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CPU industry revenue grew less vigorously thanks to increased sales of netbook CPUs

Research firm IDC reported in October that Acer had kicked Dell from the second spot in the top global computer shippers list. This week, IDC has released the numbers for CPU shipments for Q3 2009. The processor market grew compared to the same quarter of 2008 by 23%. Since a large portion of the processors shipped were lower cost netbook parts, overall revenue in the CPU marker grew, but not as robustly as sales.

Netbook processors were the big driver, pushed by demand in China. Overall revenue in the global market for the quarter grew 14.1% to $7.4 billion. Shipments of CPUs for the quarter exceeded Q3 2008, which was a record quarter.

IDC's Shane Rau said in a statement, "Compared to where the market was at the beginning of 2009, PC processors have come back remarkably strong." Rau warned, "The Chinese market can be very opaque -- there are lots of places where inventories can hide. We have to be on the lookout for when China decides it can't consume more processors. Meanwhile, the U.S. market is still hamstrung by housing foreclosures and rising job losses."

Over the quarter, the average selling price of CPUs dropped more than 7%. That is a result of more growth in the cheap netbook processor market. Intel maintained the clear lead in the CPU market with 81.1% of the market. AMD ended the quarter with 18.7% of the market with VIA holding about 0.2% of the total CPU market globally.

"While Atom processors led the PC processor market to reach record unit shipments, on the revenue side, their low average selling price led to notable price erosion, more than 7%," Rau said.





"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs
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