Automotive and IoT segments were the bright spots and remained on a growth trajectory.
H1 2023 will see inventory correction with some demand coming back in H2 2023.
The current weakness in the semiconductor industry is more cyclical than structural.
The fabless semiconductor industry has been posting weaker Q4 2022 revenues due to cyclical headwinds, weak global macroeconomic conditions and COVID-19 pandemic. After MediaTek’s muted numbers, Qualcomm has also reported a decline during the quarter. QCT’s (Qualcomm CDMA Technologies’) revenues declined 11% YoY in Q4 2022 (Q1 in Qualcomm’s FY2023) to $7.9 billion while QTL’s (Qualcomm Technology Licensing’s) revenues declined 16% to $1.5 billion due to weak handset sales. The automotive segment grew 58% YoY to $456 million driven by the Snapdragon digital chassis.
The outlook for H1 2023 remains weak, almost in line with MediaTek’s view. Inventory drawdown will happen in Q1 2023 and Q2 2023. Also, according to Counterpoint, the smartphone market will see flat growth on an annual basis. But the momentum is expected to come back in H2 2023 with inventory restocking and China reopening. To maintain healthy growth margins, we expect pricing discipline and an increase in the cost of new chipsets.
In Q4 2022, Qualcomm’s revenues declined 12% YoY to reach $9.5 billion.
QCT’s chipset revenues declined 11% YoY to $7.9 billion and QTL’s licensing revenues declined 16% to $1.5 billion due to weak handset sales.
Within QCT, handset revenues declined 18% YoY to $5.7 billion. From Q4 onwards, RFFE revenues are being accounted for within each sub-segment. Qualcomm’s share in the Samsung Galaxy S23 series has grown from 75% to 100%. Overall, the higher inventory is affecting the handset business revenue.
IoT revenues grew in single digits (7%) because of Edge Networking from the Wi-Fi access points and gateway routers.
According to our RFFE report, Qualcomm’s RFFE revenues declined 18% YoY in Q4 2022. Handsets captured a dominant share in RFFE revenues. Qualcomm, which is already a leader in smartphone RFFE, has so far designed a win pipeline of over $900 million in the automotive segment and $405 million in revenues in the IoT segment.
According to the Counterpoint Market Outlook service, the smartphone market will be flat YoY in 2023. H1 2023 will see inventory correction while some demand will come back in H2 2023. We forecast excess smartphone AP/SoC inventory to return to normal levels by the end of H2 2023.
FWA continues to have a big potential in driving IoT revenues, aided by both Sub-6GHz and mmWave. In India, Jio has publicly stated it will cover 100 million homes. Qualcomm is an investor in Jio and will gain from the modem and Wi-Fi-based content in 5G FWA.
In 2021, Qualcomm acquired NUVIA, which enables custom CPU and design. Qualcomm has developed custom Oryon CPUs on ARM. This will further drive growth. We expect Arm-based laptops to have a 25% market share in five years.
Further migration to Wi-Fi 6/6E, Wi-Fi 7, mesh networks and smart utility meters, trackers, e-mobility, parking meters, home automation and security, and other location-based solutions in the industrial sector is a key revenue driver.
Qualcomm guided 2023 revenues in the range of $8.7 billion to $9.5 billion and non-GAAP EPS of $2.05 to $2.25. Their midpoint guidance includes an assumption of lower-end market demand and continued drawdown of channel.
The current weakness in the semiconductor industry is more cyclical than structural. We expect H1 2023 to be weak. With China opening up and inventory drawing down, H2 2023 will see some growth coming back to the market as OEMs start restocking and preparing for flagship launches. Also, on top of premium chipsets, there is an opportunity for Qualcomm in the low-mid AP/SoC which has been affected more than the premium segment. Qualcomm will try to get some share back from MediaTek in the low-mid segment.
At the first full-fledged CES event after the pandemic, the excitement was palpable. The event did not disappoint in terms of the variety of announcements across the internet of things (IoT) spectrum. Our teams, both on-ground and online, tracked over 260 announcements made by over 240 companies covering a range of segments across consumer, enterprise and industrial.
Devices formed the most popular category, with three out of every five announcements relating to this segment. As expected, the consumer and smart home sectors took center stage, but it was intriguing to see new launches in industry segments such as agriculture. Additionally, smart home, metaverse, augmented reality, healthcare and robotics were among the most talked about segments, attracting large crowds.
Here are the top 10 IoT announcements from this year’s CES, according to Counterpoint analysts:
MediaTek introduced the Genio 700 IoT chipset targeting industrial, smart home and smart retail applications. This chipset will be available by Q2 2023. MediaTek also showcased Wi-Fi 7-supported products like gateways, mesh routers, televisions, streaming devices, smartphones, tablets and laptops partnering with TP-Link, Lenovo, Hisense, ASUS, BUFFALO INC, Skyworks, AMD, Qorvo, LitePoint and MAC MLO among others.
MediaTek is slowly diversifying its offerings beyond smartphones. The availability of products with superior capabilities and increased partnerships will help MediaTek increase its footprint in the IoT market.
2. Smart Home: TP-Link expands Tapo smart home products
TP-Link unveiled new products under its Tapo line of smart home devices. These new additions include cameras, a doorbell camera, a smart video door lock, robot vacuums and a smart hub home connection center. Besides, the company also launched its first Matter-certified smart plugs, smart switches, smart outlet extenders and smart bulbs. The launch of these products at CES 2023 highlights TP-Link’s focus on expanding and diversifying its offerings in the smart home market.
The company’s adoption of the Matter protocol for its Tapo and Kasa lines of smart home products shows its commitment to making smart home technology more accessible and user-friendly.
In addition to the smart home products, TP-Link also showcased Wi-Fi 7-supported router and gateway solutions for use in homes, enterprises and ISPs. The integration of Wi-Fi 7 will improve the gaming experience, as well as increase productivity in enterprise applications.
