Apple could be largest semiconductor buyer by 2012

Apple’s fruity business model is pushing it on course to become the world’s second largest buyer of semiconductors and may well become the biggest chip buyer in the whole wide world by 2012.

It’s thought that Apple is going to be spending roughly $16.2 billion on semiconductors which will see it overtake previous Number Two, Samsung, which is projected to spend $13.9 billion. HP will still take the top spot but only just, spending $17.1 billion. Apple’s spending this year is forecasted to expand 54 percent up to $12.4 billion which is the highest growth rate predicted for any company in the market – with spending next year expected to grow by a further 30.4 percent, which will push it into second place.

It’s thought by iSuppli, which conducted the study, that the phenomenal sales figures of the iPhone 4 and the iPad are driving the need for more and more chips. In the West at least, the fruity products have grabbed sales incomparable to rival pieces of kit. 

Min-Sun Moon, who is a senior analyst for semiconductor spend and design at iSuppli, reckons getting the top spot in semi spending can represent prestige. “An advancement in the rankings means that a company has been successful in introducing new products and that it is allocating more dollars in research and development.”

If Apple keeps thundering along as it is now, the only way HP can hold off Apple in 2012 would be unexpected mergers or acquisitions. HP has been on top of the semiconductor buying market since the turn of the millenium.

The whole industry is going to be buying the heck out of chips, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region where consumption will grow and grow thanks to the rise in manufacturing levels and outsourcing. 

Other companies experiencing rapid growth in 2010, behind Apple in descending order, are Lenovo at 47.1 percent, SanDisk at 44.3 percent, RIM at 42.9 percent, Cisco at 37.3 percent and Acer at 29.4 percent. 

Image credit iSuppli