Counterpoint: Mediatek will keep top spot in chip market for 2021

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Chipset manufacturers such as Mediatek and Qualcomm will continue to dominate the market, Counterpoint Research predicted in its latest analysis. The company has calculated that Mediatek will have acquired 37% of the global chip market, but Qualcomm remains a close leader in the 5G segment.

Global smartphone SoC market share

The expectations for the 2021 calendar are that Mediatek will gain an advantage over Qualcomm due to supply constraints around RFICs (radio frequency integrated circuits) from Samsung’s factory in Austin, Texas. There is also a generally smaller yield of 5 nm wafers, something Mediatek does not even use, so it does not come as an advantage for Qualcomm.

The biggest loser in this race will be HiSilicon, which is effectively thrown out of the Top 5 and replaced by Unisoc – a Chinese company known for its ultra-affordable chipset.

5G smartphone SoC market share
5G smartphone SoC market share

The 5G market looks a little different – dedicated 5G chipsets are becoming more and more common, revealed analysts. Qualcomm will be able to jump back sharply in H2 2021 once the bottleneck in production has been cleared up.

However, the battle for the top spot is getting tougher than ever, as predictions are the top 3 players who have minimal gains over each other in terms of market share.

In addition, almost 9 out of 10 smartphones with 5G will be powered by a Qualcomm, Apple or Mediatek chipset that outperforms other competitors such as Samsung and its Exynos chips.


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