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Qualcomm share of China AP market to hit 30% for first time since 2012

Although the first quarter is the slow season in the China application processor (AP) market, Qualcomm is expected to continue outperforming its competitors and further increase its market share, with Digitimes Research data indicating Qualcomm's share will hit 30%.

The last time the company enjoyed a share above 30% was the second quarter of 2012.

While overall AP shipments in the China market are expected to drop 16% in the first quarter of 2017, Qualcomm's shipments will drop only 12%, Digitimes Research indicated in its latest China smartphone AP tracker.

The key demand driver for China smartphone customers is LTE Cat. 7 support -- an LTE Advanced user equipment category that supports downloads of 300Mb/sec. Currently, Qualcomm offers devices support Cat. 7 across a variety of market segments and is the only supplier that is trusted to provide reliable products at this point.

While overall AP shipments in the China market increased 10.4% in the fourth quarter of 2016, Qualcomm's shipments increased 19%.

Qualcomm's growth in China is coming at the expense of MediaTek, the market leader in terms of share. MediaTek saw its shipments increase only 1.4% in the fourth quarter, as the company lacked a strong Cat. 7 product to satisfy the market. In the first quarter of 2017, MediaTek is expected to continue having troubles and the design house is forecast to have a shipment drop of 18.6%.

Digitimes Research expects MediaTek's share of the China market to drop below 40% for the first time since the first quarter of 2012.