I came across two charts yesterday. The first one gives revenues from 1995 to 2010 for Apple, Intel, Microsoft and Google. Apple and Google have all seen huge rises, Microsoft less so, but still respectable.
But look at Intel. No rise since 2000. Why? As we know, mature markets (which include the US, W. Europe, Japan and Canada) have largely moved into a post- PC world – a world in which Intel has yet to make its mark. Consider this. Around three quarters of Apple revenues in 2011 came from post-PC devices (iPads, iPhones, iPods).
The post-PC world is a concern for Intel, despite a rise in revenues in 2011 (at $54bn). With the smartphone and tablet chip markets dominated by ARM, NVIDIA, TI and Qualcomm, Intel will find creating success in this market difficult. It was only as recent as May this year that Intel announced the first smartphone to be powered by one of its processors in Europe. Tablet wise, some Windows 8 devices will run on Intel chips, but how much people will prefer these over the iPad is unknown.
The second chart makes clear the problems Intel faces. Laptop and desktop shipments in mature markets fell 7% in 2011 over 2010, and IDC forecasts only modest annual rises of around 5% per year to 2015.
But what about emerging markets? With rises of between 12 and 15% per annum, this is good news for the chip maker. Yet even though many of these PCs will ship with Intel chips, many are likely to be lower spec chips and therefore at the cheaper end, which of course will generate less revenue for the company.