Data shows that Google’s Tensor chips and Pixel phones were not competitive during Q1

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Some interesting information has been spotted on research firm Canalys’ dashboard by GizChina. The data shows the number of smartphone units shipped in the first quarter based on the designer of the application processor (AP) that powers each phone, and the number of smartphones sold by revenue broken down by the designer of the AP used to power each phone. Based on shipments, the top smartphone chip designer in the world during the first quarter of 2024 was MediaTek.

114 million units of MediaTek-powered smartphones shipped during the first quarter of this year, a 17% gain year-over-year. MediaTek also held the top spot during last year’s first quarter. Qualcomm was second based on units shipped as 75 million phones packed with a Snapdragon processor were delivered during the January through March period, 11% more than last year’s Q1.

MediaTek dropped from the top chip designer to third place when ranking by average revenue of phones sold

Apple’s A-series chips, used on the iPhone, suffered through a 16% annual decline in shipments during the first quarter as 49 million iPhones were delivered in Q1. That put Apple in third place followed by China’s fabless chip designer UNISOC (formerly Spreadtrum Communications, Inc.) whose chips were found in 26 million phones shipped in Q1. Samsung’s Exynos APs were in 18 million phones shipped in Q1, off 18% year-over-year. That was good for fifth place.

Behind Samsung in sixth place was Huawei’s HiSilicon unit. Huawei is banned by the U.S. from receiving cutting-edge chips produced by foundries using American technology. Despite this restriction, China’s largest foundry, SMIC, was able to build the 7nm Kirin 9000s 5G chip last year for Huawei’s Mate 60 line. This was the first HiSilicon-designed chip with 5G made available to Huawei since 2020’s Kirin 9000 5G used toΒ  drive the Mate 40 line.
Huawei shipped 8 million phones powered by its Kirin chips during the first quarter of this year beating out Google. Flat with the 2 million Pixel phones shipped during the first three months of 2023, Google delivered 2 million Tensor-equipped Pixel phones from January through March 2024.
The rankings sure look different at the top if we base it on the revenue of the phones shipped instead of just the number of units delivered. Since MediaTek’s Dimensity chipsets are used to power mostly low-end Android phones, MediaTek, the leader when we look at the number of phones shipped, drops to third based on the revenue of the 114 million MediaTek carrying phones shipped during Q1. Phones running a MediaTek AP generated $23 billion in revenue during the first quarter of 2024, up 19% year-over-year.
While the average MediaTek-powered phone cost $201.75 on average, the price of the iPhone helped Apple take the top spot based on revenue. Phones using Apple’s A-series chips, known as the iPhone, created a leading $56 billion for Apple during Q1, down 6% from the 2023 first quarter. The average price for each iPhone that Apple sold in the first quarter of this year was $1,142.86.

Google’s Tensor chip (and thus its Pixel handsets) finished at the bottom of both lists

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chips can be found in some pricey Android phones and the handsets sold in Q1 powered by Snapdragon SoCs took in $37 billion during Q1 for an average price of $493.33 for each phone sold from January through March carrying a Snapdragon chipset. Samsung moved up to fourth in the rankings when based on revenue thanks to the Galaxy S24 series models that use the Exynos 2400 AP. The $9 billion in smartphone revenue attributed to Exynos-powered phones sold in the first quarter was up 33% year-over-year. The average price of a Galaxy phone carrying an Exynos AP was $500 during Q1.

Huawei phones sold in the first quarter of this year running HiSilicon’s Kirin chipsets were sold for $6 billion (average price was $750) putting the Huawei unit in fifth place. With a 49% annual increase in revenue to $3 billion, phones equipped with UNISOC SoCs sold at an average price of $115.38.

Google finished in seventh place again when ranking by revenue. The dollar amount of Pixel phones using the Tensor AP sold in the first quarter amounted to $2 billion, up 36% year-over-year. The average price of a Pixel unit sold in the first quarter was $1,000.


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