MediaTek dethroned Qualcomm in Q4 2021 and Google might somewhat be responsible

While Qualcomm and MediaTek are disputing over who powered the most Android phones in the US in Q1 2021, another player is slowly gaining ground.

Although research firms Counterpoint and IDC both agree that Qualcomm sold the most chips in 2021, their stats differ when it comes to the last quarter. IDC says MediaTek had more than 48 percent of the US Android market, while Qualcomm had a share of around 44 percent. Counterpoint, on the other hand, claims Qualcomm had 55 percent of the pie, and MediaTek had just 37 percent.

Regardless of which numbers are more accurate, one thing is clear: MediaTek is closing in on Qualcomm and while that could largely be attributed to the fact that the former is now trying to compete more aggressively with the latter by expanding its lineup, MediaTek should perhaps consider sending a thank-you note to Google.
PCMag reports that IDC’s mobile phone research director Anthony Scarsella outlined two factors that contributed to MediaTek’s performance. First, the chipmaker provided SoCs for three top-selling smartphones: the Samsung Galaxy A12 and A32, and the Motorola G Pure. 
The other probable reason is that Google has ditched Qualcomm and its Pixel 6 phones that are powered by the homebrewed Tensor chip took away from the market share of Qualcomm as the company previously used to equip its phones with Snapdragon chipsets. Scarsella goes as far as to say that if it wasn’t for Google, MediaTek wouldn’t have overtaken Qualcomm.

Overall, Apple was the winner and had 56 percent of the market in Q4 2021 in the US. Apple’s iPhones are powered by its own Bionic chips.

In the grand scheme of things, Google still has a long way to go. Tensor’s market share was so insignificant that it was put under the “other” chips category. Still, the fact that this was enough to dethrone Qualcomm and the report about the Pixel 6 breaking Google’s sale record is enough to prove that the company is becoming a threat for both chipmakers and phone makers. 

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Last update was on: March 11, 2022 8:23 am

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