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Worldwide PC microprocessor shipments in the first calendar quarter of 2009 fell significantly for the second quarter in a row, according to new data from IDC. Nevertheless, Advanced Micro Devices, the world’s second largest supplier of x86 chips, has managed to gain market share, something very important for the company.

AMD Gains Despite Economic Recession

In the first quarter of 2009, Intel earned 77.3% unit market share, a loss of 4.7%, while AMD earned 22.3%, a gain of 4.6%, and Via Technologies earned 0.4%.

By form factor, the rankings were as follows:

  • In the desktop PC processor segment, Intel earned 70.0%, a loss of 3.9%, and AMD earned 29.8%, a gain of 3.8%.
  • Intel commanded 84.3% unit share in the mobile PC processor segment, a loss of 4.7%, AMD finished with 15.0%, a gain of 4.7%, whereas Via earned 0.7%.
  • In the PC server/workstation processor segment, Intel finished with 89.3% market share, a gain of 1.2% and AMD earned 10.7%, a loss of 1.2%.

The Worst May Be Over

“The PC processor market continued to reflect significant decline in end demand for most of Q1 2009. However, some inventory replenishment by OEMs at the end of the quarter helped to slow the decline and bring the quarter in at a level only slightly worse than typical seasonal decline,” said Shane Rau, director of personal computing semiconductors research at IDC.


In Q1 2009, worldwide PC processor unit shipments declined 10.9% sequentially, as compared to 17% drop from Q3 2008 to Q4 2008. Unit shipments declined 13.0% from Q1 2008 to Q1 2009.

Market revenue declined 11% from Q4 2008 to Q1 2009 to $6.0342 billion; as compared to a decrease of 18% from Q3 2008 to Q4 2008. Revenue declined 25.1% from Q1 2008 to Q1 2009, according to IDC.

While the decline was slightly more than typically occurs between fourth quarter and first quarter, IDC believes that the market's decline is slowing.

Intel's shipments of Atom processors netbooks declined 33% in the first quarter ‘09 compared to the fourth quarter ’08. IDC claims that this indicates that the netbook OEMs held significant inventory of Atom processors coming into the new year. Nevertheless, IDC estimates that the inexpensive Atom processors for netbooks represented 21% of Intel's mobile PC processor unit shipments in Q1 2009 and 6.5% of Intel's mobile PC processor revenues in the first quarter.

Market Outlook: Still Weak

The PC processor market is still in weak condition. While OEM demand picked up notably towards the end of the quarter and going into April, IDC is wary that the demand was due to OEMs replenishing their inventories rather than reflecting a return of solid end demand and return to market normalcy. IDC continues to expect modest sequential processor unit shipment decline in Q2 2009.

Tags: AMD, , Intel


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