IDC's figures for the first quarter of this year show a decline in the sales of processors, but that's normal for this time of the year. The decline was slightly sharper than normal, but not as bad as it could've been. The decline in sales, fanned by the financial troubles in the world, did have a positive effect for AMD: its market share increased by 4.5% at Intel's expense.
The IDC numbers for Intel's Atom processer are in line with that of Intel itself during its most recent earnings call: the numbers are bad. IDC saw a 33% decline, Intel 27%. Does this mean sales of netbooks are dropping catastrophically as well? Ars' Jon Stokes, whose opinion I value a great deal, says he doesn't know what to think of this.
Jon is generally a guy to listen to when it comes to the processor business, and it might turn out he is right - if the figures released by DisplaySearch are anything to go by. According to those figures, netbook market penetration increased during the first quarter of 2009, to where netbooks now measure 20% of the total notebook market.
If we look at sales of notebooks year-over-year, netbooks have played a vital role in this market segment. If netbooks are taken out of the equation, notebook sales would have dropped 19% year-over-year - however, thanks to netbooks, they dropped only 3%.
It seems like the recent doubts about the sustainability of the netbook market may have been a bit premature. Still, this market is very young, and making any conclusive statements about its future-proofness are premature as well.