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The global smartphone applications processor (AP) market grew 17 percent to $8.3 billion in the third quarter (Q3) this year, with Qualcomm and MediaTek posting double-digit growth, according to a new report.

Qualcomm maintained its smartphone AP leadership with a 34 percent revenue share, followed by Apple with 28 percent and MediaTek with 27 percent. New entrant Google captured a 0.1 percent share.

MediaTek exited the first nine months of 2021 with a 26-million-unit lead over Qualcomm, reports market research firm Strategy Analytics.

MediaTek is on track to become the leading smartphone AP vendor in unit terms for the first time on an annual basis in 2021.

“Qualcomm, MediaTek and Unisoc all posted solid double-digit shipment and revenue growth in smartphone APs in Q3 2021. Qualcomm and MediaTek benefited from HiSilicon’s forced exit while Unisoc saw strong growth in its 3G and 4G AP shipments,” said Sravan Kundojjala, associate director of handset component technologies service at Strategy Analytics.

“We expect AP vendors to focus more on 5G in 2022 to maximise their revenue and profit,” he added.

5G-attached AP shipments grew 82 percent year-on-year, driving a 19 percent growth in overall AP average selling prices (ASPs).

Qualcomm’s premium tier AP Snapdragon 888/888+ was the top-selling Android AP during the quarter.

“TSMC manufactured three-fourths of total smartphone APs shipped in Q3 2021, followed by Samsung Foundry,” the report noted.

Smartphone APs manufactured in 7 nm and below process technologies accounted for 47 percent of total smartphone AP shipments in Q3 2021, it added.

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