Slumping semiconductor sales may have ended in 2012, IHS iSuppli says.
Stronger than expected growth in the semiconductor market during the fourth quarter of 2012 has research firm IHS iSuppli optimistic that the darkest days are in the past. As iSuppli looks ahead to 2013, it expects the industry to sustain recent growth trends and forecasts revenue will rise by 5.6 percent by the end of the year, "bringing an end to the slump of 2012." That's good news for all players, and especially Qualcomm if it can maintain its momentum.
Get ready to hear "Told you so!" from the conspiracy theorists, because according to research firm IHS iSuppli, mechanical hard disk drive (HDD) prices aren't expected to ease back down to pre-flood levels until 2014. That means two more years of inflated HDD prices for consumers, even though hard drive production is "rapidly recovering from the catastrophe" that ravaged Thailand last year.
Now is not the time to be dealing with a faulty hard drive needing to be replaced, nor has it been for the past several months. That's because severe floods in Thailand in late 2011 left HDD manufacturers in bad shape, ultimately leading to a shortage of hard drives and higher costs for consumers. Relief is coming, but not for at least a couple more quarters, according to IHS iSuppli.
How do you chip away at a giant who keeps getting bigger no matter what the circumstances? AMD would pay good money for an answer, as chip giant Intel yet again increased its share of the microprocessor market, and did so even as the demand for netbooks fell significantly. Netbooks, as you know, are almost entirely powered by Intel's Atom processors, and that served Intel well from 2008 to 2010 when the netbook market enjoyed double-digit growth.
Ultrabooks may be the thin, attractive and powerful MacBook Air alternatives Intel and its manufacturer buddies hoped they would be, but as comparable as they are to Apple’s ultraportable laptop, they haven’t exactly been flying off the shelves. As we reported on Halloween, Acer and Asus are both reporting Ultrabook sales well under initial expectations. But wait! Don’t write off the Ultrabook just yet – one analytical firm thinks Ultrabooks will account for nearly half of all laptop sales by 2015.
When it comes to microprocessors, Intel’s the 800 lb. gorilla stomping around the room. AMD and ARM offer interesting products and alternatives, but the fact of the matter is that most chips simply carry the Intel stamp. A new report says that if anything, Intel’s slice of the revenue pie has only grown over the past year.
The law of gravity dictates that what goes up must come down, and unfortunately for DRAM chip makers, there's nothing that says what goes down must also go back up. DRAM pricing continues to find new rock bottoms, and according to market research firm IHS iSuppli, things are about to get a whole lot worse.
Don't get too attached to your PC, playa, it's going out of style, or at least that's the conclusion some will inevitably draw from IHS iSuppli's latest prediction. According to IHS iSuppli, Internet-enabled devices will outnumber Internet-connected PCs for the first time ever in 2013. It's not quite on the same level as saying the sky is falling, though don't be surprised if PC doomsayers once again come out of the woodwork.
Feel free to load up on DDR3 memory without worrying about it going obsolete in the next 12 months, or even 24 months. According to market research firm IHS iSuppli, DDR3 modules, which currently claim between 85-90 percent of the memory market, will remain the dominant DRAM type for at least three more years before it starts to give up ground to faster, next-generation DDR4 modules.
You can take our decked out desktop PC when you pry it from our cold, dead hands, but until then, we'll continue to play Crysis (yes, our PCs can run Crysis), burn Blu-ray discs, transfer files via USB, and watch Flash videos. You know, all the things we can't do on an iPad. Why bother bringing this up? Well, we wanted to preface what market research firm IHS iSuppli is saying, which is that rising consumer interest in tablets like the iPad is starting to take a toll on the global PC market.