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First up is chipmaker
Broadcom(BRCM). The $20 billion firm is a major supplier for communications applications -- and it's speculated to be a major contributor to the iPhone 5's internals. That positioning puts Broadcom in solid positioning to capture growth in the mobile phone market, one of the fastest-growing consumer electronics segments out there right now.
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One of the most attractive (and unique) attributes about Broadcom's model is the fact that the company doesn't own its own production facilities. Instead, it outsources those tasks to third parties. While that means that BRCM cedes some profitability to its manufacturing contractors, the fact that BRCM doesn't carry chip factories on its balance sheet (and their associated overhead on its income statement) means that the firm cuts a leaner profile and didn't get hit as hard by the recent pullback in the semiconductor industry.
Because Broadcom's chipsets span a range of communications standards -- including GPS, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi -- the firm was one of the first to perfect combining hardware for different technologies on a single chip. That's driven sales to space-focused firms like
Apple (AAPL) who are trying to jam more and more into each device they make.
With the acquisition of a 4G wireless platform developer in 2010, the firm is plugging a big hole in its product lineup and offering a more holistic solution for handset makers. That could be a big boost for investors in 2012.