Samsung overtakes Apple as top chip customer

Samsung managed to surpass Apple as the top semiconductor customer in 2012. According to Gartner, Samsung and Apple dominated the market in 2012, but Samsung enjoyed a bit more growth and overtook Cupertino.

Samsung gobbled up $28.9 billion worth of silicon, up from $18.6 billion in 2011, leaving its market share at eight percent. Apple ended the year with $21.4 billion and ranked second, although it beat Samsung in 2011 with $18.8 billion. Samsung’s semiconductor spending simply spiked a bit more.

HP and Dell came in third and fourth, with $14 billion and $8.6 billion, respectively. However, both outfits saw a double-digit slide in terms of overall consumption. Toshiba, LG and Nokia also saw their spending go down. Nokia dropped five spots in the ranking, as its spending shrank from $8.6 billion to just $5 billion.

It’s more than apparent that traditional PC makers did not do very well. HP and Dell are down, and so is Toshiba, with a hefty 17.1 percent slide. Lenovo saw barely any growth, but it outperformed its direct competitors. Cisco also lost a bit of ground, which is understandable given the PC downturn. 

In terms of overall shipments, 2012 was a pretty bad year for the industry, as semiconductor spending dropped from $306.8 billion in 2011 to $297.6 billion. However, the worst part of the slump could be behind us, as the semicon market is set to return to growth in 2013, but it might be a while before it hits 2011 levels again.