Samsung, Apple Remain Top Chip Buyers

SAN FRANCISCO—Electronics heavyweights Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. were the top buyers of semiconductors worldwide for the sixth consecutive year in 2016, accounting for a combined 18 percent of all chip sales, according to a report by market research firm Gartner Inc.

The two companies, which are the runaway leaders in smartphone sales, consumed a combined $61.7 billion worth of chips last year, up slightly from 2015, Gartner (Stamford, Conn.) said.

“While [Samsung and Apple] continue to exert considerable influence on technology and price trends for the wider semiconductor industry, their impact has lessened due to falling expectations for future growth,” said Masatsune Yamaji, principal research analyst at Gartner, in a statement issued by Gartner.

Despite competition from Chinese OEMs in smartphones, LCD TV and LCD panels in 2016, Samsung increased its consumption of chips in 2016 and its semiconductor design total available market (TAM) with 9.3 percent market share, up from 8.9 percent in 2015, according to Gartner.

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Meanwhile, Apple’s design TAM fell to 8.8 percent in 2016, the first decline for the firm since Gartner began tracking it in 2007. The firm blamed lackluster sales of Apple’s iPad and lost market share in the PC market.

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