The recession has hit every industry hard, including CPUs. Market research shows that x86 processors took a considerable dive heading into the fourth quarter.
According to market research firm Mercury Research, shipments of x86 CPUs for desktops, servers and notebooks declined 18 percent between the third of fourth quarter of 2008. Besides the weakened economy, another reason for the fourth quarter decline was due to an unusually strong third quarter, which was up 13 percent over the same time in 2007.
Overall, the x86 market was down 8.8 percent as compared to fourth quarter 2007.
We saw the same trend earlier when looking at GPU shipments -- an exceptionally active third quarter followed by a dramatic fall in the fourth quarter.
For the year, Intel gained market share, going from a 77.1 percent hold in 2007 to 80.4 percent in 2008. Via also went up 0.8 to 1.1 percent. That increase in market share from both companies had to come at the expense of AMD, which fell from 22.1 percent to 18.5 percent.
Intel’s gain is largely attributed to its Atom processor, which powers nearly every netbook on the market today. “Without the presence of Atom and strong netbook sales in Intel's business, the market share results would have appeared largely unchanged,” Dean McCarron, an analyst with Mercury, wrote in an email quoted by eWeek.
Like with the GPU market, shipments are unlikely to pick up again soon.
“Leading indicators are that the first quarter will be much worse than the seasonal average decline of 7.4 percent, with our forecast currently at 15 [percent] for the first quarter based on market conditions in mid-January,” added McCarron”Clearly the processor market has been impacted by the worldwide recession and financial crisis.”