48% of all the money spent on mobile chips during H1 2012 went to Qualcomm

October 8, 2012
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Have you ever wondered why nearly every mobile phone on the market uses Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chips? From a logistical perspective, Qualcomm is an awesome company to deal with. They sell nearly everything you need to make a phone. The newest S4 has a pair of fast CPUs, and incredibly quick GPU, WiFi connectivity, Bluetooth support, 4G LTE of course, and there are even power management components in there too. According to new research published by Strategy Analytics, it should come as no surprise to anyone that Qualcomm captured 48% of the revenues of the smartphone chip market during the first half of 2012. The next four popular chip companies are (in order): Samsung, MediaTek, Broadcom, and Texas Instruments.

Now Samsung is a tricky company to wrap your head around. We know that Samsung sells a majority of the Android smartphones out there, but not all of them use the company’s in-house developed Exynos chips. Take the budget Galaxy Chat for example, that has a Broadcom chip inside. And the Galaxy Nexus, that uses a Texas Instruments chip. The American Galaxy S III variants, they all use Qualcomm’s chips. In other words, Samsung likes to support damn near everyone.

Looking at MediaTek, we’re a little shocked to see them ranked so high. For those who don’t know, MediaTek makes chips that are usually found in budget smartphones meant for the Chinese, Indian, and Russian markets. It’s damn near impossible to find a phone in Europe or America using a MediaTek chip because of intellectual property issues. That’s not to say MediaTek’s chips are bad; without them there wouldn’t be $100 Android phones.

The key point that Strategy Analytics wants to highlight with their report is that Intel is finally in the phone game. Sure, they captured just 0.2% of the revenues in the chip market, but you’ve got to start somewhere, right?

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