Samsung Retakes Title of World's Largest Semiconductor Customer from Apple in 2012

Research firm Gartner today shared its estimates of global semiconductor purchases for 2012, finding that Samsung has retaken the title Apple had gained in 2011 when it leapt over both Samsung and HP. Samsung (28.9% growth) and Apple (13.6% growth) registered as the biggest winners in 2012, as the overall market declined by 3% with Sony (1.9%) and Lenovo (0.3%) being the only other top-ten companies showing positive performance.

"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.

Yamaji pointed to the strong shift to mobile devices as a primary reason for the overall decline in the semiconductor market, with traditional computers that require significantly higher semiconductor content experiencing relatively poor sales in the face of smartphone and tablet popularity.

gartner 2012 semiconductors
Top Ten 2012 Semiconductor Customers (Billions of Dollars)

Samsung and Apple together now account for over 15% of the world's semiconductor market, up from roughly 12% in 2011.

Gartner's numbers measure the total silicon content of all products designed by Apple and each of its competitors, a metric known as Design TAM. This is distinct from Purchasing TAM, which would attribute to a given company only the amount actually purchased by the company. As an example of the difference between the two metrics, semiconductors purchased by a third-party manufacturing partner would generally count toward the primary company's Design TAM but not its Purchasing TAM.

Top Rated Comments

Stella Avatar
110 months ago
The only point I see to this article post is another worthless apple vs samsung flame war.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
pixelpro Avatar
110 months ago
Breaking news: Samsung sells more washing machines than Apple. Apple stock drops more than 30%!

Does anyone see the fallacy above?
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lilo777 Avatar
110 months ago
So Samsung spent more money on semiconductors? I don't get what this is supposed to tell us. That they buy more units? That they pay more per unit? Seriously, people will write anything these days for click bait.

When Apple was on the top, it was interpreted as the fact that Apple has huge over over suppliers which allows them to get lower component prices. Perhaps now same could be said about Samsung. Also Apple's reduced influence may mean higher component prices (and negative consequences for AAPL)
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
KnightWRX Avatar
110 months ago
Hey, anyone remembers when Apple topped the list ?

Apple Ranked as World's Top Semiconductor Customer in 2011 (https://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1313607)

another in a long string or reports where Apple not only comes out at the top of the list but also has grown significantly where others are shrinking. How close are we getting to total world domination??
Wow, when Apple did it, it was "Apple is winning!" and now that Apple slipped back to 2nd place it's "Meh, what a silly metric to talk about".

Gotta love the cognitive dissonance going on in the Macrumors community. Always spin and spin and spin.

Geez guys, try for a little consistency.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
abhishake Avatar
110 months ago

Actually i hope :apple: gets driven out of the smartphone and tablet markets eventually, and gets back to producing and investing in its desktops
Please be quiet (**** got blanked). And you used wayy too many :apple: icons for a post.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lilo777 Avatar
110 months ago
In other news: Samsung sells more washing machines than Apple!

At least Samsung does not use chips in their cables (hint: Thunderbolt)
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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