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Mobile Semiconductor Market Share Forecast 2015-2020

Published November 2016

Authors: Linley Gwennap and Mike Demler

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Forecasting Winners and Losers

“Mobile Semiconductor Market Share Forecast 2015-2020” provides a first look at 2016 market share and a forecast for market share through 2020. This report is unique in breaking down market share by vendor throughout the forecast period. Our model uses ongoing shifts in OEM share, technology (e.g., transition to integrated Wi-Fi), and product categories (e.g., tablet computers) to forecast which chip suppliers will benefit and which will lose out.

This report forecasts market size and vendor share for six categories of semiconductors for mobile applications: cellular baseband processors, application processors, mobile Wi-Fi chips, Bluetooth transceivers, GPS receivers, and NFC chips. Data includes both revenue and unit estimates for the leading vendors of each of these products. For each category, the report includes final 2015 market share, projected 2016 share, and forecasts of the leading vendors’ share in 2017 through 2020.

This unique report also provides an overall forecast of total units and revenue for each product category, with appropriate breakouts. For example, baseband processors are forecast by air interface, application processors by integration level, and connectivity chips by combo category. Our methodology combines bottoms-up interviews with chip suppliers with tops-down analysis of OEM shipments and their suppliers.

The report provides the detailed market information needed to sort out the dynamics of this market. With this report, chip vendors, OEMs, and investors will readily see which companies are the leading suppliers in a given product market, how these companies’ positions are changing, how big the mature product markets are, and how fast the emerging categories are growing.

Companies covered in the report include Allwinner, Apple, Broadcom, Huawei/HiSilicon, Intel, Marvell, MediaTek, Nvidia, NXP/Freescale, Qualcomm, Rockchip, Samsung, and Spreadtrum/RDA Microelectronics. This new edition forecasts the effects of Qualcomm’s drop in revenue, Samsung’s deployment of its own cellular and connectivity chips, Huawei’s deployment of its own connectivity chips, and the transition to LTE.

The report includes a brief text summary providing analysis of the data and a set of market share tables and figures for each category. Companies purchasing a corporate license also receive the tables in Microsoft Excel form.

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As the leading vendor of analysis for communications semiconductors, The Linley Group has the expertise to develop a high-quality set of market estimates. Our entire analyst team applies its extensive experience and network of industry contacts to deliver the quantitative information you need to make informed business decisions.

Whether you are looking for a well-established vendor to source from, a vendor to partner with, or a rising company to invest in, this report will cut your research time and save you money. Order "Mobile Semiconductor Market Share Forecast 2015-2020" today.

This report is written for:

  • Product managers and executives seeking to assess the performance of their product lines over the past year or to identify areas in which to invest or divest.
  • Strategic sourcing professionals and engineers at OEMs seeking information about semiconductor suppliers.
  • Investors and financial analysts seeking data to support investment decisions.
  • Public-relations professionals seeking to quantify their client’s success.

This report tracks mobile semiconductors that total $36.7 billion in 2015 revenue. This total includes cellular baseband processors and their associated RF and power-management chips, application processors (AP), mobile Wi Fi chips, mobile Bluetooth chips, GPS chips, NFC chips, and combo connectivity chips. This total is on track to decline 2.3% in 2016. Baseband processors, including those with an integrated AP, comprise the largest segment of this market, generating $21.4 billion in 2015.

Supplier changes at large handset makers have a large effect on the sales of these mobile chips. In 2016 alone, Samsung moved from 100% internal supply of processor chips for its Galaxy S6 to 70% internal supply on the Galaxy S7, while Apple added Intel as a 30% baseband supplier for the iPhone 7. Less widely reported is a trend at both Samsung and Huawei to increasingly use internal chips. These and other changes drive our market forecast.

