The iPhone manufacturer paid $17.5 billion for chips in 2010, which represents an 80% increase compared to 2009. Thus, Apple has become the world’s largest chip consumer, using 1/3 of its “cost of revenue” for chip acquisition, a report from IHS iSuppli revealed.
Apple’s chip ravenousness is a direct result of the market’s high demand for iOS products. The company managed to sell 48 million iPhone units in 2010, or 89% more units compared to 2009. The company pays around $80 for all the chipsets of an iPhone and this includes the main processor, the radio chip and the audio chip.
The fact that Apple had enough financial resources to spend so much on chips is clear proof that the company is one of the most powerful players on the smartphone and tablet market.
The company enjoys a very stable financial situation and signed a $3.9 billion supply contract for "very strategic” parts, probably chipsets in January while most companies spend that amount of money on all hardware components, not on chips alone.
Also at the top of the world’s largest chip buyers is HP which ranks second, followed by Samsung, Dell and Nokia.
Apple should buy $22.4 billion worth of chips in 2011, analysts predicted.