OEMs expected to buy $55.4bn worth of semiconductors for wireless devices this year
The wireless segment is expected to overtake computers to become the world’s leading application market for semiconductor purchasing by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) starting in 2011, according to information and analysis provider IHS.
The wireless semiconductor spending segment consists of all OEM chip purchases for mobile devices such as mobile handsets, smartphones and media tablets. The category also includes wireless infrastructure gear like routers and base stations.
The compute segment comprises spending on chips used in computers, including notebook PCs, desktop PCs and servers. The category excludes chip spending for computer peripherals such as hard disk drives and printers.
IHS said that driven by booming sales of smartphones and tablets, OEMs will buy $55.4bn worth of semiconductors for use in wireless devices this year, up 10.7% from $50.1bn in 2010.
According to the new IHS iSuppli Semiconductor Spend Analysis report, OEMs will spend $53.1 bn on semiconductors used to make computers, up a scant 1.2% from $52.5bn in 2010.
IHS added that wireless will also expand its lead in 2012 as the high-technology market increases its focus on mobile, Internet-connected devices.
IHS analyst Wenlie Ye said led by Apple’s iPhone and iPad, demand is booming for smart phones and tablet devices.
"This is spurring a surge in sales of semiconductors used in wireless devices, including baseband chips, applications processors and mobile memory. With overall sales growth for PCs slowing, the balance of power in the semiconductor industry is shifting toward the wireless segment," Wenlie Ye said.
IHS also said that Apple is set to increase its lead in semiconductor purchasing over HP in 2011 and 2012.