Another lousy year in the making
Gartner and IHS have slashed their forecasts for both the semiconductor and PC markets and 2012 is already shaping up to be a pretty disappointing year for the tech industry.
Gartner expects the global semi market to hit $309 billion next year, a 2.2 percent increase over 2011. Gartner had originally forecasted 4.6 percent of growth for 2012, but the figures were revised in light of economic concerns and the seemingly never ending European debt crisis.
The outfit also lowered its PC production forecast for 2012, down to 5.1 percent from 10.1 percent forecasted earlier, due to economic concerns and the fallout of the Thai floods, which crippled HDD production in Q4. The mobile phone market is the only positive story. Gartner upped its forecast from 7 to 7.5 percent growth in 2012.
IHS iSuppli also slashed its PC forecast from 9.5 percent growth in 2012 to 6.8 percent, citing supply chain disturbances caused by floods in Thailand. Researchers expect a 3.8 million unit shortfall in HDD shipments, which will obviously translate into lower overall PC shipments. Hence, Q1 2012 shipments are expected to be 11.6 percent lower than originally forecasted.
HDD shipments are expected to stabilize in Q1, but it will take weeks if not months to replenish the supply chain. As for the European economic crisis, nobody even dares make any projections.