Intel in 2011 achieved its highest annual market share in more than 10 years, according to market research firm IHS iSuppli. The chipmaker’s market share increased 2.5 points to 15.6% from 13.1% in 2010. In the same year, the company’s revenue jumped 20.6%, outpacing nearly every other semiconductor supplier in the top-20 with the exception of Qualcomm. The jump represents the highest share Intel has attained since 2001, when the company reached a 14.9% market share. “Intel in 2011 captured the headlines with its major surge in growth,” said Dale Ford, head of electronics and semiconductor research for IHS. “The company’s rise was spurred by soaring demand for its PC-oriented microprocessors, and for its NAND flash memory used in consumer and wireless products. Intel’s revenue also was boosted by its acquisition of Infineon’s wireless business unit. The company’s strong rise helped it to stave off the rising challenge mounted by No. 2 semiconductor supplier Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., which had been whittling away at Intel’s lead in recent years.” More →
Apple reportedly has plans to open a new office in Israel, its first center outside of its Cupertino, California headquarters. The outpost will be headed by Aharon Aharon, Israeli business news site Globes said Wednesday, noting that Aharon is a well established figure in Israeli technology circles. Aharon currently serves as the chairman of radio frequency imaging firm Camero Tech Ltd. He has also served on the board of Discretix and once worked as a vice president for Zoran Corporation. Israeli’s new Apple head will train in Cupertino for several months before opening the Israel-based facility, the report says. This isn’t the first move Apple has made in Israel recently: the company is reportedly in acquisition talks with Anobit, a fabless flash storage vendor that has provided parts to Apple for its iPad, iPhone and iPod touch product families. Rumors have suggested Apple could spend as much as $400 to $500 million for Anobit. More →
Apple could cut Samsung from its list of part suppliers, an arrangement that is worth as much as $5 billion for Samsung, one analyst has suggested. “They have become more competitors and less partners and so I think Apple will definitely not be looking to Samsung as its go-to partner-of-choice for NAND flash,” Brian Marshall, a Gleacher & Co. analyst told The Globe and Mail. Apple could instead choose to get its NAND flash products from other companies, such as Hynix Semiconductor, Micron, and Toshiba. Similarly, if Apple were to bail on Samsung as a parts provider, the iPhone maker could look to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp (TSMC) or Intel for processors, but it would also need to find another provider for LCDs. Samsung and Apple have been locked in multiple legal battles since Apple accused Samsung of creating “copycat” devices and sought to block the import of its products in the United States. More →
Samsung’s profits fell 26% during the second quarter due to poor sales in its LCD display division, according to a report the company released today. The firm’s operating profits were $3.5 billion for the quarter, down from $4.7 billion from the same period last year. According to a survey from Bloomberg that included six analysts, the Korean company’s display arm is expected to post an operating loss of 3.5 billion won ($69 million), down from an 880 billion won ($827.2 million) profit during the second quarter of 2010. Earlier this week, the head of Samsung’s combined LCD and semiconductor business, Kwon Oh-hyun, confirmed that Samsung’s component sales would suffer during the second quarter. That business could suffer more as Samsung continues to fight multiple lawsuits with its largest LCD buyer, Apple, and rumors have suggested the iPhone builder could drop Samsung as a supplier. “Only the phone business is holding up,” Kim Sung In, an analyst with Kiwoom Securities Co. told Bloomberg. “Everything else is looking bad. There’s no bright picture for the company looking ahead.” More →
Last week, Samsung announced that it will combine its LCD and semiconductor businesses. The move is expected to conceal poor LCD sales, but the head of the new combined business, Kwon Oh-hyun, has said that he expects the overall performance to falter during the second half of the year. “In the past, the semiconductor market tended to be weaker in the first half and stronger in the second half, but for this year, it is likely to remain flat throughout the latter half,” Kwon said according to The Wall Street Journal. Samsung typically sees 70% of its operating profits and 44% of its revenues from the combined sales of its semiconductor and LCD products. The South Korean firm is currently locked up in multiple legal battles with Apple — the largest buyer of its LCD products — and rumor has it the Cupertino-based firm is considering dropping Samsung as a supplier.
Samsung will combine both its flat-panel display and semiconductor businesses into one unit, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday. Samsung’s display business wasn’t profitable during the first quarter and it’s on track for the same lackluster performance during the second quarter. Combined, however, the display and semiconductor businesses made up 70% of Samsung’s operating profits and 44% of the South Korean company’s revenue, The Wall Street Journal said. In other words, the move looks like an attempt to shroud the poor display performance inside the company’s more successful semiconductor unit. The display unit could see more trouble ahead as well, since Samsung is currently locked in a number of legal battles with Apple, the largest buyer of Samsung’s LCD products. Kwon Oh-hyun, Samsung’s semiconductor president, will oversee the new joint businesses.
Market analytics firm International Data Corporation (IDC) is predicting a big boom for semiconductor manufactures in 2011. Citing strong tablet and eReader-based semiconductor revenues — $3.3 billion in 2010 alone — IDC is predicting an additional 120% growth rate in 2011. “Media Tablets and eReaders are two devices that share components but whose bills of materials (BOM) are optimized for very different functions,” writes IDC. “The 2010 average Tablet semiconductor BOM was nearly one and one half times as much as the BOM for eReaders.” The firm also notes that 99% of advanced processing unit shipments in 2010 were based on ARM technology. IDC predicts that ARM will continue to have a stranglehold on the industry in 2011, only shedding one to two percentage points as x86 tablets begin to trickle into the market place. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →