As smartphone and tablet sales rise amongst consumers worldwide, it's not much of a surprise that the mobile processor market would grow too.
The striking aspect is that the mobile processor market is expected to grow at a rather steady incline over the course of the next four years, according to a recent report from NPD In-Stat.
NPD researchers predict that the mobile processor sector will grow at a rate of 22 percent each year through 2016. That's after this area already nearly doubled in 2011 when mobile processor growth exceeded 43 percent.
While mobile processors aren't limited to just smartphones and tablets, these two decides present the greatest opportunity for growth. Together, they represented 75 percent of the mobile processor market growth last year, and they are expected to represent 29.3 percent annually through 2016.
Intel tends to dominate when it comes to mobile PCs, but Apple, Qualcomm, and Samsung are the leaders when it comes to other mobile consumer devices.
NPD chief technology strategist Jim McGregor added in the report that "just having a captive smartphone and tablet market has propelled Apple into second place for the entire mobile processor market just behind industry leader Intel."
In 2012, Apple will likely capture the top spot, in terms of unit shipments, driven by the success of its iPhone and iPad. Other companies that benefitted greatly from new product releases or dominance by their OEM customers included Nvidia, Texas Instruments, Qualcomm, and Samsung.
These two iOS devices are also being credited with the growth of the touchscreen chip market through 2012. IHS analysts posit that the iPad and iPhone are partially responsible for helping triple the size of the market for at least the near future.
According to a new report from IHS iSuppli, touch controller integrated circuit shipments are set to reach 2.4 billion units in 2015, up from 865 million in 2010.
By the end of 2012, touchscreen chip shipments are expected to surge by at least 28 percent to 1.7 billion units.