Gartner Downgrades Worldwide Semiconductor Spending Outlook for 2012

Paul Lilly

The sky isn't falling or anything like that, but worldwide semiconductor spending won't be quite as high as previously thought, according to market research firm Gartner. The psychic bean counters at Gartner now believe semiconductor spending in 2012 will reach $309 billion worldwide, a 2.2 percent increase from 2011, but down from Gartner's previous forecast of 4.6 percent growth.

"With continuing concern over the future of the eurozone affecting the global economy, the high degree of uncertainty impacting spending by both consumers and enterprises looks set to continue, bringing with it significant implications for the semiconductor industry," said Bryan Lewis, research vice president at Gartner. "The near-term forecast is being shaped not only by economic forces but by an inventory correction, manufacturing oversupply and natural disasters."

The floods in Thailand earlier this year resulted in a hard drive shortage, and that in turn has slowed the PC market. But lest anyone talk about the post-PC era, PC production unit growth is still expected to grow 5 percent in 2012. Gartner's previous forecast had the PC market growing by 10.1 percent, but hey, it's still on an upward swing, even after factoring in the fallout from the HDD industry.

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