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Samsung may take Intel’s spot as the world’s biggest chip maker this year

Samsung has been battling it out against Apple for the number one spot in the smartphone market for years and now, it looks like the company will begin taking on another major US company. It turns out that Samsung's semiconductor business is now successful enough to rival Intel, meaning Samsung may soon become the biggest chip maker in the world.

Intel has held its place at the top of the pile in the semiconductor industry for 25 years now. However, analysts are predicting that the rise in DRAM and NAND sales could give Samsung the edge this quarter. If the predictions made by IC Insights are correct, then Samsung will reach $14.9 billion in sales from its semiconductor, while Intel is predicted to hit $14.4 billion.

In its own report, IC Insights explained its train of thought: “If memory market prices continue to hold or increase through 2Q17 and the balance of this year, Samsung could charge into the top spot and displace Intel, which has held the #1 ranking since 1993. Using the mid range sales guidance set by Intel for 2Q17, and a modest, yet typical, 2Q sales increase of 7.5% for Samsung, the South Korean supplier would unseat Intel as the world’s leading semiconductor supplier in 2Q17”.

To support this analysis, we need only look at the huge rise in DRAM and NAND flash, which has sparked big gains for Samsung. This could be a short-lived reign for Samsung though, as NAND and DRAM pricing is expected to settle down again towards the latter half of this year. With that in mind, Intel may well reclaim its place before the end of the year.

KitGuru Says: Many companies have come close to beating Intel's semiconductor sales but for the last 25 years, none have quite managed it. It would certainly be interesting to see that change in 2017, even if it does end up just being a brief win for Samsung. However, it is important to note that this is all based on analyst predictions, nothing is set in stone just yet. 

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