What Did Apple and Samsung Spend Over $50B on in 2013?

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According to new research from Gartner Inc., Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung (SSNLF.PK) were the top buyers of semiconductor chips in 2013, together consuming 17 percent of the total chip demand in 2013 and spending a cumulative $53.7 billion on semiconductors during the year. That figure is up from the $7.7 billion the two companies spent on semiconductors in 2012.

“Samsung Electronics and Apple have topped the semiconductor consumption table for three years running, with their share of the design total available market rising from 12 per cent in 2011, to 17 per cent in 2013,” said Masatsune Yamaji, principal research analyst at Gartner. “This increase clearly shows how fast the presence of these two companies has expanded over the last three years and why their decisions have technology and pricing implications for the whole semiconductor industry.”

Eight of the top ten chip-buyers increased their demand for semiconductors during 2013. Chinese equipment manufacturers in particular will continue to demand more chips as they grow in emerging markets both in and outside Asia, Gartner said. Lenovo (LNVGF.PK) moved up into the fourth spot, and Huawei cracked the top ten for the first time in 2013. China’s fast-growing smartphone market is fueling that demand, but Gartner said these Chinese equipment manufacturers are also in a good position to provide mobile technology to other emerging markets like Latin America and Africa.

The top ten companies on Gartner’s list spent $114 billion on semiconductors, accounting for 36 percent of the worldwide revenue of semiconductor makers, up from the $105.1 billion and 35 percent seen in 2012.

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