Jun 222011

Timothy Morgan at The Register brings good news: we can expect steady growth in chip sales in the coming years. The bar chart shows the actual and projected yearly growth for 12 years.



The following are the projected numbers for the individual segments:

Category Growth (%)
Wireless Communication 17.6
Industrial Electronics 7.3
PCs, Tablets, Phones* 6.2
Consumer Electronics 3.1
Automotive 3.0
Wired Communication -1.7


*The grouping of PCs with tablets and phones is unfortunate given that sales of PCs are declining while the sales of the other two are increasing.

The article also brings bad news:

It’s reasonable to expect that replacement cycles for all consumer devices will be extended a little – maybe a year or so – as we introduce one or two new types of devices into our lives. We’ll have more devices and will make them last a little longer than perhaps we might have in the past.

I am not willing to buy this argument. I can see how owning more devices can reduce the chances of me buying brand new devices but I don’t think it impacts upgrades. In my opinion, consumers upgrade when the newer generation product offers “better” features. In fact, many upgrades are forced by the industry leaders. For example, PC upgrades were artificially induced through connectivity changes (e.g., USB, DVI-D) for many years. In summary, I do not expect the upgrade cycles to lengthen just because we will own more devices. After all, owning a Macmini, a laptop, an iPad, an iPhone, and an Apple TV 2 did not stop me when the iPad 2 came out Smile

What is your take? Does owning a phone and a tablet makes an upgrade less likely?

I originally wrote this article for Technoati.com. It was published on 6/21/2011. Click here to read it there.

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