Global CPU shipments have reached a record high of a 23% increase in Q3 of 2009, and this is largely a result of an increase in demand for netbooks.
While unit sales increased 23%, revenues only increased 14%, due to the low unit price of netbooks. According to Shane Rau, the director of semiconductor and personal computing research at IDC, “since PC processor shipments overall just slightly exceeded shipments in Q3 of 2008 – which was itself a record quarter at the time – we know the processor market is recovering.”
While this currently seems to be a good situation for netbook and chip manufacturers, we still have to be on the lookout. Rau pointed out that a lot of Intel Atom processors are being sold into markets like China, which offer government incentives. “The Chinese market can be very opaque – there are lots of places where inventories can hide. We have to be on the lookout for when China decides it can’t consume more processors. Meanwhile, the U.S. market is still hamstrung by housing foreclosures and rising job losses.”
Image via Crunchgear.