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Apple designs impact global chip supply chain

Posted: 22 Aug 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Apple designs? global impact? chip supply chain? semiconductor?

Design activity around Apple's iPhone and iPod is exerting a major impact on the global electronics supply chain, according to a market research firm.

Apple's product design work in 1H 2007 drove the largest increase in semiconductor spending among the top 10 electronics equipment manufacturers in the United States, iSuppli said. Product design leads directly to equipment production, which in turn drives semiconductor sales.

"Companies that engage in design of electronic equipment, such as PCs, mobile phones and TVs, also are responsible for specifying the use of particular chips in the products being developed," iSuppli analyst Min-Sun Moon said in a statement. "Thus, these companies have a major influence on global semiconductor spending patterns."

For 1H 2007, iSuppli ranked Apple fourth overall in terms of design influence on semiconductor spending in the United States, trailing Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Motorola. Apple, however, had the fastest growth of design influence of any company in the nation.

Apple's work spurred $3.8 billion worth of global semiconductor purchases, up 27 percent from $3 billion in the same period last year. The surge in influence was mostly because of the iPhone mobile handset, which Apple released in late June.

iSuppli predicted Apple would ship more than 4.5 million iPhones globally in 2007, 13.5 million units in 2008 and 21.1 million units in 2009. The research firm also predicted that a second version of the iPhone would be released in 12 to 18 months.

The iPhone line would cause Apple-driven semiconductor spending to continue to grow in 2H 2007 as well as into 2008, iSuppli predicted. Beyond Apple, HP, Dell and Motorola, other leading design influencers in the United States included Cisco Systems, Kingston Technology and IBM.

iSuppli ranked the United States as the world leader in terms of design influence in 1H 2007, followed by Japan.

- Antone Gonsalves

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