Samsung Topples Intel To Become The World’s Largest Chipmaker
Samsung has ended Intel’s 25-year run as the world’s biggest seller of chipsets after it posted its 2017 end of year financials.
The Korean tech giant’s chipset division — which has long been its biggest hitter — grossed total revenue of $69 billion in 2017, eclipsing the $62.8 billion Intel reported for last year. That was a record year for Intel — and an annual increase of six percent — but it wasn’t enough to stop Samsung from knocking it from the top spot, which Bloomberg reports it had occupied since 1992.
The writing was on the wall last year when Samsung beat Intel on a quarterly basis, but now it has held out for an annual win.
The change of position highlights Samsung’s focus on mobile, and in particular memory chips which are an essential part of smartphones. Intel’s chips may be in 90 percent of the world’s computers, but it missed the mobile boom and is playing catch-up.
Overall, Samsung’s entire business reported full-year profit of KRW 53.65 trillion ($50.7 billion) on revenue of KRW 239.58 trillion, $225 billion. For the final quarter of 2017, revenue was KRW 65.98 trillion ($62 billion) with KRW 15.15 trillion ($14 billion) in operating profit.
That’s a higher profit but slightly lower revenue than the previous quarter. The company’s mobile business actually saw its take-home drop by 3.2 percent year-on-year during Q4.
Looking ahead to 2018, Samsung said it intends to increase its chipset focus on cloud services, AI and automotive. On the smartphone front, where its name is best known among consumers, the company said it plans to adopt “cutting-edge technologies” like foldable displays. Samsung said also that it would continue to develop its smart services with a focus on its Bixby assistant and upcoming 5G technologies. (By Jon Russell @jonrussell)