In the second quarter of 2021, MediaTek was able to capture nearly half of the market for smartphone and tablet chips, according to a recent report by the Counterpoint Research Institute.
Over the years, MediaTek has experienced significant growth. The company initially overtook Samsung and Apple to become the second company in the chip market for smart gadgets. Of course, MediaTek’s leaders had bigger goals: to become the largest chip maker for smartphones and tablets.
However, achieving such a goal was not an easy task; Because a tough competitor named Qualcomm was on the way to MediaTek’s success. Qualcomm manufactures chips in various hardware categories, each of which offers more processing power than other companies’ chips; But MediaTek’s strategy was interesting in its own way to compete with the American company. With the introduction of cheaper chips, MediaTek was able to gain countless customers, and in the next step, it sought to reach Qualcomm products in terms of processing power.
At present, in addition to offering cheaper chips compared to Qualcomm, MediaTek is offering customers products that have a processing power close to that of Qualcomm chips. This has enabled MediaTek to overtake Qualcomm, at least in the market for premium low-end, mid-range and mid-range chips, and increase its market share for smartphones and tablets. The Taiwanese company has not only gained more market share in recent months; Instead, it will become Qualcomm’s largest chip maker for portable gadgets.
A recent Counterpoint report cited by GSMArena indicates MediaTek’s success in the smart gadget market. MediaTek gained 43% of the smartphone and tablet chip market between April and June 2021. In fact, if we add up the share of Apple and Qualcomm, MediaTek’s 43% share of the chip market for portable gadgets does not reach.
The statistics show the performance of chipmakers for smart gadgets, according to which, in the second quarter of 2021, MediaTek, Qualcomm and Apple are in the first to third places with 43, 24 and 14% market share. Unisoc, Samsung and Highsilicon (a subsidiary of Huawei) also ranked fourth to sixth with 9%, 7% and 3% market share, respectively.
Counterpoint experts believe that the reason for MediaTek’s success is its widespread presence in the market for low-end and mid-range chips that have a modem compatible with 5G communications. In addition, Qualcomm production problems have not been unaffected by the US company’s 4% drop in chip sales. It seems that TSMC, which is responsible for mass production of Qualcomm chips, has not been able to produce enough chips, and this has led manufacturers to switch to MediaTek chips, which have a simpler structure than the Snapdragon series and can be mass-produced as needed. There is a smartphone or tablet.
The statistics provided also mention the sales of modems, including 5G modems. In this market, Qualcomm has gained 55% of the market share and is higher than MediaTek, which has a market share of 30%. Perhaps the main reason for this success is Apple iPhones, especially the iPhone 12 series, which Qualcomm is responsible for providing the modems they need.
In any case, the main loser of the competition should be considered high-silicon companies; Because it has experienced a sharp decline and has almost lost its position in the market. Although Hyosilicon only produced chips for Huawei and Honor brand products, it could no longer mass-produce its chips as it did in the past, following tough US sanctions. In fact, TSMC, which was responsible for the mass production of high-silicon chips, has significantly reduced production of high-silicon chips under pressure from the US government.
The impact of what happened to high-silicon can be seen in the statistics presented, which show a 16 percent drop in the share of high-silicon to 3 percent in the second quarter of 2021. US sanctions have pushed Huawei so hard that it has been forced to use Snapdragon 888 chips for the Huawei P50 flagship series; However, with the exception of the 5G modem, they use the 4G modem so as not to violate US sanctions in any way.