With a recession, especially like the one we’re in now, many people begin to appreciate the value of money a lot more, and tend to cut back on their regular spending. After all, is a new appliance really that important if it means rent will be hard to pay next month? Certainly, there are a few markets that can escape an economic downfall, with food being one of them (but even there I’m sure some cut down, and in my case, that wouldn’t be a bad thing!). But as we’re discovering now, it’s becoming apparent that PC processors is another market that can escape a decline.
During Q3 2009, processor shipments didn’t just break a record, but it broke the record of total parts shipped in a quarter. There was a staggering 23% increase of shipments between Q2 and Q3, with a revenue gain of about 13% during the same period. Notice how those two figures don’t quite line up? The reason of course, is the netbook. While companies like Intel would like everyone to believe that netbooks aren’t a replacement, but rather an addition, I’m willing to bet that at least right now, many people who were thinking of purchasing a full-blown notebook, have decided on a netbook instead.
I’m no authority on the matter, however, so I could be wrong. But, if the trend continues into Q4 and Q1 2010, we might just begin to understand the full force of the netbook, and just how imperative they are to our PC industry. Netbooks may be underpowered when compared to a regular notebook, but a proven fact is that most people don’t need more power. Today’s computing focuses almost entirely on the Internet, so as long as a netbook can handle online tasks without issue, many people aren’t going to understand or appreciate the benefits of moving up to a real notebook.
Thanks in part to its Atom processors, Intel had a dominating lead in overall processor sales during Q3, with the Santa Clara company accounting for 81.1% of total shipments, at the same time accounting for 88% of the mobile market. AMD had an increase to hit an overall 18.7% and 11.9% in the mobile market, while Via was left with 0.2% and 0.3%, respectively.
“The story about 3Q09 leads with Atom processors being sold in mini-notebooks (a.k.a. Netbooks) manufactured and sold in China,” said Rau. “While Atom processors led the PC processor market to reach record unit shipments, on the revenue side, their low average selling price led to notable price erosion, more than 7 percent.” Among vendors, Intel kept its place at the top of the charts, enjoying an 81.1 percent share of the worldwide market for processor shipments. That left AMD with 18.7 percent and third-place Via Technologies with 0.2 percent.