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Gartner cuts market growth forecast as demand for semiconductors slows

Sales of semiconductors will reach $348billion in 2015, according to Gartner. While this represents a 2.2% increase over 2014, the market researcher has cut its previous forecast of 4% growth due to what it calls 'softness in key electronic segments'.

"The outlook for the major applications that drive the semiconductor market, including PCs, smartphones and tablets, have all been revised downward," said Jon Erensen, research director. "This, combined with the impact of the strong dollar on demand in key markets, has resulted in a lower semiconductor forecast for 2015."

While demand for smartphones and solid state drives (SSDs) will drive semiconductor sales, the PC segment will see a decline in production of 8.7% in 2015. "Inventory in the PC market remains high, despite vendors looking to clear the supply chain in anticipation of Windows 10 and Intel's Skylake products," Erensen noted. "Any issues with the launches of Windows 10 or Skylake in the third quarter of 2015, which are expected to reinvigorate PC sales, could lead to further decline."

Despite the hype surrounding wearables, these devices will only represent 1% of demand, with smartwatches – such as the Apple Watch (pictured) –leading the sector.

"The typical second quarter bounce did not materialise this year," Erensen observed. "As a result, the semiconductor industry is more back end loaded and dependent on a strong third quarter rebound, driven by Windows 10 and the ramp up to the holiday season."

Graham Pitcher

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