Last week, we released our smartphone apps processor market share data. Based on our estimates, the smartphone apps processor market showed a strong 70 percent year-on-year growth to reach $7.9 billion in 2011.
 
Some key highlights from our 2011 global smartphone apps processor market share tracker:

  • Qualcomm, Samsung, Texas Instruments, Marvell, Broadcom and NVIDIA grabbed the top-six smartphone apps processor revenue share rankings in 2011.

 

  • For the first time, on an annual basis, Qualcomm topped the smartphone apps  processor market in unit terms in 2011, snatching the long-held crown from Texas Instruments. Qualcomm continued its revenue share lead in 2011 and captured approximately 50 percent revenue share. Qualcomm’s broad Snapdragon processor portfolio and excellent relationships with almost all top-tier smartphone vendors helped Qualcomm to gain market share during 2011.

 

  • Broadcom stormed into the top-five rankings in 2011 for the first time, thanks to its high-volume Android design-wins. Broadcom’s apps processor shipments showed over 500 percent year-on-year growth in 2011. We believe that Broadcom can improve its market share further if it continues to execute well.

 

  • New entrant NVIDIA performed well in its first year in smartphones and finished as the number six player in both unit terms and revenue terms in 2011. Despite its first mover advantage with dual-core processors, NVIDIA lost momentum in the second half of 2011.

 

  • MediaTek showed significant improvement in 2011, thanks to its new HSPA smartphone processor MT6573. However, we believe that MediaTek has some catchup to do to compete effectively in the high-end market.

 

  • ST-Ericsson struggled in 2011 and finished the year with less than 1 percent revenue share. The company couldn't capitalize on its renewed product portfolio in 2011. ST-Ericsson's outlook is challenged and the company needs to execute flawlessly this year to get back into the game. We believe that ST-Ericsson's Nova and NovaThor processors have the potential to be an attractive alternative to Qualcomm's Snapdragon processors and it all depends on ST-Ericsson's execution this year.

 

  • Stand-alone applications processors accounted for 40 percent of total smartphone applications processor revenues in 2011 and out-grew baseband-integrated applications processors, thanks to Apple, Samsung, Texas Instruments, NVIDIA and Qualcomm.


Looking ahead, we believe that key market trends such as multi price-tier smartphones, emerging markets and new generation CPU and GPU technologies will create opportunities for smartphone apps processor vendors.

Sravan Kundojjala

Client reading: Smartphone Apps Processor Market Share 2011: Qualcomm Takes the Lead in Units and Revenue