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Samsung Overtakes Apple As The Largest Chip Purchaser In 2012

January 23, 2013 - Written By Chance Miller

Apple and Samsung are competitive in everything humanly possible and the latter of those just secured another victory. A new report from Gartner suggests that Samsung has overtaken Apple in the total amount of money spent on the semiconductor industry in 2012. This data accounts for chips used in the production of all product types, not just tablets and phones.

In 2011, both companies were neck and neck for the honor, but Apple pulled out the victory by just a few million dollars, spending $18.8 billion on chips, while Samsung spent $18.6 billion. In 2012, however, the fortunes were reversed. Apple spent an impressive $21.4 billion on the semiconductor industry, while Samsung spent a whopping $23.9 billion. Both companies increased their spending on chips in 2012 over 2011, Samsung by 28.9 percent and Apple by 13.6 percent. The Cupertino company accounted for 7.2 percent of the total spent on chips, while Samsung snatched up 8 percent of the market.

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Other manufactures making the cut include Toshiba, who spent $6.5 billion on chips, down 17.1 percent year over year, and LG who spent an $6 billion, down 6.7 percent. Sony spent $7.9 billion, while Nokia shelled out just $5 billion.

In total, $297.6 billion was spent on the semiconductor industry, down 3 percent from the $306.8 billion spent in 2011.

While this is a solid indicator that Samsung did in fact see stronger demand for its products than Apple did, you also have to take into consideration the number of products each company sells. Apple just the iPhone, iPad, and Mac line, while Samsung offers a plethora of devices including all the Galaxy Tab variants, the Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note II, and a large number of mid-range and budget devices. Plus, you can’t forget the company’s extensive computer and TV line-ups. But, with all that said, Samsung still had an impressive 2012 from every way you look at it. The South Korean Company shipped a record number of smartphones and tablets and greatly increased its market share.

Apple fans can bash Android for its cluttered market as much as they want, but it is clearly working. Google reported very strong earnings yesterday, and we can only expect more of the same from Samsung when its time for its earnings to be shared.

[Source: Gartner]