LONDON Ė Although 2012 is not quite over, market research firm Gartner reckons it can already state that the global chip market will decline by 3 percent in 2012 to $297.6 billion with the top 25 vendors generating 68.2 percent of the total.
As a result of the weakness its perceives in 2012 Gartner now forecasts that the industry will show little growth in the first half of 2013 but that the second half would see a recovery phase.
Steve Ohr, a research director at Gartner, said that the PC business, ordinarily a growth driver, was a declining market in 2012 for the first time in many years. "PC production declined 2.5 percent in 2012. Even the smartphone juggernaut had begun to show signs of maturing, though it remained the strongest driver for revenue growth in 2012," Ohr said.
Intel is set to record a 2.7 percent revenue decline, mostly due to declining PC sales, according to Gartner analysts. Samsung in second place is likely to have declined even faster, by 8.7 percent, mainly due to weakness in memory pricing. The only two companies to achieve revenue growth in the semiconductor top ten are likely to be third-placed Qualcomm, growing by 29.6 percent to about $12.95 billion and 9th placed Broadcom with an 8.8 percent expansion of sales to about $7.8 billion.
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Top ten semiconductor vendors by revenue, worldwide, 2012 ($-millions). Source: Gartner
If one drops Intel revenue from the top ten, the top ten only represent half of the industry. This is unique to semiconductors. It is a testament to the broad creativity across many companies that is not easily consolidated inside two or three companies like so many other industries.