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2010 Cellular Baseband Vendor Market Share: Intel, Broadcom and Spreadtrum Showed Strong Growth

by Sravan Kundojjala | Mar 31, 2011

Global cellular baseband revenue reached $13.2 billion in 2010 showing an impressive 20 percent year-over-year growth while unit shipments grew 25.5 percent.

Here are some highlights from our cellular baseband market share estimates for 2010:

 

  • Despite shipping the most cellular baseband units in 2010, MediaTek struggled to increase its revenue share due to intense price competition in the low-end GSM/GPRS/EDGE (GGE) market from MStar and Spreadtrum. By our estimates, MediaTek ranked number one in GGE and TD-SCDMA markets. MediaTek couldn't ramp up its first W-CDMA baseband MT6268 shipments in 2010 and as a result the company had less than 1 percent unit shipment share in the W-CDMA market in 2010. MediaTek's recent MT6573 HSPA smartphone product compares well against competitors' products and should help the company to gain some traction in 2011.

 

  • Through its acquisition of Infineon's wireless business, Intel ranked number four overall in units and revenue and the company's basebands featured in multiple high-volume products in 2011. By our estimates, Infineon ranked number two in the second half of 2010 in revenue terms behind Qualcomm. We think Intel's immediate task is to maintain this momentum and ramp up its HSPA+ platform XMM6260.

 

  • Both Broadcom and Spreadtrum registered triple-digit year-over-year growth in 2010 in their baseband unit volume and revenue. We estimate that Spreadtrum shipped more basebands than Broadcom, Marvell and ST-Ericsson in the second half of 2010. Spreadtrum is well positioned to make further share gains with its upcoming 40 nm TD-SCDMA and GGE products. Broadcom benefited from its ramp ups at Nokia and Samsung while Spreadtrum gained from its international expansion in 2010.

 

  • ST-Ericsson registered relatively flat growth in 2010. Strategy Analytics believes that ST-Ericsson's market share losses are bottoming out and the company is well positioned to improve its share from the second half of 2011 with its upcoming W-CDMA design-wins at tier-one OEMs. We think ST-Ericsson's renewed product portfolio positions the company well to compete in the smartphone market in 2011.

 

  • Icera, a soft modem baseband vendor, also registered impressive growth in 2011 with its momentum in the mobile broadband market. We note that Icera is one of only a few companies to have market-ready HSPA+ and LTE basebands and chipsets. Marvell and VIA Telecom also made progress in 2010.

Looking ahead, we think secular trends such as radio technology shifts (to HSPA+ and LTE), accelerated smartphone adoption, mobile broadband and emerging markets will provide growth opportunities to cellular baseband vendors. We think radio technology shifts will also provide entry points to new vendors in future.

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