The cellphone IC market CAGR is forecast to exceed the total IC market by as much as three points during the same period.
The increasing value of the average IC content in cellular handsets along with the increasing percentage of smartphones sold as a per cent of total cellular handsets will drive the cellphone IC market to $94.3 billion in 2019, according to IC Insights.
Strong double-digit growth rates in the cellular handset IC market were logged in 2013 and 2014 but only a 2% increase was registered in 2015. Despite the expected increase of 4% in 2016, the 2015-2019 total cellphone IC market CAGR is forecast to be 6.7%, three points higher than the 3.7% CAGR forecast for the total IC market during this same time. The $94.3 billion 2019 cellphone IC market is forecast to be about 30% higher than the level registered in 2015.
Figure 1: (Source: IC Insights)
In 2015, the IC product segment that had the highest average content per cellphone was the MPU category ($9.92), which includes the application processors used in smartphones. The second highest was the application specific logic segment, which had an average $8.55 of IC content per cellular handset. In total, there was an average of $38.78 worth of ICs in a 2015 cellular handset.
DRAM memory held 59% ($12.3 billion) of the total cellphone memory market in 2015, with NAND flash representing most of the remainder of the market. The $21 billion cellphone memory market in 2015 was driven by the surge in shipments of memory-rich high-end smartphones and the 6% increase in the cellphone DRAM market.
The average analogue content in a cellphone increased in 2015 to $6.64 while the total cellphone analogue IC market increased by 8%, six points better than the 2% growth rate experienced by the total 2015 analogue IC market. Application specific analogue, mostly comprised of mixed-signal devices, represented about 83% of the total $12.5 billion 2015 cellular handset analogue IC market.
In 2019, as the market shifts more towards low-end smartphones, the cellphone MPU market is expected to represent 23% of the total cellphone IC market, down two points from 26% in 2015. Moreover, the cellphone DRAM memory market in 2019 is forecast to reach $19.9 billion and be more than two times larger than the total flash cellphone IC market ($9.5 billion) in that year. In contrast to the high-growth cellphone DRAM market, the 2019 cellphone DSP market is forecast to be less than $0.1 billion, down from $1.3 billion in 2012.