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MediaTek and Samsung LSI Made Progress in LTE Basebands

by Sravan Kundojjala | 7月 03, 2015

The global cellular baseband market grew 27 percent year-over-year in Q1 2015 to reach $5.8 billion, by Strategy Analytics estimates. The growth was primarily driven by LTE basebands.

Here are some highlights from our Q1 2015 Quarterly Cellular Baseband Tracker report:

  • Qualcomm, MediaTek, Spreadtrum, Samsung LSI and Marvell captured the top-five baseband revenue share spots in Q1 2015. Qualcomm ranked number one with 61 percent revenue share followed by MediaTek with 18 percent revenue share.
  • Qualcomm, the baseband market leader, saw strong competition in the LTE segment from MediaTek and Samsung LSI. Qualcomm's LTE unit share dropped to 68 percent in Q1 2015 and this can be attributed to S6 design-loss and MediaTek's LTE inroads. Despite increased competition, we believe Qualcomm's broad portfolio coupled with its global footprint continue to serve well.
  • MediaTek made its mark in the LTE baseband market and the company established itself as the solid number two LTE player to Qualcomm. MediaTek captured a double-digit unit share in the LTE baseband market in Q1 2015 and MediaTek's LTE apps processors gained good traction in China. Strategy Analytics predicts MediaTek will continue to gain share in LTE basebands in the next few quarters.
  • Spreadtrum ranked number three with 7 percent revenue share in Q1 2015. The company overtook MediaTek to capture number two position in 3G basebands. Spreadtrum scored significant 3G design-wins at Samsung, Lenovo, Huawei, HTC and others. We expect Spreadtrum to gain share in LTE basebands too with its LTE apps processors.
  • Samsung LSI capitalised on its S6 and S6 Edge design-wins at Samsung Mobile and ranked number three in LTE basebands. Samsung LSI is likely to maintain its momentum in 2H 2015 too with the help of upcoming Galaxy Note 5 design-win.
  • Marvell ranked number five in the global baseband market in Q1 2015. Marvell currently draws majority of its baseband revenue from the Chinese TD-LTE market. Marvell's LTE chips are certified by AT&T and Verizon Wireless and we expect Marvell's upcoming turnkey LTE solution to generate significant volume. We believe Marvell on its own may not survive for long in the baseband market and the company's mobile chip business could potentially be acquired by a China-based handset company.
  • Intel is in transition currently and we expect Intel's future baseband growth to come from its Rockchip and Spreadtrum's partnerships.

Overall, Q1 2015 was a good quarter for the baseband market. LTE has now become a key growth engine for all baseband vendors and we expect intense price competition in LTE basebands in the next few quarters.

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