PC CPU Sales Still Growing in Q3

As world economies teeter on the brink, the rest of the world appears to keep going — at least that’s one apparent take away from the latest figures for PC CPU sales globally.

Analyst firm IDC Thursday reported that worldwide sales of PC microprocessors grew by 16.1 percent in the third quarter from the same period last year.

Sales for the quarter were $10.7 billion, a gain of 12.2 percent from the second quarter of 2011. Meanwhile, on a unit basis, shipments increased 6.7 percent over the previous quarter and 5.2 percent from the third quarter of 2010, the IDC report said.

At least on the price front, some of the gain can be credited to price increases paid by customers.

“The average selling price (ASP) that OEMs pay for PC microprocessors rose more than 5 percent in 3Q11,” Shane Rau, director of Semiconductors: Personal Computing research at IDC, said in the report. That marked the eighth consecutive quarter of growth in ASPs.

Rau credited brisk sales of Intel’s (NASDAQ: INTC) popular Sandy Bridge CPUs, as well as AMD’s (NYSE: AMD) Fusion, for some of the uptick. Both chipsets feature integrated graphics processors (IGP).

“IDC’s tracking of these processors indicates that processors with IGP rose to 73 percent of total PC processor unit volume in 3Q11,” the report added.

Intel led the quarter with some 80.2 percent of global unit share, while AMD pulled down 19.7 percent. For Intel, that was a gain of nearly one percent — 0.9 — of market share, and for AMD, a loss of 0.7 percent from last quarter.

In terms of form factors, Intel held 82.3 percent share in mobile PC processors, a decline of 2.1 percent in the quarter, while AMD gained 2.4 percent to finish the quarter with 17.6 percent.

In the PC server and workstation category, Intel had 95.1 percent for the quarter and AMD had 4.9 percent. Further, in the PC desktop category, Intel also dominated, though not quite as profoundly, with 75.8 percent compared with AMD’s 24.1 percent.

Overall, due to “modest” slowing of growth since June, IDC has lowered its PC processor forecasts for the entire year to 7.3 percent growth, down from 9.3 percent previously.

The IDC report is entitled, “Worldwide PC Microprocessor 3Q11 Vendor Shares.”


Stuart J. Johnston is a contributing editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @stuartj1000.

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