As is well known, semiconductor manufacturers have been fighting tooth and nail for a spot in Apple's iPods, which has resulted in some big blowups at companies that have gotten the boot. Sigmatel
So who is coming out on top with the iPhone? An article at EEtimes quotes an FBR research report indicating the winners include Korean giant Samsung, which will supply the applications and video processor; Marvell
Either way, these machinations by analysts reflect a fundamental change in the semiconductor industry over the past few years. It used to be that most semiconductors were used in electronics for military and commercial applications. Now, more than 50% of semiconductors are used in consumer electronic devices. The consumer market is different. At any one time, there tends to be just a small number of "must-have" gadgets, and the popularity of a consumer device can wane quickly. Just look at what has happened to Motorola
As a result, I wouldn't buy any of the stocks that are reported to be supplying chips for Apple's iPhone just because they may have won Apple's business in this go-around. It won't be surprising if Apple shuffles suppliers a bit for iPhone 2.
For further techie Foolishness:
Got an opinion on how the iPhone will shake up the industry? Why not join Motley Fool CAPS and let more than 19,000 fellow investors know how you feel? It's free, it's fun, and it just might make you famous.