According to In-Stat, semiconductor components in handsets are the largest semiconductor market in the world by volume, if not in total revenue. In 2007, total revenue from handset semiconductors will exceed $31 billion worldwide.
Handset semiconductors are produced in high volumes. As a result, there are very strong price pressures to keep prices low. Despite the price pressures, cellular service providers always want the latest features in their handsets so that they can continue to attract new subscribers. This conflict between cost and the latest features makes it even more difficult for handset semiconductor manufacturers and handset manufacturers to know what feature mix to pursue.
According to In-Stat, if a feature is fairly expensive to produce, a handset manufacturer may include it in a few high-end models to test the market. On the other hand, some features are so cheap, such as digital cameras, that cell phone manufacturers include them in many models at the operator’s request. These features enable more consumers to use more revenue-generating services such sending digital photos over wireless networks.
- Handset semiconductor revenue will reach $32.2 billion by 2012.
- The average selling price (ASP) of core semiconductors in an HSPA handset will drop from $60.72 in 2006 to $14.61 in 2012.
- Add-on semiconductors, like Bluetooth and GPS, are growing at a faster rate than core handset components.
The research, “Worldwide Handset Semiconductor Forecast: 2006-2012″ (#IN0703848WT), includes the results of a primary research study about what cellular features subscribers are looking for in their handsets. The research also includes forecasts for both core and feature semiconductors in handsets. The report contains worldwide forecasts for Bluetooth, GPS, Wi-Fi, cameras, and mobile TV tuners and demodulators, including units, ASPs, and revenues. In addition, this report contains units, ASPs, and revenues, forecasted by phone technology, for a handset’s core chipset. Functional breakouts of revenue are also included for power management, audio, SRAM, Flash, analog/digital baseband, and IF/RF sections. The price is $3,495 (US).