3. Asset Tracking: Pod introduces paper-thin tracker with SODAQ, Lufthansa
Pod Group, in partnership with SODAQ and Lufthansa Industry, has developed a paper-thin smart label tracking device that utilizes low-power cellular connectivity (LTE-M) for a battery life of up to six months. This sustainable, eco-friendly device uses alkaline batteries instead of lithium and has the potential to revolutionize the tracking and logistics industry by improving supply chain efficiency and reducing operational costs.
Similar efforts by SODAQ with Vodafone and Bayer utilizing NB-IoT technology have been observed, but the use of Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) may be more beneficial as it targets a wider range of telecommunications operators.
Bosch Group subsidiary Bosch Sensortec presented a variety of new sensors at CES 2023. These offerings include an AI-enabled smart sensor system, magnetometer, barometric pressure sensor, and an air quality sensor. These sensors demonstrate advancements in power efficiency, accuracy and compact size, and aim to enhance the user experience by tracking personal health and fitness, providing accurate data and prolonging battery life.
Bosch has been a leading manufacturer of micro-electromechanical system (MEMS) sensors since 1995 and has produced over 18 billion units to date. It is also investing in quantum sensors, which can provide measurements that are significantly more precise than current MEMS sensors and enable more accurate diagnosis of neurological diseases. Additionally, the company is developing angular rate sensors that use the nuclear magnetic resonance of noble gas atoms and are optically pumped. These could prove to be highly precise and stable for navigation applications. Bosch believes that sensors will play a key role in IoT and continues to make investments in this area.
Quectel is partnering with Skylo to integrate satellite connectivity into its 5G-ready BG95x/BG77x series of LPWA modules. This hybrid connectivity solution improves network coverage and makes it ideal for a variety of applications, such as trackers, wearables, smart cities and smart meters. Low-earth orbit (LEO) satellites are going to be a key for the non-terrestrial networks (NTN) coming up in 3GPP Rel17/18 in addition to the high-altitude platform system (HAPS).
Quectel also launched the AG59X series of automotive-grade 5G modules based on Qualcomm’s SA525M platform to support autonomous driving. The company has strong partnerships with Chinese automakers such as Li Auto, Nio and BYD, and this module will further strengthen its efforts to increase share in the automotive connectivity market.
6. AR/VR: Thundercomm unveils XR2 VR HMD, 5100 AR glasses and smart vending machine
Thundercomm, a joint venture between Thundersoft and Qualcomm, unveiled a VR HMD solution based on the Snapdragon XR2 platform and AR glasses based on the Snapdragon W5 platform. These products will not only provide flagship experience but also offer low power consumption, higher resolution and more wear comfort. The AR/VR space is heating up with the increased participation from leading technology and smartphone players such as Meta, Apple, HTC and Google. However, an early entry can be beneficial for Thundercomm.
The newly launched smart vending machine will help increase operational efficiencies for retailers. Moreover, this solution will improve the shopping experience and further extend retailers’ reach. Thundercomm is expanding its product lines to capture maximum value from both the consumer and enterprise IoT markets.
Autel Robotics has unveiled a new drone, the EVO Max 4T, which is capable of a variety of applications such as autonomous navigation, semi-autonomous flight missions, firefighting, and inspections. It is equipped with three high-quality cameras, capable of capturing footage from a distance of 1.2 km. Autel has also released the Dragonfish NEST infrastructure, which supports automated eVTOL systems, and the EVO NEST infrastructure, which can operate in all weather conditions.
Drones and eVTOLs will see higher adoption in the future with better efficiency in power consumption, security improvements and better regulatory compliances. These innovations will help Autel increase its presence in the enterprise market and remain competitive with companies like DJI.
8. Industrial IoT: ZVISION partners NVIDIA to improve industrial sensing
ZVISION, a provider of solid-state MEMS LiDAR solutions, is working with NVIDIA to use its robotics simulation platform Isaac Sim to develop advanced robot sensing capabilities and provide high-performance LiDAR solutions.
In Industry 4.0, robotics and simulation will play a key role. Its partnership with NVIDIA will allow ZVISION to expand its applications beyond vehicles, while also reducing costs and speeding up time-to-market for companies undergoing digital transformation. ZVISION offers both short- and long-range LiDAR options that can be tailored to various applications.
9. Platform: Tuya pushes PaaS 2.0, Cube for digital transformation
Tuya officially launched PaaS 2.0 to develop personalized solutions to fulfill global customers’ demands for “product differentiation and independent control”. For private cloud customers, it also unveiled Cube, an enterprise-level IoT platform deployment solution.
PaaS 2.0 is a unique innovation that can assist customers in reducing R&D costs and increasing product competitiveness. Tuya is focusing on public and enterprise cloud applications which are dominated by big cloud players like Alibaba cloud and Tencent cloud.
10. Healthcare: OMRON launches blood pressure monitor with ECG
OMRON introduced a new upper-arm blood pressure monitor with built-in ECG capabilities. This device aims to facilitate the early detection of heart disease by combining blood pressure monitoring and ECG technology. Utilizing home-monitored data, healthcare professionals will be able to provide early treatment and detect Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) at an early stage.
The company also announced the expansion of its digital healthcare apps with new features, such as the Personal Heart Health Coach and the Care Team within the OMRON Connect app. These new features will utilize AI technology to analyze vital data and provide patients with personalized guidance and exercise advice. OMRON’s innovative solution, leveraging technologies like AI, ML and IoT, will help healthcare professionals to better understand patient data through analysis.
CES 2023 has provided ample food for thought for industry executives. Each of the announcements made at the event has significant implications for the direction of the industry. For example, the satellite-related announcements made by chipset and module players could help IoT companies focus on new use cases. Additionally, with Wi-Fi 7 becoming mainstream and Matter-certified home products being rolled out, we can expect to see a significant uptick in demand for smart home products. These developments and more continue to shape the future of IoT and solidify the role technology plays in our daily lives. With more innovation, the possibilities are endless and we are excited to see how the industry will continue to evolve.
