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Mobile Semiconductor Market Share Forecast 2013-2018

Published September 2014

Authors: Linley Gwennap and Mike Demler

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Forecasting Winners and Losers

"Mobile Semiconductor Market Share Forecast 2013-2018" covers chips that go into smartphones, tablets, and other handheld devices. It provides a preview of 2014 market share and a forecast for market share through 2018. This report is unique in breaking down market share by vendor throughout the forecast period. Our model uses ongoing shifts in OEM share, technology (e.g., transition to integrated Wi-Fi), and product categories (e.g., tablet computers) to forecast which chip suppliers will benefit and which will lose out.

This report forecasts market size and vendor share for six categories of semiconductors for mobile applications: cellular baseband processors, application processors, Bluetooth transceivers, mobile Wi-Fi chips, GPS receivers, and NFC chips. Semiconductors for wireless base stations are not covered in this report; they appear in our Comms reports.

Data includes both revenue and unit estimates for the leading vendors of each of these products. The report includes final 2013 share and forecasts of the leading vendors’ market share for each category in 2014 through 2018.

This unique report also provides an overall forecast of total units and revenue for each product category, with appropriate breakouts. For example, baseband processors are forecast by air interface, application processors by integration level, and connectivity chips by combo category. Our methodology combines bottoms-up interviews with chip suppliers with tops-down analysis of OEM shipments and their suppliers.

The report provides the detailed market information needed to sort out the dynamics of this market. With this report, chip vendors, OEMs, and investors will readily see which companies are the leading suppliers in a given product market, how these companies’ positions are changing, how big the mature product markets are, and how fast the emerging categories are growing.

Companies covered in the report include Allwinner, Freescale, Intel, Marvell, MediaTek, Nvidia, Qualcomm, RDA Microelectronics, Rockchip, Samsung, and Spreadtrum. This new edition forecasts the effects of Broadcom’s exit, Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia, Lenovo’s acquisition of the Motorola brand, and the transition to LTE.

The report includes a brief text summary providing analysis of the data and a set of market share tables and figures for each category. Companies purchasing a corporate license also receive the tables in Microsoft Excel form.

Market Research From The Industry Experts

As the leading vendor of analysis for communications semiconductors, The Linley Group has the expertise to develop a high-quality set of market estimates. Our entire analyst team applies its extensive experience and network of industry contacts to deliver the quantitative information you need to make informed business decisions.

Whether you are looking for a well-established vendor to source from, a vendor to partner with, or a rising company to invest in, this report will cut your research time and save you money. Order "Mobile Semiconductor Market Share Forecast 2013-2018" today.

This report is written for:

  • Product managers and executives seeking to assess the performance of their product lines over the past year or to identify areas in which to invest or divest.
  • Strategic sourcing professionals and engineers at OEMs seeking information about semiconductor suppliers.
  • Investors and financial analysts seeking data to support investment decisions.
  • Public-relations professionals seeking to quantify their client’s success.

This report tracks mobile semiconductors that totaled $35.7 billion in 2013 revenue; we forecast this total to grow to $44.9 billion in 2018. This total includes cellular baseband processors and their associated RF and power-management chips, application processors (AP), mobile Wi-Fi chips, mobile Bluetooth chips, GPS chips, NFC chips, and combo connectivity chips. Baseband processors, including those with an integrated AP, comprise the largest segment of this market, generating $21.4 billion in 2013.

Changes in the shipments of wireless handsets, smartphones, tablet computers, and other mobile devices have a large effect on the sales of these mobile chips. In 2014, Samsung is losing share in smartphones while the former Nokia (now Microsoft) is losing share in handsets. In both cases, Chinese vendors such as Huawei, Xiaomi, and ZTE are picking up the slack. These changes, along with supplier changes at several lead¬ing vendors, help some chip suppliers and hurt others.

The market is also being roiled by vendor transitions. After Renesas and ST-Ericsson exited the smartphone market in 2013, the past year has seen a larger player, Broadcom, withdraw. Nvidia canceled its program to develop integrated processors for smartphones and is likely to terminate all baseband development as well. Both Spreadtrum and RDA Micro-electronics were acquired by a Chinese state-owned entity. These changes put new opportunities into play and remove others from the table.

