Samsung’s semiconductor division has become an increasingly important part of its mobile strategy in the past couple of years, and market research firm Strategy Analytics has revealed that the strategy has boosted the company’s share significantly lately. Samsung’s Exynos is now the fourth largest processor brand in the smartphone industry.
Shipments of Samsung’s in-house Exynos chips grew to 50 million units last year, according to DRAMeXchange, although only 15 percent of the phones that Samsung sold in 2015 packed one of its own processors. Exynos chips are most commonly found in Samsung’s flagship smartphone range, but the company recently announced a new 14nm mid-range chip as well.
Interestingly, the data doesn’t take into account the actual manufacturing of processors, as the numbers look at the shares held by Apple and Qualcomm too. Unsurprisingly, Qualcomm retained its top spot in the smartphone market, with a 42 percent share. This was followed by Apple, which also designs but doesn’t manufacture its own processors for its iPhone, with a 21 percent share, followed very closely by MediaTek on 19 percent. Samsung enters the top five for the first time by leapfrogging Speadtrum into fourth position, meaning that the company is catching up with the major industry players.
“Samsung LSI, Leadcore and Rockchip registered a triple-digit growth in their AP shipments in 2015 while MediaTek, HiSilicon and Intel registered a double-digit growth. HiSilicon and Samsung LSI, in particular, capitalized on their design-wins at their respective in-house customers.” – Stuart Robinson, Executive Director of the Strategy Analytics Handset Component Technologies
Samsung’s foundries manufacture processors for both Apple and Qualcomm too, and the company’s semiconductor company noted a boost to sales and operating profits in the most recent quarter. This seems to have been despite the fact that the smartphone processor market shank by four percent last year, as smartphone sales showed further signs of stagnation in some markets.
However, reports from South Korea suggest that Apple may be moving over to TSMC for the manufacture of its A10 processor designed for the iPhone 7, which would be a major loss to Samsung’s chip business. Perhaps the company’s ambitious sales goal for the new Galaxy S7 will offset some of this loss.