Top 10 Qualcomm Competitors and Alternatives

Top 10 Qualcomm Competitors and Alternatives

Qualcomm is a well-known American multinational corporation. The company’s primary products include semiconductors, software, and services related to wireless technology. Similarly, it also owns patents to crucial 5G, 4G, CDMA2000, TD-SCDMA, and WCDMA mobile communications standards. The company began its operations in 1985 and has since become a well-known name in the industry.

Over the years, Qualcomm has expanded its operations into selling semiconductor products. The company also develops semiconductor components and software for smartphones, laptops, wi-fi, vehicles, and other devices. Although the company was initially loss-making, it has revamped its operations to make profits.

One of Qualcomm’s most well-known products includes its Snapdragon processors and chips. The company offers these processors to smartphone manufacturers. However, its other products also help the company generate significant revenues. Currently, the company is one of the most prominent names in the market.

Qualcomm generated revenues of 23.53 billion in 2020. It also helped the company make an operating income of $6.26 billion and a net income of $5.20 billion. Qualcomm also held total assets of $35.59 billion and total equity of $6.08 billion the same year. The company also reported having 41,000 employees in 2020.

Qualcomm operates in an industry that requires high costs on research and development. Despite that, it has many competitors. Being in various markets makes the company susceptible to high competition. The list of top ten Qualcomm competitors and alternatives is as below.

1. Broadcom

Broadcom, or Broadcom Corporation, is an American fabless semiconductor manufacturing company. The company makes products for the wireless and broadband communication industry. It currently operates under Avago Technologies and is wholly owned by Broadcom Inc. Broadcom began its operations in 1991.

When it comes to the semiconductor market, Broadcom is among the most prominent names. The company started as a small part of Hewlett-Packard (HP) but separated itself from the operations over the years. The company offers its services worldwide in two primary industries, the semiconductors, and infrastructure software industries.

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2. Intel

Intel, or Intel Corporation, is an American multinational corporation and technology company. It is the world’s largest semiconductor chip manufacturer in terms of revenues. It also specializes in x86 microprocessors found in most microcomputers. Undoubtedly, Intel is the biggest name in the semiconductor market and the most well-known as well.

Intel also has the honour of being among the largest US corporations in total revenues for almost a decade. The company supplies microprocessors for computer system manufacturers. Some of its clients include Dell, HP, Apple, Lenovo, etc. The company generated revenues of $77.87 billion in 2020 and reported over 110,000 employees.

3. AMD

AMD, short for Advanced Micro Devices, is an American multinational semiconductor company. Similarly, the company develops computer processors and related technologies. Its primary products include microprocessors, motherboard chipsets, embedded processors, and graphic processors. Currently, the company’s operations span worldwide.

AMD is a well-known name in the microprocessors market. It is one of Intel’s top competitors. However, the company has suffered some business over the years. More recently, however, it has bounced back with its innovative products. AMD generated revenues of $9.76 billion in 2020 and employed over 12,000 employees. AMD also poses a threat to Qualcomm’s business.

4. Nvidia

Nvidia, also known as Nvidia Corporation, is an American multinational technology company. The company primarily designs graphics processing units (GPUs) for gaming and professional markets. However, it is also a manufacturer of system-on-a-chip units (SoCs) for the mobile computing and automotive market. The company is well-known for its GeForce line of graphics processors.

Nvidia made revenues of $10.92 billion in 2020. The company is the largest name in the GPU manufacturing market. However, the company has also ventured into several other markets over the years. Due to this expansion, Nvidia has created some overlaps in the markets where Qualcomm operates.

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5. Cirrus Logic

Cirrus Logic is an American fabless semiconductor supplier. The company specializes in analogue, audio DSP, and mixed-signal integrated circuits. Established in 1981, Cirrus Logic currently has 3,500 patents issued and pending. The company began its operations in Salt Lake City as Patil Systems. However, it later got reorganized and renamed Cirrus Logic.

Cirrus Logic has various high-profile clients and high-earning contracts. Through these contracts, the company earns over $1.5 billion in revenues each year. Cirrus Logic deals in semiconductors for audit processors and converters built inside entertainment products. It is one of the alternatives to Qualcomm in the audio industry.

6. MediaTek

MediaTek is a Taiwanese fabless semiconductor company. It specializes in wireless communications, high-definition television, handheld mobile devices, navigation systems, consumer multimedia products, and digital subscriber line services. The company operates from Hsinchu and has 25 offices worldwide. The company was the third-largest fabless IC designer worldwide in 2016.

Although not a US company, MediaTek offers its services worldwide. The company generated revenues of NT$322.15 billion (roughly translates to $10.9 billion) in 2020. It also reported over 17,500 employees in 2019. MediaTek is also the biggest smartphone chipset vendor with over 30% market share. Therefore, it is one of Qualcomm’s primary competitors.

7. Apple

Apple is one of the world’s largest technology companies with a valuation of over $1 trillion. The company requires no introduction. Apple primarily operates in the PC, laptop, smartphone, smartwatch, and accessories market. However, it also poses a threat to Qualcomm’s business through its semiconductors, particularly Apple processors.

Apple used microchips and semiconductors from various vendors for its devices. However, the company has ventured into this market itself to meet its needs. The company has used its own processors in its smartphones over the years. It has also come up with M1 processors for its laptops. Therefore, it competes with Qualcomm for its business.

8. Infineon Technologies

Infineon Technologies, or Infineon, is a German semiconductor manufacturer. The company started its operations in 1999 as a spin-off to the former parent company Siemens AG’s semiconductor operations. Infineon is the current market leader in automotive and power semiconductors. The company also holds the stature of being one of the top ten largest semiconductor manufacturers worldwide.

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Infineon generated revenues of €8.6 billion (translates roughly to $9.78 billion) in 2020. The company sells its products to various different sectors. However, it primarily focuses on the automotive and industrial sectors. The company holds a significant market share in Europe. However, its operations also exist in the US and Asia.

9. HiSilicon

HiSilicon is a Chinese fabless semiconductor company. The company operates under Huawei, a well-known smartphone and electronic devices manufacturer. HiSilicon purchases licenses for CPI designs from ARM Holdings. The company is also well-known for its Mali GPU cores. Furthermore, it is also a reputed designer of integrated circuits in China.

HiSilicon started its operations in 1991. It designs several products, such as Kirin processors, Balong smartphone modems, Hi- and Kunpeng server processors, etc. The company generated revenues of $7.7 billion in 2019 due to its massive operations. Despite its setbacks in the US market, HiSilicon remains a top name in the semiconductor market.

10. Synaptics

Synaptics is another well-known name in the technology industry. The company operates from San Jose, California, and manufactures human interface hardware and software for multiple devices. It specializes in touchpads, display drivers, fingerprint biometrics technology for smartphones, video and far-field voice technology. Its primary customers include original equipment manufacturers.

Synaptics generated revenues of $1,334 million in 2020. In terms of operations, it is not as significant as some other names on this list. Despite that, it serves various well-known manufacturers and distributors. While Synaptics is not a primary competitor to Qualcomm’s operations, both companies have overlaps in some markets.


Qualcomm is one of the top names in the semiconductor market with several high-profile clients. The company competes with several high-profile brands, including Intel, AMD, Nvidia Broadcom, MediaTek, HiSilicon, Apple, Infineon, etc. Similarly, the company is among the top ten names in the industry in revenues and market share.

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