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Global 2017 smartphone AP market drops while growth resumes in tablet AP sector
Source: DIGITIMES   Editor: Helan   Update Time :2018/5/31 16:16:57

The global smartphone applications processor (AP) market declined 5% on year to US$20.2 billion in 2017, while the tablet AP market grew 3% to US$2 billion, according to Strategy Analytics.

Qualcomm, Apple, MediaTek, Samsung LSI and HiSilicon captured the top-five revenue share spots in the global smartphone AP market in 2017, Strategy Analytics indicated. Qualcomm gained market share and finished the the year with 42% revenue share, followed by Apple with 22% and MediaTek with 15%. Apple, HiSilicon, Qualcomm and Samsung LSI all enjoyed on-year shipment growth in 2017 while MediaTek and Spreadtrum saw their shipments decline sharply, Strategy Analytics said.

Shipments of 64-bit smartphone APs grew 15% on year to account for 88% of total smartphone AP shipments in 2017, up from 38% in 2016, Strategy Analytics said.

In addition, Strategy Analytics believes that 2018 will be an experimental year for on-device AI chips. In 2017, over 250 million smartphone APs shipped with native AI engines to enable machine learning (ML) applications such as 3D face detection, image recognition and Animoji.

TSMC manufactured two-thirds of smartphone APs in 2017, down from almost three-fourths in 2016, Strategy Analytics noted. Despite the loss of Apple foundry business to TSMC, Samsung Foundry gained share in smartphone APs helped by Qualcomm and Samsung LSI, Strategy Analytics said.

In 2017, 10nm smartphone APs accounted for over 14% of total smartphone AP shipments driven by Apple, HiSilicon, Qualcomm and Samsung LSI, Strategy Analytics said. Octa-core chips accounted for over 40% of total smartphone AP shipments in 2017.

"Calendar year 2017 proved to be a very challenging year for low-cost and high volume players MediaTek and Spreadtrum as both companies saw their smartphone AP shipments and revenue decline sharply," commented Sravan Kundojjala, associate director at Strategy Analytics. "For the first time in the last five years, both companies saw year-on-year smartphone AP shipments decline in 2017. This can be attributed to slow roadmap progress and sharp decline in 3G Aps demand. This has resulted in share losses in the key Chinese market. Strategy Analytics believes that the 2018 will be a crucial year for both MediaTek and Spreadtrum."

"Thanks to Qualcomm's increased strength in the mid-range with the Snapdragon 600 series, Qualcomm gained significant share at Chinese OEMs including Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi at the expense of MediaTek in 2017," said Stuart Robinson, executive director of Strategy Analytics' handset component technologies service. "HiSilicon and Samsung LSI both expanded their product portfolio to cover multiple price points and registered a double-digit captive shipment growth in 2017."

After two consecutive years of decline, the global tablet AP market returned to growth and registered a 3% on-year growth to reach US$2 billion in 2017, according to Strategy Analytics.

Apple, Intel, Qualcomm, MediaTek and Samsung LSI captured the top-five revenue share spots in the global tablet AP market in 2017. Apple gained market share and finished the year with 36% revenue share followed by Intel with 18% and Qualcomm with 17%, Strategy Analytics said.

X86 architecture-based tablet shipments increased 13% on year in 2017, while ARM-based chip shipments declined 7%, Strategy Analytics indicated.

"Despite shipment decline, the global tablet AP market held up well in terms of revenue, helped by improved average selling prices (ASPs)," Kundojjala noted in a separate statement. "All the major tablet AP vendors shifted their focus to profitable and high-performance tablet APs and this dynamic boosted ASPs. x86 vendor Intel's continued success with Windows operating system played a key role in the overall tablet AP ASP improvement. Strategy Analytics believes that Qualcomm's support for the Windows operating system will increase the addressable market in future."

Apple, HiSilicon, Intel and Qualcomm all registered on-year shipment growth in the tablet AP market in 2017 while MediaTek, Samsung, Rockchip, Allwinner and Spreadtrum saw their tablet AP shipments decline, according to Strategy Analytics.

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