The Mobile Phone Semiconductor Market was valued at USD 44.931 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 69.303 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 7.49% over the forecast period 2021 - 2026. The increasing adoption of smart technologies in mobile phones and the rapid introduction of next-generation mobile-communications standards, like LTE or 5G, are some of the major factors driving the adoption of semiconductor components in mobile phones.
- In 2019, the overall semiconductor industry witnessed lesser growth, and the smartphone business was also fluctuating. However, the mobile phone semiconductor market was able to witness a marginal growth, owing to the increasing adopting of RF-based applications in smartphones. In many regions, especially Asia-Pacific, the smartphone business was the largest consumer of the semiconductor industry.
- Since the past year, the smartphone industry has been witnessing a nearing maturity state which is affecting the mobile phone semiconductor industry. However, with the advent of 5G technology and governments approval for the adoption of 5G technology, it is expected to enable smartphone users to shift from phones supporting 4G and LTE technology to 5G technology which would create huge opportunities for the studied market.
- In December 2019, India announced to allow all network equipment makers, including Huawei, to participate in 5G trials. Such instances are anticipated to boost the market for mobile phone semiconductor market.
- The increased revenue of RF was generated from its growing adoption among more bands, a larger number of carriers aggregated, and higher-order MIMO configurations supported by an increase in smartphone ASPs. This trend was expected to continue in 2019, with the addition of the mid-band spectrum for sub-6GHz 5G and mmWave modules in some 5G phones.
- Changes in the semiconductor supply chain, market fluctuation due to the US-China trade war, and the shifting business models created opportunities for some manufacturers, while posing a threat to others.
- The significant outbreak of the COVID-19 across the globe has disrupted the supply chain and production especially in the Asia-Pacific region. Major semiconductor manufacturing industries have been significantly affected as a result of Asia-Pacific being a world production center over the past two to three decades.
Key Market Trends
Memory to Drive the Mobile Phone Semiconductor Market by Component Type
- A large portion of the growth in this segment will be driven by ongoing technological advancements such as cloud computing and virtual reality in end-devices such as smartphones. Sharply higher average selling prices (ASPs) for dynamic random access memory (DRAM) and NAND flash chips are also playing a substantial role in generating revenues.
- In general, the expected price decreases would be offset by new capacity for flash memory and for DRAM, which would result in a better balance of supply and demand for these devices to support more latest applications such as enterprise solid-state drives (SSDs), augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence, graphics, and other complex, real-time workload functions.
- The market has been witnessing fluctuations in the supply chain of memory components since 2018, which has also resulted in the variation in NAND and DRAM memory pricing that initially began in late 2018. In 2019, NAND demand remained robust due to the growing adoption of SSDs and continued content growth in smartphones.
- However, the emerging memory technologies are poised to cannibalize huge chunks of the DRAM demand in the industry. In July 2019, Samsung, a major vendor for smartphone's memory chips, announced that it began the mass production of the industry's first 12-gigabit (Gb) LPDDR5 mobile DRAM, which is optimized for enabling 5G and AI features in future smartphones.
- The Samsung's massive capital spending on its semiconductor division has created overcapacity in the memory market, the 3D NAND flash market in particular. The overcapacity will lead to excess supplies in the market, which will lower the market price for memory. As a result, revenues for these chips will drop in the later part of 2019, adversely affecting the entire semiconductor market.
Asia-Pacific to Hold a Dominant Position in the Mobile Phone Semiconductor Market
- Asia-Pacific is one of the major markets for mobile phone and semiconductor technologies. The region is dominating semiconductor and smartphone manufacturing fields. Most of the major companies, in both the markets, are based in the Asia-Pacific region, while the remaining companies have a presence in the region.
- The region also dominates the global semiconductor market. The increasing smartphone and semiconductor production, especially in the emerging countries, is also augmenting the mobile semiconductor demand in the region. Countries, like India, Vietnam, Thailand, and Singapore, among others, are witnessing an increasing number of smartphone manufacturers setting up their manufacturing plants in the region.
- For instance, in June 2018, Samsung opened the world's largest smartphone factory in India. China-based OPPO, a smartphone manufacturer, had an initial planning to produce 100 million handsets in India in 2020. Google is moving aggressively to shift production of its Pixel smartphone to Vietnam, as it seeks to build a low-cost supply chain in Southeast Asia.
- China, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, and Taiwan are some of the highly developed semiconductor producers in the region. However, countries, like Malaysia and India, are also emerging as potential markets. The smartphone market is also massive in these countries; hence, they can offer enormous opportunity for the market studied too. Malaysia is emerging as one of the vital semiconductor export markets.
- Recently, in 2020, the Indian government announced that it will unveil a detailed scheme soon, to boost mobile phone and semiconductor manufacturing in the country. A Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme (MSIPS) will promote the 20-odd component manufacturing ecosystem in the country. According to the India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA), the country's mobile phone production, in 2019, was around 350 million units.
The Mobile Phone Semiconductor Market is a highly fragmented market, dominated by several major players. Various acquisitions and collaboration of large companies have taken place and are expected to take place shortly which focuses on innovation. Some of the key players in the market are Samsung Electronics and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. These companies are leveraging strategic collaborative initiatives to increase their market share and increase their profitability.
- July 2019 - MediaTek announced the launch of its Helio G90 series chipsets with Helio G90 & G90T exclusively designed to be the core of an incredible smartphone gaming experience. The Helio G90 Series combines the latest CPU and GPU cores with ultra-fast memory and massive AI performance to deliver fast, fluid action. And for even more gaming power, the MediaTek Helio G90 series is paired with MediaTek's HyperEngine game technology that tunes the entire smartphone for the greatest gaming experience possible.
- January 2020- Due to growing demand for 4G Smartphones, Qualcomm Technologies Inc. launched three new mobile platforms: the Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G, 662, and 460, which will enable enhanced user experiences across connectivity, gaming, and entertainment. These new mobile platforms enable fast 4G connectivity speeds, deliver key Wi-Fi 6 features, and integrated Bluetooth 5.1 with advanced audio via the Qualcomm FastConnect 6-series subsystems, and are the first system-on-chip solutions to support Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC).
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