ST-Ericsson rebounds as MediaTek breaks into the top five application processor suppliers

August 08, 2012 // By Nick Flaherty
One of Europe's major chip suppliers, ST-Ericsson, saw a rebound in growth in the last quarter as the global smartphone applications processor market grew 55 percent year-on-year to reach $2.47 billion according to the latest figures from Strategy Analytics.

Qualcomm led the smartphone applications processor market with 44 percent revenue share in Q1 2012, while Samsung, Texas Instruments, Broadcom and MediaTek grabbed the other slots in the top five. ST-Ericsson rebounded strongly as the company's smartphone applications processor revenues registered over 600 percent sequential growth in Q1 2012 thanks to its Nova and NovaThor-branded chips.
MediaTek, for the first time, featured in the list of top-five smartphone applications processor vendors on the strength of its strong momentum in the sub-$200 smartphone segment in China and other growth markets. The company - merging with Mstar - bought Swedish multcore technology company Coresonic last year.
Marvell’s strong TD-SCDMA smartphone applications processor shipments at China Mobile were not sufficient to offset its declining shipments at Research in Motion. As a result, Marvell dropped out of the top-five.
Broadcom continues to execute its smartphone processor strategy well and ranked number four in Q1 2012, helped by its high-volume Android smartphone design-wins at Samsung.
Stand-alone applications processors continue to gain share and accounted for 44 percent of total smartphone applications processors shipped in Q1 2012, up from 39 percent in Q1 2011.
"Qualcomm maintained its lead in the smartphone applications processor market in Q1 2012, but its revenue share dropped to 44 percent in Q1 2012 from 51 percent in Q1 2011, as a result of intense competition from Broadcom and MediaTek in the low-end Android smartphone market," said Sravan Kundojjala, Senior Analyst. "Strategy Analytics believes that Broadcom and MediaTek are emerging as credible threats to Qualcomm with their baseband-integrated applications processor strategy."
According to Stuart Robinson, Director of the Strategy Analytics Handset Component Technologies service, "Despite its strong momentum in the tablet applications processor market, NVIDIA’s market share in smartphone apps processors continues to stagnate at 2 percent since Q1 2011. NVIDIA will continue to miss the large addressable market until it introduces baseband-integrated applications processors."