Samsung is on fire, overtakes Apple as world's #1 chip-shifter

PC vendors continue to slide as mobile tightens grasp on market

Samsung overtook Apple in Gartner's "total addressable semiconductor" market.

The list largely reflects smartphone vendors, with strong growth for Huawei and BKK, although Dell retains a presence.

Apple's share of the global chip business fell for the first time since 2008, according to one measure. Gartner's tally includes TVs and PCs yet mostly relates to the fortunes of smartphone vendors. However, it does serve as a reminder of the volumes in mobile compared to the legacy PC business. Samsung has dominated the table in recent years.

Gartner estimates that Samsung moved $31.6bn of chips in 2016 and Apple $29.9bn. Dell increased from $10.6bn to $13.3bn. Lenovo and Huawei took fourth and fifth at $12.8bn and $9.8bn respectively.

Samsung, Apple and Huawei design their own semiconductors, for which they are the biggest or sole customers. The table only really has meaning if a chip company also has a platform for developers. As yet, Huawei doesn't (unless you count its tiny embedded OS for IoT devices), but it's believed to be working on a "KirinOS" to lessen its dependence on Android. Samsung has had little success licensing its Tizen Linux, although it uses it in watches and some TVs. ®

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