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MarketWatch First Take: Intel loses chip throne after 25 years, but Samsung’s lead is ‘built on sand’

Samsung Electronics Co.’s position as the No. 1 semiconductor supplier in the world — a move that kicked Intel Corp. to No. 2 — is only as solid as the volatile memory-chip market.

Earlier Tuesday, IHS Markit issued its annual worldwide semiconductor industry data for 2017, showing that South Korea’s Samsung 005930, +0.70% leapfrogged Intel INTC, +1.55% as the No. 1 semiconductor supplier in the world, based on revenue. Samsung had year-over-year sales growth of 53.6% and its highest semiconductor revenue ever, IHS said.

The IHS Markit data echoed preliminary data issued in early January by market research firm Gartner Inc.

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