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Four China firms among top 10 chip buyers in 2018, Gartner says
Source: DIGITIMES   Editor: Amanda   Update Time :2019/2/12 16:28:49

Samsung Electronics and Apple remained the top two semiconductor chip buyers in 2018, representing 17.9% of the total worldwide market, according to Gartner. Meanwhile, the top-10 OEMs increased their share of chip spending to 40.2%, up from 39.4% in 2017.

"Four Chinese original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) - Huawei, Lenovo, BBK Electronics and Xiaomi - ranked in the top 10 in 2018, up from three in 2017. On the other hand, Samsung and Apple both significantly slowed the growth of their chip spending in 2018," said Masatsune Yamaji, senior principal analyst at Gartner. "Huawei increased its chip spending by 45%, jumping in front of Dell and Lenovo to the third spot."

Eight of the top 10 companies in 2017 remained in the top 10 in 2018, with Kingston Technology and Xiaomi replacing LG Electronics and Sony. Xiaomi rose eight places to the 10th position, increasing its semiconductor spending by US$2.7 billion in 2018, a 63% growth year over year.

The continued market consolidation in the PC and smartphone markets had a significant impact on the semiconductor buyers' ranking. The big Chinese smartphone OEMs, in particular, have increased their market domination by taking out or purchasing competitors. As a result, semiconductor spending by the top 10 OEMs increased significantly in 2018, Gartner indicated. This trend is expected to continue, which will make it harder for semiconductor vendors to maintain high margins.

Another factor impacting the market was memory prices, Gartner said. While the DRAM average selling price (ASP) has been high in the past two years, it is now declining. However, the impact is limited, as OEMs will increase their memory content when the ASP declines and also invest in premium models. Gartner forecast that the share of total memory chip revenue in the total semiconductor market will be 33% in 2019 and 34% in 2020, higher than its 31% share in 2017.

"With the top 10 semiconductor chip buyers commanding an increasing share of the market, technology product marketers at chip vendors must allocate a majority of their resources to their top 10 potential customers," said Yamaji. "It is crucial that they take advantage of the open budget that is available due to the weakening memory ASPs and encourage customers to use advanced chips or increase memory content."

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