Apple, Samsung dominate semiconductor purchases, but rivals are catching up

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Seventeen percent of global demand for semiconductors came from Apple and Samsung last year, after the companies spent a combined $57.9 billion (€50 billion) on the components. 

However, Gartner found that although Samsung and Apple retained the top two spots in terms of market share – 9.2 percent and 7.6 percent respectively – rival companies are outspending them.

According to the research firm, companies such as Lenovo and Huawei increased their spending at a much faster rate last year.

For example, while Lenovo spent 34 percent more in 2014 than it did in 2013, Samsung spent 5.1 percent more and Apple 9.8 percent more.

Huawei increased their spending by over 21 percent, while LG saw a 16 percent rise.

The top 10 companies in Gartner’s list, which also includes HP, Dell, Sony, Cisco and Toshiba, made combined purchases worth $125.6 billion in 2014, accounting for 37 percent of all semiconductor sales. 

Masatsune Yamaji, principal research analyst at Gartner, said: “Samsung Electronics and Apple have topped the semiconductor consumption table for four consecutive years and their decisions have considerable technology and pricing implications for the whole semiconductor industry.

"However, while Samsung Electronics kept its position as the No. 1 largest customer of semiconductor chip vendors, its growth rate in 2014 was lower than the global semiconductor market's growth, firstly because it struggled in the smartphone market, and secondly because it is withdrawing from some parts of the PC market. 

“The slowdown in Samsung Electronics' design TAM (total addressable market) can be considered a big trend change.”

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