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Worldwide PC Microprocessor Revenues in 2013 to Rise 1.6% Compared to 2012, According to IDC

Worldwide revenues for microprocessors designed for mobile PCs, desktop PCs, and PC servers will grow 1.6% to $40.7 billion in 2013 according to a new forecast report from International Data Corporation (IDC). The IDC report, Worldwide PC Microprocessor 2012–2016 Forecast, also forecasts that worldwide unit shipments for PC microprocessors will grow 3.2% to nearly 384 million units in 2013.

"Economic and technological inhibitors that took the PC microprocessor revenue down about 2.4% in 2012 will continue through the first half of 2013," said Shane Rau, vice president for PC and server semiconductor and enabling technologies research at IDC. "Macroeconomic uncertainty has forced OEM and IT customers to reduce orders and focus on execution, and reduce expectations after the launch of Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system in late October. Delays in PC purchases caused by Windows 8 and the encroachment of media tablets on low-end PCs have further cut into PC microprocessor demand growth."

Additional findings from IDC's research include the following:

  • For mobile PCs, the tablet versus PC competition in 2013 will establish for ensuing years a significant fault line in the PC client system and so the PC microprocessor space. On one side of this fault line will be x86- and ARM-based mobile PCs with 13.3-inch or smaller screens and Windows 8 targeted at low-power and productivity applications. On the other side of this line will be x86-based mobile PCs with 14-inch and larger screens targeted at high performance applications. IDC estimates that 3.3% of mobile PC processors will be based on the ARM architecture by 2016.
  • For servers, the prospect of ARM processors encroachment on a market segment dominated by x86 processors is more distant than it is in the client space. While traditional x86 client PC microprocessors seem in a defensive position against ARM processors scaling in tablets and clamshell PCs, x86-based processors are scaling upwards and outwards in terms of performance and their application reach into high-end computing applications. IDC estimates that 3.2% of PC server processors will be based on the ARM architecture by 2016.

Long-Term Market Outlook

Worldwide PC microprocessor market revenue will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.4% for the period 2011 through 2016. Unit shipments will grow at a CAGR of 3.2% for the same period.

"For vendors of microprocessors and other PC technologies, the future belongs to those who can best execute on a vision of what computing ultimately should be and how users assess the value to them," added Rau. "Vendors should strive for an increased perception of value so systems can be sold on their utility and not merely their price. Such a transformation requires time for assessment and education along the value chain. It also requires sustained investments in the PC ecosystem distinct from the investments going into the hot tablet ecosystem."

The IDC report, Worldwide PC Microprocessor 2012–2016 Forecast (IDC #238943), forecasts the overall unit shipments, revenue, and average selling prices of the worldwide PC microprocessor (MPU) market for 2012–2016. The study also forecasts MPUs designed for desktop PCs, mobile PCs, and PC servers, breaking down the number of unit shipments by the architecture of the cores inside each MPU (x86 and ARM).

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries worldwide. For more than 48 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting

All product and company names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

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