One step forward...
The worldwide microprocessor market saw a sequential increase in unit shipments of 3.6 percent and a revenue increase of 6.2 percent in the second quarter. The long-term average increase in shipments between Q1 and Q2 is 1.6 percent and revenues tend to decrease by 2.8 percent, so that's not a bad effort.
"Such a sequential increase in PC processor shipments alone would have been enough to conclude that the first half was strong for the market," said Shane Rau director at IDC.
"However, a modest rise in revenues, too, points directly to a rise in average selling prices. System makers bought more and higher-priced PC processors in 2Q10 than in 1Q10. Digging a little deeper into the numbers shows that they bought more mobile processors and more server processors, while desktop processors remained flat."
And it's within the mobile and server categories that most of the movement occurred. AMD gained a tiny amount of share on Intel overall, but underneath that were some more profound fluctuations.
As you can see in the tables below, AMD grabbed 1.6 percent of market share from Intel in the mobile space - with 13.7 percent representing its highest share for a while and indicating that AMD's Vision strategy is paying off to some extent. However, that gain was more than wiped out by a massive 3.3 percent fall in server CPU share.
Looking forward, IDC joined the chorus of analysts predicting a tough second half for the PC industry. "Major OEMs cut PC build orders with their contract manufacturers who, in turn, have cut orders for commodity components," said Rau. "While the PC processor vendors re-iterated their solid outlook during their most recent earnings calls, the softness we've seen ultimately makes us concerned for end demand's pull on processors.
"Likely, the second half of the year will be seasonal given the early build for Intel's Sandy Bridge and AMD's Fusion architecture launches, but lower than the year-over-year growth seen in the first half of the year. 2011 remains a wildcard in terms of sustainable unit growth."