PC processor shipments slowed at end of 2011 -

Shipments for PC microprocessors in the fourth quarter of 2010 stalled, while overall revenues were buoyed by the increasing demand for mobile PC processors.

According to IDC statistics, worldwide processor unit shipment showed no increase compared to the preceding quarter, while shipments also dipped slightly by 0.21 percent compared to the final quarter of 2009.

Despite the lack of movement on shipments at the tail-end of 2010 the whole year saw shipments increase by  17.1 percent, with an impressive revenue increase of 26.7 percent to £$36.3 billion, largely due to ever increasing demand for mobile processor to power devices such as tablets.

It is also noted that average selling prices for microprocessors rose by 8 percent due to the popularity of mobile processors which grew by 26.2 percent in 2010.

"The fourth quarter was weak and out of synch with normal seasonal patterns in terms of unit shipments," said Shane Rau, 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 towards high-performance mobile processors, as opposed to Atom processors for netbooks, drove a significant rise in overall processor average selling prices."

Server unit shipments also had a good 2010 with 28.1 percent growth, while desktops saw a less impressive 6.2 percent growth.

The final quarter of 2010 saw a marginal market share increase for Intel, which was up 0.4 percent to 80.8 percent, while AMD was down the same amount to 18.9 percent.

Over the full year Intel gained 1.1 percent to reach an 80.7 percent share, again seemingly at the expense of AMD which lost an equivalent amount to end up with 19.0 percent overall.

The mobile PC processor segment saw little movement by the top two in the final quarter, with Intel and AMD finishing on 86.1 and 13.5 percent respectively.

For the server and desktop segments Intel again finished the year with small gains to 94.2 percent and 72.5 percent, while AMD made small parallel losses to finish at 5.8 and 27.3 percent.

For the year in general Intel lost 0.4 percent share  to AMD in the mobile PC processor segment, finishing at 86.4 percent and 13.3 percent respectively.

Intel moved ever more towards complete ownership of the server segment with a 3.1 percent gain to reach a near monopoly of 93.0 percent, pushing AMD down to 7 percent.

Intel also gained in the desktop PC segment for the whole year, claiming 1.1 percent from AMD to earn 72.1 percent , with AMD at 27.6 percent.

According to IDC the forecast for year on year growth for all these forms of microprocessor is said to hit 10.1 percent in 2011.

 "Corporate spending continues to drive spending on server platforms and commercial clients," added Rau. "However, the affects of emerging devices, like media tablets, and economic concerns in Europe and the U.S., lead us to be conservative in our overall outlook."