We have always looked at the ranking as a top supplier list, not as a marketshare ranking and realize that the sales are double counted. With many of our clients being vendors to the semiconductor industry (equipment, chemicals and gases, etc.), leaving out large IC manufacturers like the foundries would leave gaping holes in the list of top suppliers. We state up front that we include the foundries so that you can take them out if you want and we also identify which suppliers are fabless. When we construct marketshare rankings of semiconductor companies we do not include the foundries so as not to double count the sales.
It should be noted that not all foundry sales should be excluded when attempting to create marketshare data. Although Samsung has foundry sales, most of its foundry sales are to Apple. Since Apple will not re-sell these devices, counting these foundry sales as Samsung sales does not introduce double-counting.
Overall, the list is only provided as a guideline for who are the top semi producers whether they be IDMs, fabless companies, or foundries. You can always segment the market in a lot of other ways if you desire.
Bill McClean, President, IC Insights
I don't quite understand IC Insights' rationale for including the pure play foundries in the rankings. When the top fabless companies are doing very well -- Qualcomm and Broadcom for example -- their success automatically lifts TSMC higher.
In terms of counting total sales for the top 20, it's essentially a form of double counting where the foundries sell to the fabless guys, who then sell to OEMs...and the same silicon gets counted twice.
This is showing everyone the power of mobile and what it can do in any industry (chip, app, software, etc). It is interesting how this firm is doing. They need to hope something sustains the smartphone market where they have a lot of influence.