Market researchers do not believe that the market conditions for microprocessor makers will improve anytime soon.
IDC's Shane Rau noted that processor revenue for mobile PCs, desktop PCs, and PC servers are forecast to grow 1.6 percent to $40.7 billion in 2013. Following 2.4 percent growth in 2012, the markets may further decline and the impacting "economic and technological inhibitors" will "continue through the first half of 2013".
The key problems are, according to Rau, the fact that "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", as well as delays in PC purchases caused by Windows 8. Rau also pointed to media tablets that negatively affect sales of low-end PCs.
"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," Rau said. "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."
According to Rau, ARM will be able to take market share from Intel in its core markets, but its success will be very limited. IDC believes that ARM processors will capture a market share of 3.3 percent of mobile PC processors by 2016. In servers, ARM will hold 3.2 percent of the processor market by 2016, the market research firm projects.