MediaTek in top five in smartphone application processor sales

August 07, 2012 // By Dylan McGrath
Global smartphone applications processor sales posted a year-over-year increase of 55 percent in the first quarter to reach $2.47 billion, according to market research firm Strategy Analytics Inc.

Qualcomm Inc., continued to lead the smartphone applications processor market in the first quarter, though its total market share slipped to 44 percent from 51 percent in the year-ago quarter, according to a report by the Strategy Analytics Handset Component Technologies service. The firm attributed Qualcomm's share loss to an expanding market size and intense competition from Broadcom Corp., and MediaTek Inc.

"Strategy Analytics believes Broadcom and MediaTek are emerging as credible threats to Qualcomm with their baseband-integrated applications processor strategy," said Sravan Kundojjala, a senior analyst at Strategy Analytics, in a statement.

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Texas Instruments Inc., Broadcom and MediaTek rounded out the top five among smartphone applications processor vendors in the first quarter, according to Strategy Analytics (Boston). MediaTek (Hsinchu, Taiwan) cracked the top five smartphone applications processor vendor list for the first time on the strength of its momentum in the sub-$200 smartphone segment in China and other emerging markets, according to Strategy Analytics.

MediaTek displaced Marvell Technology Group Ltd., in the top five in the first quarter. Marvell dropped out of top five as a result of weakening position of its primary customer, Research in Motion Ltd. (RIM), according to Strategy Analytics. Marvell’s strong TD-SCDMA smartphone applications processor shipments at China Mobile were not sufficient to offset its declining shipments at RIM, the firm said.

ST-Ericsson NV showed signs of rebound in the first quarter, with the company's smartphone applications processor revenue increasing more than 600 percent sequentially, Strategy Analytics said. ST-Ericsson's Nova and NovaThor-branded applications processors gained strong traction at tier-one OEMs during the quarter, Strategy Analytics said. The firm added that it continues to believe that ST-Ericsson’s NovaThor baseband-integrated applications processors have the potential to be an attractive alternative to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processors.

Stand-alone applications processors continued to gain popularity in the first quarter, accounting for 44 percent of total smartphone applications processors shipped during the quarter, up from 39 percent in