TSMC gained 200 bps in terms of market share in Q2 2022, driven by leading technology nodes for iPhone AP and HPC-related ICs. The capacity utilization rate in Q2 in leading nodes was still at 95%-100% at TSMC. Samsung lost 100-200 bps during the quarter due to weaker demand for Qualcomm’s flagship smartphone SoCs. UMC, GF and SMIC managed to maintain their shares with high capacity utilization rates.
Foundry Revenue Share by Technology Nodes
5/4nm became the second largest node in Q2 2022 in terms of revenue share, accounting for 15% of industry sales, which were driven by smartphone SoCs (Apple, Qualcomm and MediaTek), ARM-based CPUs (Apple) and newly launched GPU accelerators from NVIDIA. 7/6nm remained the largest node, with increasing applications from CPU, GPU and networking processors. Sales from matured nodes started slowing down in Q2 2022 due to inventory adjustment from driver ICs and CMOS sensors.
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u-blox recorded an excellent H1 2022 with $311.9 million in total revenues, an increase of 47% from H1 2021 despite macroeconomic headwinds. The demand and interest in u-blox products remained strong across all markets and business segments. The strategy of remodeling and redesigning its products has worked for u-blox in dealing with specific shortages. This time, u-blox changed module design a lot to cut component shortages and clear backlogs.
H1 2022 highlights
u-blox’s gross profit increased 53.9% YoY in H1 2022 to reach $152.4 million.
The industrial segment captured 61% of the company’s total revenue and grew 62% YoY due to higher demand for automation and healthcare applications. The automotive segment also grew 62% YoY and its revenue contributed 28% to the total revenue. The consumer segment grew 18% YoY and captured 10% of the total revenue. In this segment, the growth mainly came from consumer telematics applications.
Americas and APAC regions grew more than 50% YoY while EMEA grew 30%. This growth was driven by industry-focused solutions for automation, mobility, healthcare and network applications. APAC’s growth despite China lockdowns was a testament to u-blox’s strong pipeline of design wins.
In the first half of 2022, modules and GNSS chips contributed 81% and 18% of the total revenue respectively. The module volume grew by 34.3% YoY in H1 2022 to reach nearly 27 million.
The ASP of modules and chipsets increased 20% and 46% YoY respectively due to supply chain constraints and product mix-ups.
u-blox’s GNSS module shipments grew 56% YoY in H1 2022, contributing more than half of the total module revenue. The good quality and position accuracy of its GNSS products helped u-blox grow this market significantly. This year, it launched the smallest GNSS module, MIA-M10, with its latest technology targeting size-constrained applications like asset-tracking devices, pet trackers, livestock trackers and wearables. Xiaoan selected the u-blox M10 product to enhance the positioning performance of shared motorcycles and electric bicycles.
In H1 2022, u-blox’s Wi-Fi/BT module segment grew 24% YoY to reach a revenue of nearly $30 million. In short-range radio modules (Wi-Fi and Bluetooth), u-blox continued to expand its capabilities. It launched Wi-Fi 6-based modules, which are ideal for industrial, smart home and mass-market applications.
Cellular IoT modules
In recent times, we have seen international module players merging their cellular IoT businesses to become more competitive in this space. u-blox is slowly recovering its cellular IoT module business. In H1 2022, u-blox’s cellular IoT module segment grew 36% compared to H1 2021, according to Counterpoint Research’s Cellular IoT Module Tracker Service. u-blox provided flexibility to its customers by launching new products. However, we expect u-blox will focus more on GNSS products and services compared to cellular IoT modules, considering growth opportunities.
The quality of u-blox’s GNSS chipsets is far better than other players, which is helping u-blox witness continued growth in this market. With the rising demand for positioning and location-based ecosystems, u-blox will be able to record a multi-fold increase in its revenue by targeting applications like passenger and commercial vehicles, asset tracking, micro-mobility, surveillance, industrial and healthcare.
The steady expansion of u-blox’s production capacity and strong bookings resulted in this record revenue in H1 2022. Within the first half of 2022, its order book value doubled compared to the end of 2021, which makes u-blox well-positioned to continue to grow revenues and improve profitability. It is already managing well the supply constraint situation. We expect u-blox’s revenue will grow nearly 50% YoY in 2022.
The HONOR Magic4 Ultimate has a curved 6.81-inch LTPO screen and a Penta-camera setup at the back.
Under the hood is a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC, a customized AI ISP, and a standalone security chip, jointly delivering flagship experiences in display, photography, videography, gaming and privacy.
The premium flagship smartphone supports 100W fast-charging and 50W wireless-charging speeds.
Amid the intensifying premium smartphone battle in China, HONOR has successfully upgraded its flagship lineup with the Magic4 Ultimate. Sitting at the top of the Magic4 series, the Magic4 Ultimate, like its predecessor, brings great innovations in hardware and software.
Equipped with 12GB RAM and 512GB storage, it is still priced at ¥7,999 or around $1,230 for the China market. The model’s performance is comprehensively improved with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset and a customized AI ISP. I have been using the smartphone for a while and it impressed me in three key areas:
The Magic4 Ultimate strives to present a combination of beauty and advanced technologies. Its exterior consists of a 6.81-inch bezel-less quad-curved screen, a flashy stainless steel middle frame, and a refined nanocrystal ceramic shell that creates a sense of elegance.
The gaming experience, built on the fourth-generation Snapdragon Elite Gaming engine and HONOR’s enhanced GPU Turbo X technology, is smooth and enjoyable.
The last but the most important is the sophisticated and powerful imaging system. The rear penta-camera setup is led by a 50MP, 1/1.14-inch large main camera and performs extremely well in capturing true-to-life images with superb clarity and rich details day and night. I will discuss the three highlights and other features in detail in my review below.
HONOR strengthens its presence in China’s flagship battle with Magic4 Ultimate
In 2021, China’s premium smartphone market recorded significant YoY growth with nearly one out of four smartphones being sold at above $600. This lucrative segment is becoming ever more important, particularly for China-based brands looking to improve their product mix and achieve meaningful earnings against the overall decline in smartphone sales, while enhancing their brand image.
