SAN FRANCISCO—Global revenue from smartphone applications processors reached $1.68 billion in the first quarter, up a whopping 108 percent compared to the first quarter of 2010, while cellular baseband sales grew 20 percent year-to-year, according to market research firm Strategy Analytics Inc.
Qualcomm Inc., Texas Instruments Inc., Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Marvell Technology Group Inc. and Nvidia Corp. ranked as the top five, respectively, of sellers of smartphone applications processors in the first quarter, according to a new report by Strategy Analytics. The rankings reflect the fact that competitive dynamics in the smartphone OEM and OS landscape continue to influence applications processor vendor fortunes, the report concludes.
Sravan Kundojjala, a senior analyst at Strategy Analytics, said that TI lost the No. 1 ranking it held in smartphone applications processors for many years to Qualcomm in the fourth quarter of 2010. That trend continued in the first quarter of this year, Kundojjala said.
Strategy Analytics estimates that Snapdragon processors accounted for 22 percent of Qualcomm’s total smartphone processor shipments in the first quarter, helping the company to maintain its average selling prices.
Meanwhile, total cellular baseband revenue reached $3.5 billion in the first quarter, with Qualcomm leading in unit volume by virtue of its strong position in CDMA, W-CDMA and LTE basebands , according to Strategy Analytics.
Broadcom Corp., Intel Corp. and Spreadtrum Communications Co. Ltd. showed strong baseband shipment growth in the first quarter, while MediaTek Inc. and ST-Ericsson saw baseband revenue contract compared with the first quarter of 2010, Strategy Analytics said.
Kundojjala said Intel’s cellular baseband revenue more than doubled in the first quarter on the strength of strong design-win momentum with tier-one handset manufacturers.
"Despite the latest MeeGo setback, Nokia continues to be an important baseband customer for Intel in terms of volume," Kundojjala said. “However, Intel is noticeably absent in Nokia’s 3G baseband supplier list which is both a threat and a potential opportunity for Intel."
Spreadtrum’s baseband unit volume share crossed double-digits for the first time in the first quarter, according to Strategy Analytics.
"Spreadtrum’s surging unit shipment growth can be attributed to its aggressive pricing, international expansion and R&D subsidies from the Chinese government," said Stuart Robinson, director of Strategy Analytics' Handset Component Technologies service.