Analyst: Chip Sales Off to a Slow Start in 2012

Paul Lilly

A perfect storm of contributing factors led to disappointing chip sales in January, which fell 15 percent globally compared to the same period one year prior, according to Bruce Diesen, an analyst with Carnegie Group in Norway. One of those factors is easy to guess and belongs to the hard drive shortage that resulted from flooding in Thailand, which in turn has been driving up costs. But that's not the only reason sales are slumping.

Overall weakness in the PC market and lower than expected demand in the mobile phone and automotive business markets have also contributed to January's slow start. Based on Diesen's calculations, the three-month average of global chip sales for January is expected to be $22.7 billion, EETimes reports .

"Although several chip makers indicated the inventory correction in Q4 has ended, our early indicator indicates that it continued into Q1," Diesen said.

Looking ahead, February's sales figures will likely be higher, which will come as a result of China having celebrated an early New Year.

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