2 April 2012

Mobile device market grows over 20% in 2011 versus just 2% for overall semiconductor market

Mobile device semiconductors were one of the few bright spots in a chipset market that stalled in 2011, as revenue from chipsets designed for mobile devices grew by more than 20% to $35bn while the total semiconductor market rose just 2% year-on-year, according to ABI Research’s new report ‘Mobile Device Semiconductor Markets’, which focuses on baseband ICs, applications processors, power amplifiers etc in devices such as smartphones and media tablets.

“It’s tempting to describe this industry as lackluster,” says Peter Cooney, practice director, semiconductors. “But then some segments of the semiconductor market are booming, and vendors concentrating on the mobile device sector have delivered very healthy growth in 2011,” he adds.

Shipments of mobile devices such as smartphones, media tablets, and e-book readers are growing fast and are driving growth for a range of semiconductor components including modems, applications processors, wireless connectivity ICs, MEMS sensors, and audio ICs.

Platform ICs (including modems, applications processors, RF components, and PMUs) account for the bulk of overall revenues, but are becoming an increasingly competitive section of the market. Suppliers including Qualcomm, ST-Ericsson, MediaTek, Intel, Texas Instruments, Broadcom, Marvell, and Renesas Mobile have positioned themselves as platform solution suppliers, and the top 10 suppliers now account for more than 75% of total revenue and their dominance will continue to build as niche suppliers are acquired or muscled out of the market, reckons ABI.

Growth and opportunities will be more prevalent within wireless connectivity ICs (Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, NFC, etc.) as well as MEMS sensors and audio. Growth across the three segments will top a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30% from 2011 to 2016, the firm concludes.

Tags: RFICs

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