The new round of competition started following the announcement of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC in December 2021. Soon after the availability of the vivo X80 Pro in late April 2022, major Android brands launched 25 premium models with the flagship SoC inside. To stand out from the crowd, HONOR made great efforts in unleashing the full potential of the system by leveraging its self-developed Turbo X technologies, and also implemented multiple heat dissipation solutions, including the graphene film and VC plate, to maximize the computing power. In addition to the cutting-edge SoC, HONOR empowers the Magic4 Ultimate and other models from the Magic4 series with a brand-new LTPO display and upgraded imaging system. According to Counterpoint’s China Smartphone Weekly Tracker, the monthly sales of the Magic4 series quickly crossed 200,000 units in April, having been among the best-selling Android flagship phones in China since March.
Commenting on the upgrades from the Magic3 Ultimate, Research Analyst Mengmeng Zhang said, “The Magic4 Ultimate undoubtedly has greater computing capabilities, with the Snapdragon 8 Gen1 promising 20% faster CPU, 30% faster GPU and 4x faster AI performance compared to the Snapdragon 888. On top of the industry-leading 5G mobile platform, three standalone processors, represented by the dedicated AI ISP, play an important complementary role and allow users to explore more premium and unique experiences. Besides, the improvements in display, camera, security and battery life also stem from using the advanced LTPO technology, improved camera setup, and more secure fingerprint and faster-charging solutions.”
Magic4 Ultimate vs Magic3 Ultimate
Design: Emphasizes sense of harmony, symmetry, elegance
The Magic4 Ultimate largely inherits design characteristics from its predecessor. The front side of the 163-mm-long body is fully covered by a super-curved nanocrystal glass, which is engineered for more comfortable single-handed use and better protection from damaging drops. The redesigned iconic Eye of Muse is still an eye-catcher but creates greater symmetry and balance with the periscope camera relocated to the center, and the new pattern looks more modern and attractive. The Magic4 Ultimate also blends more streamlined styling into the new nanocrystal ceramic back, on which the runway-like protrusions neatly surround the camera bump.
The Magic4 Ultimate is equipped with a flagship-level, HDR10+ OLED display supporting the best-in-class color accuracy. It has a resolution of 1312×2848 pixels (around 460ppi density) and allows users to view pictures and videos with sharp details. The display also realizes the combination of LTPO-based 1~120Hz adaptive refresh rate and 1920Hz PWM dimming technology, which provides double-edged benefits – better eye protection and power saving by switching the refresh rate to the lowest possible when displaying static content.
On top of these, HONOR, together with Pixelworks, enables premium viewing experiences leveraging technologies such as “Always-on HDR” and MEMC (Motion Estimation and Motion Compensation). Powered by the dedicated display processor, the Magic4 Ultimate supports on-the-fly conversion of SDR videos to HDR quality and intelligent increasing video frame rate to eliminate motion blur, leading to a more vivid and fluid display.
Gaming: Ultra-smooth, realistic experience
The fourth-generation Snapdragon Elite Gaming engine is designed to push the limit of mobile gaming experience. It features more than 50 enhancements, in which technologies such as “Adreno Frame Motion Engine” and “Variable Rate Shading Pro” can effectively alleviate the GPU load, thus improving frame rate, picture clarity and power consumption while gaming.
The powerful engine is well complemented by the latest GPU Turbo X technology. By implementing the mobile gaming-oriented “AI Super Rendering” and fully taking the advantage of multiprocessor synergy, the upgraded GPU Turbo X can highly improve the graphic processing efficiency and also elevate the gaming performance. Consequently, we can play the graphically demanding game titles with less power but without compromising the visual quality.
In addition, the ultra-high-speed 5G and Wi-Fi 6 connection, paired with HONOR’s LINK Turbo X technology, provides a lag-free gaming experience.
Photography: Industry-leading performance
The biggest highlight of the Magic4 Ultimate is the versatile world-facing “Eye of Muse” system. Its flagship-grade main camera is powered by the Samsung ISOCELL GN2 and a customized 8P wide-angle lens set. With 50 million 1.4μm-sized pixels and a large aperture of f/1.6, the default camera can take in more light and offers great low-light performance and dynamic range.
To better restore what you see, the Magic4 Ultimate adds another 50MP camera, especially for spectral enhancement, with which it can reproduce more accurate colors, textures and real-light and shadow effects.
Below is a good example of how the Magic4 Ultimate restored the color on the glass and retained the decorative details without overexposing them.
The above image was shot in default mode. The colors of lights, plants and flowers are very close to reality and the dynamic range is well balanced, retaining good details in the indoor areas.
In addition, the rear camera system includes a 3.5x optical zoom periscope camera and a 126-degree ultrawide camera. The two 64MP auxiliary cameras are located close to the main camera, forming a triangular arrangement that is designed to facilitate the implementation of HONOR’s “Ultra Fusion Photography”.
The technology provides an innovative approach for cameras to work together, thus maximizing image quality by fully utilizing the strength of different lens modules. As shown below, in the overlapped zoom range, the process has two steps. First, multiple frames shot by each camera are merged, respectively, and then the resulting images are further aligned and combined into a single photo.
HONOR’s Fusion Photography Technology Fits into Magic4 Ultimate’s Impressive Zoom Range
Benefiting from the enhancement of “Ultra Fusion Photography”, we can capture moments more sharply and clearly than ever. The photo below presents clear details of the leaves in the foreground and the building at the far end.
When working alone, the ultrawide and periscope cameras also show great performance. The former has a 7P lens set supporting a 126° field of view and is among the best choices for grand landscape photography. It also incorporates two pieces of the free-form lens, which significantly improve edge distortion. Below is a photo shot at 15 mm equivalent focus length where the straight lines on the wall look quite natural.
With the support of autofocus, the ultrawide camera can also be used for close-up shots, allowing you to click stunning photos of flowers as shown below.
