Most used mobile GPUs in 2017

The market for smartphone GPUs (Graphics Processing Unit) is rather tight with three major providers powering most of today’s mobile devices. Learn which GPU series are the most used based on web traffic statistics from Q2 2017.

What is a GPU?

Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) is one of the essential elements of SoCs (system on a chip) that power today’s smartphones. It is a co-processor responsible for calculations related to generating images intended for a smartphone’s display. Its aim is to lighten the load on CPU and boost the device’s overall performance in all graphic-intensive tasks, such as 3D games, animations, etc.

GPUs in iOS and Android devices

Today's smartphone GPUs are typically licensed for embedding in other manufactuers’ SoCs. For example, Apple-designed chipsets are all powered by PowerVR GPUs. One of the latest implementations includes the 6-core Series 7XT GT7600 integrated with Apple A10 Fusion which powers iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.

While PowerVR is now mainly used in Apple devices, it was also embedded, for example, in Mediatek Helio X10 used in Android-based HTC One S9 and X9, as well as Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 and 3.

In the Android world, the most popular GPUs are Qualcomm's Adreno and ARM's Mali series which you can find in most smartphones in every price category. For example, different models of Qualcomm's Adreno were used in the flagship Samsung Galaxy S8 (Adreno 540) as well as the low-end Xiaomi Redmi 4 (Adreno 505).

ARM Mali can be found in some well-known Android devices too, including Samsung Galaxy A7 (Mali-T830MP3), or Huawei P10 (Mali-G71 MP8), although the majority of flagship phones are powered by Adreno which you can see in the table below.

SmartphoneGPU model
Apple iPhone 7PowerVR Series7XT Plus
Apple iPhone 7 PlusPowerVR Series7XT Plus
Samsung Galaxy S8 - EMEAQualcomm Adreno 540
Samsung Galaxy S8 - USA and ChinaARM Mali-G71 MP20
Google PixelQualcomm Adreno 530
Google Pixel XLQualcomm Adreno 530
Sony Xperia XZ PremiumQualcomm Adreno 540
LG G6Qualcomm Adreno 530
HTC U11Qualcomm Adreno 540
Huawei P10ARM Mali-G71 MP8
Xiaomi Mi 6Qualcomm Adreno 540
Oneplus 5Qualcomm Adreno 540

Most of the high-end Android devices released in 2016 or 2017 are equipped with either Adreno 530 or 540.

GPU popularity based on web traffic statistics

DeviceAtlas offers User-Agent strings parsing algorithm that identifies devices and looks them up in a massive database which includes a number of device characteristics. Given that smartphone GPU vendor and GPU model are among these properties, DeviceAtlas can report on the share of web traffic generated by smartphones equipped with any GPU available.

We noticed that the ARM Mali gets the largest share in developing markets, such as Nigeria (53%), Colombia (45%), and India (42%). Countries where Qualcomm's Adreno has a significant share include Argentina (44%), Poland (40%), Spain (37%), and Germany (31%). The popularity of PowerVR clearly reflects the overall popularity of iPhones, given that today PowerVR GPUs are rarely used in other devices. Thus, PowerVR gets a very high usage in Australia (63%), USA (59%), and Canada (56%).

The following stats are based on web traffic to a network of partner websites using DeviceAtlas for web optimization and redirection.

Detect smartphone GPU with DeviceAtlas

DeviceAtlas lets you identify smartphone GPU as one of the device properties available on request. Other hardware properties include chipset vendors, chipset models, number of CPU cores, maximum frequency, RAM amount, number of SIM slots, storage capacity, and a lot more.

These properties can be used to verify whether or not the device’s hardware can handle online content, such as high-resolution videos, heavy animations, or 3D games. They’re also used for ad targeting purposes and web analytics to help website owners better understand their mobile audience.

Looking for more stats on the mobile market?

To learn more about the latest mobile trends in 2017 download the new Mobile Web Intelligence Report for Q2 2017. The report focuses on a number of important aspects of the landscape, such as chipsets, GPUs, RAM, SIM slots, viewport sizes, and a lot more.

Click the button below to get your copy of the report.

Download the new Mobile Report for Q2 2017

  • Most used phone chipsets, GPUs, RAM amount, multiple SIM slots
  • Most popular screen sizes, viewport dimensions
  • Most common 'year released'
  • iOS vs Android in mid-2017
  • Top Android phones across the world
  • All statistics represent the share of web traffic in selected countries based on mobile visits tracked by DeviceAtlas in Q2 2017.

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