Vendor consolidation in the mobile-chip market is nearly complete. The termination of Marvell’s mobile efforts along with Intel’s products for smartphones and Android tablets have simplified the market, and the pending merger of Spreadtrum and RDA Microelectronics has finally concluded. As a result, three companies (Qualcomm, MediaTek, and Spreadtrum) will supply 90% of all baseband processors in 2016. These baseband vendors also control much of the application-processor and connectivity markets through integration and reference designs. Most other vendors target smaller markets, including tablets, automotive, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Qualcomm saw its shipments sag in 2015 during a furious price war against MediaTek. By the end of that year, the company decided to surrender share to maintain its ASP, causing its shipments to fall precipitously in 2016. We expect a 9.1% fall in Qualcomm’s 2016 baseband unit shipments and a 5.6% drop in baseband revenue. This decline ripples through to the company’s application-processor and connectivity shares. In the longer term, we see additional headwinds that will prevent future revenue growth.

Most of Qualcomm’s lost share went to MediaTek, which could take the lead in processor units (if not revenue) as early as 2017. MediaTek has quickly become the #2 LTE vendor with 31% share in 2016, a figure that we expect will rise to 36% in 2020. The company leads in midrange smart-phones and cellular tablets and continues to have a large share in low-cost smartphones and basic phones. Given that most smartphone growth will be in low-cost LTE models, we forecast continued strong growth for MediaTek.

Spreadtrum’s baseband shipments rose to 610 million in 2015 and are on track to reach 700 million in 2016. Most of these chips include application processors and connectivity functions, although the company is also the leader in basic-phone chips. Spreadtrum’s focus on the low end of the market and its weakness in LTE will hamper future growth.

Samsung, Apple, and Huawei are increasingly adopting in-house chips. Apple will spend $7 billion on its own application processors in 2016, about 20% of the total mobile-chip revenue. Samsung is expanding the use of its Exynos processors and recently began using its own Wi-Fi and other connectivity chips in some phones. For its high-end and midrange phones, Huawei has designed complete chip sets including LTE baseband, application processor, and connectivity. These in-house products block the sale of third-party chips into the largest smartphone makers.

In 2016, 62% of mobile Wi-Fi is integrated into the baseband processor, up from 9% in 2013. This shift has hurt Broadcom, the leading supplier of Wi-Fi combos. We expect its connectivity revenue to fall 19.9% in 2016, with a projected CAGR of -9.7%. The company now serves mainly high-end smartphones and tablets.

NFC deployment is rising quickly; we estimate it appears in 38.5% of all 2016 handsets, up from 32.4% in 2015. As the attach rate continues to rise, we expect the market to shift from standalone chips to integrated solutions, but NXP remains the leader in 2016 with projected unit shipments of 612 million. Qualcomm’s pending acquisition of NXP, after deciding to terminate its own NFC solution, will ensure the company’s success.

For each technology covered, this report includes our preliminary estimates of 2016 unit shipments and revenue based on actual results for the first three quarters and projections for the final quarter. We have also forecasted market size and market share through 2020 based on technology and market trends. The report provides breakdowns by relevant technology (e.g. 3G versus LTE) and integration level.

