Smartphone processor sales climb, players ranked

July 23, 2015 // By Peter Clarke
The market for application processors for smartphones jumped by 20 percent in 1Q15 compared with a year before, while the same market for tablet computers fell 6 percent in 1Q15 on the same basis, according to Strategy Analytics.

Bigger smartphone displays and the creation of the so-called phablet product category are one explanation of the contrasting fortunes compared with the tablet processor market, which would then depend on how phablets are classified.

The 20 percent annual growth took the smartphone application processor market up to a quarterly value of $5.3 billion. The top five vendors were ranked in order Qualcomm, Apple, MediaTek, Samsung and Spreadtrum. Qualcomm led the market with 47 percent revenue share, followed by Apple with 16 percent and MediaTek with 15 percent.

Qualcomm was hit by slow adoption of is flagship Snapdragon 810 and increased competition which dragged its market share down from 55 percent in the same quarter a year before. This can be seen, in part, for dropping quarterly sales at Qualcomm and a restructuring recently announced (see Qualcomm to cut 15% of staff, could be broken up ).

The success stories in the smartphone AP market were HiSilicon, Intel and Samsung which all more than doubled their shipment growth in 1Q15, according to Stuart Robinson, an analyst with Strategy Analytics. Samsung capitalized on strong demand for its Exynos processors fabricated using its 14nm FinFET process, which featured Samsung;'s Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge smartphones, Strategy Analytics said.

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