IDG News Service - Apple became the biggest buyer of semiconductors last year, ahead of Samsung Electronics and Hewlett-Packard, Gartner said on Tuesday.
Apple's increased semiconductor spending is the result of a number of factors. The company sold more smartphones, and its tablet business was also highly successful in 2011, according to Gartner. The success of the MacBook Air also increased Apple's semiconductor demand, it said.
Apple spent a total of $17.3 billion on semiconductors during 2011, compared to $12.8 billion during 2010, according to Gartner's estimates.
In general, smartphones, tablets and solid-state drives were the major spending drivers in 2011, according to Gartner.
Samsung remained the second-largest semiconductor purchaser, thanks to its improving fortunes in the smartphone sector. The company's semiconductor spending grew by 9.2% to $16.7 billion.
With semiconductor products such as memory priced as commodities, PC and phone vendors' semiconductor spending is related to sales of their finished products.
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