Samsung overtakes Apple as top chip customer -

Samsung managed to surpass Apple as the top semiconductor customer in 2012. According to Gartner, Samsung and Apple dominated the market in 2012, but Samsung enjoyed a bit more growth and overtook Cupertino.

Samsung gobbled up $28.9 billion worth of silicon, up from $18.6 billion in 2011, leaving its market share at eight percent. Apple ended the year with $21.4 billion and ranked second, although it beat Samsung in 2011 with $18.8 billion. Samsung's semiconductor spending simply spiked a bit more.

HP and Dell came in third and fourth, with $14 billion and $8.6 billion, respectively. However, both outfits saw a double-digit slide in terms of overall consumption. Toshiba, LG and Nokia also saw their spending go down. Nokia dropped five spots in the ranking, as its spending shrank from $8.6 billion to just $5 billion.

It's more than apparent that traditional PC makers did not do very well. HP and Dell are down, and so is Toshiba, with a hefty 17.1 percent slide. Lenovo saw barely any growth, but it outperformed its direct competitors. Cisco also lost a bit of ground, which is understandable given the PC downturn. 

In terms of overall shipments, 2012 was a pretty bad year for the industry, as semiconductor spending dropped from $306.8 billion in 2011 to $297.6 billion. However, the worst part of the slump could be behind us, as the semicon market is set to return to growth in 2013, but it might be a while before it hits 2011 levels again.