PC Build Forecast Tempered

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print


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The picture was once rosy -- a PC build forecast of 5 percent growth for the fourth quarter. But analyst firm FBR Research has lowered its prediction to show a decline instead, following supply chain checks. Here's why the PC builds aren't going as fast as expected.

Just when you thought it was safe to let yourself bask in the hope of an economic recovery, think again.

After raising its month-ago forecast of PC builds to one that predicted 5 percent growth quarter over quarter, FBR Research is now lowering that forecast, predicting instead a decline of 1.5 percent in PC builds for the fourth quarter of 2009.

"Recent checks into Q4 PC builds with the top five notebook ODMs and top four desktop motherboard makers are worse than our month-ago checks," the firm said in a brief report. The lower build rate is likely due to lower-than-expected October shipments, some component shortages and a possible Q3 build-ahead.

"We hear component tightness, but not shortages, still exists for hard disk drives, optical disk drives, DDR2/DDR3 memory chips and pickup heads," the firm said.

Further, the firm said the slight negative revision to Q4 notebook builds is due to lower-than-expected demand for consumer ultra-low-voltage systems.

Nevertheless, FBR research said it will leave its revenue estimates for AMD and Intel unchanged until it can evaluate next month’s checks.

Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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