcher Strategy Analytics.

The global cellular baseband processor market grew 15 percent year-on-year to be worth $15.1 billion in 2011 and Qualcomm achieved 45 percent market share and Intel achieved 15 percent, according to the market research firm. Intel's appearance in the ranking is a result of the acquisition of Infineon's wireless business unit early in 2011.

The market is highly dynamic with air interface technologies such as LTE and TD-SCDMA creating opportunities for baseband vendors and non-handset devices such as USB dongles, M2M, e-book readers and tablets providing a significant boost to baseband companies in 2011.

The top five ranking was Qualcomm, Intel, MediaTek, Texas Instruments, and ST-Ericsson, with Qualcomm leading by dint of its dominant market position in CDMA, LTE and W-CDMA basebands.

"Qualcomm continues to leverage its baseband modem expertise to ride the 3G/4G wave and captured 45 percent revenue share in 2011 in the baseband market," said Stuart Robinson, director of the handset components service at Strategy Analytics, in a statement. He added, "Strategy Analytics believes that Qualcomm is strongly positioned to make significant share gains in the emerging LTE baseband market in 2012."

While Broadcom and Spreadtrum outgrew average market growth in 2011 with high double-digit percentage growth in baseband units and revenues this was mainly in 2G basebands.

"Strategy Analytics expects that Broadcom's W-CDMA baseband share to improve dramatically in 2012 on the strength of its baseband-integrated smartphone processor momentum,” said analyst Sravan Kundojjala, in the same statement.