Intel has lost its long-held title as the world's top computer chip maker—at least by one important yardstick.
Samsung's semiconductor unit brought in $15.8 billion during the latest quarter, surpassing Intel, which reported $14.76 billion in chip sales during the same period.
As The Associated Press notes, Intel had been the leading semiconductor company by sales since 1992. But as sales of personal computers have declined with the rise of smartphones and other mobile devices, Samsung's chip business has benefited.
“Greater use of smartphones and tablet PCs instead of computers is driving the rise of companies like Samsung,” Nomura Securities senior analyst Chung Chang Won told the news service.
Besides selling consumer electronics like smartphones and televisions, Samsung sells memory chips used in mobile devices and servers. Intel, on the other hand, is known for making microprocessors used to power personal computers, although the company also sells chips for corporate data centers, a market that it dominates.
Data centers are a big focus for Intel, which is looking to offset the decline in personal computers. But the company hasn't gained business fast enough to keep up with Samsung.
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Earlier this month, Samsung said it would spend $18 billion to expand its South Korean semiconductor manufacturing facilities.