Research analysis
Digitimes Research: Qualcomm APs adopted in popular smartphone devices in China
Osiris Hu, DIGITIMES Research, Taipei

Of China's top-25 best-selling smartphones sold at the country's physical stores (excluding Apple and Samsung devices) in the first quarter of 2017, 52% adopt Qualcomm's application processors while 36% incorporate MediaTek's solutions, according to Digitimes Research.

Qualcomm's chips are being used for flagship, high-end and mainstream smartphone devices, while MediaTek remains competitive in the entry-level and mid-range segment, said Digitimes Research.

Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835, 660 and 630 chips are popular among mid- to high-end smartphones sold in China, Digitimes Research identified. Qualcomm has also rolled out its Snapdragon 205-series for feature phones.

Affected by Huawei's product roadmap, HiSilicon's most-recent solutions are designed mostly for flagship and high-end devices, Digitimes Research indicated. HiSilicon has also provided Huawei with the Kirin 960-series that supports the LTE Cat. 12 standard.

MediaTek's late availability of its Cat. 10-based Helio P30 solution has affected its competitiveness in the high-end segment, but specs of the solution could help the company regain orders, Digitimes Research noted.

ARM's Cortex-A53 CPU architecture combined with 28nm process technology was the most popular in the first quarter of 2017, Digitimes Research indicated. Of China's top-25 best-selling smartphones in the first quarter of 2017, APs based on the ARM Cortex-A53 accounted for 84%. Meanwhile, 28nm chips accounted for 68% of the APs used in China's top-25 best-selling smartphones during the period.

With China's smartphone market facing a slowdown, AP suppliers have shifted their focus to emerging markets, according to Digitimes Research. Qualcomm's smartphone clients have been expanding their businesses in Brazil, Indonesia and Mexico, while MediaTek has grown its market presence in Brazil by supplying chips to the local phone makers. Spreadtrum has also cut into the supply chain of Indonesia's smartphone industry.

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