Qualcomm remains high-end smartphone AP market leader

Sean Lin, DIGITIMES Research, Taipei 0


Qualcomm remained the largest supplier of high-end 5G smartphone application processors in the first half of 2021, according to Digitimes Research. But MediaTek is gearing up for a bigger share of the high-end segment with its Dimensity 2000 series.

In the first half of 2021, Oppo, combining with sub-brands Realme and OnePlus, released a total of 39 new 5G smartphones, while Vivo and Xiaomi each launched more than 20 models. Over 60% of these smartphones are priced below CNY3,000, making the price sector the key battlefield for smartphone brands.

Of 5G smartphones priced above CNY3,000, 77.1% had adopted an AP from Qualcomm, while 11.4% had used one from MediaTek. For 5G smartphones priced over CNY4,000, none used AP solutions from MediaTek, making CNY4,000 the price ceiling for MediaTek-based smartphones.

Whether MediaTek's Dimensity 2000 series is able to break the stereotype of MediaTek's APs not being high-end solutions will play a key factor in the company's future sales performance.

In terms of displays, new 5G smartphones priced above CNY3,000 in the first half had all been equipped with an OLED panel. Xiaomi and Oppo competed fiercely in the entry-level sector and both have chosen to adopt OLED panels for some of their inexpensive models in order to raise their price/performance ratios.

LCD panels are now considered entry-level hardware specifications and only appeared in Xiaomi and Samsung Electronics' sub-CNY2,000 products.

Over 76% of the new 5G smartphones feature a panel with above 60Hz refresh rate, while 49% had a panel with 120Hz or 144Hz refresh rate. With high refresh-rate panels becoming standard equipment for 5G smartphones, panels with only a 60Hz refresh rate will gradually be retired.