A new report by Gartner shows that Samsung has surpassed Apple in 2012 to become the world’s leading buyer of semiconductor products.
The two companies combined accounted for 15.2% of the total chip market, buying US$45.3 billion worth of semiconductors in 2012. Samsung accounted for 8% of the market, while Apple purchased 7.2%. Hewlett-Packard was third with 4.7% of the market. Nokia was also a notable entry on the chart, dropping from 5th to 10th place, decreasing their purchasing from US$8.6 billion to US$5 billion.
Despite Samsung and Apple's purchasing habits, the overall chip market fell by about 3%. Masatsune Yamaji, principal research analyst at Gartner, explained,
“Although Samsung and Apple continue to go from strength to strength, other leading electronic equipment makers fared less well, and six of the top 10 reduced their demand in 2012. In addition to a weak macroeconomic situation, a dramatic change in consumer demand contributed to a reduction in semiconductor demand in 2012. The PC market still represented the largest sector for chip demand, but desktop and mobile PCs did not sell well, as consumers’ interest shifted to new mobile computing devices like smartphones and media tablets. This shift caused a substantial decrease in semiconductor demand in 2012, as the semiconductor content of a smartphone or a media tablet is far less than that of a PC.”
Source: Gartner, Inc