In the third quarter of 2020, MediaTek surpasses Qualcomm and becomes the biggest company in terms of chip sales. Specifically, the Taiwanese company was a direct participant in 31% of the smartphones sold during this period of 2020, thanks to the great performance in the market of entry-level and mid-range smartphones.
- Four years of Android upgrades for Qualcomm processor-based phones starting in 2021
- Qualcomm announced Snapdragon 678 SoC
- Qualcomm introduces Snapdragon 888 5G processor
The success of MediaTek (more than 100 million devices in Q3 2020 bear its stamp) has also helped the resurgence and recovery of two key regions for mobile sales: China and India, the two countries with the largest populations on the planet. The company has also benefited from the growth of Xiaomi globally and the U.S. restrictions on Huawei.
MediaTek was able to surpass Qualcomm in chip sales in 2020
Counterpoint’s study provides us with several interesting data that we must analyze separately. On the one hand, MediaTek experiences a 5% year-on-year growth in the third quarter of 2020, while Qualcomm drops back by 2%. These figures, as small as they may seem, are the ones that have made possible a paradigm shift never seen before in MediaTek’s history.
That’s how the market looks like: MediaTek 31%, Qualcomm 29%, Hisilicon 12%, Samsung 12%, Apple 12%, and Unisoc 4%. The percentages have remained quite stable from one year to the next, with the already mentioned boom of MediaTek at 5% and the decline of Samsung at 4% as the most outstanding elements. We can see this more clearly in the following graph.
If we focus on one of the key elements of 2020, 5G, there is a clear winner: Qualcomm. The Californian company captured 39% of the 5G smartphone chip market, thanks also to a dramatic increase in demand for 5G devices in the third quarter of 2020.
Precisely, 5G will be the big bet of all smartphone manufacturing companies in the face of 2021, so chip suppliers have an interesting market to attack here.