Apple bests Samsung, Intel in mobile processor revenues

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014

Thanks to the massive popularity of the iPhone and iPad, Apple has become one of the five largest makers of processors for mobile devices by revenue in the world, according to new data.



 


Revenue share for mobile device processors



Revenue share for mobile device processors | Source: Strategy Analytics



Apple's custom-designed A-series processors, which have powered the iPhone since the steel-and-glass iPhone 4 and the iPad since its inception, helped the Cupertino company snare 15 percent of smartphone processor revenues and 34 percent of tablet processor revenues in the second quarter of 2013, according to a report provided to AppleInsider by consulting firm Strategy Analytics. Apple was tops in tablets and came in second to Qualcomm in smartphones.



The market for smartphone processors showed significant year-over-year growth, rising 44 percent to $4.4 billion in the second quarter, the report said. Qualcomm maintained a significant lead in the smartphone sector, boasting more than 50 percent revenue share. The report attributed Qualcomm's dominance to its technological leadership in LTE communications technology.



Samsung, after the disastrous debut of its Exynos 5 Octa that may have cost the company its processor manufacturing relationship with Apple, fell to fourth place in the ranking after being leapfrogged by Chinese upstart MediaTek.



In tablets, where the processor market made a robust 46 percent year-over-year leap to $759 million, Apple's market-leading 34 percent revenue share was more than three times that of its closest rivals Samsung and MediaTek, who each took home around 10 percent. Apple's iPad recently lost its overall market share title to Android, though the iPad remains the most popular single tablet model in the world — Apple's slate accounts for half of all tablet revenue worldwide.



For the purposes of calculating revenue share, Strategy Analytics classifies Apple as a fabless semiconductor company, akin to Qualcomm, even though Cupertino does not license or sell their processor designs to other companies. The firm then uses "market-level average selling prices," combined with Apple's reported unit shipments, to generate the expected revenue numbers.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 26
    Really oddball metrics considering that Apple doesn't sell its designs or chips based on their designs.
  • Reply 2 of 26
    I see "Intel" in the title but not in the story...????
  • Reply 3 of 26
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Really oddball metrics considering that Apple doesn't sell its designs or chips based on their designs.

    "For the purposes of calculating revenue share, Strategy Analytics classifies Apple as a fabless semiconductor company, akin to Qualcomm, even though Cupertino does not license or sell their processor designs to other companies. The firm then uses "market-level average selling prices," combined with Apple's reported unit shipments, to generate the expected revenue numbers."
  • Reply 4 of 26
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,451member
    Good to see that 'test' post finally coming through! I guess 3rd time's a charm.

    Some numbers there. I wonder if Apple will become so big there is a real good business reason to build the chips themselves?
  • Reply 5 of 26
    pokepoke Posts: 506member

    Apple just needs to start charging itself 4 times as much for its processors and it can beat Qualcomm!

  • Reply 6 of 26
    nhtnht Posts: 4,494member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post



    "For the purposes of calculating revenue share, Strategy Analytics classifies Apple as a fabless semiconductor company, akin to Qualcomm, even though Cupertino does not license or sell their processor designs to other companies. The firm then uses "market-level average selling prices," combined with Apple's reported unit shipments, to generate the expected revenue numbers."

     

    Well, that's what is oddball about it.  Especially since Apple is one big P&L vs lots of little ones.  It's not as if they likely book it internally as revenue for one division from another.

  • Reply 7 of 26
    jragosta wrote: »
    "For the purposes of calculating revenue share, Strategy Analytics classifies Apple as a fabless semiconductor company, akin to Qualcomm, even though Cupertino does not license or sell their processor designs to other companies. The firm then uses "market-level average selling prices," combined with Apple's reported unit shipments, to generate the expected revenue numbers."

    I read that and I understand how they got their "expected revenue" number; my comment was more "what's the point of counting this as virtual chip revenue?" They aren't in that business. They don't directly compete with the Qualcomms and Intels of the world.
  • Reply 8 of 26
    Hmm. "Chinese upstart MediaTek". How many of the processors from the various companies are going into high end phones? I'd be willing to bet that Apple's numbers would go up if that were able to be filtered out....
  • Reply 9 of 26
    froodfrood Posts: 771member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post



    I see "Intel" in the title but not in the story...????

     

    Well duh.  'Apple beats Intel in processors!' is one hell of a sensationalist headline!  Oh, wait... You have to catch the keyword 'mobile' in there where Intel has a much smaller presence than the PC microprocessors.

     

    For the purposes of *this* article, most of Intels processors are not included- since this is including 'mobile' processors for phones and tablets and phones and tablets and PC's are entirely different markets.  You can't really lump phones and tablets in with actual real deal computer processors.  Unless your doing a story on Windows and it suits your headlines, in that case they *clearly* are all the same market =p

  • Reply 10 of 26
    akqiesakqies Posts: 768member
    Unless Apple licenses their A-chips to others they will lose this market and will be doomed… again.

    Oh yeah, remember when it was foolish for them to buy PA Semi because there was no way the Cupertino toy company would be able to compete with real companies that design chips?
  • Reply 11 of 26
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post



    Good to see that 'test' post finally coming through! I guess 3rd time's a charm.



