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PC chip shipments see Q2 rise but outlook wary

Worldwide PC processor shipments and revenues rose more than usual in the second quarter compared with the first quarter of 2010, according to IDC.

Global PC microprocessor shipments saw a healthy rise in the second quarter, though the outlook is cautious for the third quarter, IDC said.

Worldwide PC microprocessor unit shipments and revenues in the second calendar quarter of 2010 increased 3.6 percent and 6.2 percent, respectively, compared with the first quarter, according to market researcher IDC, in a report released Thursday.

The average sequential change in unit shipments between calendar-year first quarter and second quarter is an increase of 1.6 percent. For revenues, the average sequential change is a decrease of 2.8 percent, IDC said. So, the percentages recorded in the second quarter of 2010 represent better performance than usual for a second calendar quarter, IDC said.

Intel's share in Q2 remained steady at just under 81 percent
Intel's share in Q2 remained steady at just under 81 percent IDC

"Such a sequential increase in PC processor shipments alone would have been enough to conclude that the first half was strong for the market," wrote Shane Rau, a research director at IDC. "However, a modest rise in revenues, too, points directly to a rise in average selling prices."

Computer makers bought more higher-priced PC processors in the second quarter and more mobile and server processors, specifically. Mobile PC processor unit shipments rose 6.5 percent quarter-over-quarter, PC server processors rose 6.1 percent, and desktop chips fell 0.1 percent.

IDC's forecast for the third quarter is cautious, saying that market demand for processors is expected to be weak in August. "Major OEMs cut PC build orders with their contract manufacturers who, in turn, have cut orders for commodity components," Rau said.