Gartner: Apple jumped to top semiconductor company in 2011

Gartner: Apple jumped to top semiconductor company in 2011

Summary: As the MacBook Air became more successful, so did semiconductor chip demand for Apple.

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TOPICS: CXO, IT Priorities
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Ahead of Apple's first fiscal quarter earnings release after the bell this afternoon, the Cupertino, Calif.-based company already has something new to brag about today.

Apple became the top semiconductor company in 2011 as it gained a greater share of the smartphone market while its tablet business also grew significantly, according to the latest report from Gartner.

Another contributing factor was the MacBook Air, as success grew for Apple's now entry-level laptop line, so did its semiconductor chip demand. Simultaneously, many PC vendors decreased their total semiconductor demand.

The top electronic equipment manufacturers accounted for at least 35 percent of semiconductor vendor revenue worldwide, or $105.6 billion -- an increase of $1.8 billion, or 1.8 percent from 2010.

Masatsune Yamaji, a principal research analyst at Gartner, explained in the report that the major growth drivers for this sector last year were smartphones, media tablets and solid-state drives.

Those companies that gained share in the smartphone market, such as Apple, Samsung Electronics and HTC, increased their semiconductor demand, while those who lost market share in this segment, such as Nokia and LG Electronics, decreased their semiconductor demand. Media tablets were also a growth driver for the semiconductor market throughout 2011.

Yet, Yamaji warned that Apple and other leaders can't get too comfortable, adding that "given the rapidly changing competitive structure of the IT and electronics industry, no semiconductor device vendor can afford just to monitor the requirements of the current market leader."

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Topics: CXO, IT Priorities

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15 comments
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  • It is an Apple/Samsung game.

    It is troubling that every other major manufacture showed a subtle to drastic decline.
    Bruizer
    • Why is it troubling?

      @Bruizer <br>Do you believe consumers would be better off with stronger competition?<br><br>From what I can tell, there is no concern that Apple is the only company making money in several of today's hottest markets. There is only cheering and adulation from posters like you.
      toddybottom_z
      • As a stockholder, it does not bother me.

        @toddybottom_z

        As long as Apple does not get complacent, it only slightly bothers me. If Apple gives up and generates dung like MS did for years, it would disappoint me.

        What saddens me is after decades of rule by a component mindset in technology where expertise of the system has been lost, no company, other than Samsung, is actually recognizing the strength in vertical integration of IP/technology.

        There is is this sad mindset that one company should do the OS. Another company the hardware. A different company should push for standardized data formats. Yet a different company should push for standardized communications protocols. This simply results in:

        1) A single OS choice.
        2) A single data format choice.
        3) A single data transport layer.
        4) 2-3 viable hardware makers.
        5) Beyond bad over-all systems performance and poor overall user experience.

        I would much rather have 2-3 viable systems manufactures that actually make strong and compelling platforms.
        Bruizer
      • Amen to that!!!

        @Bruizer... I felt so sad what HP ended up doing with WebOS. HP has the hardware expertese and it owned a viable OS so why not do something similar to what Apple does? I also still route for RIM despite it's many attempts at suicide cause I would like to see it's what is it called again QNX OS make a mark. Same for Windows OS and yes even Android but like you said Samsung has all the pieces and will rule Android because of that. Someone should do the same or similar with ownership of other OS's maybe even MS/Nokia and someone other than Samsung should be in the component business.

        Pagan jim
        James Quinn
      • It is amazing that anything ever got done with Windows

        Reading your post, one would think that absolutely no real work (tm) got done over the last 15 years.

        The truth of the matter is that Windows PCs have been a raging success. The truth is that there are several OSs to choose from. The truth is that there are many data formats. I'm not sure specifically what you are referring to with standardized communications protocols but the entire world seems to get along quite well with TCP/IP. The truth is that OEM makers have made a ton of money in the last 20 years. The truth is that over all system performance was related to how much money you spent and that the overall user experience has been spectacular.

