Malcolm Penn of the market analysis firm Future Horizons expresses dismay at "short term-ism" in the chip industry.
Re: 2011 IC fortunes boosted by strong September
What a total shambles the chip industry has got itself into. Its short term-ism is now way beyond any measure of sanity and common sense and its lack of visibility little short of pure stupidity.
With investment lead-times, whether they be fab capacity or design, measured in years and production cycles in months, how is it the industry has no forward visibility into shipment and demand? Some firms blame consignment stocking; other blame the lack of orders statistics from the WSTS. Both of these are excuses; the bottom line is industry has allowed itself to lose control of its customer's orders.
When you then read comments from the SIA and financial analysts claiming "stronger than anticipated tablet sales" etc., one's heart and mind are filled with anger and despair. I can't wait to listen to similar superficial statements in the quarterly conference calls and reports. The industry and the WSTS/SIA should hang its head in shame.
The truth of the matter is there is NO forward visibility. At our recent October Forum, I presented Future Horizons' Q3 forecast. All I had to go on was the WSTS data for July and August. I say "all" as if this was a bad situation; in reality the only missing data point was September! Various extrapolation techniques gave me several possible scenarios, from a minus 2 percent worse case to a plus 3 percent best case. Consensus industry wisdom was more in the high negative end of the scale.
When I presented the analyses, several executives told me privately after my talk "this time you have seriously misread the tea-leaves." Well I hadn't but the industry seriously had – even though September was over and they knew exactly what their result was. The actual [quarterly sequential growth] result was plus 3.5 percent. I suspect lots of chip firms came in much lower than this, but that's their fault NOT the market's fault; they lost market share.
Come on industry; little wonder things are in such bad shape. You are now running the business completely out of control. Time to throw away the spreadsheets and get back to industry basics; profits and revenues are the result of forward looking vision delivering good products and strategies, not massaging the monthly/quarterly P&L.
Chairman & CEO