The periscope design supports up to 100x hybrid zoom capability, making it a perfect fit for long-distance shots. Below is a photo captured at the 7x zoom level. It still retains rich details while minimizing the noise and the words on the poster are quite readable.
The camera system is not only a real success in daylight conditions but its performance in low-light environments is also great, and this is largely due to the adoption of the independent AI ISP. The customized chipset has up to 28.8TOPS computing power and supports the nearly real-time process of a burst of raw images at different exposure settings, leading to a greater night photography experience, including the support of 4K Super Night mode videos.
The image below was captured using night mode, where the pink light falling on the glass ceiling and tree leaves were accurately reproduced with little noise in the sky area. Thanks to the support of OIS optical stabilization for both the wide and telephoto cameras, it is much easier for us to shoot great night photos, no more worrying about unintentionally blurring them with a hand jitter.
The camera system has more to offer. To suppress lens flare and improve the image quality against the sunlight, HONOR applies the super anti-flare coating technology to the lens surface. Besides, the flicker sensor and 8×8 dToF sensing camera are preserved. The latter can effectively help improve the autofocus speed and accuracy, especially in low light. Combining with the large aperture of the main camera, it also brings better bokeh effects like in the picture below which presents a gradually blurring foreground and background.
The Magic4 Ultimate also provides impressive video capabilities. Thanks to the “Dual Chain Computational Photography & Videography” algorithm, we are allowed to capture high-quality photos while recording a 4K video with little compromise. The AI-based “Magic Take” function can automatically identify highlight moments when recording and transform them into short clips or dramatic pictures. Moreover, the Magic4 Ultimate further extends its 4K 60FPS video capability to the Night and Magic-Log mode, and the outputs are relatively smooth even when you are moving.
Moving on to the front side, the dual-camera system sits in a hole-punch cutout on the top left. It consists of a 12MP selfie camera and a 3D depth camera primarily for face unlocking. The former features a 100° field of view to make taking a group selfie much easier. It is enhanced by a number of AI-based features such as portrait beautification, background blurring and anti-distortion, and also supports 4K video shooting.
High security and long battery Life
The Magic4 Ultimate also makes decent improvements in security and battery life. For a safer but more convenient user experience, HONOR not only upgrades the fingerprint solution from optical to more accurate ultrasonic technology but also applies an independent security chip to provide hardware-level protection. All of this, combined with the “Dual TEE Security OS”, makes the Magic4 Ultimate a highly secure flagship model.
Moreover, HONOR introduced a practical feature, “AI Privacy Call”, to address the pain point of sound leakage when making a phone call in crowds. The new feature supports intelligent sound direction control, and can significantly reduce sound leakage while maintaining a clear voice.
To further ease battery anxiety, HONOR increases the fast-charging speed with the support of the 100W wired charging. Tests show the Magic4 Ultimate’s 4,600mAh battery can be charged to 100% within half an hour.
As a top flagship offering, the Magic4 Ultimate is armed with a valuable package of hardware components and features, with the camera system being the biggest bright spot. Although there is space for improvement, such as a smoother preview when switching the lens, its overall performance is rated as the best by DXOMARK. By combining the evolving “HONOR Image Engine” and powerful AI ISP, the Magic series is set to fully harness the power of AI and push the boundaries of mobile photography.
India’s Connected Vehicle event is back offline after two years. Held in Bengaluru from May 4 to May 6, the event saw attendance from the chipset, NAD module, telematics, cybersecurity and mapping domains, besides regulatory bodies and communication service providers within the connected and autonomous vehicles ecosystem. Analysts from Counterpoint Research were also present. Here are their key takeaways from the sessions held at the event.
Connected, Autonomous, Shared, Electric and Smart Mobility
India is lagging in connected car penetration (17%) compared to the global market (43%). However, the country is also preparing for a shift towards smart electric mobility and focussing on local manufacturing. Such events will help Indian ecosystem players to remain updated on the latest in the field around the world and prepare themselves for the coming transformation.
5G Automotive Association, Tata Elxsi, Dell and what3words participated in this session and discussed the need for C-V2X technology for better communication, opportunities for ecosystem players from connected mobility, a paradigm shift from hardware to software-centric approach and a unique mapping solution that uses three keywords.
Shifting Future of Automotive Industry to Top Gear with Connected Mobility
The rising demand for safety and comfort features is helping to increase connected car penetration. We expect more than 70% of cars will be connected by 2025 in the global market and one in four cars will have 5G connectivity. However, connectivity penetration will be lower than 40% in India by 2025.
This session mainly focussed on safety during driving, challenges in handling data generated from vehicles, creating actionable insights from telemetry data, and collaborative effort among OEMs and Tier-1 suppliers to make this transition smooth. Intel, Zeliot, VE Commercial Vehicles and Danlaw shared their understanding of this transition.
Driving Towards Connected, Secure, Autonomous & Electric Mobility
In the future, cars will be driven by software. We have already witnessed smartphone players such as Foxconn and Xiaomi entering this market. Data will be the new fuel and nearly 30% of the automotive market value will come from software and services. Moreover, electronic content in a car will rise with increasing smart electric mobility penetration.
According to Counterpoint’s latest research, India’s automotive electronics market will triple by 2027, driven by rising income levels and increasing customer preference for in-vehicle digital experience.
Collaborative efforts of all ecosystem players, whether OEMs, Tier-1 suppliers, regulatory bodies, system integrators or service providers, are important for a successful transition. The Indian government is also working to come up with AIS189 and AIS190 standards for connected vehicle security. Continental and Bosch share the same view on this topic and think a collaborative effort will be the key to connected mobility success in India. Secure Things highlighted how our vehicles are becoming more prone to safety issues and hacking. Both hardware and software level security will be required as preventive measures.
