Research insights
US trade ban to impact China 5G smartphone AP shipments, says Digitimes Research
Sean Lin, Peyton Cheng and Stella Weng, DIGITIMES Research, Taipei

The US trade restrictions on Huawei are set to affect the overall shipments of 5G mobile APs to the Chinese market in fourth-quarter 2020, and to significant change the landscape of China's smartphone market in 2021, according to Digitimes Research.

Demand for smartphone APs by Chinese handset makers is poised to reduce significantly in the fourth quarter of 2020 affecting the market share of related AP suppliers.

MediaTek is expected to see its share in China's smartphone AP market drop to 23% for the second half of 2020, while Qualcomm will manage to ramp up its share to 28% during the same period, Digitimes Research estimates.

Thanks to the trade ban, Huawei smartphone market share in China is expected to lose almost 30pp to its domestic rivals Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi in 2021.

Chinese chipmaker Unisoc Technologies could emerge as an alternative AP source for China's handset makers at the expense of Huawei's chipmaking arm, HiSilicon Technologies, which is also subject to the US trade ban. However, Unisoc is still lagging behind other vendors in terms of 5G technology, preventig it from becoming a major player in the mobile AP market in the short term.

Although Oppo has established an R&D team to develop chips in house, the company's initial aim is to develop chips for AIoT applications instead of APs for smartphones.

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