Qualcomm is gaining share in baseband processors because of declining use of GSM (which it does not supply) and increasing use of LTE (where it holds more than 90% market share). The company also gained share in Samsung smartphones that formerly used Broadcom or Exynos chips. We expect Qualcomm’s unit shipments to rise 19.1% in 2014, whereas the overall baseband market will grow by just 5.7%. Its average selling price (ASP) is rising because of its dominance in LTE, which serves the top end of the market. Over the next few years, however, we expect this ASP to fall as competitors enter the LTE market.

MediaTek is growing rapidly in smartphone processors, trailing only Qualcomm. It also ranks second in 3G baseband shipments. This shift is boosting MediaTek’s ASP from $5.47 in 2013 to a projected $6.92 in 2014, helping the company gain share on a revenue basis. Given that most smartphone growth will be at the low end, we forecast continued strong growth for MediaTek through 2017.

The most significant trend in application processors is the integration of the AP into the cellular baseband (AP+BB). In 2014, 92% of non-Apple smartphones will use an AP+BB chip, leaving little room for merchant AP chips in smartphones. Still, we expect 638 million standalone AP chips to ship in 2014 (including Apple’s internal design). This total will remain roughly flat through 2018 as growth in tablet shipments compensates for the decline in AP usage in smartphones.

In 2013, the top overall AP vendor is Qualcomm, with 30.9% share. MediaTek ranks second with 224 million processors. This total is actually surpassed by internal consumption of application processors, mainly by Apple, which totals 18.6% of all AP chips. When considering only stand-alone AP chips, Samsung is the leader with its Exynos processor, but Intel is climbing the charts with subsidized sales of its x86 processors. Tablet-only vendors such as Allwinner and Rockchip are losing share in 2014 to Intel and MediaTek.

Like the AP, Wi-Fi is now being absorbed into the baseband processor. We forecast that baseband-integrated Wi-Fi will rise from 9% of all Wi-Fi chips in 2013 to 51% in 2018. This transition is moving quickly in low-cost and midrange smartphones, which often use reference designs from MediaTek, Qualcomm, or Spreadtrum. As a result of this shift, shipments of traditional Wi-Fi combo chips will have just 1.3% CAGR during the forecast period.

This shift is bad news for Broadcom, which shipped 53% of all mobile Wi-Fi chips in 2013. We forecast its Wi-Fi share to fall to 32% in 2018. The company is suffering a double whammy as its baseband customers, which often used its Wi-Fi chips, switch to integrated solutions from other baseband suppliers. We expect Broadcom’s total connectivity revenue to decline at a –7.9% CAGR from 2013 to 2018; including the effects of the baseband withdrawal, this CAGR is –11.8%.

Smartphones and tablets now consume 89% of all mobile connectivity chips, causing connectivity vendors to focus on combo chips that supply as many of the main functions (Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, and FM) as possible. Three-way combos (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and FM) are the most common option today, with a shift to four-way combos coming in 2015. As standalone connectivity chips disappear, the market share for Bluetooth and GPS chips is becoming quite similar to that of Wi Fi chips.

NFC deployment is rising and will accelerate with its adoption in the iPhone 6. We estimate the NFC attach rate at 21.6% of all handsets in 2014, rising to 58.5% in 2018. This growth will drive shipments of mobile NFC chips to 1.82 billion units in that year, according to our forecast. Most of these chips, however, will be either combo chips or cellular basebands that integrate the NFC function. The current leader in NFC chip shipments, NXP, will not benefit from this trend because it lacks the technologies required to create integrated solutions. We expect Broadcom to become the market leader in 2016, with familiar faces such as Qualcomm and MediaTek also gaining.

