A new (and rather unsurprisingly) report from Strategy Analytics shows Qualcomm sitting on top of the SoC market, with the firm saying that Qualcomm is enjoying a whopping 64% market share. As reported by DigiTimes, that’s absolutely massive, especially when you consider that the company in second place can only boast 12% market share. That would be MediaTek, which has managed to move ahead of Intel, the company that now sits in third place with 8%. The battle for second place is indeed a heated one, but it will be quite some time before either MediaTek or Intel will be able to challenge Qualcomm’s dominance.
Strategy Analytics says Spreadtum and Broadcom took fourth and fifth in the competition for baseband processor market share, but we didn’t get solid percentages for those two companies. So, why is Qualcomm so far ahead while the rest duke it out for the remaining 36% of the market? The report gives the credit to Qualcomm’s early adoption of multi-mode LTE technology, which allowed the company to jump ahead as more smartphone manufacturers chose its chips for their higher-end devices.
However, the baseband processor market is shifting, and Strategy Analytics expect more companies to make their presence known in 2014. The expectation is that many companies will begin to offer multi-mode LTE chips of their own, which means that we could be seeing more low-end and mid-range phones equipped with this technology as we move further into the year. That prediction includes all of the companies listed above, along with others such as Ericsson, Marvell, and Nvidia.
It appears to be a good time to strike as well. Though Qualcomm will be hard to challenge when it’s so far ahead of everyone else, Strategy Analytics’ report suggests that the baseband processor market shows no signs of slowing down. The global market as a whole grew a healthy 8.3% last year, which caused a rise to $18.9 billion US. It’s no wonder so many companies want a slice of that pie, so it probably wouldn’t serve Qualcomm executives well to get too complacent with their comfortable lead. Regardless, it should be an interesting year for SoC technology and the companies that produce it, so stay tuned.