Emerging Technologies – Riding the Next Wave of Connected & Autonomous Mobility
Connected mobility is undergoing dramatic changes. Earlier, we used to connect smartphones to a car via Bluetooth or cable. Today, most cars come with embedded connectivity. In the future, cars will be able to communicate with other vehicles, pedestrians, networks, infrastructure, grid and home.
The upcoming connected and autonomous era will induce a huge influx of data for which substantial storage will be required. We expect Level 4 cars will require more than 1TB of data storage by 2025. Moreover, 30% of cars sold globally will support Level 2 or above. Western Digital is working on automotive storage products. It believes that one day storage will be a key feature at the time of selecting a vehicle. During this session, Bosch introduced Mobility Cloud Platform and Mobility Marketplace. This platform can support other IoT applications such as industrial and enterprise.
Download the full analysis from event sessions below:
ADAS – A Game Changer for Safe and Autonomous Driving
MG Motors introduced ADAS in India for the first time back in 2019 through its L1 SUV Hector. Even as ADAS technology is rapidly gaining acceptance in the global market, India is not that far behind. Currently, L2+ autonomy is being offered in most premium vehicles. With the changing landscape of vehicle architecture, the incorporation of ADAS will be easier and more cost-effective.
Windriver and Hexagon showed how the changing vehicle architecture will benefit system integration and deployment of autonomy. While Windriver has expertise in test and analysis of vehicle architecture and software and ADAS system, Hexagon helps deploy autonomy across sectors and platforms by blending the digital and physical worlds. Hexagon uses ML algorithms to create a simulation through well-captured surround photos. The simulation helps understand how a situation will look with automation, and also increases the accuracy of the automated process.
Shaping the Future of Mobility with IoT, Connectivity & Sustainability
The mobility roadmap is hugely dependent on connectivity. OEMs are constantly innovating to make the journey more pleasurable with better IVI system, better navigation, CV2X and ultimately autonomy, which will not be possible if a proper vehicular connection is not established. According to our research, global cellular IoT module shipments are expected to cross 1.2 billion units by 2030 with a CAGR of 12%. 5G will be the fastest-growing (60%) technology, followed by 4G Cat 1 bis, during 2022-2030. Among cellular IoT modules, global NAD module shipments are expected to reach 80 million by 2025, growing at 14% CAGR from 2021, with one out of every five connected cars projected to have embedded 5G connectivity by then.
Leading frontline companies like Cavli Wireless and MediaTek have shared some details about how they plan to increase connectivity across the automotive industry. As the future bets on autonomy, connectivity benefits are not just limited to in-vehicle internet browsing and autonomy but also extend to vehicle accident prevention, better navigation, precise tracking and more. In short, increased connectivity will enable a sustainable digital ecosystem that, if used properly, holds immense development potential.
Intelligent Transportation System to Promote Safety & Improve Mobility
Increased vehicle connectivity has made transportation safer, more reliable and timelier. Along with changing architecture and increased integration of improved software, the addition of newer technologies is becoming easier.
Intellicar, Skoda, and IBM took the stage to showcase how intelligent transport solutions could tackle some of the general and critical issues of the industry. Intellicar has a solution line from hardware and firmware customization to a low-latency data directory. Skoda showed how intelligent systems can reduce road accidents. IBM provided a global overview and discussed its strength as a software developer and system integrator.
Protecting Software-defined Vehicles with Cybersecurity Solutions
With the increased use of software and internet, present-day cars are no less than a computer and like every other computer, cars are also exposed to cyber threats like malware. If the system used in vehicles is not properly protected, a lot of damage can happen, including loss of life. Therefore, strong and effective anti-virus protection with an improved firewall is much required.
Escrypt, a cyber threat protection company, was of the view that vehicle data safety could be ensured through blockchain-based communication systems, smart gateways, cyber digital twin, AI-based detectors and other encryption systems.
Charting the Future of Connected Mobility with Automotive Telematics
The growing automotive sector holds a lot of potential for the development of new and smart technologies. The transition from conventional vehicles to EVs is also paving the road toward a sustainable connected future. Technologies that were limited to certain fields earlier are finding their way into the expanding automotive space. The use of security systems, blockchain, data tokenization and other platform-based and protocol-based technologies and services is penetrating the automotive space, making the sector more flexible, versatile and user-friendly.
Emerging technologies such as ADAS/AD, in-vehicle connectivity, upgraded cybersecurity for the software-defined vehicles, electric vehicles and connected vehicles are taking centre stage as the automotive industry undergoes a paradigm shift. The automotive supply chain is dynamically changing as well, with OEMs making huge investments and starting to adopt digital services to remain future-proof and not cede revenue monetizing opportunities to technology companies. Apart from traditional auto OEMs, the involvement of non-automotive tech companies has been increasing in this space. The future of the automotive sector will be heavily dependent on digital technology. Due to traditional auto OEMs’ lack of expertise in digitalization, non-automotive companies are partnering with them to secure a market share in this growing space.
The global Android smartphone AP (Application Processor)/SoC (System on Chip) sales grew 3.6% YoY in 2021, according to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Global Handset Model Sales Tracker. MediaTek led the Android smartphone SoC market in 2021 with a 46% share, followed by Qualcomm with 35%. Most of the market share growth for MediaTek in 2021 came from the low-mid tier wholesale price segment (sub-$299), driven by strong demand for the Dimensity 700/800 series chipsets.
Qualcomm struggled with a tight supply throughout the year for its mid-tier solutions. The shift in focus away from 4G SoCs also didn’t help. However, in the high value $300+ segment, Qualcomm continued to dominate with its Snapdragon 7 and 8 series. The number of design wins for Qualcomm in the $399+ Android smartphones continued to climb not only for chipsets (AP/SoC) but also for RFFE (RF Front End) components, allowing it to capture a higher BoM (Bill of Materials) share and boost both its top and bottom lines.
AP Chipset Share for Android Smartphones by Price Band (%) in 2021
With a supply crunch since the previous year, Qualcomm prioritized focus on ramping up supply for its 7 and 8 series Snapdragon chipsets, driving higher revenue and profitability.
