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Apple Loses World Chip-Eating Challenge to Samsung

Published on January 23, 2013
by John Paczkowski

Competitive_eatingIn January of 2012, Apple claimed the title of world’s largest buyer of semiconductors. Now, just a year later, it has ceded that honor to its archrival. In 2012, Samsung bought more chips than Apple or anyone else, according to Gartner.

Samsung’s semiconductor spending spiked 29 percent to $23.9 billion last year, the research house said. And while Apple’s chip purchases rose 14 percent during the same period, they topped out at only $21.4 billion. In the end, Samsung purchased a full 8 percent of the world’s semiconductors; Apple bought 7.2 percent.

Gartner_chip_sales_2012

That’s a significant increase in semiconductor consumption for both companies. Apple spent $17 billion on semiconductors in 2011, giving it a 5.7 percent share of chip purchasing for the year, according to Gartner. Meanwhile, Samsung spent $16.7 billion for a 5.5 percent share. Driving the year-over-year increases: Spiking demand in the smartphone and tablet markets, where Samsung and Apple continue to slug it out.

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