Globally, 5G smartphones have seen fast adoption rates in the past two years. For 2022, Counterpoint expects the worldwide 5G smartphone shipments to reach over 800 million units, replacing LTE as the mainstream cellular standard in mobile devices. 5G will play an important role in future dollar content growth in semiconductors, especially the SoC chipsets, as we believe the migration trend with more advanced features would persist during the next few years.
In this white paper, we look into the forces driving 5G smartphone innovation in 2022 and beyond. Not only the architecture inside the chips but the ecosystem is also evolving to meet the increasing demand from photography, gaming, video streaming and even virtual reality for 5G mobile users. Our research scope here covers cellular technology, architectures, AI elements, memory, and the most advanced foundry nodes.
Besides the abovementioned technology migrations, this whitepaper also brings you our unique perspective on open resource architecture, where chipset vendors allow the release of lower software layers for customizations. We observe the trend of OEMs’ deeper interaction with chipset vendors for customized designs. The differentiation factors in use cases such as camera, multimedia, and gaming, which are increasingly becoming important, especially in flagship smartphones. Going into 2022 and 2023, the flagship Android smartphones remain full of potentials and opportunities in many upgrade areas. We believe the TAM is still expanding, while only a very few SoC vendors are capable of migrations to serve their OEM clients.