List of Figures
List of Tables
About the Authors
About the Publisher
Executive Summary
1 Introduction
Product Categorization
Report Organization
Forecast Methodology
General Guidelines
2 Mobile Devices
Mobile-Device Shipments
All Device Types
Smartphone Shipments
Handset Shipments
Connectivity Usage
3 Cellular-Baseband Processors
Industry Forecast
Forecast by Application
Forecast by Integration Type
Forecast by Cellular Protocol
Revenue and ASP Forecast
Market Share
Shipments by Vendor
Revenue by Vendor
Market-Share Forecast
Shipments by Vendor
LTE Shipments by Vendor
Revenue by Vendor
4 Application Processors
Industry Forecast
Forecast by Application
Forecast by Integration Type
Forecast by Core Count
Forecast by Instruction Set (32/64-Bit)
Revenue and ASP Forecast
Market Share
Shipments by Vendor
Standalone Shipments by Vendor
Revenue by Vendor
Market-Share Forecast
Shipments by Vendor
Standalone-AP Shipments by Vendor
Standalone-AP Revenue by Vendor
5 Mobile Wi-Fi Chips
Industry Forecast
Forecast by Application
Forecast by Integration Type
Forecast by Combo Function
Revenue and ASP Forecast
Market Share
Shipments by Vendor
Revenue by Vendor
Market-Share Forecast
All Shipments by Vendor
Combo Shipments by Vendor
Combo Revenue by Vendor
Standalone Shipments by Vendor
6 Mobile Bluetooth Chips
Industry Forecast
Forecast by Application
Forecast by Integration Type
Revenue and ASP Forecast
Market Share
Shipments by Vendor
Revenue by Vendor
Market-Share Forecast
All Shipments by Vendor
Combo Shipments by Vendor
Combo Revenue by Vendor
7 Mobile GPS Chips
Industry Forecast
Forecast by Application
Forecast by Integration Type
Revenue and ASP Forecast
Market Share
Shipments by Vendor
Revenue by Vendor
Market-Share Forecast
All Shipments by Vendor
Standalone Shipments by Vendor
Standalone Revenue by Vendor
8 Mobile NFC Chips
Industry Forecast
Forecast by Integration Type
Market Share
Shipments by Vendor
Revenue by Vendor
Market-Share Forecast
All Shipments by Vendor
Standalone Shipments by Vendor
Standalone Revenue by Vendor
9 Conclusions
Connectivity Forecast
Combo Connectivity Chips by Type
Connectivity Revenue by Type
Connectivity Revenue by Vendor
Mobile-Semiconductor Forecast
Total Mobile Revenue
Mobile Revenue by Vendor
Figure 1-1. Taxonomy of mobile semiconductors.
Figure 2-1. Industry shipments of mobile devices by type, 2013-2020.
Figure 2-2. Unit market share of smartphones by vendor, 2014-2020.
Figure 2-3. Unit market share of cellular handsets by vendor, 2014-2020.
Figure 2-4. Handset attach rates for connectivity functions, 2013-2020.
Figure 3-1. Industry shipments of cellular-baseband processors by application, 2013-2020.
Figure 3-2. Industry shipments of cellular-baseband processors by integration, 2013-2020.
Figure 3-3. Industry shipments of cellular-baseband processors by air interface, 2013-2020.
Figure 3-4. Industry revenue of cellular-baseband processors by air interface, 2013-2020.
Figure 3-5. Unit market share of cellular-baseband processors by vendor, 2015-2016.
Figure 3-6. Revenue market share of cellular-baseband processors by vendor, 2015-2016.
Figure 3-7. Unit market share of cellular-baseband processors by vendor, 2013-2020.
Figure 3-8. Unit market share of LTE processors by vendor, 2013-2020.
Figure 3-9. Revenue market share of cellular-baseband processors by vendor, 2013–2020.
Figure 4-1. Industry shipments of application processors by application, 2013-2020.
Figure 4-2. Industry shipments of application processors by integration type, 2013-2020.
