TSMC occupies nearly 70% of the smartphone chip market in 2022Q1

The cost of the current top wafer fabs is already very high, which makes it difficult for the latecomers to catch up with the market leaders. The advanced process technology of 7nm or below currently used to manufacture smartphone chips is monopolized by TSMC and Samsung.

According to a report by Counterpoint Research, global smartphone chip (SoC/AP + baseband) shipments in Q1 2022 fell by 5% year-on-year due to seasonal adjustments, weak market demand, and high shipments in Q4 2021, and production due to COVID-19 and logistics issues, etc. While shipments fell, revenue was offset by strong sales growth, reflecting a general shift in smartphone chips to more expensive 5G networks. According to the survey data, the global smartphone chip sales revenue in the first quarter of 2022 increased by 23% year-on-year.

The world’s largest foundry, TSMC, held a 69.9% share of the global smartphone chip market in the first quarter of 2022, followed by Samsung with a 30% share. Although TSMC’s market share is more than double that of Samsung, Samsung has a 60% share of chips in advanced process technology (4/5nm), which is in stark contrast to the first quarter of 2021.

In the first quarter of 2021, Samsung only had an 8.6% market share in the field of advanced process technology. Rapid development in a short period of time is largely thanks to the Exynos 1280 used in the new Galaxy A-series smartphones launching in 2022. In addition, there are Exynos 2200 and Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen1 SoCs used in the Galaxy S22 series. Samsung will face even more pressure as TSMC begins production of the Snapdragon 8+ Gen1 and Dimensity 9000 series in the second quarter of 2022.