A quarterly mobile phone sales tracker by analyst group IDC has thrown up a surprising statistic. MediaTek chips now account for 48.1 percent of all Android phone sales in the United States compared to Qualcomm’s 43.9 percent. The numbers are the latest in a series of quarters where MediaTek has slowly but certainly gained market share at the expense of the far more popular Qualcomm.
There is a caveat though. Counterpoint research’s figures for the same period (Q4 2021) put MediaTek at 37 percent and Qualcomm at 55 percent. So, Qualcomm might still be holding on to the lead. But MediaTek is definitely enjoying some gains especially in the low to mid-range smartphone market, where several popular offerings are powered by chips made by the company.
A similar trend is being seen in countries like India which have a much larger market for affordable smartphones. This comes on the back on reports that the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, the company’s flagship processor is experiencing thermal throttling issues. This, it is being claimed, is a result of Qualcomm being forced to work with Samsung (TSMC’s foundries couldn’t take on any more orders) to produce these chips, instead of TSMC, as they have in the past. Critics have also pointed to the lower gains in performance and efficiency that Qualcomm’s newer chips have seen in recent years.
Meanwhile, MediaTek is working towards capitalizing on this momentum with new chipsets including the hugely anticipated Dimensity 8000.