Huawei's HiSilicon become China's top chip vendor as it surpassed Qualcomm, and then?

来  源 / 雷锋网

作  者 / 包永刚

原标题 / 华为海思手机处理器国内份额首次超越高通,格局由此而变?

According to, the monthly semiconductor industry report released by Chinese analysis agency CINNO Research this week shows that Huawei's HiSilicon has a commanding 43.9% market share in China, overtaking Qualcomm to become the leading chip vendor in China for the first time. This change is mainly caused by the the epidemic, therefore, will this change in ranking transform the Chinese mobile phone processor market pattern? Qualcomm's latest financial report released on Wednesday also revealed some key information.

The CINNO Research report pointed out that due to the severe impact of the epidemic and other factors, the Chinese mobile phone market experienced a significant decline in the first quarter of 2020, which led to a nearly 44% decline in smartphone processor shipments compared with the first quarter of 2019. Under such circumstances, various brands of mobile phone processor shipments have declined to varying degrees. Except for Huawei, HiSilicon's shipments in this quarter were almost flat compared to the same period last year.

Data show that HiSilicon netted 22.21 million shipments in Q1 2020, which was basically the same as the 22.17 million in Q1 2019. It surpassed Qualcomm for the first time with a 43.9% share, while Qualcomm's market share is 32.8%. At the same time, the concentration of China's smartphone processor market share has further increased. Specifically, Huawei HiSilicon ranked first with a 43.9% share, followed by its largest competitor Qualcomm with a 32.8% share. MediaTek and Apple ranked third and fourth.

CINNO Research believes that the stable shipment of HiSilicon is closely related to the increased efforts of Huawei mobile phones to adopt HiSilicon processors, which has exceeded 90% in the first quarter of 2020.

Huawei mobile phone processors have always adopted self-research and external procurement methods. Huawei mobile phones use self-researched HiSilicon Kirin series processors to increase the proportion, coupled with the impact of the epidemic, etc., Hisilicon's market share in the first quarter surpassed Qualcomm in China. But can this situation continue? Look at Qualcomm's expectations.

On April 29, Qualcomm released its financial report for the second quarter of 2020. The financial report showed that Qualcomm's second-quarter revenue was US $ 5.21 billion, or about RMB 36.7 billion, up 6.6% year-on-year, exceeding analyst expectations. At the same time as the second-quarter earnings report was released, Qualcomm also lowered its forecast for the next quarter. Due to the pandemic, Qualcomm expects that its smartphone shipments will drop by 30% in the next few months.

Qualcomm's financial report for the second quarter of 2020, from Qualcomm's financial report

Qualcomm said that three factors related to COVID-19 virus may affect sales in the coming months:

• The COVID-19 virus and policies to prevent the spread of viruses around the world may affect the confidence of businesses and consumers

• The need for customers or licensees using Qualcomm products to sell new smartphones

• The status of global supply chain, distribution network and employee 

In addition, Qualcomm also cited other factors that may affect its revenue, including patent licensing disputes with Huawei, network deployment, and its dependence on "a small number of customers and authorized users" and high-end equipment markets.

Pictures from Qualcomm's official website

This means that the entire mobile phone industry chain will continue to be affected by the pandemic. However, there are some challenges for Huawei, which wants to continue to maintain its leading position in the Chinese mobile phone processor.

On the one hand, based on Huawei's corporate culture, the probability of using 100% Kirin processors on Huawei phones is not high. Huawei and Qualcomm have always maintained a cooperative relationship. Therefore, Hisilicon has little space to further encroach on Qualcomm's market share in China's mobile processor market.

On the other hand, 5G has become a new battlefield for mobile phone processors, and Qualcomm is currently the main provider of 5G processors for 5G phones already on the market. Although Qualcomm expects new mobile phone shipments to decline by 30% in the next few months, it still maintains its expectation of 175 million and 225 million 5G mobile phone shipments in 2020. It shows that Qualcomm is still confident in the 5G mobile phone market and its leadership this year.

Notably, the strategy adopted by Qualcomm in the 5G era is to increase the value of each device through a higher-performance core chipset and a new RF front end. In addition, the industry generally expects that this year's iPhone12 series will support 5G, and Qualcomm is also the only optional supplier of Apple's 5G modem.

The share of HiSilicon Kirin processor in the Chinese market surpassed Qualcomm, indicating that the fiercely competitive mobile phone market may still have variables. The large-scale commercial use of 5G encounters the pandemic in 2020, which makes us look forward to the future pattern of the 5G market.

Undoubtedly, China will still be the main battlefield of the 5G era.

This is an article from, written by Bao Yonggang, translated by Chris Yuan.