Figure 4-3. Industry shipments of application processors by core count, 2013-2020.
Figure 4-4. Industry shipments of application processors by instruction set, 2013-2020.
Figure 4-5. Industry revenue of standalone AP chips by application, 2013-2020.
Figure 4-6. Industry revenue of merchant standalone AP chips by application, 2013-2020.
Figure 4-7. Unit market share of merchant application processors by vendor, 2015-2016.
Figure 4-8. Unit market share of standalone APs by vendor, 2015-2016.
Figure 4-9. Revenue market share of standalone APs by vendor, 2015-2016.
Figure 4-10. Unit market share of application processors by vendor, 2013-2020.
Figure 4-11. Unit market share of standalone APs by vendor, 2013–2020.
Figure 4-12. Revenue market share of standalone APs by vendor, 2013–2020.
Figure 5-1. Industry shipments of mobile Wi-Fi chips by application, 2013-2020.
Figure 5-2. Industry shipments of Wi-Fi chips by integration type, 2013-2020.
Figure 5-3. Industry shipments of Wi-Fi combo chips by function, 2013-2020.
Figure 5-4. Industry ASP and revenue of Wi-Fi chips by integration type, 2013-2020.
Figure 5-5. Unit market share of Wi-Fi standalone and combo chips by vendor, 2015–2016.
Figure 5-6. Revenue market share of Wi-Fi standalone and combo by vendor, 2015-2016.
Figure 5-7. Unit market share of all Wi-Fi chips by vendor, 2013-2020.
Figure 5-8. Unit market share of Wi-Fi standalone and combo chips by vendor, 2013-2020.
Figure 5-9. Revenue market share of Wi-Fi standalone and combo by vendor, 2013-2020.
Figure 6-1. Industry shipments of mobile Bluetooth chips by application, 2013-2020.
Figure 6-2. Industry shipments of Bluetooth chips by integration type, 2013-2020.
Figure 6-3. Industry revenue of Bluetooth standalone and combo chips, 2013-2020.
Figure 6-4. Unit market share of Bluetooth standalone and combo by vendor, 2015–2016.
Figure 6-5. Revenue market share of Bluetooth standalone and combo by vendor, 2015-2016.
Figure 6-6. Unit market share of all Bluetooth chips by vendor, 2013-2020.
Figure 6-7. Unit market share of Bluetooth standalone and combo by vendor, 2013-2020.
Figure 6-8. Revenue market share of Bluetooth standalone and combo by vendor, 2013–2020.
Figure 7-1. Industry shipments of GPS chips by application, 2013-2020.
Figure 7-2. Industry shipments of GPS chips by integration type, 2013-2020.
Figure 7-3. Industry ASP and revenue of standalone GPS chips, 2013–2020.
Figure 7-4. Unit market share of all GPS chips by vendor, 2015–2016.
Figure 7-5. Revenue market share of standalone GPS chips by vendor, 2015–2016.
Figure 7-6. Unit market share of all GPS chips by vendor, 2013–2020.
Figure 7-7. Unit market share of standalone GPS chips by vendor, 2013–2020.
Figure 7-8. Revenue market share of standalone GPS chips by vendor, 2013–2020.
Figure 8-1. Industry shipments of NFC chips by integration type, 2013-2020.
Figure 8-2. Unit market share of all NFC chips by vendor, 2015–2016.
Figure 8-3. Revenue market share of standalone NFC chips by vendor, 2015-2016.
Figure 8-4. Unit market share of all NFC chips by vendor, 2013-2020.
Figure 8-5. Unit market share of standalone NFC chips by vendor, 2013-2020.
Figure 8-6. Revenue market share of standalone NFC chips by vendor, 2013-2020.
Figure 9-1. Industry shipments of connectivity chips by type, 2013-2020.
Figure 9-2. Industry revenue of connectivity chips by type, 2013-2020.
Figure 9-3. Revenue market share of connectivity chips by vendor, 2013-2020.
Figure 9-4. Revenue market share of mobile chips by vendor, 2013-2020.

