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Qualcomm no longer the largest - Mediatek has changed

Qualcomm is no longer the biggest when cheaper phones take larger market share.

Qualcomm inte längre störst – Mediatek har gått om

Increased interest in budget and mid-range phones led to Qualcomm no longer being the largest processor manufacturer for mobile phones. Instead, it is the Chinese Mediatek that gained the largest market share during the third quarter of 2020, according to the analysis company Counterpoint. Globally, Mediatek had 31 percent of the market share, an increase from 26 percent compared to the same period last year, compared to Qualcomm's 29 percent, which was a decrease from 31 percent compared to last year. In third place came Apple, Samsung and Hisilicon, all three of which had twelve percent each. The main reason for Mediatek's increase is believed to be their investment in cheaper phones in large markets such as India, China and Latin America.

While Mediatek was the largest both overall and for budget processors, Qualcomm is still the largest manufacturer of 5G and processors for more expensive luxury phones where the company has 39 percent of the market.

During the third quarter, demand for 5G phones also increased as 17 percent of all phones sold were a 5G phone. Counterpoint expects that figure to continue to increase, partly thanks to Apple's investment in 5G but also that 5G is on its way down in the price ranges.

After Huawei can no longer make its own chips, the company is hoping for Mediatek.

Huawei usually launches and operates its phones with system chips from its own company Hisilicon and now, for example, the upcoming Mate 40 series is expected to get Kirin chips from there, but according to information it will be the last model to receive it. The American blockade has stifled Huawei's opportunities to manufacture its own chips and now there is instead hope for Taiwanese Mediatek.

The US blockade on Huawei began more than a year ago but has since escalated and from 15 September, new restrictions on Huawei's freedom of action will take effect. On Friday, therefore, Mediatek announced that they had applied for an exemption from the restrictions in order to be able to sell components to Huawei after 15 September. The stricter restrictions that come into force close loopholes that could previously allow Huawei to purchase components using US technology through third parties.

Mediatek has announced that they will comply with the US rules, which means that they will not sell to Huawei if the exemption is not approved by the US administration.