Samsung Overtakes Apple as No. 1 Semiconductor Customer in 2012 [Report]

Semiconductor demand was obviously dominated by Apple and Samsung last year; the only question is which ranks No. 1 for 2012, as previous reports showed that Apple had dominated demand. As for last year, Gartner has the numbers.

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Based on analysis of the total available market (TAM), the South Korean manufacturer and Apple together consumed $45.3 billion semiconductors in 2012, and they represent a combined 15% of total semiconductor demand, while the market decreased by 3% overall.

“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,” said Masatsune Yamaji, principal research analyst at Gartner. “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.”

The top ten companies with the highest semiconductor demand are Samsung Electronics, Apple, HP, Dell, Sony, Lenovo, Toshiba, LG Electronics, Cisco and Nokia, with Samsung surpassing Apple in 2012 in terms of semiconductor demand.

As the Gartner study points out, semiconductor demand has dropped in the PC market, but the growth of new mobile computing devices such as smartphones and tablets couldn’t fully compensate for this.

[Via Bloomberg]

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