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Electronics Production | February 25, 2011

Worldwide PC microprocessor unit shipments grew 17.1% in 2010

Worldwide PC microprocessor shipment growth in the fourth calendar quarter of 2010 (4Q10) slowed notably, compared to both 3Q10 (-.04% quarter-over-quarter) and to 4Q09 (-.21% year-over-year), according to the latest study from International Data Corporation (IDC).
For the full year 2010, however, worldwide PC microprocessor unit shipments grew 17.1%, while revenue increased 26.7% to USD 36.3 billion.

"The fourth quarter was weak and out of synch with normal seasonal patterns in terms of unit shipments," said Shane Rau, director of Semiconductors: Personal Computing research at IDC. "The first half of the year turned out to be the better half of the year. However, looking back at the whole year 2010, it's clear that the ongoing shift to mobile processors, combined with a shift back towards high-performance mobile processors, as opposed to Atom processors for netbooks, drove a significant rise in overall processor average selling prices."

In 2010, the industry average selling price (ASP) for microprocessors rose 8%, approaching the levels last seen in 2008. While a strange year in terms of shipment patterns, 2010 was also a year of recovery.

Looking at processor shipments by form factor, during the year 2010 mobile PC processor unit shipments grew 26.2%, x86 server processor unit shipments grew 28.1%, and desktop processor unit shipments grew 6.2%. Mobile PC processors, which represented 50.2% of all PC processors shipped in 2009, represented 54.1% of processors in 2010.

4Q10 and 2010 Vendor Highlights

In 4Q10, Intel earned 80.8% unit market share, a gain of 0.4%, while AMD earned 18.9%, a loss of 0.4%, and VIA Technologies earned 0.3%. In the full year 2010, Intel earned 80.7% unit market share, a gain of 1.1%, AMD earned 19.0%, a loss of 1.1%, and VIA Technologies earned 0.3%.

In 4Q10 by form factor, Intel earned 86.1% share in the mobile PC processor segment, a gain of 0.2%, AMD finished with 13.5%, a loss of 0.2%, and VIA earned less than 0.1%. In the PC server/workstation processor segment, Intel finished with 94.2% market share, a gain of 0.5% and AMD earned 5.8%, a loss of 0.5%. In the desktop PC processor segment, Intel earned 72.5%, a gain of 0.7%, and AMD earned 27.3%, a loss of 0.5%.

In 2010 by form factor, Intel earned 86.4% share in the mobile PC processor segment, a loss of 0.4%, AMD finished with 13.3%, a gain of 0.4%, and VIA earned 0.3%. In the PC server/workstation processor segment, Intel finished with 93.0% market share, a gain of 3.1% and AMD earned 7.0%, a loss of 3.1%. In the desktop PC processor segment, Intel earned 72.1%, a gain of 1.1%, AMD earned 27.6%, a loss of 1.2%, and VIA earned 0.4%.

Market Outlook

IDC's forecast for year-over-year growth in PC (mobile, desktop, x86 server) microprocessor unit shipments is 10.1% in 2011. "Corporate spending continues to drive spending on server platforms and commercial clients," added Rau. "However, the affects of emerging devices, like media tablets, and economic concerns in Europe and the U.S., lead us to be conservative in our overall outlook."

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