Qualcomm grabs 53% share in 5G baseband market, beating HiSilicon and Samsung LSI

The cellular baseband processor market dropped 3 percent to $20.9 billion in 2019, according to Strategy Analytics.
Qualcomm share in baseband market in 2019Qualcomm, HiSilicon,Intel, MediaTek, and Samsung LSI captured the top-five revenue share rankings in the cellular baseband processor market in 2019.

Qualcomm has 41 percent revenue share in the baseband market in 2019. HiSilicon has 16 percent revenue share in the baseband market. Intel has 14 percent revenue share in the baseband market.

5G baseband shipments saw a significant traction in the first year and accounted for almost 2 percent of total baseband shipments while capturing 8 percent revenue share, thanks to high average selling prices (ASPs).

HiSilicon, Qualcomm and Samsung LSI were the key 5G baseband vendors in 2019 with significant design-wins.

5G will be a bright spot in the COVID-19 world and will likely defy the downward trend as handset OEMs prioritize 5G over 4G for their new launches.

4G LTE baseband shipments declined for the first time in 2019. Except for Intel and Unisoc, all other major baseband vendors saw their LTE shipments decline in 2019.

Qualcomm has captured 53 percent unit share in the 5G baseband market in 2019, the report said. Qualcomm’s X50 family of 5G chips, RF front-end know-how, wide customer base and early pioneering work all contributed to its 5G baseband market leadership.

The report said Qualcomm is well situated to grab more 5G share in 2020, driven by both the upcoming iPhone 5G design-win and proliferation of mid-range Android 5G in China and elsewhere.

MediaTek has improved its LTE baseband share in 2019. MediaTek captured multiple high volume LTE design-wins at Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi with its new Helio P chips. MediaTek has prepared for 5G with Dimensity-branded 5G SoCs.

Unisoc, the world’s third largest baseband vendor in terms of unit shipments, registered a strong growth in its 2G and 4G baseband shipments in 2019. Unisoc is well positioned to capture long-tail 4G LTE demand as the market leaders shift their focus to 5G.

Intel achieved 74 percent increase in LTE baseband shipments in 2019, driven by Apple design-wins. Apple, which closed the acquisition of Intel’s 5G smartphone baseband business in late 2019, joins vertical baseband vendors HiSilicon (Huawei) and Samsung LSI.

Both HiSilicon and Samsung LSI performed strongly in the 5G baseband market in 2019. Apple could wait for another three to four years before deploying its own 5G baseband in an iPhone. It is possible that Apple could experiment with non-iPhone 5G devices in the next two years.