Apple is in a position to overtake Samsung as world's top chip buyer

Apple's strong iPhone sales means that the company has to buy more semiconductors

One indicator of healthy mobile device or PC sales is the amount of money a company spends on chips that go into those devices.

So it should come as no surprise that Apple was the world's second largest chip buyer last year, spending over US$29 billion, up by 7.1 percent compared to 2014, according to a study released by Gartner on Wednesday.

Apple is now in a position to reclaim its position as the top chip buyer from Samsung, which spent $29.87 billion last year, a 3.6 percent decline.

A lot of the semiconductors were purchased for the iPhone, iPad and Macs. Apple tends to buy in bulk to get better pricing on components.

But it isn't easy for Apple to pass on savings from bulk chip purchases to its mobile device and Mac buyers as it spends a lot on research and development, said Masatsune Yamaji, principal research analyst for Gartner.

Market followers can copy the innovative products and spend less on research and development, Yamaji said.

Apple purchases a portion of its A9 processors from Samsung, which fabricates the chips. Samsung makes chips for other companies  as well as for its own smartphone business. Yamaji said Samsung's chip and smartphone companies were separated for the study.

Apple is the world's second largest smartphone vendor behind Samsung, but its shipments are growing at a faster rate, according to an IDC study released on Wednesday.

Samsung's shipments in 2015 were 324.8 million, growing by just 2.1 percent compared to 2014. Apple's shipments went up by 20.2 percent to 231.5 million in 2015.

The world's third largest spender on chips was Lenovo, whose smartphone and PC shipments also went up in 2015. Dell and HP were in the fourth and fifth spots respectively as chip buyers.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?