PC processor shipments hit new record

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Fuelled by strong demand for mobile computing devices, global PC processor shipments grew 14.3 percent sequentially to reach record levels in the third calendar quarter of 2007, new research reveals..

According to IDC's study Worldwide PC Processor 3Q07 Vendor Shares, published today, the boost in shipments helped worldwide PC microprocessor sales revenue jump 14.8 percent to US$7.95 billion in 3Q07.

Shipments of processors designed for mobile PCs continued to lead the market, growing 26.6 percent in 3Q07, reflecting "considerable worldwide 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 percent and 4.6 percent, 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: 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 onto consumers, who, instead of buying cheaper systems, are purchasing more robust configurations, partially to support Windows Vista."

IDC noted that "modest changes" in processor vendor market share belied an " intensity of vendor competition" in the third quarter 2007. On an overall unit basis, AMD earned 23.5 percent market share, a gain of 0.4 percent. Intel earned 76.3 percent, a loss of 0.4 percent.

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

The analyst firm 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."

"Our attention is now focused on what 2008 will bring," added Shane Rau. " We're conducting an investigation into the supply chain and end-systems, across multiple component types, to consider if 1Q08 will bring the typical modest drop-off from the fourth quarter or something different."
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