Good Friday Morning News
Don Scansen posted on August 10, 2012 | 6425 views
Okay, it's not all rosy on this Friday morning as a rare rush to the airport to be early for a flight was rewarded by a two hour departure delay courtesy of Air Canada.

The extra time allowed me to regain some optimism, however, as I came across a few pieces of positive news for the chip industry (that's Intel - not Lay's).

(Image Courtesy WindelOskay)

The forecasts from IC Insights can be found at the Mannerisms blog. With the headline Semi Market Annual Growth Rate To Double, the overall industry growth rate is driven by demand for memory chips. IC Insights expects NAND flash to grow at a CAGR north of 16% through 2016 while DRAM should creep close to 10% for the next few years.

Maybe these IC Insights guys have insight into the new Apple iPhone and iPad mini launches and can see through to a new wave of frenzied consumers for the Apple products which could in themselves be enough to bolster the NAND flash demand. But if not, a lot of the discussion around the forecasts from both analysts like IC Insights and various industry associations like the SIA is that no one has more than estimates on each of the companies that contribute to the sector. 

No doubt, sales forecasts would be more reliable if the companies were in serious litigation. CNET (and a host of others) released detailed Apple and Samsung sales figures courtesy of US District Court of Northern California. Thanks to these court proceedings, we have a one stop shop for Apple devices sales numbers going back a few years. For Samsung, we get insight into a smaller portion of their product mix, but arguably the most important ones in the consumer space.

Some of the most exciting news for the IC industry could be that analysts expect much of the improvement in the market to be the result of improving ASPs. These selling price increases might not be great news for people looking at replacing their phone or tablet over the next few years, but it's a real boost to those of us who look to microelectronics for our income, especially after many years of generally declining ASP numbers.

The best comment about the industry association forecasts was from David Manners. He pointed out that the SIA could keep its numbers relatively low to ensure that each of its members can (mostly) release better looking numbers individually. It's all part of the selling cycle - but for the investment community not the stuff these companies actually build.

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