Qualcomm is also in a very unique position to further make inroads into the premium Android smartphone market by supplying a leading-edge RFFE portfolio and other components such as ultrasonic fingerprint sensor and quick charge.
Qualcomm’s share in smartphones priced above $500 increased from 41% in 2020 to 55% in 2021 owing to the launch of flagships Snapdragon 888 and 8Gen 1.
The Snapdragon 8 series sets an industry benchmark when it comes to delivering premium flagship-grade smartphone experiences. It is the default choice for any smartphone OEM’s flagship series.
Qualcomm is generations ahead of its competition when it comes to premium experiences in a chipset, whether it is compute (CPU, DSP, GPU), AI (NPU), connectivity (4G, 5G sub-6GHz, 5G mmWave, Wi-Fi6/6E), security, or gaming capabilities. Besides, the highly optimized RFFE components are key to delivering advanced connectivity experiences, making it a system-level opportunity for Qualcomm.
Moving forward, dual sourcing of premium solutions from foundry will be the key to alleviating +any concerns over chipset shortages.
MediaTek’s growth came from smartphones priced less than $299 (wholesale price). MediaTek’s growth was driven by both LTE and 5G SoCs across this price band.
The volume in the ≤$99 price band was driven by LTE smartphones, where MediaTek captured a 62% share. LTE SoCs were most affected by the shortages in 2021, both for MediaTek and Qualcomm.
In Android smartphones in the $100-$299 price band, MediaTek dominated the market with a 52% share. This is where the Dimensity 700 and 800 drove the mass-market adoption of 5G smartphones in markets such as China, India and parts of the US and Europe. This allowed brands such as realme, Xiaomi, OPPO and vivo to launch 5G phones at price points below the $200 retail price.
The Dimensity 1100/1200 helped MediaTek increase share in the $300-$499 price band, where it captured a 24% volume share in 2021, compared to 6% in 2020.
Further, with the launch of the Dimensity 8100/8000, it is looking to strengthen its position in the $300-$499 price band. These chipsets support the R16 baseband with power efficiency and performance improvements. With the Dimensity 9000, MediaTek is looking to enter the premium segment ($500+) in 2022. Almost all Chinese smartphone OEMs, like OPPO, vivo, Xiaomi and HONOR, will launch phones with this chipset. According to our chipset tracker forecast, MediaTek is likely to capture around 10% of the premium smartphone segment.
Samsung SOCs witnessed a decline in all smartphone price segments in 2021 compared to the previous year.
Drastic changes were seen in the low-mid segment ($100-$299), where its share decreased from 17% to 7%, and in the mid-high segment, where its share decreased from 13% in 2020 to 6% in 2021, as Samsung Mobile outsourced many of its models (A, F and M series) to ODMs which integrated mostly Qualcomm, MediaTek or Unisoc solutions in different models depending on target price bands. The lack of refreshes in the Exynos series SoCs for the mid-to-high tiers was a trigger for the ODM move. The absence of the Note series and Qualcomm’s design wins across the popular Samsung foldables led to further decline of the Exynos chipsets.
With the Galaxy S22 series, Qualcomm has a greater proportion of design wins across markets than before, thanks to its industry-leading offerings and also the low yields of the new premium Exynos chipsets.
UNISOC showed exciting growth in 2021 in smartphones priced less than $200. In 2020, UNISOC chipsets only catered to phones priced under $100. In 2021, realme, HONOR, Motorola and Samsung launched phones with the Tiger series SoC. UNISOC has expanded its customer base with design wins at ZTE and TECNO, and entry into the Samsung Galaxy A series.
UNISOC captured a 26% share in the ≤$99 band in 2021, followed by a 4% share in the $100-$199 price band.
For 2022, we expect UNISOC to maintain the momentum with its portfolio catering to LTE smartphones as MediaTek struggles with supply issues for 4G chipsets and Qualcomm focuses just on 5G solutions. Also, a few design wins with 5G chipsets will add to the overall volumes.
HiSilicon’s SoCs had a 16% share in phones costing $500 and above in 2021, which was a decline from the 30% share in the previous year, due to the US trade ban. It is running on the inventory it added before the ban.
For 2022, we expect its volumes to drop as the inventory gets depleted. Huawei has already started using Qualcomm SoCs in its new launches, but they are limited to 4G.
Research Director Dale Gai said, “MediaTek dominated the smartphone SoC market with its highest ever share of 43%, driven by a competitive 5G portfolio in the low-mid segment and without major supply constraints. Relative to Qualcomm, MediaTek benefited from less supply constraints in the first half of 2021, including with RFICs (radio-frequency integrated circuits), power management ICs (PMIC), and stable production yields from TSMC. 4G SoC shipments further helped MediaTek to strengthen its leading position.”
Global Smartphone AP/SoC Shipment Market Share (%), Q2 2020 vs Q2 2021
Commenting on the growth of 5G smartphone baseband shipments, Research Analyst Parv Sharma said, “Qualcomm dominated the 5G baseband market with 55% share. It gained from the 5G baseband modem chipset win in the Apple iPhone 12 series and the significant demand for its complete 5G SoC chipsets, from the flagship 8 series to affordable 4 series. However, Qualcomm would have shipped more chipsets if the San Diego vendor wouldn’t have been affected by the supply-side constraints and yield issues during the first half of 2021. As a result, Qualcomm diversified and secured extra capacity starting at TSMC and other foundries for various components in late Q2 2021. This should help the vendor streamline its component supply and regain the share lost to MediaTek in the coming quarters.”
Global 5G Smartphone Baseband Shipment Market Share (%), Q2 2020 vs Q2 2021
MediaTek: Dominated the smartphone SoC market with a 43% share in Q2 2021. It gained share in the low-mid segment 5G portfolio. LTE SoC further helped it to strengthen its market position.
Qualcomm: Was comparatively more affected by the component supply constraints and lower yields at the foundry. However, it dominated the 5G baseband modem shipments with a 55% share. Qualcomm has realigned its component sourcing strategy, which should boost its supply and earnings.
