The PC sector is on the mend, with strong chip sales growth for September. But it is too still too early to predict a full recovery, according to distributor Microtronica.
Figures from the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) revealed third-quarter turnover of $43.3bn, up by 17.5 per cent compared with Q3 2002 - the biggest quarterly rise since 1990. Profit for September was $14.4bn, up by 6.5 per cent on August, making it the seventh consecutive monthly increase.
"September and Q3 data confirm that demand in the global semiconductor market is rising briskly," said George Scalise, president of the SIA.
"Performance is strong in all major market sectors - computation, communications and consumer - indicating a solid, continuing and broad-based growth cycle."
Despite the strong results, Les Billing, managing director of Microtronica, said: "There was certainly a pick-up in Q3 sales of CPUs generally, but I would not take it as a guarantee that recovery [in the PC sector] is certain.
"Even though PC chip sales are on the up, look at where most of that growth is occurring and you will see it is in less developed markets such as China and eastern Europe."
PCs, which account for 30 per cent of the overall chip market, drove growth in Q3, according to the SIA. There was a 33.2 per cent rise in DRam sales and 23.9 per cent jump in CPU sales.
Scalise added that the better-than-expected 7.2 per cent rise in GDP for Q3 was driven by the combination of a record 6.6 per cent increase in consumer outlays and strong business spending, as investment in computers and software rose by 15.4 per cent, after an 8.3 per cent gain in Q2 2003.
Geographically, sales in the Asia-Pacific region recorded the highest growth at 19.1 per cent, followed by Europe, Japan and the US with 12, 11, and 8.6 per cent increases respectively.
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