updated 03:46 pm EST, Wed January 23, 2013
Samsung purchases exceed Apple's by $2.5 billion
According to a report from industry research company Gartner, Samsung edged out Apple in dollar-value of semiconductor purchases, but the pair together consume 15 percent of the world's total demand. Samsung purchased $23.9 billion in chips in 2012, increasing its demand 28.9 percent from 2011. Apple's $21.4 billion in chips purchased in 2012 is an increase of 13.6 percent from its 2011 numbers. Overall, the world's purchases contracted three percent.
The top 10 companies ordered $106.4 billion of semiconductors total in 2012. The dollar-value purchases by themselves aren't a conclusive indicator of market supremacy, as the report does not break down sales volume by unit, or any other useful metric.
Masatsune Yamaji, principal research analyst at Gartner, hinted at this situation as well in saying that "in addition to a weak macroeconomic situation, a dramatic change in consumer demand contributed to a reduction in semiconductor demand in 2012. The PC market still represented the largest sector for chip demand, but desktop and mobile PCs did not sell well, as consumers' interest shifted to new mobile computing devices like smartphones and media tablets. This shift caused a substantial decrease in semiconductor demand in 2012, as the semiconductor content of a smartphone or a media tablet is far less than that of a PC."