Gartner: Qualcomm stands out in sluggish semiconductor market

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Fueled by smartphone demand and 3G and 4G network deployment, Qualcomm saw its semiconductor revenues soar 29.6 percent in 2012, pushing it from sixth place in 2011 to third place this year, according to the latest stats from market research firm Gartner.

Smartphone demand was the strongest driver of semiconductor revenues in 2012, but overall semiconductor revenues declined 3 percent compared to last year, dragged down by the PC segment, according to preliminary results from Gartner.

"Uncertainty about the state of the macroeconomy, coupled with ongoing inventory overhang, sent ripples through the semiconductor industry. The hardest hit areas include the PC supply chain, memory, analog and discrete components. The PC business, ordinarily a growth driver, was on a negative slope for the first time in many years. PC production declined 2.5 percent in 2012," commented Steve Ohr, research director at Gartner.

Qualcomm came in third behind industry leader Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) and Samsung, both of which saw semiconductor revenue declines this year. Samsung experienced revenue declines in its three major product areas--dynamic random-access memory, NAND flash and system integrated circuits.

DRAM makers suffered from rapid price declines, while the NAND flash market also saw strong price declines as a consequence of sluggish growth. Overall, Samsung's semiconductor revenue was down 8.7 percent, and SK Hynix's was down 11.2 percent, according to Gartner.

For more:
- see Gartner's release

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