Apple is world’s biggest chip buyer, by far; purchases 50% more than its nearest rival, Samsung

“Apple is the biggest buyer of microprocessors today — and it’s getting bigger,” Stephen Shankland reports for CNET.

“The semiconductor industry produces all kinds of chips for memory, running software, communicating over networks, and more. And Apple, by virtue of its booming iPhone and iPad business, is a voracious consumer, said Dale Ford, head of IHS iSuppli’s electronics and semiconductor research business,” Shankland reports. “Samsung is in second place, and also growing fast, he added.”

Shankland reports, “In 2009, Apple was one of the herd, spending about $9 billion on semiconductors. This year, that figure should rise to a whopping $27 billion. By 2013, Ford said, Apple will spend about $29 billion. Samsung, while still well ahead of its rivals, trails Apple considerbly in it chip spending. Its purchases should rise from about $10 billion in 2009 to $18 billion in 2013, he said.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. Apple is not only the biggest chip buyer, but also one of the biggest chip designers. AMD, for example, another big chip designer (they do not manufacture chips directly, too).

  2. If Apple buys 50% more chips than Samsung, how is it possible that world wide shipments of Samsung devices or Android devices are higher than Apples?

    It seems to me the numbers don’t add up.

      1. Samsung is like Sony or other Korean/Japanese companies, where they are associated corporations under a common name. They typically have separate executive branches. I would think that they need to count chip supplies purchased from another Samsung division.

    1. Sure it does. There are dozens of separate companies hawking hundreds of Android devices. Apple has 5 product lines, iPad, iPhone, iPod, AppleTV and Macintosh (and to a lesser extent, Airport devices.)

  3. Not all devices use the same number of chips. Cheap, featureless handsets use far less than an iPhone, or an iPad.

    Because of the enormity of Apple’s chip requirements, it NEEDS Samsung. No other chip manufacturer has the capacity to supplant Samsung’s scale.

    1. “No other chip manufacturer has the capacity to supplant Samsung’s scale”

      …… yet!

      If Apple continue to give more contracts to Samsung’s rivals, then Samsung will be weakened while their rivals gain strength.

      A few years ago Dell were thought to be an unstoppable power force in the computing industry. Look at them now. Things can change very rapidly.

      1. The lesson here, don’t piss on or off your business partners.

        Another thing, follow this rule, do unto others as you would have done unto you.

        The sh*tter will sh*tted on.

  4. And who is the single biggest chip manufacturer in the world???
    Who is the biggest display manufacturer in the world??
    Who is the biggest Dram manufacturer in the world??
    THATS RIGHT, SAMSUNG. Who do you think Apple use?
    Why do Apple use Samsung? because their products are the best.
    Retina screen, Who do Apple use? thats right Samsung. Get over yourselves.

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