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Third-party smartphone AP vendors to face growing hardship in 2018
Source: DIGITIMES   Editor: Helan   Update Time :2018/1/9 17:34:42

With smartphone brands including Apple, Samsung Electronics and Huawei already moving to advanced 5nm and 7nm processes for their in-house developed application processors (APs), third-party AP suppliers such as Qualcomm, MediaTek and Spreadtrum Communications are expected to face stagnant demand for their products in 2018, according to industry sources.

As a matter of fact, the top-three third-party AP suppliers have been forced to compete laboriously in the entry-level and mid-tier AP segments as Apple, Samsung and Huawei are developing APs for their flagship models. Sales of entry-level and mid-range APs yield less profits as compared to top-end models, said the sources.

Aware of the market conditions, MediaTek appears to have decided to focus its efforts on promoting its Helio P-series APs for the mid-tier smartphone segment in 2018.

MediaTek are expected to add two models to its Helio P SoC family in 2018, namely the P40 and P70, indicated the sources. The two APs are to be built by TSMC using a 12nm process.

While expected to continue its legal battle against Apple in 2018, Qualcomm still has to face the unsolicited takeover bid by Broadcom, which will cast growing uncertainty over its business prospects, the sources commented.

Spreadtrum has been planning an IPO issue for a period of time and could be postponed again since its earnings have been lower than expected, indicated the sources.

Smartphone APs developed by Apple, Samsung and Huawei (HiSilicon Technologies) together will account for over 30% of the global smartphone AP shipments in 2018, according to an estimate of Digitimes Research.

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