PC chip shipments hit record levels

Demand for mobility leads the way

PC microprocessor shipments worldwide grew 14.3 per cent sequentially to reach record levels in the third calendar quarter of 2007 (3Q07), according to IDC. Consequently, worldwide PC microprocessor revenue rose 14.8 per cent to $US7.95 billion in the quarter.

Shipments of processors designed for mobile PCs continued to lead the market, growing 26.6 per cent in 3Q07, reflecting considerable demand for mobile PCs in the second half of the year. Shipments of processors for desktop PCs and for PC servers also fared rather well, increasing by 7.7 per cent and 4.6 per cent, respectively.

"The third quarter of 2007 was the second quarter in a row to exceed expectations in terms of PC processor unit shipments," said Shane Rau, director of IDC's semiconductors and personal computing program. "We attribute the market's performance to Intel's and AMD's aggressive pricing for their new platforms, which stimulated early demand from PC OEMs building PCs for the back-to-school buying season. However, we also believe that real end-demand is there. OEMs are passing processor savings on to consumers, who, instead of buying cheaper systems, are purchasing more robust configurations, partially to support Windows Vista."

Modest changes in processor vendor market share belied the intensity of vendor competition in 3Q07. On an overall unit basis, AMD earned 23.5 per cent market share, a gain of 0.4 per cent. Intel earned 76.3 per cent, a loss of 0.4 per cent.

`By form factor, AMD's share in the mobile PC processor segment rose 1.9 per cent to 18.9 per cent, and its share in the PC server processor segment grew 0.7 per cent to 13.9 per cent. Market share changes in the desktop PC processor segment were negligible.

Looking ahead, IDC expects strong market demand for PC processors to continue in the fourth quarter. "Both Intel and AMD noted in their 3Q07 earnings calls that demand remains strong," said Richard Murphy, IDC inquiry analyst. "In fact, both companies noted how the broad-based demand is spread across processor segments and regions of the world."

Len Rust is publisher of The Rust Report.

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