Counterpoint: Mediatek will keep top spot in chip market for 2021

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Chipset manufacturers such as Mediatek and Qualcomm will continue to dominate the market, predicted Counterpoint Research in its latest analysis. The company has calculated that Mediatek will have acquired 37% of the global chip market, but Qualcomm will remain a close leader in the 5G segment.

Global smartphone SoC market share
Global smartphone SoC market share

Expectations for the calendar 2021 are that Mediatek will gain an advantage over Qualcomm due to the supply constraints around RFICs (radio-frequency integrated circuits) from Samsung’s factory in Austin, Texas. There’s also a generally smaller yield of 5 nm wafers, something Mediatek is not even using, so that won’t come as an advantage to Qualcomm.

The biggest loser in this race will be HiSilicon, which will be effectively kicked out of Top 5 and replaced by Unisoc – a Chinese company known for its ultra-affordable chipsets.

5G smartphone SoC market share
5G smartphone SoC market share

The 5G market looks slightly different – dedicated 5G chipsets are becoming more and more common, revealed analysts. Qualcomm will be able to bounce back strongly in H2 2021 once the bottleneck in production has cleared up.

However, the battle for the top spot will become more fierce than ever, since predictions are the Top 3 players to have minimal gains over each other in terms of market share.

Moreover, almost 9 out of 10 smartphones with 5G will be powered by a Qualcomm, Apple, or Mediatek chipset, edging out other competitors such as Samsung and its Exynos chips.

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