List of Figures
List of Tables
About the Authors
About the Publisher
Executive Summary
1 Introduction
Product Categorization
Report Organization
Forecast Methodology
General Guidelines
2 Mobile Devices
Mobile-Device Shipments
All Device Types
Smartphone Shipments
Handset Shipments
Connectivity Usage
3 Cellular Baseband Processors
Industry Forecast
Forecast by Application
Forecast by Integration Type
Forecast by Cellular Protocol
Revenue and ASP Forecast
Market Share
Shipments by Vendor
Revenue by Vendor
Market-Share Forecast
Shipments by Vendor
3G/4G Shipments by Vendor
Revenue by Vendor
4 Application Processors
Industry Forecast
Forecast by Application
Forecast by Integration Type
Forecast by Core Count
Forecast by Instruction Set (32/64-Bit)
Revenue and ASP Forecast
Market-Share Forecast
Shipments by Vendor
Standalone-AP Shipments by Vendor
Standalone-AP Revenue by Vendor
5 Mobile Wi-Fi Chips
Industry Forecast
Forecast by Application
Forecast by Integration Type
Forecast by Combo Function
Revenue and ASP Forecast
Market Share
Shipments by Vendor
Revenue by Vendor
Market-Share Forecast
All Shipments by Vendor
Combo Shipments by Vendor
Combo Revenue by Vendor
Standalone Shipments by Vendor
6 Mobile Bluetooth Chips
Industry Forecast
Forecast by Application
Forecast by Integration Type
Revenue and ASP Forecast
Market Share
Shipments by Vendor
Revenue by Vendor
Market-Share Forecast
All Shipments by Vendor
Combo Shipments by Vendor
Combo Revenue by Vendor
7 Mobile GPS Chips
Industry Forecast
Forecast by Application
Forecast by Integration Type
Revenue and ASP Forecast
Market Share
Shipments by Vendor
Revenue by Vendor
Market-Share Forecast
All Shipments by Vendor
Standalone Shipments by Vendor
Standalone Revenue by Vendor
8 Mobile NFC Chips
Industry Forecast
Forecast by Integration Type
Market Share
Shipments by Vendor
Revenue by Vendor
Market-Share Forecast
All Shipments by Vendor
Standalone Shipments by Vendor
Standalone Revenue by Vendor
9 Conclusions
Connectivity Forecast
Combo Connectivity Chips by Type
Connectivity Revenue by Type
Connectivity Revenue by Vendor
Mobile-Semiconductor Forecast
Total Mobile Revenue
Mobile Revenue by Vendor
Figure 1‑1. Taxonomy of mobile semiconductors.
Figure 2‑1. Industry shipments of mobile devices by type, 2011-2018.
Figure 2‑2. Unit market share of smartphones by vendor, 2012-2018.
Figure 2‑3. Unit market share of cellular handsets by vendor, 2012-2018.
Figure 2‑4. Handset attach rates for connectivity functions, 2011-2018.
Figure 3‑1. Industry shipments of cellular-baseband processors by application, 2011-2018.
Figure 3‑2. Industry shipments of cellular-baseband processors by integration, 2011-2018.
Figure 3‑3. Industry shipments of cellular-baseband processors by air interface, 2011-2018.
Figure 3‑4. Industry revenue of cellular-baseband processors by air interface, 2011-2018.
Figure 3‑5. Unit market share of cellular-baseband processors by vendor, 2013-2014.
Figure 3‑6. Revenue market share of cellular-baseband processors by vendor, 2013-2014.
Figure 3‑7. Unit market share of cellular-baseband processors by vendor, 2011-2018.
Figure 3‑8. Unit market share of 3G/4G cellular-baseband processors by vendor, 2011-2018.
Figure 3‑9. Revenue market share of cellular-baseband processors by vendor, 2011-2018.
Figure 4‑1. Industry shipments of application processors by application, 2011-2018.
Figure 4‑2. Industry shipments of application processors by integration type, 2011-2018.
Figure 4‑3. Industry shipments of application processors by core count, 2011-2018.
Figure 4‑4. Industry shipments of application processors by instruction set, 2011-2018.
Figure 4‑5. Industry revenue of standalone AP chips by application, 2011-2018.
Figure 4‑6. Industry revenue of merchant standalone AP chips by application, 2011-2018.
Figure 4‑7. Unit market share of merchant application processors by vendor, 2013-2014.
Figure 4‑8. Unit market share of standalone AP by vendor, 2013-2014.
