The most notable of these is Huawei, which expanded its chip buying by 45.2 percent compared with 2017, and climbed from fifth ranked to third ranked. This chip purchasing is driven by success in the smartphone market where Huawei is set to displace Samsung.

Huawei is also the world’s largest vendor of communications infrastructure equipment but is banned from sale in the United State and is coming under pressure in many other European and other countries aligned with the US. Australia, Germany, Poland and Vodafone have recently raised issues with Huawei tendering for infrastructure.

The other Chinese companies in the top ten are Lenovo, BBK Electronics – which includes mobile phone brands Oppo and Vivo – and new entrant Xiaomi.

Samsung Electronics and Apple showed modest growth in purchasing but were still responsible for buying 17.9 percent of all semiconductors produced in 2018, compared with 18.8 percent in 2017, according to the latest figures from Gartner. Gartner has marked Samsung and Apple down from the 19.5 percent share given in preliminary figures a year ago (see Samsung, Apple bought 19.5% of global chip supply in 2017).

Preliminary ranking of top 10 semiconductor purchasing companies worldwide in 2018, (millions of dollars). Source: Gartner Inc.

Eight of the top 10 companies in 2017 remained in the top 10 in 2018, with Kingston Technology and Xiaomi replacing LG Electronics and Sony. Xiaomi rose eight places to 10th position, increasing its semiconductor spending by $2.7 billion in 2018, a 63 percent growth year over year.

Next: Memory impact

Chinese smartphone OEMs have improved their market position by taking out or purchasing competitors. As a result, semiconductor spending by the top 10 OEMs increased significantly, and their share reached 40.2 percent of the total semiconductor market in 2018, up from 39.4 percent in 2017. This trend is expected to continue, Gartner said.

Memory pricing and content are also significant to the chip purchasing ranking, Gartner said. Although memory ASPs are now declining that is also a time when OEMs can increase memory content or introduce novel technologies. Gartner predicts that the share of total memory chip revenue in the total semiconductor market will be 33 percent in 2019 and 34 percent in 2020, higher than its 31 percent share in 2017.

Related links and articles:

News articles:

Samsung, Apple bought 19.5% of global chip supply in 2017

Gartner: Memory carried 2018 global chip market to growth

Samsung, Apple remain top of chip buyers’ ranking


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