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Smartphones Growth Reshapes Cellphone Chip Market Order: IHS

 February 25, 2013 04:25 PM

(By Balaseshan) Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM) and Samsung are capitalizing on the rise of smartphones and 4G due to the changes in the cellphone core integrated circuit (IC) business over the past five years, according to a report from information and analytics provider IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS).

Qualcomm in 2012 reigned supreme with 31% market revenue share in application-specific mobile handset core ICs market like baseband and radio-frequency semiconductors, according to the IHS iSuppli Wireless Competitive Landscape Tool.

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The San Diego-based chip maker has held the top position since 2007 and even enlarged its lead by 8 percentage points during the period. South Korea's Samsung Electronics was the No. 2 vendor after Qualcomm, with a 21% share, after not even ranking in in the Top 10 in 2007.

IHS iSuppli said both the companies accounted for more than half of the total market, with the next eight vendors in the Top 10 accounting for another 34 percentage points of share. The Top 10 enjoyed a collective 86% share of the market.

The other vendors among the leaders were, in descending order, MediaTek, Intel (NASDAQ: INTC), Skyworks (NASDAQ: SWKS), Texas Instruments (NASDAQ: TXN), ST-Ericsson, Renesas, Spreadtrum (NASDAQ: SPRD" title="SPRD : Stock Quote, News and Research" class="showrtquote">SPRD) and Broadcom (NASDAQ: BRCM).

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"The arrival of Apple Inc.'s (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhone five years ago changed the game and paved the way for the current market rankings. This change is dramatically illustrated by looking at the major differences in the cellphone core IC rankings from 2007 to 2012," said Brad Shaffer, analyst for consumer & communications at IHS.

While Qualcomm increased its lead at the top from 2007 to 2012, Texas fell from second to sixth place—down from a 20% share to 4%. TI's proprietary OMAP product line of chips for portable and mobile multimedia applications has not taken off as quickly as expected, and the company as a result could not offset its planned exit from baseband products, IHS iSuppli noted.

IHS said the structure of the mobile handset core IC market will continue to shift, particularly as LTE becomes more widespread. Baseband chips, already accounting for more than half the revenue of the total handset core IC space, will maintain their pre-eminence in determining the market-share gains and losses of industry vendors moving forward, IHS believes.



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