Figure 4‑9. Revenue market share of standalone AP by vendor, 2013-2014.
Figure 4‑10. Unit market share of application processors by vendor, 2011-2018.
Figure 4‑11. Unit market share of standalone AP by vendor, 2011-2018.
Figure 4‑12. Revenue market share of standalone AP by vendor, 2011-2018.
Figure 5‑1. Industry shipments of Wi-Fi chips by application, 2011-2018.
Figure 5‑2. Industry shipments of Wi-Fi chips by integration type, 2011-2018.
Figure 5‑3. Industry shipments of Wi-Fi combo chips by function, 2011-2018.
Figure 5‑4. Industry ASP and revenue of Wi-Fi chips by integration type, 2011-2018.
Figure 5‑5. Unit market share of Wi-Fi standalone and comb chips by vendor, 2013-2014.
Figure 5‑6. Revenue market share of Wi-Fi standalone and combo chips by vendor, 2013-2014.
Figure 5‑7. Unit market share of all Wi-Fi chips by vendor, 2011-2018.
Figure 5‑8. Unit market share of Wi-Fi standalone and combo chips by vendor, 2010-2017.
Figure 5‑9. Revenue market share of Wi-Fi standalone and combo chips by vendor, 2011-2018.
Figure 5‑10. Unit shipments of standalone Wi-Fi chips by vendor, 2011-2018.
Figure 6‑1. Industry shipments of Bluetooth chips by application, 2011-2018.
Figure 6‑2. Industry shipments of Bluetooth chips by integration type, 2011-2018.
Figure 6‑3. Industry revenue of Bluetooth standalone and combo chips, 2011-2018.
Figure 6‑4. Unit market share of Bluetooth standalone and combo chips by vendor, 2013-2014.
Figure 6‑5. Revenue market share of Bluetooth standalone and combo chips by vendor, 2013-2014.
Figure 6‑6. Unit market share of all Bluetooth chips by vendor, 2011-2018.
Figure 6‑7. Unit market share of Bluetooth standalone and combo chips by vendor, 2013-2018.
Figure 6‑8. Revenue market share of Bluetooth standalone and combo chips by vendor, 2011-2018.
Figure 7‑1. Industry shipments of GPS chips by application, 2011-2018.
Figure 7‑2. Industry shipments of GPS chips by integration type, 2011-2018.
Figure 7‑3. Industry revenue of standalone GPS chips, 2011-2018.
Figure 7‑4. Unit market share of all GPS chips by vendor, 2013-2014.
Figure 7‑5. Revenue market share of standalone GPS chips by vendor, 2013-2014.
Figure 7‑6. Unit market share of all GPS chips by vendor, 2011-2018.
Figure 7‑7. Unit market share of standalone GPS chips by vendor, 2011-2018.
Figure 7‑8. Revenue market share of standalone GPS chips by vendor, 2010-2017.
Figure 8‑1. Industry shipments of NFC chips by integration type, 2011-2018.
Figure 8‑2. Unit market share of all NFC chips by vendor, 2013-2014.
Figure 8‑3. Revenue market share of standalone NFC chips by vendor, 2013-2014.
Figure 8‑4. Unit market share of all NFC chips by vendor, 2011-2018.
Figure 8‑5. Unit market share of standalone NFC chips by vendor, 2011-2018.
Figure 8‑6. Revenue market share of standalone NFC chips by vendor, 2011-2018.
Figure 9‑1. Industry shipments of connectivity chips by type, 2011-2018.
Figure 9‑2. Industry revenue of connectivity chips by type, 2011-2018.
Figure 9‑3. Revenue market share of connectivity chips by vendor, 2011-2018.
Figure 9‑4. Revenue market share of mobile chips by vendor, 2011-2018.
Table 2‑1. Industry shipments of mobile devices by type, 2013–2018.
Table 2‑2. Industry shipments of smartphones by vendor, 2013–2018.
Table 2‑3. Industry shipments of cellular handsets by vendor, 2013–2018.
Table 2‑4. Handset attach rates for connectivity functions, 2013–2018.
Table 3‑1. Industry shipments of cellular-baseband processors by application, 2013–2018.
Table 3‑2. Industry shipments of cellular-baseband processors by integration type, 2013–2018.
Table 3‑3. Industry shipments of cellular-baseband processors by air interface, 2013–2018.
Table 3‑4. Industry ASP and revenue of cellular-baseband processors, 2013–2018.
Table 3‑5. Industry shipments of cellular-baseband processors by vendor, 2013–2014.
Table 3‑6. Industry revenue of cellular-baseband processors by vendor, 2013–2014.
