MediaTek has overtaken Qualcomm to become the world’s largest smartphone chipset vendor in terms of market share for the third quarter of 2020 (Q3 2020). MediaTek has been busy this year with its Dimensity series appearing in numerous budget and midrange smartphones. Qualcomm has remained strong in the 5G and high-end segments though.
Research analyst firm Counterpoint has released data pertaining to the state of mobile chipset shipments for Q3 2020 and apparently MediaTek has finally been able to jump into first place at the expense of Qualcomm. In Q3 2019 the two companies held 26% (MediaTek) and 31% (Qualcomm) market share; in Q3 2020 these figures had changed to 31% for MediaTek and 29% for Qualcomm. There is a three-way tie for third position, with HiSilicon, Samsung, and Apple all snatching 12% of the share, leaving Unisoc with 4%.
The surge for MediaTek’s chipsets is attributed to numerous factors: The Dimensity range has been adopted by big-name smartphone vendors like Xiaomi (Redmi), Realme, and OPPO, and the MediaTek Dimensity 1000 series SoCs have been especially praised for their performances. Also, Huawei’s trade issues have helped MediaTek increase its share, and sales of affordable (US$100-US$250) smartphones featuring its chipsets have grown significantly in markets such as India and Latin America.
Unsurprisingly, Qualcomm is still the boss when it comes to providing SoCs for 5G smartphones and premium devices. According to Counterpoint, Qualcomm chips can be found in 39% of all the 5G-capable smartphones sold worldwide. With 5G becoming more common, accessible, and desired, it seems likely that Qualcomm will regain its title from MediaTek for Q4 2020. But for the time being, it’s MediaTek that gets to be the world’s largest smartphone chipset vendor.
Daniel R Deakin, 2020-12-24 (Update: 2020-12-24)