Intel’s more than two decade reign as king of the silicon-based semiconductor ended Thursday when Samsung Electronics surpassed the US manufacturer to become the leading maker of the computer chips that are a 21st century staple much as oil was in the past.
Samsung reported record-high profit and sales in its earnings report for the April-June quarter, and while Intel’s reported earnings beat forecasts, the US company’s entire revenue was smaller than sales from Samsung’s chip division.
Samsung said its semiconductor business recorded 8 trillion ($7.2 billion) in operating income on revenue of KRW 17.6 trillion ($15.8 billion) in the quarter.
Intel said it earned $2.8 billion (roughly Rs. 17,960 crores) on sales of $14.8 billion (roughly Rs. 94,927 crores). Analysts had expected the US chipmaker to report $14.4 billion (roughly Rs. 92,359 crores) in quarterly revenue.
“Given Samsung’s strength today in flash memory, I am not surprised Samsung surpassed Intel in semiconductor revenue,” said Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy, adding that Intel may be able to catch up Samsung when Intel’s memory output is at full production capacity in about six months. “I think we will see a lot of back and forth between the two companies.”
On an annual basis, Samsung’s semiconductor division is widely expected to overtake Intel’s sales this year, analysts at brokerages and market research firms say.
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