Taipei, Wednesday, October 22, 2014 16:05 (GMT+8)
mostly cloudy
Taipei
24°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
  • Wearable sensor market to expand sevenfold in 5 years, says IHS

    Bits + chips | 4min ago

  • Motherboard players and Intel to face challenges over CPU product line management in 2Q15

    IT + CE | 40min ago

  • China companies to raid talent from Taiwan semiconductor industry

    Bits + chips | 51min ago

  • Aurora invests in GIT to beef up 3D printing business

    IT + CE | 53min ago

  • TV panel pricing increases in October

    Displays | 58min ago

  • TPCA Show 2014 to take place from October 22-24

    Bits + chips | 1h 3min ago

  • TV vendors aim to ship 34 million Ultra HD TVs in 2015

    Displays | 1h 16min ago

Pause
 | 
View more

Trends and forecasts for the China FPD industry, 2014-2017

CHINA FPD | Oct 6, 12:29

With China being the world's IT production center and a country with some of the strongest consumer demand, along with benefits on custom tax, funding, loans, and subsidies provided by the government, China's FPD industry continues to show strong growth. Local...

Taiwan servers and the global server market, 2014

RESEARCH EXTRAS | Oct 3, 12:19

Taiwan makers have successfully entered the supply chain of the Internet data center (IDC) industry and may contribute over 90% of the global server shipments in 2014. Combined revenues from related product lines such as motherboards, back-end assembly, storage...

Taiwan LCD monitors – 2Q 2014

TAIWAN FPD | Aug 25, 14:48

Taiwan's monitor shipments grew 10% in the second quarter compared to a low first-quarter base. With panel makers reducing their supply of monitor applications and monitor vendors reluctant to increase their shipments, Taiwan's makers will only see a single-digit...

China smartphone market and industry – 2Q 2014

CHINA SMARTPHONE | Aug 12, 17:41

A delay in the launch schedule for low-cost 4G smartphones resulted in a mere 4.8% increase in second quarter shipments in the China market. However, with telecom operators planning on increasing their subsidies in the second half of the year, demand will be...

Taiwan small- to mid-size LCD panels – 2Q 2014

TAIWAN FPD | Aug 6, 21:18

Taiwan makers' small- to medium-size panel shipments reached 351.4 million units in the second quarter of 2014, up 16.8% sequentially but down 2.8% on year.

MSI X99S GAMING 9 AC
DIGITIMES Research Tracker Services
DIGITIMES Translation Services
  • 2014 global high brightness LED market, trends and shipment forecast

    For the global LED lighting market, the market size will reach US$25.82 billion in 2014 or a market penetration rate of 23.4%. This is attributable to exponential shipment growth for light bulbs, tubes, and directional lamps.

  • Greater China touch panel shipment forecast through 2015

    This Special Report provides forecasts through 2015 for Greater China touch panel shipments with breakdowns based on technology (glass, film, resistive), application (smartphone, NB and tablet) and by firm.

  • 2014 global tablet demand forecast

    This report analyzes the main players, their strategies and shipments forecasts for 2014, as well as other factors contributing to either growth or decline in various segments within the tablet market, with a particular focus on Apple, Google, Samsung, and Microsoft, along with whitebox vendors.