Intel Holds Its Highest-Ever Market Share In 2011, Analysts Say


Intel this year saw its highest-ever market share, accounting for a record 16.9 percent of worldwide semiconductor sales, according to an analyst report from Gartner. The chipmaker’s 2011 market share trumps its previous record of 16.3 percent held in 1998.

2011 also marks Intel’s twentieth consecutive year as the industry leader within the global semiconductor market.

Last week, Intel reduced its fourth quarter revenue forecast along with rival chipmaker Texas Instruments, as it expects the disrupted hard drive and PC supply chain spurred from the Thailand floods to potentially hurt sales. Despite its anticipation of a bumpy last quarter, the company did report a record-setting quarterly revenue of 14.2 billion dollars in the third quarter this year and saw the highest volume of microprocessor units shipped in its history.

Intel spokesperson Jon Carvill told CRN that much of the company’s growth this year could be attributed to its PC unit, along with its increased investment in mobility and data center architectures. "Our aggressive investments in emerging markets continued to fuel strong growth year-over-year in consumer PCs while enterprise PC demand remained solid overall," Carvill said. "In addition, the explosive growth of mobile devices in the cloud and continued growth in HPC provided a strong foundation for growth in the data center."

Samsung held the runner’s up spot with 9.7 percent of the semiconductor market share, with its revenue growth rising slightly above the industry average despite the declining DRAM marketing, Gartner analysts said. Samsung’s strongest source of growth this year was its A5 processor being used to power Apple’s iPhone 4S and the iPad 2 tablet.

Texas Instruments trailed Samsung as third biggest semiconductor vendor with 4 percent market share, while Toshiba followed on Samsung’s heels with 3.9 percent.

Gartner also made noted that worldwide semiconductor revenue as a whole grew 0.9 percent from 2010, reaching $302 billion in 2011. While still in the green, this year’s growth was stunted due to a struggling macroeconomic environment, the analysts said.

"The industry did well in the early part of the year, in many cases entering the year with backlog from an exuberant 2010," said Stephan Ohr, semiconductor research director at Gartner, in a statement. "But uncertainty about the state of the macroeconomy set in at the midpoint of the year. Consumers held off purchases, and infrastructure expansion plans languished as governments resisted assuming more debt. Equipment inventories began to build as the year progressed, with resulting ripples throughout the semiconductor industry."