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Hit and miss for Intel

Posted: 27 Dec 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:microprocessor market? netbook sales? tablet?

Intel Corp. has accounted for 83.7 percent of global microprocessor revenue in Q3, up 1.2 percentage points from the 82.5 percent in 2Q11. This is according to IHS Inc. who added that the company has increased its lead over Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) to 73.5 percentage points, up from 72 percent in the same period.

Despite a plunge in sales of its Atom chips for the dwindling netbook market, Intel managed to expand its leadership in the global microprocessor business on the strength of its corporate sales, noted IHS. The table from the market research firm presents the ranking of the world's top microprocessor suppliers. The market share numbers presented in this release consist of the entire global microprocessor market, including X86, RISC and other types of general-purpose microprocessors. This data is not limited to the X86 chips used in the PC market, although these types of devices represent the vast majority of shipments.

microprocessor market

The netbook market regressed this year as consumers turned to media tablets, hurting Intel's sales.

"The boom in media tablet sales has packed both upsides and downsides for Intelhurting its business in netbook microprocessorsbut boosting its sales of chips used in data centers to support cloud computing," stated Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst for compute platforms research at IHS. "Because of its broad product line that addresses both the consumer and business side of the microprocessor business, Intel in Q3 managed to outperform the overall market."

After enjoying double-digit shipment growth from 2008-2010, the netbook market regressed this year as consumers turned to media tablets. Global netbook shipments are set to weaken to 21.4 million units this year, down 33.5 percent from 32 million last year. Shipments are expected to dip during the coming years and will fall to 13.4 million units in 2015.

This has come as a downside for Intel, whose Atom microprocessors powered the majority of netbooks. Intel said its Atom microprocessor and chipset revenue in Q3 fell 32 percent compared to the previous year. On the other hand, Intel said it saw continued strength in Q3 from the sales of microprocessors for use in data centers because of rising demand from the mobile and cloud computing markets.

The cloud computing market is heading into the stratosphere as companies seek to offer services designed to serve tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices. Consumer and enterprise spending on the public segment of the cloud is projected to surge to $110 billion in 2015, up from $23 billion last year. Intel also said it benefited from strong notebook sales. Many of these sales were to the corporate market that continues to perform well even amid challenging circumstances in the consumer PC segment.

Intel has warned its Q4 results are expected to fall short of the company's previous outlook due to HDD supply shortages spurred by the Thailand flood. Short supplies of HDDs in Q4 will result in PC shipments failing to meet expectations in 1Q12, where IHS predicts that worldwide PC shipments will amount to 84.2 million units, compared to the earlier forecast of 88 million.

IHS recently predicted that Intel will increase its lead in the total semiconductor market over Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd to 6.5 percentage points this year, up from a 3.9-point difference last year. AMD's market share was largely unchanged in Q3, with a slight 0.3 percentage point decline from Q2. The company accounted for 10.2 percent of worldwide microprocessor market revenue, down from 10.5 percent in Q2.

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