IHS iSuppli has ranked Apple as the top chip buyer in the year 2010. They moved past HP which is second in the table now. Apple spent $17.5 billion in 2010 and is projected to improve that to $22.4 billion in 2011. If that holds, it will widen the gap between it and HP which spent $15.2 billion and projected to decline to $14.8 billion.
Apple spent more than 61% of its 2010 semiconductor budget on chips for wirelessly devices like iPhones and iPads while HP spent 82% of its 2010 chip-buying budget on chips for notebooks, desktop and server computers. But since smartphone and tablets are doing better than notebooks, Apple will have the upper hand in coming years. Smartphone shipments increased 62% in 2010 and tablet grew 900%, driven by iPad. Meanwhile global PC shipments, not counting tablets, grew by 14.2 percent in 2010, said IHS in the report.
“Apple’s surge to leadership in semiconductor spending in 2010 was driven by the overwhelming success of its wireless products, namely the iPhone and the iPad,” said Wenlie Ye, Analyst for IHS, in a statement. “These products consume enormous quantities of NAND flash memory, which is also found in the Apple iPod. Because of this, Apple in 2010 was the world’s number one purchaser of NAND flash.”