LONDON — The three-month average of global chip sales for May is set to be
called at $24.5 billion, compared with $23.3 billion in April and an all time
record, according to Bruce Diesen, an analyst at Carnegie Group (Oslo, Norway).
The World Semiconductor Trade Statistics organization and the Semiconductor
Industry Association are due to announce the May sales on July 1 and if they
come out as Diesen predicts they will represent a 5.1 percent sequential
increase and a 47 percent year-on-year increase.
Diesen attributes the strength to a number of factors including iPhone and
tablet PC launches and World Cup impact on the sale of LCD TVs. He was moved to
raise his forecast for annual semiconductor chip sales for 2010 from 18 percent
growth to 20 percent growth. This is still a long way behind many other analysts
who are predicting 2010 will show in excess of 30 percent growth.
According to Diesen, May sales should reveal that memory, LCD TV and
industrial chip sales were strong. Smartphone chips should have outperformed
low-end handset chips. At the same time car sales were better than expected in
May, so production remained at a high level. Cars are including more electronics
for driver assistance, safety and infotainment. GPS penetration rates in China
are rising rapidly, Diesen said.
In the U.S. while PC and handset sales have been strong overall electronics
have shown signs of softness, Diesen said. Computers are the exception that
proves the rule and computer demand hit a record high in April forcing Dell to
postpone the closure of a plant in North Carolina.
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