The end of 2008 was "clearly a disaster." Well, at least smart phones are still selling!
Time for that promised update on DSP sales. After my last blog I was hoping for good news, but analyst Will Strauss says sales have gone "in the dumper." According to Will, the last month of 2008 was "clearly a disaster." It's hard to feel good about that!
So on to the Will's numbers: As shown below, DSP sales 31% from 3Q to 4Q08. Apparently it's normal for the third month of each quarter to be the highest, and for sales to rise over the year.
Here's a breakdown by market. Given that auto sales are off by nearly half, it's no surprise that auto sales had the worst drop. However, wireless is by far the biggest market segment, so it was the biggest drag on overall DSP sales.
Will also did a chart on wireless that includes some non-DSP chips. Wireless infrastructure took a relatively small hit. Look back at the last chart and wireline infrastructure did relatively well. Apparently, infrastructure is the place to be right now!
Handset baseband chips got pounded. However, look at baseband and application processor shipments combined (two different reporting categories), the quarterly revenue decline was a more palatable 15%. This is yet another sign that smartphones are doing well, something that Will expects to continue in 2009. (I agree with this call.)