Ruminations on the electronics industry from David Manners, Senior Components Editor on Electronics Weekly.
Canute Otellini DeniesThe Post-PC Era
Intel CEO Paul Otellini denies we live in a post-PC age: “The PC isn’t going away any time soon. If ever,” he tells Businessweek. But one sign that the PC tide is ebbing while the mobile device tide rises comes from the changing usage of DRAM.
In Q2, for the first time since the 80s, the PC no longer used over half the world’s DRAM supply.
According to analyst IHS, the share of DRAM used by PC in Q2 was 49% and, in H2, it will fall to 46%.
‘This symbolises the decline of the PC market because of smartphone and media tablets,’ says IHS, ‘however, beyond symbolism, the development also illustrates the diminishing dominion of PCs in the electronics supply chain.’
The share of DRAM output taken by media tablets will continue to rise. Tablet share of the DRAM space in terms of bit shipments grew to 2.7% in Q2, up from 1.6% in Q1, reaching 6.9% in Q4 2013.
Cellphones’ share of DRAM bits will rise to 19.8% in Q413, up nearly 7%s from 13.2% in Q212.
The combined share in Q413 by handsets and tablets of the DRAM market will reach 26.7% –almost double from 14.1%.
The decline of PCs in DRAM share appears irreversible, says the analyst. That’s unless, of course, Santa Clara’s King Canute can hold back the mobile tide.
One reason why he won’t is the growth in tablets which will climb 24% in Q3 and 55% in Q4.
Laptop shipments, meanwhile, are expected to increase by just 9 and 12%, respectively, during the same two periods.
Another reason is that more DRAM bits are being loaded onto the tablets. The iPad 3 has double the DRAM content of iPad2 – up to 1GB compared to 512MB in the iPad 2.
DRAM loading in tablets is expected to reach 2GB by 2015 after DRAM loading growth of 79% this year.
Tides come and tides go but they wait for no one – not even Intel.Tags: handsets, ipad, king canute, paul otellini, symbolism