Apple: With consistent healthy demand for the premium iPhone 12 series, Apple maintained its third position in the smartphone SoC market in Q2 2021 with a 14% share.
UNISOC: Its smartphone AP chipset shipments more than doubled in the first half of 2021 compared to the first half of 2020. This year, the company has succeeded in expanding its customer base, securing a series of design wins with major OEMs like HONOR, realme and Motorola. Improved acceptance of UNISOC-powered smartphones by Chinese consumers is a positive signal for its growth. It captured the fourth position in the quarter with a 9% share.
Samsung Exynos: It slipped to the fifth position with a 7% share as it is in the middle of rejigging its smartphone portfolio strategy of in-sourcing as well as outsourcing to Chinese ODMs. As a result, the share of MediaTek and Qualcomm has been growing across Samsung’s smartphone portfolio, from the mid-range 4G and 5G models manufactured by ODMs to the flagship ones.
HiSilicon: Affected by the US trade ban, Huawei was unable to manufacture the HiSilicon Kirin chipsets. The accumulated inventory of Kirin SoCs is on the verge of being exhausted. As a result, Huawei launched its P50 series with the latest Qualcomm SoCs but limited to 4G capabilities.
For our comprehensive research on foundry to chipsets to devices, feel free to get in touch with us at the contacts given below.
Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in products in the TMT (technology, media and telecom) industry. It services major technology and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects and detailed analyses of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are seasoned experts in the high-tech industry.
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AP shipments of the UNISOC embedded smartphones increased 122% in H1 2021
Beijing, Boston, Toronto, London, New Delhi, Hong Kong, Taipei, Seoul – August 17, 2021
UNISOC-powered smartphones’ Application Processor (AP) shipments soared in the first half of 2021, up 122% compared to the first half of 2020, according to the Counterpoint Smartphone AP Shipment Tracker. For the second quarter of 2021, UNISOC ranked fourth in the market with an 8.4% share and ranked third in the open market (excluding Apple).
Commenting on the performance of the Chinese fabless chip designer, Research Analyst Parv Sharma said, “UNISOC’s smartphone AP chipset shipments more than doubled in the first half of 2021 compared to the first half of 2020. This year, the company has succeeded in expanding its customer base, securing a series of design wins with major OEMs like HONOR, realme and Motorola. In its home market, the UNISOC T610 and T740 have been successfully adopted by ZTE, Hisense and HONOR. This improved acceptance of UNISOC-powered smartphones by Chinese consumers is a positive signal for its growth in the second half of 2021.”
In addition, UNISOC has been a key partner for operators and local brands in growth markets like LATAM and MEA, which had been contributing a significant share in UNISOC’s chip shipments. We expect the company to maintain this growth momentum.
Exhibit1: UNISOC Smartphone Chipset Shipments by Quarter
Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in products in the TMT (technology, media and telecom) industry. It services major technology and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects, and detailed analyses of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are seasoned experts in the high-tech industry.
Follow Counterpoint Research
More than 100 million smartphones were sold globally with MediaTek chipsets in Q3 2020.
Qualcomm led the market for 5G chipsets in Q3 2020.
New Delhi, Mumbai, Hong Kong, Seoul, San Diego, London, Buenos Aires – December 24, 2020
MediaTek became the biggest smartphone chipset vendor with 31% market share in Q3 2020 as smartphone sales rebounded in the quarter, according to Counterpoint estimates. MediaTek’s strong performance in the $100-$250 price band and growth in key regions like China and India helped it become the biggest smartphone chipset vendor.
Meanwhile, Qualcomm was the biggest 5G chipset vendor in Q3 2020. It powered 39% of the 5G phones sold worldwide. The demand for 5G smartphones doubled in Q3 2020 – 17% of all smartphones sold in Q3 2020 were 5G. This impressive growth trajectory is going to continue, more so with Apple launching its 5G line-up. One-third of all smartphones shipped in Q4 2020 are expected to be 5G enabled. There is still a chance Qualcomm will regain the top position in Q4 2020.
Commenting on MediaTek’s market share gain, Research Director Dale Gai said, “MediaTek’s strong market share gain in Q3 2020 happened due to three reasons – strong performance in the mid-end smartphone price segment ($100-$250) and emerging markets like LATAM and MEA, the US ban on Huawei and finally wins in leading OEMs like Samsung, Xiaomi and Honor. The share of MediaTek chipsets in Xiaomi has increased by more than three times since the same period last year. MediaTek was also able to leverage the gap created due to the US ban on Huawei. Affordable MediaTek chips fabricated by TSMC became the first option for many OEMs to quickly fill the gap left by Huawei’s absence. Huawei had also previously purchased a significant amount of chipsets ahead of the ban.”
Gai added, “On the other hand, Qualcomm also posted strong share gains (from a year ago) in the high-end segment in Q3 2020, again thanks to HiSilicon’s supply issues. However, Qualcomm faced competition from MediaTek in the mid-end segment. We believe both will continue to compete intensively through aggressive pricing, and mainstream 5G SoC products into 2021.”
Commenting on the growth strategies of Qualcomm and MediaTek, Research Analyst Ankit Malhotra said, “Qualcomm and MediaTek have both reshuffled their portfolios, and consumer focus has played a key role here. Last year, MediaTek launched a new gaming-based G-series, while Dimensity chipsets have helped in bringing 5G to affordable categories. The world’s cheapest 5G device, the realme V3, is powered by MediaTek.”
Commenting on the outlook for chipset vendors, Malhotra said, “The immediate focus of chipset vendors will be to bring 5G to the masses, which will then unlock the potential of consumer 5G use cases like cloud gaming, which in turn will lead to higher demand for higher clocked GPUs and more powerful processors. Qualcomm and MediaTek will continue to contend for the top position.”
Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in Technology products in the TMT industry. It services major technology firms and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects and detailed analysis of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are experts in the industry with an average tenure of 13 years in the high-tech industry.
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