Representing 18.2 per cent of the total worldwide market, Samsung Electronics and Apple remained the top two semiconductor chip buyers in 2016, market research firm Gartner said on Friday.

Samsung and Apple together consumed $61.7 billion of semiconductors in 2016 — an increase of $0.4 billion from 2015.

“This is the sixth consecutive year that Samsung Electronics and Apple have topped the semiconductor consumption table,” Masatsune Yamaji, principal research analyst at Gartner, said in a statement.

“While both companies continue to exert considerable influence on technology and price trends for the wider semiconductor industry, their impact has lessened due to falling expectations for future growth,” Masatsune added.

Although Samsung Electronics experienced intense competition from Chinese original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in various markets, including smartphones, LCD TV and LCD panel through 2016, the company increased its design total available market (TAM) and came back as the global top design TAM company in 2016 with 9.3 per cent share.

Apple decreased its design TAM in 2016 ending the year with 8.8 per cent share of the market. The iPad did not sell well through 2016 and Apple also lost market share in the PC market, Gartner added.

Nine of the top 10 companies in 2015 remained in the top 10 in 2016.

Cisco Systems dropped out of the top 10 in 2016 to be replaced by Chinese smartphone OEM, BBK Electronics.

The top 10 now include four companies from the US, three companies from China, two from South Korea and one from Japan. This is the first time that three Chinese companies have ranked in the top 10.