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Apple Tops List of Largest Semiconductor Buyers in 2010

Top 10 OEM Semiconductor Buyers
(Ranking by Revenue in Billions of U.S. Dollars)

According to a new research report from IHS iSuppli, Apple became the world's largest semiconductor buyer among original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in 2010, leaping past HP and Samsung to comfortably grab the top spot with $17.5 billion in spending. Apple's surge has seen it rise from third place in 2009 and sixth place in 2008.
"Apple's surge to leadership in semiconductor spending in 2010 was driven by the overwhelming success of its wireless products, namely the iPhone and the iPad," said Wenlie Ye, Analyst for IHS. "These products consume enormous quantities of NAND flash memory, which is also found in the Apple iPod. Because of this, Apple in 2010 was the world's No. 1 purchaser of NAND flash."
Apple's lead over second-place HP, which stood at $2.3 billion in 2010, is expected to balloon to over $7.5 billion in 2011 as Apple expands its purchases to over $22 billion while other vendors remain relatively stagnant.

The report points out the marked differences between Apple's and HP's businesses, citing data showing that 61% of Apple's semiconductor spending in 2010 was on wireless products while 82% of HPs spending was on traditional computer products. That difference in focus, combined with the exploding smartphone and tablet market, has been driving Apple's run up the charts.

Apple is also cited for its ability to create an "ecosystem" of its products, with the company's tie-ins across devices leading consumers to stick with Apple for each new computer and mobile device purchase. This contrasts with the traditional PC business that offers no such ecosystem, thus leading to considerably lower brand loyalty across the range of devices and more fragmentation in purchasing patterns.

Top Rated Comments

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37 months ago

Wonder what the world would look like if it's all an Apple ecosystem...


A lot more efficient.
Rating: 4 Positives
37 months ago
Seems like Apple is leading the post-pc world, one step at a time.

The other companies are basically flatlined or suffering from negative growth, even with their wanna bee products.
Rating: 4 Positives
37 months ago
Apple continues to rise and take over just about every metric we have for a tech company.

I hope other American companies take note. Apple is a company that takes pain to, and successfully defines itself through its product offerings and philosophy. That's what's necessary to differentiate yourself from many other companies in a global economy.
Rating: 4 Positives
37 months ago
Wouldn't be good for anyone to lose Apple as a customer . . .
Rating: 3 Positives
37 months ago
Wow... like i said last week, looks like it's definitely time to put some money into TSM Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing TSMC
Rating: 2 Positives
37 months ago

Wouldn't be good for anyone to lose Apple as a customer . . .


Agree. Hopefully Apple can just drop Samsung.
Rating: 2 Positives
37 months ago

Do the chips in Macbook Airs also count in this? Since they are somekind of flash?

It includes chips in all Apple products, whether they be Macs, iDevices, or other things like Airport base stations or Apple-branded AC adapters.

Basically, if it has an Apple logo and it has parts made of silicon, it counts.
Rating: 1 Positives
37 months ago
Obvious questions: 1. What counts as "semiconductor"? Does it include LCD screens? Probably includes SSD, but not HD? 2. Some of the companies are also producers of semiconductors. Are numbers for using their own products at a reasonable market price added in? (For example, if Apple buys $1bn worth of Samsung flash memory, and Samsung uses the same amount of Samsung flash memory itself, is the second $1bn included in Samsung's numbers? )

Agree. Hopefully Apple can just drop Samsung.


There's no reason for that at all. As long as the court case between Apple and Samsung doesn't affect price and quality of Samsung parts negatively, there is no reason for that.
Rating: 1 Positives
37 months ago
Thats quite an impressive margin over the rest of the industry. I would have thought Sony would be further up that list with all the products that they make that use Semiconductors.
Rating: 1 Positives
37 months ago

So Samsung could bring out there own device and have an almost zero purchase cost as they would make most of the internals themselves.


No, they wouldn't have "almost zero" purchase cost. Creating silicon isn't cheap. There are immense investments to be made, and the production is definitely not free either. If Apple and Samsung use the same Samsung chip, then Samsung's cost is probably more than 95% of Apple's cost. If Samsung tried to charge Apple $100 for something that costs $90 to produce, then Toshiba would offer the same item for $95 and Apple would buy that.
Rating: 1 Positives

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