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Samsung and Apple take semiconductor lead

Gartner announced top semiconductor buyers from 2015, but warns weak revenue margins may be a growing trend

Samsung and Apple take semiconductor lead
Top 10 semiconductor chip buyers, including Samsung, Apple and Lenovo, brought $123bn of semiconductors in 2015

Samsung Electronics and Apple remained the top semiconductor buyers in 2015 and together consumed $59bn of semiconductors, according to research analysts Gartner.

Combined, both companies' represented 17.7% of the market, with Samsung declining 3.6% compared to 2014 and Apple growing by 7.1% since 2014.

"Samsung Electronics and Apple have topped the semiconductor consumption table for five consecutive years, but the growth of Samsung's design total available market (TAM) was lower than the total semiconductor market in 2014 and 2015," said Masatsune Yamaji, principal research analyst at Gartner.

In its ‘Market Insight: Top 10 Semiconductor Chip Buyers, Worldwide, 2015' report, Gartner revealed the top 10 companies; Samsung, Apple, Lenovo, Dell, HP, Huawei, Sony, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, LG Electronics and Cisco Systems, brought $123bn of semiconductors in 2015. This accounted for 36.9% of semiconductor chip vendors' worldwide revenue.

However Yamaji noted: "Samsung and Lenovo, the fastest-growing companies over the last five years, decreased their design TAM in 2015 and the risk of revenue declines from the strongest customers for semiconductor chip vendors is increasing."

Overall, HP, saw its biggest decline by 44.7%, falling from third place, into fifth. Whereas Huawei moved up one into sixth place and grew by 16.2%.

Gartner said semiconductor chip vendors are aiming to reduce dependency on a limited number of large customers, and instead move sales targets to long-tail small customers to stabilise business growth.

Yamaji added: "Nine of the top 10 companies in the design TAM ranking for 2014 remained in the top 10 in 2015, but seven of the top 10 decreased their semiconductor demand in 2015.

"The slowing of Samsung's design TAM since 2014 should be considered a big trend change. The cycle of an inflated boom and the obsolescence of electronic equipment are becoming faster, and it is also much more difficult for leading companies to maintain their position for a long time. Current winners may not always be the winners in the future," he warned.

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