As the world’s 1st Flagship 5G SoC. Captured from Huawei's official website.

For the first time ever, Huawei’s HiSilicon took the helm as the number one chip supplier amid the pandemic affecting China’s smartphone market, toppling over the U.S-based semiconductor supplier, Qualcomm.

HiSilicon has shipped 22.21 million smartphone processors in the first quarter of 2020, roughly aligned with the number shipped in the first quarter of 2019, according to a new report by China-based CINNO Research. HiSilicon was able to raise its market share to 43.9% in 2020, from 24.3% in the Q1 of 2019.

Although the research reports did not reveal the shipment figures for Qualcomm and other vendors, it reported that the U.S. giant’s market share fell significantly to 32.8% in the March quarter, from 48.1% in the same quarter of 2019.

HiSilicon develops chips under the Kirin brand, which is integrated into Huawei’s smartphones. The semiconductors are manufactured by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC).

Based on this growth, Huawei has been devoted to its domestic market since becoming blacklisted last year by the U.S. or the list known as the Entity List. Huawei’s growth in China has raised its share of the smartphone processor market at the expense of the company’s domestic rivals, which includes Qualcomm’s key customers.

“As a result of the export ban, Huawei shifted their emphasis to building market share in the domestic China market, where we do not see the corresponding benefits in product or licensing revenue,” said Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf.


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