Taipei, Wednesday, February 22, 2017 12:19 (GMT+8)
scattered showers
Taipei
21°C
Digitimes Research: Spreadtrum finding smartphone AP business difficult
Eric Lin, DIGITIMES Research, Taipei [Thursday 19 June 2014]

China-based Spreadtrum's application processor (AP) shipments have been dropping since China Mobile began subsidizing dual-core smartphones, as opposed to single-core models, in June 2013, and the company so far is showing no signs of recovery. Spreadtrum's parent company Tsinghua Unigroup's acquisition of China-based communication chipmaker RDA Microelectronics did not provide much benefit to Spreadtrum's operation and instead caused issues over their merging process and delayed Spreadtrum's product planning due to internal struggles.

Spreadtrum's smartphone AP shipments have been mostly TD-SCDMA chips in the first half of 2014, with processors having more than dual cores accounting for almost 50% of the volume. The company's shipment share of WCDMA chips have also risen slightly.

Spreadtrum's SC7715 and SC7730 APs both have competitive pricing, but are unlikely to start shipping until the second half of the year due to software issues. Although Spreadtrum has said it has plans to release LTE products in 2014, the company may only be able to maintain its revenues through its existing products since Digitimes Research believes the chipmaker is unlikely to release any actual LTE products until 2015.

On the other hand, the lower technological threshold required in the feature phone business, combined with the company's competitive pricing, has driven Spreadtrum's chip shipments to reach over 20 million units per month, about the same level as Taiwan's MediaTek. Because of strong feature phone demand, related chips may suffer from shortages at the end of second quarter.

Since Spreadtrum's product lineups for the mid-range and high-end segments are clearly less competitive compared to its competitors, Digitimes Research believes that if Tsinghua Unigroup is unable to resolve issues over internal management and the acquisition of RDA Microelectronics, the company may quickly lose its competitiveness in the smartphone AP market in the future, especially if Spreadtrum is unable to significantly improve its technology.

This article is an excerpt from a Digitimes Research Quarterly Data Report (China smartphone AP shipments – 2Q 2014). Visit our latest Data reports.

Realtime news
  • Taiwan market: Xiaomi launches Mi Note 2, Redmi Note 4X

    Before Going to Press | Feb 21, 20:45

  • Additional PV installation in China in 2017 forecast at 20-30GWp, says CPIA

    Before Going to Press | Feb 21, 20:44

  • PCB maker Compeq sets 2107 capex budget at NT$4 billion

    Before Going to Press | Feb 21, 20:36

  • Taiwan makers to ship 1.2 million VR HMD devices in 2017, says MIC

    Before Going to Press | Feb 21, 20:36

  • India smartphone shipments grow 18% in 2016

    Before Going to Press | Feb 21, 20:35

  • 3S Silicon Tech debuts on Taiwan emerging stock market

    Before Going to Press | Feb 21, 20:35

  • Product life of 3D TVs to end in 2017

    Before Going to Press | Feb 21, 19:46

  • Production of 10.5-, 12.9-inch iPad may be deferred, say Taiwan makers

    Before Going to Press | Feb 21, 19:32

  • SolidWorks expects double-digit growth in 2017 greater China revenues

    Before Going to Press | Feb 21, 19:00

  • Smart City Summit & Expo 2017 opens in Taipei

    Before Going to Press | Feb 21, 18:35

  • Viettel sets up joint venture in Myanmar, says report

    Before Going to Press | Feb 21, 18:30

Pause
 | 
View more

Global notebook shipment forecast, 2017 and beyond

RESEARCH EXTRAS | Jan 25, 14:34

Digitimes Research estimates that 2016 was another down year for the global notebook market, with shipments dipping below 150 million. While the market will continue shrinking in 2017, the drop will be much less dramatic, as Windows 10 adoption in the enterprise...

Global AP demand forecast, 2017-2020

RESEARCH EXTRAS | Jan 16, 12:01

Digitimes Research expects global application processor (AP) shipments to increase more than 8% in 2017 and surpass the 1.9 billion mark, with smartphones remaining the main application. After slumping in 2015, Qualcomm returned to form in 2016 and will continue...

Taiwan LCD TVs – 4Q 2016

TAIWAN DISPLAY SYSTEM | Feb 20, 15:08

Asia is becoming more important for Taiwan's LCD TV makers. Asia's share of their shipments has increased to a level comparable to that for North America.

Taiwan LCD monitors – 4Q 2016

TAIWAN DISPLAY SYSTEM | Feb 20, 15:07

The LCD monitor market has yet to hit bottom, with Taiwan makers expected to see their shipments continue to fall in the first quarter of 2017.

China smartphone market and industry – 4Q 2016

CHINA SMARTPHONE | Feb 18, 14:59

Digitimes Research estimates overall fourth-quarter 2016 shipments from China-based smartphone firms were 181.8 million units with an on-quarter increase of 4.4% and an on-year increase of 12.8%.

Advantest
Wireless broadband developments in Southeast Asia markets
Analysis of China revised domestic semiconductor industry goals
  • Wireless broadband developments in Southeast Asia markets

    As of 2013, the 10 ASEAN nations had a total of over 700 million mobile subscriptions, with the CAGR from 2003-2013 reaching 24%. This Digitimes Research Special Report analyzes the various mobile broadband markets in ASEAN and looks at the respective trends in 4G LTE development for those markets.

  • 2015 global tablet demand forecast

    This Digitimes Research Special Report provides a 2015 forecast for the global tablet market and analyzes the strategies of key market players such as Google, Apple, Intel, and Microsoft.

  • 2015 China smartphone panel trend forecast

    This Digitimes Research Special Report analyzes the strategies of key China-based major panel makers BOE, Tianma and IVO for attacking the different market segments through technology and pricing, and their relationship to local vendors Huawei, Lenovo, ZTE, Xiaomi and Coolpad.