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Analysts forecast gloomy season for PC biz

Demand in decline

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Financial analysts are forecasting tough times ahead for Intel and AMD as - surprise, surprise - individuals and businesses buy fewer new computers in the year ahead, with a big drop coming this quarter.

The warnings come as rumours circulate that Acer, Apple, Asus and Dell have all cut orders for new notebooks.

Here's IDC analyst Shane Rau, cited by Cnet: "The supply chain is telling us that there is strong concern [about] demand decline, probably into the low- to mid-single digits on a unit basis for total PC processor growth in the year 2009."

Tim Luke, an analyst at Barclays Capital, predicted that processor unit growth won't exceed two per cent, while revenues will fall by two per cent next year.

ThinkEquity's Vijay Rakesh noted a “significant weakening in November of corporate notebook demand”, while a colleague at Avian Security said: "PC OEMs are being very conservative with their build plans for Q4."

Both comments add weight to claims major laptop vendors are cutting production - reducing the number of machine their contract manufacturers punch out in order to ensure they're not left with unwanted gathering dust on warehouse shelves.

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