Electronic Design

Qualcomm Takes Top Spot As Wireless IC Supplier

Qualcomm replaced Texas Instruments as the world's top semiconductor supplier for all types of wireless products (including mobile handsets) in the first quarter, and analysts are wondering if TI can regain market share in Q2, according to analysts from iSuppli. Qualcomm bucked seasonally slow Q1 market conditions to gain a 2.4 percent revenue increase, generated by sales of wireless ICs. Company revenue rose to $1.26 billion from $1.23 billion in the fourth quarter of 2006. In contrast, the global market for wireless ICs declined by 5.5 percent during the period, falling to $6.97 billion from $7.37 billion in the fourth quarter, according to an iSuppli release. Meanwhile, TI underperformed in the market in Q1, with a 7 percent revenue drop. TI posted wireless semiconductor revenue of $1.15 billion in the first quarter, compared to $1.24 billion in the previous quarter. This is the first time TI has not occupied the top spot since iSuppli began tracking handset market share in 2004. Qualcomm took the top spot largely due to its growth in EvDO and WCDMA baseband chips, according to iSuppli senior wireless communications analyst Francis Sideco. Sideco said TI is likely to report improving business conditions in its second-quarter results, as its mid-quarter update reported a rebound in orders. "With production of the company's LoCosto single-chip solution for mobile phones starting to really ramp, as well as its continued focus on the high-end custom market ASICs for 3G phones, TI has some significant growth drivers in its arsenal," Sideco said in a statement. "Whether these drivers will be sufficient to allow TI to regain the top spot from Qualcomm during the next couple of quarters and to come out ahead for the year remains to be seen."

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