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January 24, 2014

Samsung, Apple top global semiconductor consumers in 2013

Top 10 firms outperformed the overall semiconductor buying market by purchasing $114bn worth semiconductors.

By CBR Staff Writer

Samsung and Apple collectively reported a 17% rise in their semiconductor demand during 2013.

Together the firms saw $53.7bn of semiconductors consumed for the year, up $7.7bn from the previous year, a new Gartner report revealed.

The report also revealed that the top 10 firms outperformed the overall semiconductor buying market by purchasing $114bn worth semiconductors and accounted for 36% of semiconductor vendors’ global revenue in 2013, up from $105.1bn.

Gartner principal research analyst Masatsune Yamaji said that Samsung Electronics and Apple have topped the semiconductor consumption table for three years running, with their share of the design total available market (TAM) rising from 12 per cent in 2011, to 17per cent in 2013.

"This increase clearly shows how fast the presence of these two companies has expanded over the last three years and why their decisions have technology and pricing implications for the whole semiconductor industry," Yamaji said.

PC maker Lenovo captured No. 4 over rise in its market share in the PC market in addition to success in the Chinese smartphone market, while Huawei entered into the top ten category and ranked in at 10th

"In 2013, total semiconductor demand from the smartphone and media tablet markets surpassed demand in the PC market," Yamaji said.

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"However, this consumer shift has caused a substantial decrease in total semiconductor demand over the last two years because there is far less semiconductor content in a smartphone and a media tablet than there is in a PC.

"In addition, in the total smartphone and media tablet markets, the growth rate for utility/basic models is far higher than for premium models.

"To keep growing, semiconductor vendors need to gain opportunities by accelerating the device commoditisation with their intellectual properties and patent portfolio."

The report also noted that innovative market leaders are foraying into new markets such as wearable devices, smart TVs and automotive infotainment in a bid to avoid the fierce price competition from commoditised markets.

"Wearable devices as well as ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) devices are the next growth drivers for hardware vendors that can offer the required energy saving technologies and energy harvesting technologies to realise these applications," Yamaji added.

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