LONDON – The mobile semiconductor market grew 18 percent in 2012 to reach $31 billion in value, according to Linley Group, a market analysis firm.
The market is on track to reach nearly $39 billion in 2016, which would represent a compound annual growth rate of just less than 6 percent.
In the application processor portion of the market Qualcomm edged out Apple shipping 249 million units and holding more than 25 percent share of the market. Qualcomm is winning out against smartphone vendors with their own chips such as Samsung and Apple, because of sales of lower-cost smartphones in China and other emerging countries, Linley Group (Mountain View, Calif.) said.
In the stand-alone cellular baseband market, MediaTek matched Qualcomm's unit shipments, but Qualcomm holds a 56.5 percent market share due to higher average selling prices, Qualcomm said. Qualcomm is expected to benefit further as the market shifts from 2G to 3G.
Broadcom dominated the Wi-Fi chip market in 2012 with a 62 percent market share, according to Linley. The Linley Group expects Broadcom's share to fall to 51 percent by 2016 due to increased competition from Qualcomm, MediaTek and Samsung. These vendors will take share from Broadcom by bundling or integrating Wi-Fi with their popular application processors.
At present the near field communication market is substantially stand-alone but in the future Wi-Fi combo chips and application processors will integrate this function, limiting opportunities for current NFC leaders NXP and InsideSecure, said Linley Group.
In addition to new markets and customers, I am sure a good %% of this figure includes cannibalization from what would have been laptop sales. Many consumers are opting for less costly but highly portable (not to mention ease of use) products like Tablets.