Wireless Emerges as Top Chip Spending Area For OEMs

IHS estimates that wireless chip spending reached $58.6 billion in 2011, an increase of 14.5 percent from $51.2 billion in 2010. Spending for computer chips climbed from $51.8 billion in 2010 to $53.7 billion in 2011. By 2013, wireless chip revenues will be at $72.9 billion while computer semiconductors are expected to nearly stagnate and land at $54.0 billion.

“Among the 10 segments tracked for semiconductor spending, the biggest market share, 24 percent, belonged to the wireless market, spurred by prodigious mobile handset and tablet sales exemplified by the runaway success of Apple’s popular offerings,” said Wenlie Ye, analyst for semiconductor design and spend at IHS. “Wireless will continue to generate the most growth during the next two years. A substantial portion of the segment’s increase will be due to rising tablet sales, although mobile handsets like smartphones will continue to account for the lion’s share of semiconductor segment in the wireless area.”

Due to the success of the iPhone and iPad, Apple is spending more on semiconductors than any other company. IHS said that Apple purchased about $4.6 billion in chips in 2011.

“The market for desktops and notebooks has stumbled in the shadow of smartphones and tablets, whose portability and computer-like features have usurped the position of the once-mighty PCs,” Ye said. Samsung was a distant second after Apple with $603.2 million, followed by HTC with $199.2 million. Total semiconductor spending among the industry’s major OEMs for all application markets in 2011 reached $240.6 billion, up approximately 5 percent from $230.1 billion in 2010, IHS said.

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  • memadmax
    Hmm, lets clear somethings, shall we?
    It's because the PC market is saturated, with a recession, and little need to upgrade repeatedly.....

    Tablets/smartphones are PDA's... not PC's....

    As another poster here said "Computers are everywhere... but a microwave is not a PC"
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  • aftcomet
    The PC market better not slow down. But it looks like it is.

    1. AMD is all but giving up in the fight with Intel means slower innovation in processors when Intel gets a stanglehold on the market.

    2. Computers can already do what >95% of people need them for. Little incentive to upgrade.

    3. Focus on consoles with longer release cycles means more ports.

    4. Tablets are the new hot thing, especially when Windows releases 8.

    5. More focus on style over substance thanks to Apple.

    I think the golden age of PCs is over. The market as a whole is too fragmented for there to be a main focus on desktops. Which is a shame because there is still so much that could be done.

    I hope I'm wrong.
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  • doron
    memadmaxHmm, lets clear somethings, shall we?It's because the PC market is saturated, with a recession, and little need to upgrade repeatedly.....Tablets/smartphones are PDA's... not PC's....As another poster here said "Computers are everywhere... but a microwave is not a PC"


    And let's not forget the fact that wireless devices are practically given for free, and as computers in the 90s / early 2000, they're "not quite there yet" in terms of performance, all the more reasons to upgrade frequently.

    aftcometThe PC market better not slow down. But it looks like it is.1. AMD is all but giving up in the fight with Intel means slower innovation in processors when Intel gets a stanglehold on the market.2. Computers can already do what >95% of people need them for. Little incentive to upgrade.3. Focus on consoles with longer release cycles means more ports.4. Tablets are the new hot thing, especially when Windows releases 8.5. More focus on style over substance thanks to Apple.I think the golden age of PCs is over. The market as a whole is too fragmented for there to be a main focus on desktops. Which is a shame because there is still so much that could be done.I hope I'm wrong.


    I beg to differ:

    1. AMD is about an order of magnitude smaller than Intel. Whenever AMD is getting closer to Intel (or ahead - Athlon XP), Intel can just throw money at R&D and the problem is gone. AMD always relied on its ability to track new market trends and innovate (CPU Integration - On-die memory controller, AMD64, ATI Acquisition, there are more coming) to stay alive, and it certainly has to do it now, more than ever.

    2. HTML5 and hardware accelerated browsing and programming (OpenCL) opens the path for PC applications that will tax your system more. For example I was testing an HTML5 website with 1.6ghz 4 core cpu and performance was seriously lacking. Another thing is battery life, noise and slim-factor for notebooks.

    3. Even now, ~6 years after the introduction of the Xbox 360 + PS3, There are more than a few PC only titles that can bring even the most modern rig to its knees. Can't wait to see what happens when (more) modern DX11 consoles will be released.

    4. Then go buy some Microsoft stocks. Btw so far most companies have failed with tablets (except Apple and Amazon.. That's it I think).

    5. That was and is always the case for the common joe. People like pretty and it was only a matter of time before a company would realize how to make something pretty and prestigeous enough for people to be willing to pay for. There are some pretty notebooks and computer cases.

    The golden age of PCs is over, but I really don't think this matters much right now.
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