That's good news for chip manufacturers that have been hit hard by the recession and dropping demand for PCs and other electronics products. Worldwide sales of semiconductors in April were down more than 25 percent year-to-year, the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) said Monday.
Sales of e-books, also called electronic readers, are expected to grow from almost 1 million units in 2008 to nearly 30 million units in 2013, according to In-Stat. "This rapid shipment growth will create new revenue streams for semiconductor companies in the industry since the semiconductor opportunity is expected to surpass $1 billion by 2013," the market researcher said in a statement.
In-Stat said purchases of processors by e-book manufacturers are expected to reach $227 million by 2013. Surging sales of e-books also will generate demand for other semiconductors and electronic components including display assemblies, wireless modules, DRAMs, NAND flash memory, batteries and enclosures.
Worldwide semiconductor sales in April totaled $15.6 billion, according to the SIA, down 25.1 percent from the same period last year. But the industry organization said those sales figures represented a sales gain of 6.4 percent from March, the second month of sequential sales gains. Those increases indicate that sales of products that drive demand for semiconductors are improving, the SIA said.
PCs and cell phones account for nearly 60 percent of all semiconductor sales and the SIA said that while sales of those products are still declining year-to-year, the rate of decline has been less than some analysts had forecast earlier this year. But the SIA also noted that the automotive industry, which accounts for about 7 percent of all semiconductor sales, "remains weak."
Year-to-year, April semiconductor sales in the Americas were down 21.6 percent, 35.0 percent in Europe, 39.0 percent in Japan and 17.0 percent in the rest of Asia-Pacific. But on a month-to-month basis sales were up in every region except Europe, which reported a decline of 0.9 percent.
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