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December 03, 2014

Cellphones Continue to be the Largest Driver of IC Sales

Internet of Things and wireless networks are expected to grow the fastest through 2018.

The total production value of electronic systems is projected to increase 5% in 2014 to $1.49 trillion and climb to about $1.82 trillion in 2018, which represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.2% from $1.41 trillion in 2013, according to IC Insights’ new 2015 edition of IC Market Drivers—A Study of Emerging and Major End-Use Applications Fueling Demand for Integrated Circuits.  The new 480-page report shows cellphones extending their lead over standard personal computers (desktops and notebooks) as the largest electronic systems market in 2014 after overtaking PCs for the first time in 2013.  The report also shows the cellphone market extending its lead as the largest end-use IC application in 2014, accounting for 25% of total integrated circuit sales in 2014 versus standard PCs representing 21%.

Figure 1 compares the relative market sizes and projected growth rates of 10 major systems segments among a couple dozen end-use electronic product categories covered in the 2015 IC Market Drivers report.  Systems sales associated with the emerging Internet of Things are expected to rise by the fastest rate in the forecast period, growing by a CAGR of 21.1%.

In 2014, cellphone handsets are expected to account for 18% of worldwide electronic systems sales ($265.2 billion) versus standard PCs being 13% ($196.0 billion) of the total this year.  In 2013, PCs represented 15% of worldwide systems sales while cellphones were slightly less than 18% of the total, based on the new report’s market analysis. Tablet sales are expected to account for 6% of 2014 systems revenues compared to 5% in 2013, while dollar volumes for Internet of Things functions (embedded in end-use applications) are projected to represent 3% of the total electronics market, up slightly from 2013.

After dominating integrated circuit sales for most of the last two decades, standard PCs were unseated by cellphones as the largest end-use IC application in 2013.  The new 2015 IC Market Drivers report estimates cellphone integrated circuit sales will grow 11% in 2014 to $70.7 billion from $63.5 billion in 2013.  Cellphone IC sales are forecast to rise another 11% to $78.4 billion in 2015.  Standard PC IC sales will pull out of a two-year slump (-11% in 2012 and -10% in 2013) to grow 4% in 2014, reaching $59.1 billion, according to the new report. PC IC sales are forecast to grow 2% in 2015 to $60.6 billion.

Figure 1

Figure 2 shows the market sizes and projected growth IC sales for 11 major end-use systems categories, based on the five-year forecasts in the 2015 IC Market Drivers report.

Figure 2

Among these 11 end-use market segments, IC sales growth is expected to be the strongest in subsystems for the Internet of Things (a CAGR of 22.3%), wireless networks (19.7%), and tablet computers (17.4%) in the five-year forecast period of the 2015 IC Market Drivers report.  IC revenues generated by these 11 end-use systems categories represented 76% of total integrated circuit sales worldwide in 2014 and are expected to account for 85% in 2018.

Report Details:  IC Market Drivers 2015

IC Market Drivers 2015—A Study of Emerging and Major End-Use Applications Fueling Demand for Integrated Circuits examines the largest, existing system opportunities for ICs and evaluates the potential for new applications that are expected to help fuel the market for ICs.

Released in November 2014, IC Market Drivers is divided into two parts.  Part 1 provides a detailed forecast of the IC industry by system type, by region, and by IC product type through 2018.  In Part 2, IC Market Drivers examines and evaluates key existing and emerging end-use applications that will support and propel the IC industry through 2018. Some of these applications include the Internet of Things, automotive electronics, smartphones, personal/mobile computing (including tablets), wireless networks, digital imaging, and a review of many applications to watch—those that may potentially provide significant opportunity for IC suppliers later this decade. IC Market Drivers 2015 is priced at $3,390 for an individual user license and $6,490 for a multi-user corporate license.

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