Many expected orders for MediaTek and Qualcomm to drop due to Huawei’s battle with the US ban. However, this is not the case. It appears that brands such as Xiaomi, OPPO, and vivo are effectively filling the voids that Huawei is leaving in the global market. This is most likely responsible for the increase in shipments year-on-year.

Mediatek and Qualcomm

According to the latest forecast by Digitimes Research, a Taiwanese market research organization, in the first quarter of 2021, China’s smartphone application processor (AP) shipments will continue to be the same as the previous quarter. This means that the Chinese AP shipment will stay flat. In the fourth quarter of last year, Chinese smartphone manufacturers alone shipped about 211.6 million AP chips. A bulk of these chips are coming from two manufacturers.

MediaTek is the largest supplier in China’s smartphone AP market in the fourth quarter of 2020. The Taiwanese chipmaker accounts for 42.5% of the market share. Qualcomm follows closely with a market share of 41.5%. In third place is Huawei’s HiSilicon (Kirin) with 9.5% of the market. Analysts believe that in the first quarter of 2021, this ranking will remain the same.

AP chips using the 12nm process accounts for 38.4% of China’s total shipments of smartphone AP chips. The report predicts that in the first quarter of 2021, the total proportion of AP chips using the three processes of 6/7/8nm will exceed the proportion of 12nm.


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