MediaTek emerges as the preferred chipset partner for Smartphone OEMs in India

Out of total 117, 54 smartphone models were launched in 1H’21 (Jan-Jun) using a MediaTek SoC.  Qualcomm led the 5G smartphone launches with 20 out of 35 models launched using its chipset.

Even as the pandemic jitter continues to loom over the market sentiments giving shock waves to the industry along with the erratic supply-chain issues which seem not to be settling before mid of 2022, a total of 117 smartphones were launched in India in the 1st half (Jan-Jun) of 2021.

Among smartphone OEMs Samsung led with 16 launches, closely followed by Realme with 15 launches.  Vivo stood 3rd with 10 launches.  Across OEMs there were 178 variants of models launched for various price segments with different configurations.

Releasing the India Smartphone Chipset Report, Faisal Kawoosa, Chief Analyst, Techarc said, “Selection of a chipset supplier is an important decision for OEMs enabling them to build smartphones with an ideal balance of features, performance and experience.  While revenues market share is a factor of sales of smartphones for chipset players as well, the first acid-test continues to be the selection, which is done after rigorous testing and assessment of platform by the OEMs.”

“This is an area where India needs to pursue AtmaNirbhar ambition rigorously and soon have a domestic player making chipsets for smartphones and other smart devices.  We do have hopes in players like Saankhya Labs,” added Faisal.

Opining on the market competition, Kavita Behera, Analyst, Techarc said, “The Premium and Luxe segments are Qualcomm’s strongholds as it usually introduces SoCs of new platforms first aligning with the plans of smartphone OEMs to offer latest technology in premium segments first.  However, the major volume segments of Basic and Mid-range are strongly held by MediaTek.”

“It needs to be seen how this will pan out as 5G smartphones proliferate in lower price segments through the year,” concluded Kavita.

Key Tech-Insights:

  • Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 and MediaTek’s Helio G35 tie for No 1 chipset with maximum number of smartphone models launched by OEMs in 1H 2021. 9 models each were launched using these chipsets.  This is clearly due to increasing interest towards smartphone gaming and OEMs launching optimal gaming experience devices across price points.
  • In 5G smartphones, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 led with 9 models launched followed by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 870, MediaTek’s Dimensity 800U and MediaTek’s 700 at second place with 5 launches each.
  • In terms of maximum variants launched on a chipset, MediaTek’s Helio G80 and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 732G were used as SoC for 11 variants each by smartphone OEMs.
  • MediaTek offered a wider portfolio for smartphone OEMs with 17 different chipsets being used for launches in 1H 2021. Compared to these 15 chipsets of Qualcomm were picked by OEMs for smartphones launched during the period.
  • In the squeezing Entry segment (less than Rs 6,000) of smartphones, 3 out of 10 smartphones launched were on UNISOC, 2 on Qualcomm and 1 on a MediaTek chipset. This segment is critical for widening the smartphone user base in India helping millions of featurephone users to upgrade.  However, OEMs are yet to find an ideal product for this segment with an ideal balance between experience and price.
  • The Basic segment (Rs 6,000 – Rs 12,000) was dominated with MediaTek based smartphones. 26 smartphone models were launched using a MediaTek chipset out of a total of 42 smartphones launched in 1H 2021.  Basic segment is still the largest segment contributing 46.1% of smartphone sales during the period.
  • The Mid segment (Rs 12,001 – Rs 25,000) is another fast-growing segment and all leading OEMs have forayed their launches for users to buy in this range. Here again, MediaTek was the preferred choice of OEMs as 23 smartphone models out of 42 were launched on a MediaTek chipset.  In comparison only 17 smartphone models were launched on a Qualcomm chipset.  This segment is the 2nd largest segment by sales contributing 39.7% during 1H 2021.
  • The Premium segment (Rs 25,001 – Rs 50,000) is strong with Qualcomm with 13 out of 19 smartphone models launched on a Snapdragon chipset. In this segment MediaTek had 5 launches.  Much to the credit of OnePlus, this has emerged as a distinct segment and all leading OEMs have launched their smartphones in this segment as well.  The segment contributed 8.7% of smartphone sales during Jan-Jun 2021.
  • In the Luxe segment (more than Rs 50,00) Qualcomm is the only pureplay fabless chipset provider with 7 out of 10 smartphones launched in the segment during 1H 2021. MediaTek is yet to foray in the segment.  The segment contributed 1.3% of the smartphone sales during the period.
  • The 5nm node is picking up in India with 13 smartphone models launched with this size of chipset. However, maximum (40) smartphones were launched on 12nm node.  This is helping improve the efficiency of the chipset at a lesser power consumption.

About the Report: The report presents insights about the smartphone chipset market in India. The purpose of this report is to highlight the selection of chipset supplier by smartphone OEMs and its implications on the market. The report is based on the number of distinct smartphone models as well as their variants (different configurations) that are introduced by smartphone OEMs during the period; in this case 1H 2021 (Jan-Jun).

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