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Print 12 comment(s) - last by hyvonen.. on Nov 12 at 3:10 AM

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.



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Inaccurate title
By Taft12 on 11/10/2009 1:30:47 PM , Rating: 2
I realize this is a very PC-centric site, but the number of shipped PC CPUs (*NOT* all CPUs which is what the title of this article implies) is going to become a less and less relevant industry figure as we move forward. ARM and cell phone CPU shipments are way up; Anand has already told us that i5 is not selling as well as Intel had hoped.

The analyst in the article comes right out and says Atom is destroying revenue: "[Atom's] low average selling price led to notable price erosion, more than 7%,"

It's not a typical PC CPU and if it were excluded from the IDC numbers things would not look nearly this rosy. This is not happy news for the industry despite the attempt here to spin it this way.




RE: Inaccurate title
By amanojaku on 11/10/2009 1:45:49 PM , Rating: 2
The title does not imply PC CPUs. You thought that, and that's your own fault. CPUs exist in many places, like phones and e-readers. We all know that by now, so go slap yourself make sure you put it on YouTube. ;-)

I bet i5 isn't selling because Core2 has similar price points and an existing socket base in LGA775. i7 buyers probably don't mind upgrading their motherboards and RAM, but an i5 is positioned right on the border of budget. You might as well go for i7 if you're considering i5.

Anyway, the article says things aren't that much better compared to last year, so what's your beef?


RE: Inaccurate title
By Taft12 on 11/11/2009 12:08:26 PM , Rating: 2
Ah, it is you who must engage in the self-slapping for reading the opposite of what I said (chastising Mick for a misleading title).

My beef is that the PC CPU market is in decline despite the happy tone of "increased shipped units" that were all Atoms.

I eagerly await the youtube link...


RE: Inaccurate title
By Sazar on 11/10/2009 6:18:43 PM , Rating: 2
How is it destroying revenue? You are still netting revenue, even if it is lower per box. I don't buy this sentiment.

What should be eroding is the margin per unit sold.

Netbooks are big sellers in over-all volume (see Acer), but negatively impact overall margins (see Dell shipping "less" units in the US vice Acer and yet having higher profit margins due to larger consumer/enterprise business and lesser netbook business).


RE: Inaccurate title
By hyvonen on 11/12/2009 3:10:34 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, it's the other way around. If shipments stay the same, but a larger portion of them are Atoms, revenues drop.

But that doesn't mean margin is eroding. Intel executives have reported over and over again that Atom is not a low-margin CPU. Sure, it's cheap compared to Core2Duos/i5s/i7s, but making one also costs next to nothing.


RE: Inaccurate title
By hyvonen on 11/12/2009 3:07:11 AM , Rating: 2
It's stupid to look at a number of shipments. Revenue is better, but the important one is profit.

AMD makes no profit. Intel does. End of story.


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