The global smartphone application processor (AP) sales dropped 26% year over year in the second quarter due to low sales of smartphones caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to market research firm CounterPoint.
Leader Qualcomm saw its market share drop while Chinese vendors HiSilicon and MediaTek saw their share rise.
However, MediaTek will likely see its share nosedive in the fourth quarter this year due to US sanctions taking effect.
Qualcomm’s share stood at 33% in the second quarter, a drop of 3% from a year prior. MediaTek had a share of 26%, a drop of 2% from a year prior.
HiSilicon saw its share increase 4% from a year ago to 16%.
Huawei, which has been competing with Samsung Electronics for the smartphone top spot, uses processors from both Chinese silicon firms.
Apple and Samsung had a market share of 13% each, an increase of 2% and drop of 3% from a year prior, respectively.
Samsung saw lower flagship smartphone sales in 2020. It uses both Qualcomm and its own processors for its smartphones. Qualcomm’s outperformed its Exynos series this year by a big margin and Samsung used around 80% of the US chip giant’s processors for its phones this year.
China’s Unisoc took 4% market share in the second quarter.
CounterPoint said Qualcomm, MediaTek and Unisoc will likely lead AP growth for the near future.
HiSilicon won’t be able to produce its own silicon due to US sanctions.
Qualcomm had an advantage in the short- to mid-term in smartphones that cost over US$400 segment. The absence of Huawei, which has used its own AP, in Europe and China will be an opportunity for the US chip giant. MediaTek will see high demand in emerging economies for its price competitive chips, the research firm also said.
CounterPoint said demand for 5G smartphones will determine the growth of the AP market. In the second quarter, sales of 5G smartphones grew by 126% compared to the previous quarter, the research firm said.