The sell-side and the press tend to focus on the high end of the smartphone applications processor market and the competitive dynamics there, but while the higher end players have found themselves competing for share in a significantly slowing market, those players whose business models are already suited for high-volume/low-ASP solutions stand to benefit significantly from the secular smartphone growth trend. In particular, Spreadtrum Communications (SPRD) is a relatively unknown but incredibly compelling high volume/low cost smartphone applications processor play that should see substantial upside over the next several years.
The Smartphone Processor Market - A Dichotomy
There are two different modes of operation for a smartphone/tablet system on chip vendor:
- Aim for best performance/watt, brag about