Analysts: PC Sales to Surge in 2010; Intel Posts Record Q1

Dennis Faas's picture

Just when it looked like the standard PC -- desktop or notebook -- was being crushed under an avalanche of portable devices like smartphones, e-readers and tablets, the personal computer (PC) market appears ready to make a surprising comeback.

Intel Posts Record First Quarter

The revival of PCs can be seen in a number of recent sales releases.

Earlier last week, PC chip maker Intel, the world's leading manufacturer of personal computer processors, announced staggering first quarter sales. Intel noted that its revenue topped $10 billion, with its total profit a remarkable $2.4 billion. It's the highest first quarter result for Intel in its history.

Helping Intel to that impressive score has been a new line of i3, i5 and i7 chips that offer snappy performance in the laptop and desktop markets. Intel also saw a surge in profits via the rising netbook market. Many netbook computers, like the HP Mini, use the Intel Atom processor.

Intel seems to think that the rising demand by business for new hardware has helped revitalize the PC industry. "We are seeing signs of life in the corporate market," noted Stacy Smith, Intel CFO. (Source:

PCs Survive Consumer Backlash

What's most impressive about the resiliency of the PC market is its ability to overcome a devastating depression, emerging in the fall of 2008.

The PC industry's ability to maintain growth during the crippling recession has been a big surprise -- even for the experts. Shortly after the economic slide became apparent, research firm Gartner predicted in early 2009 that the PC market would have a brutal year. Predictions saw sales slide 12 per cent.

This was not the case, however. In the end, 2009 ended a good year for PCs. Sales grew 5 per cent rather than decline. It's a remarkable achievement given enormous slides in TV, car, and home sales.

Apple Continues Growth in '09

Apple has begun offering its MacBook Pro laptops with some of Intel's most powerful new chips. They're off to an impressive start after their recent release: according to reports, the 13-inch model has sold out in many locations. (Source:

And let's not forget that iPad, which could change the way people think about computers. "The hardware is a type of Trojan horse to give these companies access to consumers and their wallets," said analyst Ashok Kumar. Indeed, as the computer market continues to reinvent itself, it seems consumers are willing to go along for the ride.

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