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STAMFORD, Conn., February 9, 2021

Gartner Says Apple and Samsung Extended Their Lead as Top Semiconductor Customers in 2020

Huawei Retained the Third Position in 2020, But Struggled to Buy Advanced Semiconductors

Apple remained the No. 1 semiconductor chip buyer in 2020, representing 11.9% of the total worldwide market, according to preliminary results from Gartner, Inc.

The top 10 original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) increased their semiconductor spend by 10% in 2020, and accounted for 42% of the total market, up from 40.9% in 2019. The top 10 companies in 2020 remained the same as in 2019.

“Two major factors impacted the top OEMs’ semiconductor spending in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic and the political conflict between the U.S. and China,” said Masatsune Yamaji, research director at Gartner. “The pandemic weakened the demand for 5G smartphones and disrupted vehicle production, but drove the demand for mobile PCs and video games, as well as the investment in cloud data centers through 2020. Furthermore, a rise in memory prices in 2020 resulted in increased OEM chip spending through the year.”

Huawei significantly decreased its semiconductor spending in 2020, down 23.5% from 2019 (see Table 1). “The U.S. government increased trade restrictions on Huawei in 2020, limiting its ability to purchase semiconductors, which, in turn, limited its smartphone supply and reduced its market share. However, the Chinese market remains important for semiconductor vendors, as other Chinese smartphone OEMs stepped in to fill the vacuum created by Huawei in the second half of 2020,” said Mr. Yamaji.

Table 1. Preliminary Ranking of Top 10 Companies by Semiconductor Design TAM, Worldwide, (Millions of Dollars)

2020 Rank

2019

Rank

Company

2020
Revenue

2020 Market Share (%)

 2019 Revenue

2019-2020 Growth (%)

1

1

Apple

53,616

11.9

43,239

24.0

2

2

Samsung Electronics

36,416

8.1

30,247

20.4

3

3

Huawei

19,086

4.2

24,933

-23.5

4

4

Lenovo

18,555

4.1

16,773

10.6

5

5

Dell Technologies

16,581

3.7

15,584

6.4

6

6

BBK Electronics

13,393

3.0

11,653

14.9

7

7

HP Inc.

10,992

2.4

10,729

2.4

8

8

Xiaomi

8,790

2.0

6,974

26.0

9

9

Hon Hai Precision Industry

5,730

1.3

5,816

-1.5

10

10

Hewlett Packard Enterprise

5,570

1.2

5,561

0.2

 

 

Others

261,109

58.0

247,640

5.4

 

 

Total

449,838

100.0

419,148

7.3

TAM = total available market

Source: Gartner (February 2021)

Apple retained its position as the No. 1 global semiconductor customer in 2020, mainly due to the continued success of AirPods, special demand for Mac computers and iPads, and increasing NAND flash consumption. “Increasing demand for mobile PCs and tablets due to working from home significantly drove the production of Macs and iPads through 2020,” said Mr. Yamaji. “The company also began its transition to Apple silicon for its Mac product line in the second half of 2020.”

Samsung Electronics remained in second position and increased its spending by 20.4% in 2020, due to weakened competition from Huawei and the strong demand for enterprise solid-state drives (SSDs) for data centers. The company benefited from trends such as working from home and e-learning that drove demand for PCs and cloud servers in which many SSDs from Samsung are used.

Among the top 10 companies, Xiaomi increased its spending the most (26%) in 2020. “Xiaomi’s smartphone business was minimally impacted due to its primarily online-channel-driven sales model throughout the pandemic. Sanctions on Huawei enabled Xiaomi to gain more market share in the smartphone market. Xiaomi’s strong success in a wide variety of consumer IoT devices, including smart TVs, wearables and smart home appliances, also increased its semiconductor spending in 2020,” said Mr. Yamaji.

Gartner clients can get more information from “Market Share Analysis: Top 10 Semiconductor Customers, Worldwide, 2020 (Preliminary).”

About Gartner

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world’s leading research and advisory company and a member of the S&P 500. We equip business leaders with indispensable insights, advice and tools to achieve their mission-critical priorities today and build the successful organizations of tomorrow.

Our unmatched combination of expert-led, practitioner-sourced and data-driven research steers clients toward the right decisions on the issues that matter most. We are a trusted advisor and an objective resource for more than 14,000 enterprises in more than 100 countries — across all major functions, in every industry and enterprise size.

To learn more about how we help decision makers fuel the future of business, visit gartner.com.

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