Baseband/Modem & Smartphones Market '17


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Baseband/Modem & Smartphones Market ’17

Global Market Analysis of Baseband/Modem Suppliers & Smartphones

Report No. 1712

September, 2017

Table of Contents

This report provides a detailed market analysis of all baseband/modems, smartphones and wireless-connected tablets. Five-year forecasts are provided in considerable detail for each. As a bonus, smartphone and non-smart cellphones are forecast for all global regions.

The report discusses the 2017 market positioning of the primary vendors. It also provides 2016 quarterly unit shipments and YOY market shares in revenue for the top modem, smartphone and tablet suppliers. Both revenue and unit shipments for 2016 are provided for major vendors of each category and five-year forecasts for all covered devices are included.

QualcommMediaTek and Spreadtrum will remain the top-3 mobile handset chip suppliers in 2017, with Qualcomm dominating the high-end premium market, and MediaTek and Spreadtrum sharing the mid-range and low-end segments.


The architectural shift in the LTE baseband UE Category level (Cat 4 to Cat 7), processor performance, and the custom graphic processor all favor Qualcomm.  MediaTek, the second-ranked smartphone chip supplier after Qualcomm, has recently been losing market share after nearly four years of strong gains in the 4G LTE segment. However, MediaTek’s new flagship MT6799 Helio™ X30 processor, which employs MIPS in its Cat-10 LTE modem, indicates that the company is working to improve its modem market share. Impressively, MediaTek has established a strong customer base in China, and claims to be selling its chips to every smartphone maker except Apple.

In contrast, Qualcomm is now shipping Cat-16 modem technology and has moved the Snapdragon 800, 600 and 400 series into 14 nm processes and grabbing significant business away from MediaTek.  Beginning in 2H 2016, Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi and Meizu began switching to Qualcomm from MediaTek. Qualcomm has grown from 48% to 52% unit market share and nearly 60% in revenue.

With Qualcomm’s full-fledged product portfolio and strong software, it’s unlikely that MediaTek can catch up soon. On the other hand, HiSilicon has aggressively increased its market share and could challenge MediaTek if they decide to become a non-captive baseband chip set supplier. HiSilicon’s Kirin baseband-processor platforms are currently exclusive to Huawei with a unit market share estimate at 5%, mostly serving the mid-range segment but edging towards the premium segment with support for Cat 12 and beyond. The upcoming Kirin 980 is claimed to have gigabit downlink capability and is scheduled for early 2018. Huawei’s smartphones are now challenging Apple for the #2 market position in China.

The report is an extensive (295-page) market study that covers all the modems, smartphones, and tablets that incorporate those modems. As a bonus, the report covers all major cellular operators and their subscribers, worldwide. You are invited to scan the extensive table of contents to understand the full extent of this valuable study and all the companies covered.

As with all our reports, your satisfaction is guaranteed.


Carter L. Horney, a recognized authority on microprocessors and DSPs in communications, is the author of this study.  Mr. Horney is a Forward Concepts Associate and was formerly Division Planner for Rockwell International’s Digital Communications Division and earlier Strategic Marketing manager for Rockwell’s Semiconductor Products Division.  Mr. Horney was responsible for the product planning, which led Rockwell (now Conexant Systems) to dominate the worldwide FAX and dial modem chip market.  He was a Rockwell Engineering Fellow and has a B.S. in Mathematics and Physics and an M.S. in Mathematics from Western Illinois University.


Will Strauss, President of Forward Concepts, is an internationally-recognized authority on markets driven by DSP Technology (and wireless is the largest DSP market), and was a significant contributor to this study.

Report provided only in electronic form (PDF), with enterprise-wide license privileges:

295 Pages, 16 Figures and 173 Tables


North American & International Price:  $2,250

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