Shipments of smartphone application processors for use by China-based handset vendors reached 212 million units in the first quarter of 2021, increasing 0.2% from a quarter earlier, according to data compiled by Digitimes Research.
MediaTek remained the top smartphone AP vendor in China in the first quarter, with its share increasing 9.4pp to account for over 50% of total shipments. On the other hand, Qualcomm saw its market share slide 6.9pp during the same period.
Smartphone AP shipments to the China market are likely to grow 9.6% sequentially and 29.2% on year in the second quarter, as replenishment demand from Chinese handset vendors remains robust. MediaTek and Qualcomm are gearing up to expand their shares in China's AP and power management (PWM) IC markets.
However, Qualcomm will continue to feel shipment constraints from its production partner Samsung Electronics in the second quarter due to the tight capacity of 5nm and 8nm process nodes at the Korean semiconductor firm, Digitimes Research expects.
MediaTek is expected to widen its lead on Qualcomm in the second quarter, as the Taiwan-based chipmaker is likely to enjoy high shipment growth for its 4G smartphone APs in China due to their high price/performance ratios plus strong capacity support from foundry houses.
China-based Unisoc is likely to outrace domestic rival Hisilicon Technologies to become the third largest AP vendor in the local market in the second quarter.