Apple Y Samsung Electronics were, once again, the companies that bought the most semiconductors in 2020, according Gartner. Apple bought the most, thanks mainly to the success of AirPods headphones, increased demand due to the COVID-19 situation of Mac computers and iPads, and the increasing consumption of NAND Flash memory.
Samsung was therefore in second place, increasing its spending on semiconductors in 2020 by 20.4% compared to 2019. The reasons for this increase are various, and among them is the weakening Huawei’s competition and the strong demand for SSD storage devices for data centers. In addition, Samsung capitalized on trends such as telecommuting and distance learning, which drove demand for cloud computers and servers, which use many Samsung SSDs.
The top 10 equipment manufacturers increased their investment in semiconductors by 10% in 2020, and their purchases, combined, account for 42% of the market, an increase of 1.1% year-on-year. But Huawei reduced significantly your spending on semiconductors in 2020: a 23.5% year-on-year. While, Xiaomi increased it by 26%, since the sanctions imposed on Huawei, according to the consultancy, allowed Xiaomi to gain more share of the smartphone market. In addition, the company has several product divisions that use chips, such as those dedicated to Internet of Things devices and smart televisions, as well as wearables and small smart appliances.
According Masatsune Yamaji, Gartner Research Director, «increased demand for laptops and tablets by telecommuting significantly boosted the production of Macs and iPads in 2020. In addition, Apple began its transition to proprietary chips for its Mac product line in the second half of 2020. On the other hand On the other hand, spending on semiconductors by the main equipment manufacturers in 2020 was mainly due to two factors: the COVID-19 pandemic and the political conflict between the United States and China«.
Thus, for Yamaji, «The pandemic weakened the demand for 5G smartphones and caused problems in the production of vehicles, while the demand for laptops and video games increased, as well as investment in cloud data centers throughout 2020. In addition, an increase in memory prices in 2020 led to increased investment in chips by equipment manufacturers«.