Tuesday, 14 April 2020 10:00

Samsung gets ahead of Apple in application processor market

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Samsung gets ahead of Apple in application processor market Image by Simon Steinberger from Pixabay

Application processor chipsets from Samsung Electronics used in smartphones took the third spot globally in 2019 for the first time, passing Apple, the tech analyst firm Counterpoint Research says, adding that the company and Huawei Technologies were the only two to increase their market share last year.

Qualcomm retained its top spot, but its share fell from 35% in 2018 to 33.4% in 2019, Counterpoint said, pointing out that MediaTek, which was second, fell from 25.7% to 24.6%.

Samsung's share increased from 11.8% to 14.1%, while Huawei's share went up from 9.2% to 11.7%. Apple's share dropped from 13.6% to 13.1% year-on-year.

Qualcomm maintained a share above 30% in all markets except in the Middle East and Africa, Counterpoint said, attributing this to the lower demand for high-end smartphones in that geographical region.

MediaTek's position was maintained by strong showings in markets like the Middle East and Africa, India and Southeast Asia with shipments of low to mid-end smartphones driving demand.

While Huawei's market share was affected globally due to the ongoing American moves against the company, the Chinese giant was able to increase its market share domestically. Samsung fared well in India, Europe and South America.

Counterpoint senior analyst Jene Park said: “Samsung Electronics increased in many markets, especially North America and India, resulting in a 2.3% year-on-year increase globally in a declining market. Samsung’s focus on being competitive in both price and performance seems to have paid off.

"However, Samsung’s outsourcing of some A-series smartphone manufacturing to Chinese ODMs since last year will drive some share gains for Qualcomm and MediaTek.

"Further, the proliferation of 5G smartphones in the US and China will increase Samsung’s dependence on Qualcomm chipsets in its flagship and high-tier smartphones in the region."

Regarding Samsung's chipset strategy and outlook, Counterpoint research analyst Shobhit Srivastava said the South Korean firm was horizontally scaling and looking to sell its 5G SOCs to Chinese brands this year which would drive Exynos chipset volumes in 2020.

"Further, Samsung is also increasingly adopting its Exynos Series SoCs across its own portfolio designed and manufactured in-house for sales beyond the US, Japan and China," Srivastava added.

"This will offset the design outsource volume losses to the alternate suppliers. As a result, we estimate that Samsung’s overall share of the smartphone application processor is estimated to grow further in 2020.”


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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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