Semiconductor sales have bottomed out
TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH and consulting firm Gartner says semiconductor sales have bottomed out in second quarter 2009 and that while further declines in capital spending are expected for the rest of the year, a return to growth is predicted next year.
David Kan, CEO and founder of listed South African technology vendor Mustek, says local sales for his company are somewhat better than what’s been seen in the international market. “Desktop computer sales have been down, while laptop sales have been up. We’ve seen around 15% growth in laptop sales. I expect unit sales on desktops to remain flat but the notebook and netbook sector will continue to show healthy growth.”
Kan says that market recovery will be bolstered with the release of Windows 7. “We’re expecting to offer Windows 7 from August this year onwards. After the negativity surrounding Vista, we expect Windows 7 to do well and encourage clients to upgrade their computers.” Kan also says that initiatives such as that of SA’s Department of Education, which is acquiring 360 000 laptops, will further improve market conditions.
Klaus Rinnen, managing vice-president at Gartner, says: “The impact of the economic crisis has hit the semiconductor equipment industry hard – but signs of life are returning. Undoubtedly, it will be a long, slow road to complete recovery but we’re seeing the first indications of increased foundry activity to replenish inventories depleted by the cutbacks of the past few quarters.”
Rinnen says, overall, the industry has responded as it should’ve when faced with one of the worst downturns in its history: by eliminating all unnecessary spending, cutting buying to inventories and not doing anything dramatic. It appears the industry has learned a painful lesson and can implement improvements on its ability to manage capital investments and capacity and thus bring a return to profitability to all segments.”
Portable is growing. David Kan, CEO of Mustek