There's More to This Plucky Chip Chump Than Meets the Eye

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All you ever hear about small-cap semiconductor company Skyworks Solutions (Nasdaq: SWKS  ) is Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) this, iPhone that, and how great it is for a smallish company to make its way into these brand-new mass-market gadgets. Sure, that's one way to look at Skyworks (and I'm as guilty as anyone), but then you're holding it wrong.

Skyworks is about much more than Apple. That said, it doesn't hurt to send a couple of dollars' worth of components into a few million extra devices, as Skyworks did for the iPhone 4. Including that boost, third-quarter sales jumped 44% year-over-year to $274 million and non-GAAP earnings doubled to $0.32 per share. With revenue on that limited scale, every million helps.

While Skyworks has shipped parts for the iPhone line and other Apple designs for years now, that's not what the company is about. It makes both custom and standard parts for handsets by all the big manufacturers, and its biggest customers last year were Samsung and Sony Ericsson. HTC and Motorola (NYSE: MOT  ) are also on the major customer list if you're pining for Android-related opportunities, and even Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM  ) needs Skyworks from time to time. In last night's earnings call, management talked themselves warm over bringing Nokia up to the status of a 10% customer: "We're very happy with that, we're proud of that."

How many times was Apple discussed or even mentioned? Zero. Not in the press release, not in the prepared conference call remarks, nor even in the Q&A session. So the next time you see headlines like "Apple Buddy Skyworks Makes an Omelet," you should remember that there's a bigger story behind the curtain.

Going forward, Skyworks is looking to grow sideways by adding new vertical markets, and is off to a nice head start by shipping signal controllers to Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO  ) set-top boxes in support of Verizon's (NYSE: VZ  ) continuing FiOS roll-out. Another expanding opportunity for Skyworks is in control chips for smartpower meters. Think green to make greenbacks, you know.

In short, Skyworks will be fine even if Apple decides to replace its chips with something from chief rival RF Micro Devices (Nasdaq: RFMD  ) . There are other fish in the sea.

Would you sell Skyworks if Apple went elsewhere? Discuss in the comments box below.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here. Nokia is a Motley Fool Inside Value selection. Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.

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