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China smartphone AP shipments set to decline in 4Q18
Source: DIGITIMES   Editor: Helan   Update Time :2018/11/7 15:50:06

Having posted a sequential gain of 13.9% in the third quarter of 2018, shipments of smartphone-use application processors in China are expected to decrease 4.6% in the fourth quarter as smartphone vendors have become more conservative on pulling in orders due to lower visibility in demand in the end market, according to Digitimes Research.

On a yearly basis, smartphone AP shipments in China showed a decline of 2.2% in the third quarter, but are likely to see growth in the fourth quarter due to a lower base recorded a year ago.

Efforts by China's vendors including Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo to ramp up their overseas shipments in 2018 have achieved significant results, particularly in India and Eastern Europe, lending momentum to smartphone AP shipments to China vendors. China-based HiSilicon Technologies, a smartphone AP subsidiary of Huawei, has benefitted significantly.

The willingness of China's vendors to incorporate AI accelerators into smartphone APs could be affected in the fourth quarter due to concerns of increased AP cost and selling prices of end-market devices.

However, vendors will be showing more eagerness in migrating to more advanced process nodes for manufacutring their smartphone APs, with the ratio of APs made using 28nm process to continue to decline, Digitimes Research says.

Although MediaTek has unveiled recently its new mobile SoC, the Helio P70, the impact of this chip on sales of Qualcomm's rival products will be limited as the specification upgrades of the P70 are not significant as compared to its predecessor the Helop P60. Meanwhile, Qualcomm has rolled out new products, including Snapdragon 670, 675 and 710, and therefore will see its AP shipments in China continue growing.

Qualcomm is also expected to launch its new flagship AP, built using 7nm process, in the fourth quarter of 2018. Digitimes Research believes that smartphones built with Qualcomm's 7nm APs will hit the market in the first half of 2019, boosting the ratio of 7nm products in the smartphone AP segment.

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