        Times are changing, yes. Apple is coming up and beating MS in a couple markets just like when MS came up and delivered Apple a crushing blow 20 years ago.

        Simply because you personally didn't like the platform doesn't mean that this feeling was shared by anything close to the majority of users out there. Just because today, a company that controls every single aspect of a device is successful in the device market does not mean that this was the correct approach for the PC market as it was in the 80s and 90s. Clearly it wasn't because Apple failed miserably with that approach. Clearly, the consumer spoke and said they preferred the PC ecosystem, the one that you and Apple were against. That's fine, you and Apple are allowed to hate it and it was a good thing for Apple that they had a couple consumers like you to keep them afloat until they could figure something else out (being bailed out by MS also helped). You can't change history just by writing how you wanted it to be in a post.

        I find it interesting whenever someone here writes that they refuse to buy an Apple product and the response from one of the Apple faithful is "Apple doesn't miss your business". Likewise, MS and their OEMs never missed your business. They were busy satisfying hundreds of millions of paying customers.
        toddybottom_z
      • RE: Gartner: Apple jumped to top semiconductor company in 2011

        @toddybottom_z (got banned yet again SuperZealot?)

        I disagree. BTW: I detested using Mac OSes prior to Versions 10. System 6 was OK but the rest felt clumsy. I came from the NeXT side of the camp.

        DOS/Windows offered a horrid user experience. Period. That is not to say it did not provide an avenue to perform useful work because it did but it has always been far from Best of Breed; Consumers did make it a winner, businesses made it a winner. Consumers were given little choice in the matter.

        That does not mean, however, the design was "good". It did destroy "choice" by being the sole viable provider for a personal OS for many years. In other words, computer choice was substantially higher pre DOS/Windows than post DOS/Windows.

        For example: MFC ruled for several years (10+?) for developing applications. On the surface, MFC seemed pretty good and you could lay out top level interfaces quickly. Putting business logic behind those layers, on the other hand, often proved to be highly time consuming. The methods used to communicate with a Combo Box were different than a Drop Down List even when the base features were very similar. But if you wanted to work doing software in the industry at the time, you had better know MFC and be good at it. Knowledge to OWL did little for getting a job even if it was substantially better designed. MS used their sole source provider status to hundreds of IT departments to kill off products like Borland C++. Had MS had a technically superior product, this would not have bugged me. But they did not.

        Word formats? Excel formats? Enough said.

        The big question is born: You offer nothing but condemnation for everything Apple did/does. You detest their business model. You strongly disliked Steve Jobs and credited him with none of Apple's success. Why do you care?
        Bruizer
      • RE: Gartner: Apple jumped to top semiconductor company in 2011

        So Bruizer what OS do you see that is currently better than Windows 7. I can't think of a single OS that beats Windows 7 in every category. Windows 7 is actually considered 'Best of Breed ,or "Best in Class" software, as is their server products, Office suites, Game console, and now phone/PMP.
        Stephen-B
      • You should try to avoid contradicting yourself in the same post

        "That does not mean, however, the design was "good". It did destroy "choice" by being the sole viable provider for a personal OS"

        Got it. So DOS / Windows was a terrible OS and the only reason it was successful is because when it came out, it was the only personal OS available.

        "computer choice was substantially higher pre DOS/Windows than post DOS/Windows"

        Wait, what? So when DOS / Windows came out, there was a lot of computer choice? Exactly. There was a lot of computer choice. Interestingly enough, all the computer choice that people had were from providers like Apple who provided vertical integration of IP/technology. And yet people chose not to purchase those. Eventually, failed business models like Apple's weakened or disappeared entirely until you are right, the consumer had succeeded in creating their own monopoly. Exactly like what has happened in the tablet market and is happening in the smartphone market. But you just admitted it: people chose the DOS / Windows product from a plethora of choice. DOS / Windows was not forced on them. Only after consumers stopped purchasing products from competitors did those competitors die off. Your timelines are off.

