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Apple dominating the electronics supply chain

In its early years, Apple could do no wrong. Yet, by the mid 1990s, it was on the ropes; it seemed that no matter what it tried, it all went pear shaped.

But a decision by erstwhile ceo Gil Amelio was to have far reaching effects. That decision was to buy NeXT, a computer developer set up by Apple founder Steve Jobs. Amelio was fired, Jobs became the company's ceo and the rest, as they say, is history.

A stream of innovative products has turned Apple from an also ran into the dominant consumer electronics company. Its position is highlighted in a recent report which says it will spend $28billion on semiconductors this year - almost $13bn more than second placed Samsung and not far from 10% of the entire market for semiconductors.

Dominance of the consumer electronics market is also translating into dominance of the supply chain, says IHS iSuppli. Apple's purchasing power is allowing it to dictate prices, control product roadmaps and to get guarantees on supply and delivery.
Because of this, it can bring new products to market more quickly and at ever more attractive prices. At the moment, it seems Apple can do no wrong.

Graham Pitcher

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