Table 3‑7. Industry shipments of cellular-baseband processors by vendor, 2013–2018.
Table 3‑8. Industry shipments of 3G/4G baseband processors by vendor, 2013–2018.
Table 3‑9. Industry revenue of cellular-baseband processors by vendor, 2013–2018.
Table 4‑1. Industry shipments of application processors by application, 2013–2018.
Table 4‑2. Industry shipments of application processors by integration type, 2013–2018.
Table 4‑3. Industry shipments of application processors by core count, 2013–2018.
Table 4‑3. Industry shipments of application processors by instruction set, 2013–2018.
Table 4‑5. Industry ASP and revenue of standalone AP chips by application, 2013–2018.
Table 4‑6. Industry ASP and revenue of merchant standalone AP chips by application, 2013–2018.
Table 4‑7. Industry shipments of application processors by vendor, 2013–2014.
Table 4‑8. Industry shipments of standalone AP by vendor, 2013–2014.
Table 4‑9. Industry revenue of standalone AP by vendor, 2013–2014.
Table 4‑10. Industry shipments of application processors by vendor, 2013–2018.
Table 4‑11. Industry shipments of standalone AP by vendor, 2013–2018.
Table 4‑12. Industry revenue of standalone AP by vendor, 2013–2018.
Table 5‑1. Industry shipments of Wi-Fi chips by application, 2013–2018.
Table 5‑2. Industry shipments of Wi-Fi chips by integration type, 2013–2018.
Table 5‑3. Industry shipments of Wi-Fi combo chips by function, 2013–2018.
Table 5‑4. Industry ASP and revenue of Wi-Fi chips by integration type, 2013–2018.
Table 5‑5. Industry shipments of standalone and combo Wi-Fi chips by vendor, 2013–2014.
Table 5‑6. Industry revenue of standalone and combo Wi-Fi chips by vendor, 2013–2014.
Table 5‑7. Industry shipments of all Wi-Fi chips by vendor, 2013–2018.
Table 5‑8. Industry shipments of Wi-Fi standalone and combo chips by vendor, 2013–2018.
Table 5‑9. Industry revenue of Wi-Fi standalone and combo chips by vendor, 2013–2018.
Table 5‑10. Industry shipments of standalone Wi-Fi chips by vendor, 2013–2018.
Table 6‑1. Industry shipments of Bluetooth chips by application, 2013–2018.
Table 6‑2. Industry shipments of Bluetooth chips by integration type, 2013–2018.
Table 6‑3. Industry ASP and revenue of Bluetooth standalone and combo chips, 2013–2018.
Table 6‑4. Industry shipments of Bluetooth standalone and combo chips by vendor, 2013–2018.
Table 6‑5. Industry revenue of Bluetooth standalone and combo chips by vendor, 2013–2014.
Table 6‑6. Industry shipments of all Bluetooth chips by vendor, 2013–2018.
Table 6‑7. Industry shipments of Bluetooth standalone and combo chips by vendor, 2013–2018.
Table 6‑8. Industry revenue of Bluetooth standalone and combo chips by vendor, 2013–2018.
Table 7‑1. Industry shipments of GPS chips by application, 2013–2018.
Table 7‑2. Industry shipments of GPS chips by integration type, 2013–2018.
Table 7‑3. Industry ASP and revenue of standalone GPS chips, 2013–2018.
Table 7‑4. Industry shipments of all GPS chips by vendor, 2013–2014.
Table 7‑5. Industry revenue of standalone GPS chips by vendor, 2013–2014.
Table 7‑6. Shipments of all GPS chips by vendor, 2013–2018.
Table 7‑7. Shipments of standalone GPS chips by vendor, 2013–2018.
Table 7‑8. Industry revenue of standalone GPS chips by vendor, 2013–2018.
Table 8‑1. Industry shipments of NFC chips by integration type, 2013–2018.
Table 8‑2. Industry shipments of all NFC chips by vendor, 2013–2014.
Table 8‑3. Industry revenue of standalone NFC chips by vendor, 2013–2014.
Table 8‑4. Shipments of all NFC chips by vendor, 2013–2018.
Table 8‑5. Shipments of standalone NFC chips by vendor, 2013–2018.
Table 8‑6. Industry revenue of standalone NFC chips by vendor, 2013–2018.
Table 9‑1. Industry shipments of connectivity chips, 2013–2018.
Table 9‑2. Industry revenue of connectivity chips, 2013–2018.
Table 9‑3. Industry revenue of connectivity chips by vendor, 2013–2018.
Table 9‑4. Industry revenue of mobile chips by vendor, 2013–2018.