Apple Now The Globe's Top Semiconductor Buyer
The writing has been on the wall for quite some time now that Apple would soon become the world's top buyer of semiconductors. Well, that day has finally come as Apple is now officially the biggest buyer on the block.
The confirmation of such comes from leading research firm Gartner, which said today that Apple spent approximately $17 billion on semiconductors last year. At that rate, Apple easily became the top chip customer on the planet.
In light of Apple's appetite for semiconductors last year, Apple leapfrogged two spots on the list to become the largest buyer, ahead of Hewlett-Packard and Samsung, the top two placeholders in 2010.
For 2011, Gartner says, the world's biggest electronics manufacturers were responsible for $105.6 billion in semiconductor purchases.
"The major growth drivers in 2011 were smartphones, media tablets and solid-state drives (SSDs)," Masatsune Yamaji, principal research analyst at Gartner, revealed Tuesday. "Those companies that gained share in the smartphone market, such as Apple, Samsung Electronics and HTC, increased their semiconductor demand, while those who lost market share in this segment, such as Nokia and LG Electronics, decreased their semiconductor demand. Media tablets were also a growth driver for the semiconductor market throughout 2011."
As MMi previously reported
, Apple's unquenchable thirst for semiconductors has sparked rumors that Apple will launch its own semiconductor development center in Israel, possibly before the close of 2012.