Intel has been the market leader in the semiconductor microprocessor sector for decades now, ever since the so-called ‘WinTel’ combination of Microsoft’s Windows and Intel’s x86 architecture established their stranglehold on the consumer PC market back in the 1990s. While AMD had threatened that complete dominance in the first few years of this millennium, the company’s more recent offerings have failed to live up to its earlier promise, and even though it continues to be popular among PC gamers and DIY PC builders, hardcore users would still accept nothing but the most brutally powerful chips on the market and only Intel can deliver that kind of no-holds-barred raw power at the moment across different platforms and architectures.
However, even as Intel’s dominance in the world of traditional computers continue unabated, over the past several years, the company has struggled to keep up with hitherto smaller rivals like fellow American chipmaker Qualcomm, South Korean tech giant Samsung and even Taiwanese chipmaker MediaTek when it comes to tailoring its products according to the need of the mobile devices industry. That being the case, the latest report regarding the state of affairs in the semiconductor industry should not come as a surprise to anybody. According to the report, Samsung’s market share in the sector increased 0.9 percentage point in 2015 on a YoY basis, while Intel was able to raise its market share by 0.7 percentage point during the same period. While Samsung’s market share currently stands at 11.6%, Intel has around 14.8% of the market as of end-2015.
While both the companies increased their market share last year, the gap between the South Korean firm and the Silicon Valley semiconductor giant has been reducing over the past few years, from 5.3 percentage points in 2012 to 4.2 percentage points in 2013 and now, just 3.2 percentage points as of 2015. Either way, with Intel and Samsung taking up the top two spots in the industry, the next two slots are also taken up by a couple more American and South Korean firms, but in the reverse order this time around. While Samsung’s compatriot, SK Hynix, takes up the number three spot on the list, San Diego, California-based Qualcomm Inc. takes its rightful place at number four, thanks in no small measure to the popularity of its Snapdragon chips among smartphone and tablet OEMs.