MediaTek reportedly passed Qualcomm as the top chip vendor in 2020

MediaTek reportedly passed Qualcomm as the top chip vendor in 2020

MediaTek has reportedly surpassed American mobile chipmaker Qualcomm to become the number 1 smartphone chipset supplier for the first time. According to smartphone research and analysis firm Omdia, MediaTek emerged as the biggest smartphone chip supplier in 2020 with a market share of 27.2%, up 10% from the year prior, snatching the top spot from Qualcomm.

MediaTek shipped 351.8 million chips (via Digitimes) to major smartphone OEMs, registering a whopping 47.8% increase from 2019 in which the chipmaker shipped 238 million. Xiaomi was the biggest customer, accounting for 63.7 million chips alone, a massive 223.3% year over year jump. Samsung, which usually relies on home-brewed Exynos chips for its premium mid-range and flagships offerings, also leaned heavily on MediaTek chips in 2020 and shipped 43.3 million MediaTek-powered smartphones in 2020, the report revealed.

OPPO emerged as the second-biggest consumer of MediaTek chipsets, shipping 55.3 million smartphones with MediaTek chipsets. As per the report, OPPO and Realme combined shipped 83.19 million MediaTek-powered smartphones in 2020.

The combination of the Huawei trade ban, a renewed focus on the mid-range smartphones under the new Dimensity branding, the global pandemic, and smartphone OEMs diversifying their supply chains all helped MediaTek snatch the top spot from Qualcomm and become the number one smartphone chipset supplier. Earlier, a report from CoutnerPoint in December had revealed that MediaTek had surpassed Qualcomm to become the world’s largest chip vendor in Q3 2020.

Qualcomm has long been seen as an undefeatable player in the smartphone chip space and while that might be true in the flagship segment, MediaTek has finally managed to keep the competition alive and healthy in the low-end and budget segments.

On one hand there will be more chipset outsourcing demand from the New honor and Huawei, because of Kirin chipset will disappear in the market. On other hand, the future growth of smartphone market is in the emerging market, more low-end smartphones need cheap smartphones, MediaTek fits that need.

Zaker Li, senior analyst of wireless devices components & devices, Omdia

It remains to be seen whether the company will be able to sustain its lead throughout 2021 or if Qualcomm will be able to successfully regain its top spot once again. However, analysts are positive that MediaTek will be able to extend upon the last year’s lead trend on the back of strong outsourcing demand from Honor and Huawei. Moreover, the continued demand for cheap smartphones in emerging markets is also expected to be one of the key growth drivers for the Taiwanese chipmaker.

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Kishan Vyas
Kishan Vyas

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