Market Insight

Smartphone applications processors and WLAN IC design choices shifting with product mix

September 05, 2014  | Subscribers Only

Wayne Lam Wayne Lam Principal Analyst, Mobile Devices & Networks

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Rising demand in developing markets is changing the way OEMs are designing smartphones. Consumer price sensitivity and tastes are influencing some OEMs to offer mid-range or entry level smartphones that provide a “good enough” user experience without the high price tag of premium flagship devices. Handset design choices for this product segment are affecting the semiconductor supplier competitive landscape and the relationships between the top OEMs and leading semiconductor vendors. As smartphones continue to progress toward a mass market status, cost will be a main driver for OEMs and suppliers alike. 

As smartphone product mix shifts, some of the underlying semiconductor content is changing from integration and design trends as OEMs focus on achieving the proper balance between the best user experience and most cost effective designs. Consequently, the smartphone’s core semiconductor content is also shifting and some components are benefiting from the increased demand for lower priced smartphones, while other components are losing out. 

Which components are poised to benefit from the pivot from high end flagship devices to mid-range and entry level smartphones and which are positioned to decline if the current trend continues?

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