Qualcomm Vs MediaTek: Smartphones are the biggest convenience for everyone right now. Every product and service is just an application away. While we appreciate the software behind our beloved screens, there’s a different battlefield when it comes to hardware components.

Specifically speaking, the biggest chip makers – are Qualcomm and Mediatek. Together they own over 50% market share in the smartphone processor industry. Recent headlines showed that both smartphone and car makers were facing a global chip shortage. This in turn inflated existing prices of phones and vehicles. 

Within every crisis lies a hidden opportunity. Investors and smartphone companies will both be looking at the two competitors Qualcomm Vs MediaTek who have a combined hold over the market altogether.

Even consumers critically chose their devices based on the processors within – Mediatek’s Helios and Density or Qualcomm’s reputed Snapdragon. 

The Comparison – Qualcomm Vs MediaTek

Let’s take a closer look at the history and functioning of Qualcomm Vs MediaTek.


Qualcomm Logo | Qualcomm Vs MediaTek

Qualcomm is an American-listed smartphone chip manufacturer. The company was set up in 1985 by Irwin M. Jacobs with six other co-founders. What started off as a semiconductor company now creates chips for wireless technology, 5G and 4G connectivity, and has multiple patents.

From laptops to smart watches to cameras and cars, they supply chips and connectivity solutions to every device that depends on wireless connectivity. The company is valued at $163 billion dollars and is listed on NASDAQ and the S&P 500.


MediaTek Logo | Qualcomm Vs MediaTek

As of 2020, MediaTek is the largest smartphone chip maker in the world, with a market share of 31% in the industry. The Taiwan-based company was founded in 1997.

The company started its journey as a subsidiary of UMC (United Microelectronics Corporation) with the sole purpose of designing chipsets for entertainment systems. It was first listed in 2001 on the Taiwan Stock Exchange. 

In 2004, the company entered the mobile chipset industry. 

The company overtook Qualcomm in 2020 to become the largest smartphone chipmaker in the world. As recent as 2021, they announced a collaboration with Intel to bring 5G connectivity to PCs. 

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The Race to become the leading Chipmaker

Qualcomm Vs MediaTek cover image logo

Globally, there has been a supply chain disruption that has impacted the smartphone industry as well as the automotive industry. Covid-19 caused manufacturing disruptions throughout the world, with factories being shut for months together.

The slow ripple effect of multiple lockdowns has reached smartphone users as well as big brands such as Samsung, Oppo, and OnePlus. 

A lot of entry-level phones from these manufacturers have been out of stock for some time, citing a semiconductor shortage that has delayed production. 

In 2020, MediaTek took over Qualcomm to become the largest chip maker by sales alone. It accounted for 49% of all smartphones sold in the USA as compared to 43% by Qualcomm in Q2 2021. 

In China, Europe, India, and Latin America, MediaTek leads in terms of sales volume due to the use of its chips in entry-level and mid-range smartphones. Their Density Chip, which is 5G equipped, makes it a better competitor for consumers as well as OEMs.

Whereas Qualcomm’s product focus is primarily on quality and durability. Even though MediaTek has taken over the top position, Qualcomm has better profitability in terms of margin. 

MediaTek’s Rapid Expansion Over Qualcomm

Some of the major reasons that gained MediaTek a competitive advantage are – the Huawei Ban, The introduction of 5G, and the Density 800 chip which is targeted towards low to mid-tier devices in the market.

Both Qualcomm and MediaTek are suppliers to Samsung, but the bigger win goes to MediaTek which still supplies Chinese Phone makers such as Xiaomi, who recently awarded the company a deal to supply 5 G-ready chipsets for the newest line of smartphones. 

While the ban on Huawei has severely impacted the company, Chinese competitors Xiaomi and Oppo have been cashing in on the opportunities. They have been MediaTek’s biggest customers, with Xiaomi accounting for a 223% growth in phone shipments compared to 2019 and Oppo, with a 19% increase from 2019. 

While this brings out the fast disruption in the market of smartphones, India was the slowest growing market for MediaTek, with only 31% market penetration. However, this shows that there is endless opportunity for growth in the coming years in India. 

Which is better in Performance: MediaTek or Qualcomm

MediaTek has the Helios and extended Dimensity lineups, on the other hand Qualcomm has its famed Snapdragon series chipsets.

Although both SoCs consist of ARM-based CPCs, Qualcomm utlizes a 5nm process technology for its newest and most advanced Snapdragon 888 powering the premium-tier smartphones. In terms of pricing, the MediaTek chipsets are mostly cheaper than Qualcomm Snapdragon solutions 

Is MediaTek bigger than Qualcomm?

Snapdragon and MediaTek both have multicore processors. A 12-core chipset trials have begun at MediaTek. Nevertheless, one should be aware that the function of the processor’s cores matters more than their number. 

Qualcomm Snapdragon is better in multitasking, handling heavy, and gaming and intensive tasks in terms of its performance. MediaTek’s processors are better performing and their extra core processors enable heavy and rigorous task performing and they are better at multitasking as 

As regards to which one is better, MediaTek is better than Qualcomm in some aspects at the same time Qualcomm in other aspects 

In Closing

The growth and fierce competition between Qualcomm Vs MediaTek Chip Titans show the ever-expanding growth of the smartphone market, both in India and the rest of the world.

With almost every form of service and product available online, it’s only fair that investors will have their eyes on the key players in the market. What do you think is the future of the Chip manufacturers?

Be Experts in the stock market are available on Fingrad to help you make the right investment strategy. It is always wise to have an investment strategy that brings about a higher profitability percentage.

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