Qualcomm, Apple, Samsung lead smartphone app processor market

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Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Samsung are battling for a distance second spot behind leader Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM) in the global smartphone app processor market, which reached $3.6 billion in the first quarter, according to the latest stats from Strategy Analytics.

Qualcomm dominates the market with a 49 percent revenue share, followed by Apple with 13 percent and Samsung with 12 percent in the first quarter. MediaTek and Broadcom (NASDAQ: BRCM) round out the top five smartphone app processor vendors.

Qualcomm's market share was up from 43 percent in 2012, while Apple's shrank from 16 percent market share last year.

The smartphone app processor market saw close to a 50 percent year-over-year revenue growth to reach the $3.6 billion mark in the first quarter.

"The key highlight of Qualcomm's performance in Q1 2013 was its surging stand-alone APQ-series applications processor shipments, thanks to high-profile design wins such as the HTC One, Google Nexus 4, LG Optimus G, Samsung Galaxy S4 and Sony XPERIA Z," explained Sravan Kundojjala, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics.

"Qualcomm ranked number one in the stand-alone applications processor category, overtaking Apple and Samsung in Q1 2013. The Snapdragon 600 (APQ8064T) has served Qualcomm well and the upcoming Snapdragon 800 family of chips will likely help further," Kundojjala added.

Noticeably absent from the top five vendors is Intel (NASDAQ: INTC), which dominates the PC processor market but has been slow to make in-roads into the mobile device processor market.

Intel has undertaken a number of initiatives to turn the situation around. In addition to acquisitions of companies specializing in mobile device chips, Intel launched a smartphone marketing campaign last year based on its "Intel Inside" PC processor branding campaign.

"My goal would be to have consumers walk into stores and have Intel Inside as a key driver of which phone or tablet they choose, just like we've done in the PC space," Brian Fravel, Intel's head of branding, told Reuters at the time.

The campaign apparently has not reached the levels of success envisioned by Fravel. In fact, since Intel launched its campaign, Qualcomm's market share has grown.

For more:
- see Strategy Analytics' first quarter 2013 stats

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