Smartphone AP shipments to China expected to pick up 10% on quarter in 2Q23, says DIGITIMES Research

Stella Weng, DIGITIMES Research, Taipei 0


Looking into second-quarter 2023, smartphone AP shipments to China-based vendors are estimated to come to 132 million units, increasing 10% sequentially as smartphone brands ramp up their inventory more aggressively than they did in the prior quarter to prepare for the 618 shopping festival in China. However, on a year-over-year basis, the volume will still represent a more than 30% decline, indicating sluggish AP demand overall, according to figures from DIGITIMES Research's latest report covering the smartphone AP industry.

First-quarter 2023 smartphone application processor (AP) shipments to China-based smartphone brand vendors amounted to 120 million units, plunging 12.1% from the prior quarter and 32.6% from the prior year due to ongoing smartphone demand shrinkage on top of vendors' inventory adjustment and slow season, the figures show.

With respect to individual AP suppliers' performance in the first quarter of 2023, MediaTek secured the largest market share at 48.3%, followed by Qualcomm with 44.2%. Going into second-quarter 2023, China-based AP supplier Unisoc is set to show major growth in its 4G AP shipments while Huawei's subsidiary Hisilicon will resume shipment momentum so MediaTek and Qualcomm will see their market share decline to 46.6% and 42.4%, respectively.

In terms of the manufacturing process technology, the share of 4/5nm smartphone APs among those shipped to China-based vendors is expected to grow to 36.4% in the second quarter of 2023 with Qualcomm and MediaTek both making their flagship and mid- to high-tier APs on 4/5nm nodes. The share of 6/7/8nm smartphone APs, on the other hand, is estimated to fall to 54.9% as inventory preparation weakens in overseas markets while 4G AP inventory depletion decelerates.