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Portable computers steadily outpace desktops

Posted: 13 Apr 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:PC slowdown? desktop PC sales? 2011 PC forecast? AMD graphics? market share?

A new report released by Longbow Research portrays a mild and short-term PC slowdown that has notebooks and tablets steadily outselling desktop PCs. The report also shows Advance Micro Devices ruling the graphics segment and eating into Nvidia's market share.

"Desktops are continuing to give way to notebooks (and now, tablets, too) and reports from the field confirm our view on the stagnation of desktop PCs," said Joanne Feeney, a financial analyst at Longbow.

In March, market watcher Gartner lowered by 5 percent its 2011 desktop PC forecast, claiming notebooks and tablets will eat into desktop sales.

Feeney said motherboard shipments were down about 5 percent in the first quarter compared to the last three months of 2010, a decline of less than the seasonal average. Desktop sales will be flat in the second quarter with notebooks and tablets seeing growth, she predicted.

Intel's Sandy Bridge, its next generation x86 architecture, is poised for a fast ramp this year from use in 10 percent of desktops in the first quarter to more than half of desktops by the third quarter. Rival AMD is also expected to see design wins rise in the fall for Llano, its next-gen desktop chip, especially with so-called white box companies that don't use their own brand.

In desktop discrete graphics, AMD is expected to take market share from Nvidia beginning this quarter, Feeney said. AMD in winning over the game developers whose software is now beginning to favor its parts rather than those of Nvidia, she added.

- Rick Merritt
??EE Times

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