Apple's sheer size can control prices and markets for computer chips.
What would chip makers be without Apple? Probably very poor.
Apple is expected to spend $28 billion on chips this year, up 15 percent from the $24.3 billion spent in 2011, according to AppleInsider. The data comes from an IHS iSuppli.forecast which also states that Samsung will be the the world's second-biggest buyer at $14.9 billion this year, with a modest increase of 0.3 percent.
Other companies that make up iSupplie's Top 10 -- Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Panasonic, Cisco Systems and Fujitsu -- are expected to cut semiconductor spending. Of course, none of those companies are doing financially as well as Apple.
"Behind the scenes the company is engaging in another kind of conquest: the dominance of the electronics supply chain," said Myson Robles-Bruce, senior analyst for semiconductor spending and design activity at IHS. "Such a dominant position provides critical benefits, allowing one to dictate semiconductor pricing, control product road maps and obtain guaranteed supply and delivery."
It's true that because Apple is such a huge buyer that it can dictate pricing and other demands. This position likely allows the company to keep costs down and its earnings up.