Samsung is the world’s biggest memory chip maker, but it is ranked way down the order when it comes to smartphone processors. The company is trying to improve its position in the smartphone chipset market with Exynos processors, but its plan hasn’t worked well yet. According to a new report, Samsung ranked fifth in the global smartphone chipset market last year.
According to a new report from research firm Strategy Analytics, Samsung had a 9 percent share in the global smartphone chipset market in terms of revenue. It ranked below Qualcomm (31%), Apple (23%), MediaTek (18%), and Huawei’s HiSilicon (18%). The global smartphone processor market grew 25% last year to a whopping $25 billion, thanks to solid demand for processors with built-in 5G connectivity. There was also a high demand for 5nm and 7nm chipsets, which benefitted Samsung’s foundry arm and TSMC.
5nm and 7nm chips reportedly accounted for 40% of all smartphone chipsets in 2020. Last year, over 900 million chips were sold that have integrated AI (Artificial Intelligence) processing. In the tablet chipset market, Samsung ranked fifth with a revenue share of 7%. Apple topped the tablet processor ranking with a 48% revenue share of the global market. Intel (16%), Qualcomm (14%), and MediaTek (8%) ranked second, third, and fourth, respectively.
Samsung’s smartphone processor market share depends a lot on the sales of Galaxy smartphones, but it is trying to expand its business by supplying chipsets to brands like Vivo. Sravan Kundojjala, an associate director at Strategy Analytics, said, “The company’s in-house customer’s underperformance in the smartphone market limited its growth. Samsung has had success with its Vivo 5G chip relationship in 2020.” In 2021, the company’s market share is expected to improve.
The South Korean firm was criticized a lot last year due to the subpar performance of its Exynos 990 processor. However, the company’s latest high-end chipsets—Exynos 1080 and Exynos 2100—come with massive performance and power-efficiency improvement. Samsung is planning to launch three more processors this year. The company has also partnered with AMD to bring Radeon GPU technologies to its Exynos processors.