        "MFC ruled for several years
        ...
        Word formats? Excel formats"

        How fascinating that when it comes to Apple, you cheer the vertical integration of IP/technology and yet when MS decides that it should make its own compiler and office suite for its own OS then suddenly this is a bad thing. Apple ePub = Word / Excel formats. Yet to you, Apple ePub is wonderful (vertical integration) and Word / Excel formats are bad, bad.

        "MS used their sole source provider status to hundreds of IT departments to kill off products like Borland C++."

        And yet you are championing a system like iOS where there is only 1 compiler allowed for that wonderful vertically integrated platform. So which is it? Should there be many providers of compilers or only one? Should companies be attempting to create their own platforms or shouldn't they?

        Microsoft in conjunction with their OEMs has consistently provided the best user experience possible in the PC market. They beat companies like Apple, Next, Atari, Commodore because consumers chose the solution that included Microsoft technologies instead of the vertically integrated solution like Apple. Microsoft provided the best solution at the time. The fact that it is possibly no longer the best solution in 2012 is actually not relevant. Things change. Apple provided one of the best solutions when they first released their Apple II. The fact that Apple products really sucked during the 90s doesn't tarnish their success in the 70s and 80s. Apple products were no longer the best solution once MS released their innovative products. That's okay.

        "Why do you care?"

        I care because I see a sick market where we all lose. Why do you care?
        toddybottom_z
      • One more comment just because I can

        "In other words, computer choice was substantially higher pre DOS/Windows than post DOS/Windows."

        Looking at the difference between the pre-Apple and post-Apple mobile market we have:
        Motorola? Gone.
        Palm? Gone.
        HP? Gone.
        RIM? Nearly gone.
        HTC? In trouble.
        MS? In serious trouble.
        Nokia? In serious trouble.

        And you wonder why I care.
        toddybottom_z
      • Long before Apple entered Palm was showing

        @toddybottom_z ...signs of it's demise. HP gave it at best a half hearted and short sighted attempt. RIM has been and up till perhaps now been commiting suicide. As for the rest perhaps just victims of the war Apple refused to fight back in the desktop days of yore the infamous PC Price Wars turned mobile.<br><br>Pagan jim
        James Quinn
      • @Stephen-B

        Windows 7, as is OS X Lion, is Best of Breed. Vista was a dog but Windows 7 gots lots of things right as did WP 7. XP was OKish but became very frustrating at times especially if you had to deal with the Control Panel or the Task Bar. I can't express how bad the task bar concept was from Win95. The fact it lived for almost 15 years is a very sad thing.

        XBox is second class compared to PS3. Wii still beats it for interactivity. I think MS does not apply their Kinetic tech as well as they could. Strategically, this came out in Ballmers's keynote at CES this year. He truly believes that people want a single interface to all technology instead of an interface optimized to each technology.

        Zune PMP: Was always 1-2 years behind Apple. Sorry but True.

        WP7: Exceptional design (But WinMo was simply horrid on all accounts) and has some great design attributes. I don't know if it is that much better to draw away customers from existing platforms.
        Bruizer
      • Bruizer: you do realize who Stephen-B is, don't you?

        Rick_Kl. You are preaching to the choir. He loves Apple and hates MS.
        toddybottom_z
      • RE: Gartner: Apple jumped to top semiconductor company in 2011

        @James Quinn

        it's -> its
        you shi???t-witted cretin
        &Acirc;&nbsp;
      • RE: Gartner: Apple jumped to top semiconductor company in 2011

        There is no "does their" or "someone.. they".

        away from -> froward

        Windows 7 suffers from buried and cluttered controls; everything takes two to five clicks. It fails Fitts' Law and the UI guidelines of MacOS. It's still Windows; that's the problem.
        &Acirc;&nbsp;
  • RE: Gartner: Apple jumped to top semiconductor company in 2011

    u
    stinkypoop