The latest scorecard tallying global smartphone brains reveals a two-horse SOC race with MediaTek and Qualcomm dominating volume and revenue respectively last quarter. Counterpoint Research’s newest market share breakdown highlights fierce competition between the chip rivals.
Based on Q3 2023 shipment volumes, MediaTek clinched the top spot with 33% share. The company edged out Qualcomm, which grabbed 28% of chipset shipments. MediaTek’s ascent resulted from strong mid-range Dimensity sales, plus a boost from its new Generative AI silicon.
With inventory clearing and fresh affordable 5G models launching, MediaTek leveraged its Dimensity 7000 series might to seize shipment leadership, its new Dimensity 9300 with on-device AI offered a compelling premium chip solution.
Despite trailing in volumes, Qualcomm still flexed financial muscle to lead the revenue race, captured an impressive 40% revenue share on the strength of high-end Snapdragon sales. Flagship launches like the Galaxy Z Fold/Flip fueled Q3 growth, alongside uptake of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip.
In fact, adoption of Qualcomm’s cutting edge Snapdragon SOC across premium Chinese OEM devices helped drive major Q3 revenue share gains, 8 Gen 3 Chip looks poised to repeat this success in the current quarter.
Apple took third place with its custom A-series chips accounting for 31% revenue share. The debut of its iPhone 15 lineup boosted Apple silicon sales up over 23% sequentially last quarter. But Apple’s control of its own chip destiny means it lags in broad industry revenue.
Overall, MediaTek and Qualcomm collectively accounted for over 71% of all smartphone AP/SOC revenues in Q3. MediaTek itself managed 15% share, enough for a strong third place finish. With phone makers hungry for 5G, expect the Taiwanese giant’s relentless affordable chip innovation to heat up the race in coming quarters.
Between Apple’s in-house advantage, and heated Qualcomm and MediaTek competition, the smartphone chip wars show no signs of cooling off. As adoption moves mainstream across emerging markets, silicon speeds and feeds take on increasing importance. Game on!