tr>Table 6-1. Industry shipments of mobile Bluetooth chips by application, 2015-2020.

Table 2-1. Industry shipments of mobile devices by type, 2015-2020.
Table 2-2. Industry shipments of smartphones by vendor, 2015-2020.
Table 2-3. Industry shipments of cellular handsets by vendor, 2015-2020.
Table 2-4. Handset attach rates for connectivity functions, 2015-2020.
Table 3-1. Industry shipments of cellular-baseband processors by application, 2015-2020.
Table 3-2. Industry shipments of cellular-baseband processors by integration, 2015-2020.
Table 3-3. Industry shipments of cellular-baseband processors by air interface, 2015-2020.
Table 3-4. Industry ASP and revenue of cellular-baseband processors, 2015-2020.
Table 3-5. Industry shipments of cellular-baseband processors by vendor, 2015-2016.
Table 3-6. Industry revenue of cellular-baseband processors by vendor, 2015-2016.
Table 3-7. Industry shipments of cellular-baseband processors by vendor, 2015-2020.
Table 3-8. Industry shipments of LTE processors by vendor, 2015–2020.
Table 3-9. Industry revenue of cellular-baseband processors by vendor, 2015-2020.
Table 4-1. Industry shipments of application processors by application, 2015-2020.
Table 4-2. Industry shipments of application processors by integration type, 2015-2020.
Table 4-3. Industry shipments of application processors by core count, 2015-2020.
Table 4-4. Industry shipments of application processors by instruction set, 2015-2020.
Table 4-5. Industry ASP and revenue of standalone AP chips by application, 2015-2020.
Table 4-6. Industry ASP and revenue of merchant standalone AP by application, 2015-2020.
Table 4-7. Industry shipments of application processors by vendor, 2015-2016.
Table 4-8. Industry shipments of standalone APs by vendor, 2015-2016.
Table 4-9. Industry revenue of standalone APs by vendor, 2015-2016.
Table 4-10. Industry shipments of application processors by vendor, 2015–2020.
Table 4-11. Industry shipments of standalone APs by vendor, 2015–2020.
Table 4-12. Industry revenue of standalone APs by vendor, 2015–2020.
Table 5-1. Industry shipments of mobile Wi-Fi chips by application, 2015-2020.
Table 5-2. Industry shipments of Wi-Fi chips by integration type, 2015-2020.
Table 5-3. Industry shipments of Wi-Fi combo chips by function, 2015-2020.
Table 5-4. Industry ASP and revenue of Wi-Fi chips by integration type, 2015-2020.
Table 5-5. Industry shipments of standalone and combo Wi-Fi chips by vendor, 2015-2016.
Table 5-6. Industry revenue of standalone and combo Wi-Fi chips by vendor, 2015-2016.
Table 5-7. Industry shipments of all Wi-Fi chips by vendor, 2015-2020.
Table 5-8. Industry shipments of Wi-Fi standalone and combo chips by vendor, 2015-2020.
Table 5-9. Industry revenue of Wi-Fi standalone and combo chips by vendor, 2015-2020.
Table 6-2. Industry shipments of Bluetooth chips by integration type, 2015-2020.
Table 6-3. Industry ASP and revenue of Bluetooth standalone and combo, 2015-2020.
Table 6-4. Industry shipments of Bluetooth standalone and combo by vendor, 2015-2016.
Table 6-5. Industry revenue of Bluetooth standalone and combo by vendor, 2015-2016.
Table 6-6. Industry shipments of all Bluetooth chips by vendor, 2015-2020.
Table 6-7. Industry shipments of Bluetooth standalone and combo by vendor, 2015-2020.
Table 6-8. Industry revenue of Bluetooth standalone and combo by vendor, 2015-2020.
Table 7-1. Industry shipments of GPS chips by application, 2015-2020.
Table 7-2. Industry shipments of GPS chips by integration type, 2015-2020.
Table 7-3. Industry ASP and revenue of standalone GPS chips, 2015-2020.
Table 7-4. Industry shipments of all GPS chips by vendor, 2015-2016.
Table 7-5. Industry revenue of standalone GPS chips by vendor, 2015-2016.
Table 7-6. Shipments of all GPS chips by vendor, 2015-2020.
Table 7-7. Shipments of standalone GPS chips by vendor, 2015-2020.
Table 7-8. Industry revenue of standalone GPS chips by vendor, 2015–2020.
Table 8-1. Industry shipments of NFC chips by integration type, 2015-2020.
Table 8-2. Industry shipments of all NFC chips by vendor, 2015-2016.
Table 8-3. Industry revenue of standalone NFC chips by vendor, 2015-2016.
Table 8-4. Shipments of all NFC chips by vendor, 2015-2020.
Table 8-5. Shipments of standalone NFC chips by vendor, 2015-2020.
Table 8-6. Industry revenue of standalone NFC chips by vendor, 2015–2020.
Table 9-1. Industry shipments of connectivity chips, 2015-2020.
Table 9-2. Industry revenue of connectivity chips, 2015-2020.
Table 9-3. Industry revenue of connectivity chips by vendor, 2015-2020.
Table 9-4. Industry revenue of mobile chips by vendor, 2015-2020.

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