BROOKLYN, NY — Qualcomm Corp. remained the dominant player in the cellular baseband market in the first quarter of 2014, but Intel Corp. was knocked out of the top three rankings for the first time in three years, according to Strategy Analytics' latest Handset Component Technologies service report (subscription required).
Qualcomm accounted for 66% of the $4.7 billion global cellular baseband processor market, which grew only 2.5% from a year earlier, followed by MediaTek and Spreadtrum, with shares of 15% and 5%, respectively. Intel lost its top three spot, falling to fifth place, due to a sharp decline in 2G and 3G baseband shipments during the quarter, according to the report.
However, Strategy Analytics says that Intel's market-share loss is temporary. The company is picking up momentum in LTE baseband sales and has the potential to win high-profile sockets with its Cat 6 LTE baseband XMM 7260 in the second half of 2014.
In a press release, Christopher Taylor, director of RF and wireless component service for Strategy Analytics, attributed Qualcomm's continued dominance to its "diverse customer base and strong LTE product portfolio." However, its LTE revenue share fell to 91% in the first quarter from 95% in the first quarter last year. Qualcomm is catching some heat from its LTE baseband counterparts, particularly Intel and Marvell, which ranked fourth.
"Strategy Analytics believes that Qualcomm has a plenty of opportunities in terms of its LTE product-mix as less than 50 percent of baseband shipments were LTE basebands in Q1 2014," Taylor said in the release.
Stuart Robinson, director of handset component technologies service for Strategy Analytics and author of the report, said in the release that MediaTek must quickly accelerate its LTE efforts to maintain its No. 2 spot, since "the company currently draws most of its growth from 2G and 3G markets only."
— Ismini Scouras is a freelance writer for EE Times.