Intel boosts share, thanks to netbooks

April 1, 2009

The rise in popularity of netbooks last year helped boost Intel’s already dominant position in the global microprocessor market, according to fresh data from iSuppli. The research group said Intel gained share in every quarter of 2008, partly due to the success of its Atom chip in netbooks, the small, inexpensive, stripped-down PCs that have become hugely popular with consumers.

Intel held a an 81.8 percent revenue share in the microprocessor market in the fourth quarter, up from 78.4 percent a year earlier, iSuppli said. AMD, Intel’s main rival, accounted for 10.6 percent of microprocessor revenue in the period, down from 14.1 percent a year earlier.

“Intel grew its share of microprocessor in every quarter of 2008 on a sequential basis, effectively using each quarter as a building block for the next,” said iSuppli analyst Matthew Wilkins in a statement. “During this time, Intel’s low-priced Atom has become increasingly popular as the netbook market has gained steam.”

ISuppli expects worldwide unit shipments of netbooks to rise 68.5 percent in 2009. Analysts are forecasting netbook sales of 20 million to 30 million in 2009, and the devices are helping to reshape the sagging overall PC market.

Earlier this year, Intel said it expects to sell at least 50 percent more Atom chips for netbooks and other mobile Internet devices this year than last.

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