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By | John Oates 6th August 2009 15:41

Chip sales bounce but PC sales sink

The chips aren't down

Research group IDC reckons chip sales rose 10 per cent in the second quarter of 2009 - but that doesn't mean real sales are up.

From the first quarter to the second quarter, PC processor shipments went up 10.1 per cent. Compared to a 10.9 per cent decline from the fourth quarter of 2008 to the first quarter of 2009 this sounds like good news. But IDC warns that most of this is due to Intel and original equipment manufacturers refreshing inventory, rather than a big upswing in real PC sales. Revenue for the three months is down 15.3 per cent compared to the same period of last year.

The biggest jump was in Atom chips for netbooks, which grew 34 per cent compared to the first quarter. IDC puts this down to netbook makers, who were holding off using Atom chips in the first quarter having to refresh their inventories. IDC's figures are here.

Gartner's review of PC sales in western Europe supports this picture of a moribund market. Gartner saw a 3 per cent decline in sales in the second quarter compared to last year. But some 13.3m boxes were shifted. Professional sales were down 21 per cent, offset by a 21 per cent growth in consumer sales - thanks mainly to netbooks, or mini-notebooks in Gartner's terminology.

If you strip out mini-notebook sales then the market actually fell 15 per cent.

For manufacturers this means good news for Acer (sales up 24 per cent) and bad news for Dell (which fell 20.8 per cent). Acer now has the largest market share with 24.3 per cent, HP is second with 22.7 per cent, Dell is third placed with 11.7 per cent and Toshiba and ASUS have 5.8 and 5.1 per cent respectively.

Shipments in the UK were 2.6m, down 6.5 per cent on last year, pushed down by a 25 per cent fall in business sales and flat consumer shipments despite the growth in netbooks.

HP crashed out of the top two spots with a 25.1 per cent fall in sales, blamed on too much time sorting out internal issues. Dell stayed on top despite a 6 per cent fall in sales and Acer took number two with a 32.6 per cent increase in shipments. Apple took fifth spot, behind Toshiba, with 5.3 per cent of the market.

More from Gartner here. ®

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