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April 4, 2011

Cellular baseband market grew 20% to $13.2bn in 2010: Report

Qualcomm led the overall cellular baseband market with a 40% share in revenue terms in 2010

By CBR Staff Writer

Global cellular baseband revenue reached $13.2bn in 2010, showing a strong 20% year-over-year growth, according to a latest report from Strategy Analytics Handset Component Technologies service.

The report, Baseband Market Share Tracker: Broadcom and Spreadtrum’s Growth Surged in 2010, said Qualcomm led the overall cellular baseband market with a 40% share in revenue terms in 2010.

This growth is based on the strength of its dominant market position in the CDMA and W-CDMA baseband markets.

Strategy Analytics Handset Component Technologies service director Stuart Robinson said through its acquisition of Infineon, Intel ranked fourth in the overall baseband market behind Qualcomm, MediaTek and Texas Instruments in 2010.

"In the all important UMTS / W-CDMA sector, Intel is now already ranked third. We believe that Intel’s immediate task is to maintain this momentum by ramping up its HSPA+ platform XMM6260 in the handset and non-handset markets," Robinson said.

According to Strategy Analytics, both Broadcom and Spreadtrum registered triple-digit growth in unit shipments and revenues in 2010.

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Broadcom benefited from its ramp ups at Nokia and Samsung in the second half of 2010, while Spreadtrum gained from its international expansion, the report said.

Strategy Analytics senior analyst Sravan Kundojjala said the research firm estimates that Spreadtrum shipped more basebands than Broadcom, Marvell and ST-Ericsson in the second half of 2010.

"We estimate that MediaTek and Spreadtrum together accounted for 45% of total GSM/GPRS/EDGE baseband shipments in 2010," Kundojjala said.

Despite shipping the most cellular baseband unit shipments in 2010, MediaTek struggled to increase its revenue share due to intense price pressure from MStar Semiconductor and Spreadtrum, especially in the second half of 2010.

ST-Ericsson’s market share losses are bottoming out and the company is well-positioned to improve its market share from the second half of 2011 with its upcoming W-CDMA design-wins at tier-one handset manufacturers, the report added.

Robinson said, "Strategy Analytics estimates that LTE baseband shipments accounted for less than one-tenth of one percent of total baseband shipments in 2010 and was dominated by single-mode OEM-branded solutions."

"Strategy Analytics believes that in the long-term, the LTE baseband market will be dominated by multi-mode solutions from merchant baseband vendors such as Qualcomm, ST-Ericsson, Icera, Intel, Renesas, Broadcom and Altair Semiconductor."

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