Gartner Touts Apple as Top Semiconductor Buyer of 2011

January 26, 2012, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

In order to outsell its competitors, Apple has also outspent them. Last week IHS iSuppli declared the company as the top purchaser of micro-electromechanical system microphones for the year 2011.

Now according to Gartner, Apple was the top semiconductor buyer of the world last year. Gartner’s report says that Apple spent $17.3 billion in 2011, up from the $12.8 billion which the company had spent in 2010.

Samsung came in at the second spot, but could not match Apple’s 34.6 percent growth year over year. Apple also came ahead of HP; it was the other way round last year.

Also, Lenovo’s spending grew by 23.7 percent last year. Nokia’s purchase declined by 20 percent, and came in ahead of Sony and Toshiba, at the fifth position.

The spending of HP, Dell, and Sony decreased as well. Gartner said Apple’s jump, which was the largest among competitors, can be attributed to an overall increase industry spending on semiconductors for smartphones, tablets and solid-state drives.

While DRAM prices fell drastically in 2011, and many PC vendors decreased their total semiconductor demand accordingly, the success of the MacBook Air enabled Apple to increase semiconductor chip demand even in its PC business, Gartner said in a release. The firm estimates that the top 10 semiconductor buyers spent $105.6 billion last year accounting for 35 percent of semiconductor vendors revenues.

The spending went up by $1.8 billion from last year, meaning a 1.8 percent increase.

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