Worldwide PC microprocessor shipment growth in the fourth calendar quarter of 2010 slowed notably, compared with both the third quarter of 2010 (down 0.04 percent quarter-over-quarter) and the fourth quarter of 2009 (down 0.21 percent year-over-year), according to the latest PC microprocessor study from IDC. Intel earned 80.8 percent unit market share, a gain of 0.4 percent, while Advanced Micro Devices earned 18.9 percent, a loss of 0.4 percent, and Via Technologies earned 0.3 percent.
For the full year 2010, worldwide PC microprocessor unit shipments grew 17.1 percent, while revenue increased 26.7 percent to $36.3 billion. In the full year 2010, Intel earned 80.7 percent unit market share, a gain of 1.1 percent; AMD earned 19 percent, a loss of 1.1 percent; and Via Technologies earned 0.3 percent.
Looking at processor shipments by form factor, during the year 2010 mobile PC processor unit shipments grew 26.2 percent, x86 server processor unit shipments grew 28.1 percent and desktop processor unit shipments grew 6.2 percent. Mobile PC processors, which represented 50.2 percent of all PC processors shipped in 2009, represented 54.1 percent of processors in 2010.
"The fourth quarter was weak and out of sync with normal seasonal patterns in terms of unit shipments," said Shane Rau, director of PC semiconductors research at IDC. "The first half of the year turned out to be the better half of the year. However, looking back at the whole year 2010, it's clear that the ongoing shift to mobile processors, combined with a shift back toward high-performance mobile processors, as opposed to Atom processors for netbooks, drove a significant rise in overall processor average selling prices."
In the fourth-quarter 2010 by form factor, Intel earned 86.1 percent share in the mobile PC processor segment, a gain of 0.2 percent; AMD finished with 13.5 percent, a loss of 0.2 percent; and Via earned less than 0.1 percent. In the PC server/workstation processor segment, Intel finished with 94.2 percent market share, a gain of 0.5 percent, and AMD earned 5.8 percent, a loss of 0.5 percent. In the desktop PC processor segment, Intel earned 72.5 percent, a gain of 0.7 percent, and AMD earned 27.3 percent, a loss of 0.5 percent.
In 2010 by form factor, Intel earned 86.4 percent share in the mobile PC processor segment, a loss of 0.4 percent; AMD finished with 13.3 percent, a gain of 0.4 percent; and Via earned 0.3 percent. In the PC server and workstation processor segment, Intel finished with 93.0 percent market share, a gain of 3.1 percent, and AMD earned 7.0 percent, a loss of 3.1 percent. In the desktop PC processor segment, Intel earned 72.1 percent, a gain of 1.1 percent, while AMD earned 27.1 percent, a loss of 1.2 percent, and Via earned 0.4 percent.
In 2010, the industry average selling price for microprocessors rose 8 percent, approaching the levels last seen in 2008. The report noted that while it was a "strange year" in terms of shipment patterns, 2010 represented a year of recovery. IDC's forecast for year-over-year growth in PC (mobile, desktop, x86 server) microprocessor unit shipments is 10.1 percent in 2011. "Corporate spending continues to drive spending on server platforms and commercial clients," said Rau. "However, the effects of emerging devices, like media tablets, and economic concerns in Europe and the U.S. lead us to be conservative in our overall outlook."