Samsung and Apple are the top two semiconductor chip buyers

Top semiconductor buyersSamsung and Apple are the top two semiconductor chip buyers in 2017, representing 19.5 percent of the total worldwide market, according to Gartner.

Samsung and Apple together consumed $81.8 billion of semiconductors in 2017, an increase of more than $20 billion from 2016.

Masatsune Yamaji, principal research analyst at Gartner, said Samsung and Apple held on to the top positions since 2011 and they continue to exert significant influence on technology and price trends for the whole semiconductor industry.

LG Electronics returned to the top 10 and was joined by newcomer Western Digital, which grew its semiconductor spending by $1.7 billion in 2017. BBK Electronics rose one place to sixth position, increasing its semiconductor spending by $5.7 billion.

A price increase of DRAM and NAND flash memory had a big impact on semiconductor buyers’ ranking through 2017.

Most OEMs could not avoid the risk of a memory chip shortage and rise of memory prices through 2017. Supply shortages occurred in the memory IC and other semiconductor chip markets, such as microcontrollers and discrete, as well as in the passive component market.

The report said successful OEMs are often differentiating their products with their own captive silicon solutions. The increase in OEMs’ captive chip spending is a great risk for commercial chip vendors’ future growth.

By 2021, top 10 OEMs will account for more than 45 percent of total global semiconductor spending against 40 percent in 2017.