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October 1, 2009

Chip sales improve 5% in August sequentially: SIA

Netbooks and energy-efficient products push semiconductor sales

By CBR Staff Writer

Worldwide semiconductor sales increased by 5% in August sequentially, driven by growing sales of netbook personal computers due to continuing recovery of consumer spending and various incentive programs for energy-efficient products, according to Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA).

According to SIA, chip sales rose to $19.1 billion in August, compared to $18.2 billion in July 2009, but declined by 16.1% compared to $22.7 billion in same period last year.

Year-to-date sales through August were down 21.3% to $133.8 billion from $170.1 billion at this time last year. The rate of decline has slowed from the first six months of 2009 during which sales declined by 25% year-on-year, SIA said.

George Scalise, president of SIA, said: “Continuing recovery of consumer spending led the sixth-consecutive month of sequential growth in semiconductor sales. Various incentive programs for energy-efficient products, ranging from automobiles to home appliances, have bolstered demand for semiconductors, which deliver critical enabling technology for reducing energy consumption.

Mr Scalise noted that growing sales of netbook personal computers, which account for around 17% of notebook PC unit sales, have created a new market segment, filling a gap between smartphones and conventional laptop PCs. Consumers now account for approximately 50% of all PC unit sales.

He added: “Personal computers have become especially attractive to consumers as average selling prices for PCs have declined by around 14% while memory content has increased by 25% during the past year. This translates into significantly more computing power at a significantly lower price.

“Notwithstanding the slow recovery of demand from the enterprise sector, we are encouraged that industry momentum has turned positive following the steepest downturn in more than a decade.”

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In addition, month-on-month semiconductor sales increased in almost all the regions. Americas topped with 5.4% increase, followed closely by Asia Pacific region with a 5.3% growth. Europe saw the smallest increase with 3.9% growth.

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