Apple and Samsung Are Boosting This Major Industry

Dale Ford, Head of IHS iSuppli’s electronics and semiconductor research business, offered an interesting peek into the dynamics of the semi-conductor and chip industry while speaking at the firm’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications Summit in Paris, as reported by cnet.com.

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As usual, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is top dog. The company’s insatiable appetite for semiconductors to feed the demand for its blockbuster iPhone and iPad has made it the globe’s biggest buyer of semiconductors today. Consider this: in 2009 Apple spent about $9 billion on semiconductors, a figure that should triple to a massive $27 billion this year and about $29 billion by 2013, according to Ford.

Samsung is the next biggest buyer – its purchases of semiconductors are expected to be $18 billion in 2013 compared to $10 billion in 2009. In fact, it is both a large supplier and consumer of chips.

These companies’ buying clout has a pervasive influence on the fortunes of the semiconductor industry. “Pretty much everybody has to take pretty conscious account of where Apple and where Samsung will be,” Ford said of companies vying for the same components. “In industrial, automotive, and every other sector, their reach, influence, and size has been a significant change.”

The supply side heavyweights are Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) at number one – its fourth quarter revenue for 2011 made up almost 15 percent of the industry — and Samsung at number two on the supply side of the business, accounting for 9 percent of chips made. Ford warns Intel not to sit on its haunches while the mobile revolution passes by: “Intel has no room to sit comfortably moving forward. They recognize the mobile trends,” he said.

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