HiSilicon Cruises Past Qualcomm as China’s Top-selling Mobile Chipset


Many companies make smartphone chipsets, but the most popular ones include Qualcomm’s Snapdragon line, Samsung’s Exynos, and Huawei’s HiSilicon.

Qualcomm is ahead of the game, and thanks to its production capabilities and excellent performance, its processors are found in the most popular phones across the globe.

Samsung equips some of its flagships with Exynos chips, and others with Qualcomm’s – and avails the handsets at different regions with either of the SoCs.

Huawei, on the other hand, went all-in with HiSilicon, majorly with its high-end Mate- and P-series lines, as well as some heavy hitters from the Honor subsidiary.

Now, word has it that HiSilicon shipped more processors than Qualcomm in China for the first time, ever. The development is linked to disruptions brought forth by the pandemic.

In terms of numbers, the first quarter of 2020 saw HiSilicon ship 22.21 million chips. In the preceding quarter, the company shipped 22.17 units. The growth is slight, but HiSilicon is the only chip maker that did not experience slow sales thanks to COVID-19.

To this end, HiSilicon market share grew to 43.9% from 36.5% that it recorded in the same quarter in 2019. The numbers also imply that Qualcomm comes in second, marking a major feat for the Huawei silicon arm. Qualcomm’s market share dropped to 32.8% from 37.8% it recorded in the same period in 2019.

The growth comes at a time when phone makers are battling announcement delays: the canceled MWC 2020 where OEMs showcase their best of the best hardware forced them to devise new launch programs, and with repressed economies, thanks to job cuts, some of the launched phones have not been particularly flying off the shelves.

In China, for example, smartphone shipments slowed down by 34.7% to 47.7 million units in 2020 Q1.

Huawei is also learning to move away from its struggles thanks to the Trump ban that shielded it from doing business with American companies. Its latest releases, including the likes of the Y7p, are shipping without Google Services – but have a robust alternative in place that is equipped with the majority of essential apps.