Cellular baseband market revenue reached $3.5 billion during the first quarter of 2011, with Qualcomm Inc. and Intel Corp. leading the way, according to market research outfit Strategy Analytics.
The market as a whole saw healthy 20% year-over-year growth, though between vendors there were noticeable winners and losers.
Qualcomm, according to SA, topped the list for baseband unit volume and revenue share rankings in Q1 2011, thanks mainly to its strong position in the CDMA, W-CDMA and LTE baseband markets. Meanwhile Broadcom Corp., Intel and China-based Spreadtrum Communications Co. Ltd. carried through the momentum from their impressive first quarter and all saw strong shipment growth. On the less successful side of the scale, MediaTek Inc. and ST-Ericsson continued to face the same challenges as they did last year, with both showing negative revenue growth compared with that of the first quarter in 2010.
Sravan Kundojjala, a senior analyst at SA, said Intel’s cellular baseband revenue was increasing thanks to its design-win momentum with tier-one handset manufacturers. Despite the latest MeeGo setback, Nokia Corp. continues to be an important baseband customer for Intel in terms of volume,” he noted, though he went on to point out that the firm was “noticeably absent in Nokia’s 3G baseband supplier list which is both a threat and a potential opportunity for Intel.”
Meanwhile, Spreadtrum’s success was attributed to its “aggressive pricing, international expansion and R&D subsidies from the Chinese government.”