Qualcomm “dominating” growing LTE baseband, smartphone SoC markets

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Qualcomm is pulling in more than half of all revenue from the LTE baseband modem and smartphone SOC markets, despite growing competition from rivals, a report from Strategy Analytics has found.

According to the findings, Qualcomm dominated the global cellular baseband chip market in Q3 2014, with a 64 percent market share. The chipmaker also maintained its lead in the smartphone applications processor (AP) market, taking a 51 percent revenue share during the same period.

Strategy Analytics estimated that more half of Qualcomm’s modem shipments during the period were LTE units, driven by new Snapdragon and Gobi chips as well as growing 4G uptake in China.

However, the findings revealed that rivals are quickly closing the gap.

MediaTek, for example, overtook Marvell during the period to claim number the number two spot with a 17 percent market share.

[Read more: MediaTek eyes high-end after launching Worldmode SoC]

Sravan Kundojjala, Associate Director of Strategy Analytics, said: “Qualcomm's LTE baseband competitors made progress during the quarter and as a result Qualcomm's LTE baseband unit share dropped from about 95 percent in Q3 2013 to less than 80 percent in Q3 2014.”

It also came third in the smartphone SoC market with a 15 percent revenue share, just beaten by Apple’s 19 percent take.

According to Strategy Analytics, the global cellular LTE modem market grew five percent to $5.5 billion (€4.8 billion) in Q3 2014, while the smartphone SoC market rose 16 percent to $5.6 billion (€5.1 billion).

The tablet processor market was also up, growing 16 percent year-on-year to $1.3 billion (€1.1 billion).

Apple maintained market dominance with a 30 percent revenue share, meanwhile Intel took second place with a 19 percent stake.

Kundojjala commented: “Strategy Analytics estimates that Intel’s tablet AP shipments more than tripled in Q3 2014 compared to Q3 2013, thanks to increased traction in Android-based tablets. 

Strategy Analytics believes Intel’s upcoming low-cost SoFIA 3G / 4G APs and Rockchip and Spreadtrum partnerships will help maintain its tablet AP momentum in 2015.”

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