April chip sales: Good news, bad news

The market remains weak with corporate IT spending down, consumer electronics mixed, and the auto industry stalled. But there does seem to be a new normal.

This was originally posted at Between the Lines.

Global chip sales rose to $15.6 billion in April, up 6.4 percent from March. That's the good news. The bad: chip sales are still down 25 percent from April sales of $20.9 billion a year ago, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association.

The SIA provides the following color (statement):

• PC demand is better than expected as inventory is replenished;

• PC sales in 2009 are expected to fall 6 percent better than estimates that expected a decline of 12 percent;

• Cell phone sales also aren't as bad as expected;

• Cell phones and PCs account for 60 percent of chip sales.

Add it up and the chip market remains weak with corporate IT spending down, consumer electronics mixed, and the auto industry awash in red ink. But there does appear to be at least a new normal in the chip industry with the usual seasonal patterns showing up.

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