    Some numbers there. I wonder if Apple will become so big there is a real good business reason to build the chips themselves?

    It's not that they are so big... it's if the rest of the fab industry is 'trusted' enough to meet Apple's expectations on delivery, quality, and trade secrecy.

     

    The problem with Fab is that it's a HUGE investment, much like final manufacturing, that ties up a huge amount of cash, and if you plan wrong, or market conditions upset your planning, you've got Billions of dollars to write off.

     

    Better now to distribute the risk to people who focus on these things, have alternative clients for a facility (When apple wants to go to 20nm construction, what to do with their entire 28nm Fab until it's fully depreciated?)  

     

    better for Apple to drive the market than be the market for chip fab capacity.

  • Reply 12 of 26
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Frood View Post

     

     

    Well duh.  'Apple beats Intel in processors!' is one hell of a sensationalist headline!  Oh, wait... You have to catch the keyword 'mobile' in there where Intel has a much smaller presence than the PC microprocessors.

     

    For the purposes of *this* article, most of Intels processors are not included- since this is including 'mobile' processors for phones and tablets and phones and tablets and PC's are entirely different markets.  You can't really lump phones and tablets in with actual real deal computer processors.  Unless your doing a story on Windows and it suits your headlines, in that case they *clearly* are all the same market =p


    yeah  that's a nit

     

    isn't the 'Atom' line their mobile chip set... Aren't all those netbooks considered mobile devices... or is it just tablets and phones and high end mp3 players?  (and are gameboy's and personal gaming devices included?  what about all those embedded processors in cars... aren't they 'mobile'?)

  • Reply 13 of 26
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    philboogie wrote: »
    Good to see that 'test' post finally coming through! I guess 3rd time's a charm.

    Some numbers there. I wonder if Apple will become so big there is a real good business reason to build the chips themselves?

    Probably not. As you can see, they have a long way to go before they reach Qualcomm's size and Qualcomm remains fabless.

    It comes down to doing what you do well. Apple doesn't have the expertise to be a chip manufacturer, so outsourcing to companies who do makes sense.

    I read that and I understand how they got their "expected revenue" number; my comment was more "what's the point of counting this as virtual chip revenue?" They aren't in that business. They don't directly compete with the Qualcomms and Intels of the world.

    Of course they do - at least Intel.

    Intel sells the Atom processor for mobile devices. Every A7 that is made to Apple's specs is one less Atom that Intel might sell. If they didn't include Apple, the results would be even more misleading.

    People considering entering that space want to know the total number and value and number of chips used in mobile devices. Leaving Apple out would grossly distort the figures.
  • Reply 14 of 26
    jexusjexus Posts: 373member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post

     

    yeah  that's a nit

     

    isn't the 'Atom' line their mobile chip set... Aren't all those netbooks considered mobile devices... or is it just tablets and phones and high end mp3 players?  (and are gameboy's and personal gaming devices included?  what about all those embedded processors in cars... aren't they 'mobile'?)


    Recently converted to Mobile.

    Atom was mostly notebook and Intel considered killing it a few times simply because it was such a crap processor and design and still carries such a reputation.

     

    Bay trails are still carrying the "Atom" name, but they will be the first Atom chips to be redesigned in 5 years respective to their family, compared to the Core, Xeon, Pentium and even Celeron chips that get redesigned every 2-3 years.

  • Reply 15 of 26
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,788member

    Apple's "mobile processor revenue" - hundreds of millions.

    Apple's iPhone and iPad revenue - tens of billions.

    Not paying the Intel Tax on iOS devices - priceless.

  • Reply 16 of 26
    Worst. Subhead. Grammar. EVER.
  • Reply 17 of 26

    Given that Samsung has been identified as the manufacturer of A7 and at least some of the A6 variants, how could Samsung be so far behind Apple in mobile processor revenue? I am missing something here ...

  • Reply 18 of 26
    akqiesakqies Posts: 768member
    Given that Samsung has been identified as the manufacturer of A7 and at least some of the A6 variants, how could Samsung be so far behind Apple in mobile processor revenue? I am missing something here ...

    Why is Foxconn so far behind Apple in iPhone revenue?
  • Reply 19 of 26
    realisticrealistic Posts: 1,146member

    Slow day? Since Apple doesn't manufacture chips nor sell them this whole article is worthless.

  • Reply 20 of 26
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Given that Samsung has been identified as the manufacturer of A7 and at least some of the A6 variants, how could Samsung be so far behind Apple in mobile processor revenue? I am missing something here ...

    Because Samsung is considered a fab shop (at least for the chips sold to Apple). As such, they're not selling the chips into the market. Apple is in essentially the same boat as Qualcomm.

    You could do it either way (and some surveys do look at who actually makes the chip), but whatever you do, counting Apple and Qualcomm the same way makes sense.

    Essentially, what these results are saying is that for the mobile market, the majority of business is custom chips purchased by fabless companies.
    don108 wrote: »
    Worst. Subhead. Grammar. EVER.

    It was - until your post.
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