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Apple is now the biggest chip buyer in the world, beating Samsung

Posted: , by Victor H.

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Apple is now the biggest chip buyer in the world, beating Samsung
Apple is now the biggest chip buyer in the world, trumping previous chip hungry champion Samsung. Apple spent $17.3 billion on semiconductors last year, surpassing Samsung’s spending of $16.7 billion, according to Gartner.

Cupertino enjoyed a huge growth in chip orders in 2011, growing orders by 34.6%, the most in the top 10 of chip makers. Apple’s overall share now stands at 5.7% of all chip spending, while Samsung and HP were runners up with 5.5%.

Not surprisingly, Nokia was the biggest loser in 2011 chip purchases. The Finns, which are still the world’s largest phone maker by volume, had their chip spending slide 20.1% and losing one position to become the fifth largest chip client.

"The major growth drivers in 2011 were smartphones, media tablets and solid-state drives," Gartner analyst Masatsune Yamaji said. 

This means that those who did well in the mobile market basically needed more chips and those companies are Apple, Samsung and HTC. Nokia and LG didn’t have a knock-out year in mobile in 2011, and respectfully had less orders for chips.

Apple’s huge semiconductor needs actually spurred rumors about the company building its own chip factory in Israel, where it can unite with recently purchased SSD experts Anobit.

source: AppleInsider

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posted on 24 Jan 2012, 10:13 16

1. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 3740; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


That is because Apple doesn't make their own chips. Samsung on the other hand makes their own chips so naturally their demand would not be as great as Apple's.

posted on 24 Jan 2012, 10:20 7

3. JeffdaBeat (unregistered)


But by that logic, Samsung shouldn't be spending anything on chips instead of the reported 16.7 billion...which is relatively close to what Apple spend on chips. Samsung may make their own chips, but it doesn't get to do so for free.

posted on 24 Jan 2012, 12:16 4

10. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 3740; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


Samsung STILL sells many feature phones, so those they go & buy. Also they only make their top-end Exynos for themselves. Samsung makes other products not just mobile phones, so they may need to buy chips for those products as well. (TV's, Computers, Appliances, so on and so forth.)

If Samsung didn't make their own chips, you can bet their demand for chips would be higher than Apple’s.

Samsung has so many products that they need to buy chips because they couldn’t possibly make all the chips for not only all their products but also all iPhones, & iPads! It’s just too much!

posted on 24 Jan 2012, 10:45

5. c.hack (Posts: 491; Member since: 09 Dec 2009)


Apple makes their own A5 chips as well

posted on 24 Jan 2012, 10:58 14

6. TKFox007 (Posts: 303; Member since: 02 Nov 2010)


Apple designed the chip, Samsung manufactures it

posted on 24 Jan 2012, 11:10 6

8. jgcaap (Posts: 35; Member since: 22 Feb 2011)


Untrue... Iphone 4 had a Samsung Chip made by samsung. They only designed the software wich operates with that chip.

posted on 24 Jan 2012, 11:33 7

9. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


the chip the A4/A5 chips are samsung chips with very minor modifications and a different GPU. it is the Hummingbird/Exynos with a different name.

just because samsung manufactures much of their chips doesnt mean they manufacture all of them. they have a much wider base of chip needs than apple does. phones, computers, tvs, electronics, appliances, construction, ships, vehicle supplies. Maybe apple ordered more than Samsung Electronics, but not all of Samsung. Dont get the 2 confused.

posted on 24 Jan 2012, 11:01 3

7. TKFox007 (Posts: 303; Member since: 02 Nov 2010)


Exactly, why would Samsung buy chips when they can make their own? Also isn't Samsung one of the biggest component manufacturers in the world?

posted on 24 Jan 2012, 17:32

13. stealthd (Posts: 911; Member since: 12 Jun 2011)


The article referred to SPENDING. Just because Samsung makes some of their own chips doesn't mean they get them for free. Usually departments inside a single company will sell their parts and services to other departments just like if they were selling them to another company.

posted on 24 Jan 2012, 10:16 2

2. jmoita2 (Posts: 930; Member since: 23 Dec 2011)


Great point!!!

posted on 24 Jan 2012, 10:44 2

4. arcq12 (Posts: 733; Member since: 13 Oct 2011)


is there a Trophy or grand prize or whatever for being the biggest chip buyer in the world? are you even gonna be in the Guinness book?

posted on 24 Jan 2012, 13:47

11. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6116; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


How can they be the biggest buyer when all their chips is SAMSUNG MADE

posted on 25 Jan 2012, 09:22

15. ghost__uwi (Posts: 175; Member since: 28 Nov 2011)


probably cause they BUY it and samsung makes it :P

posted on 24 Jan 2012, 15:35

12. btbotimtim (Posts: 142; Member since: 08 Dec 2010)


When Nvidia first introduced dual-core tegra 2, Samsung ordered a lot of them. But now, I don't know where Sammy used those chips.

posted on 24 Jan 2012, 22:22

14. Dr.Phil (Posts: 863; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)


They used them in their tablets. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 has a Tegra 2 chip, or at least it did (I don't know off the top of my head if they finally put in their Exynos).

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