Study: Tablets could be hurting PC graphics shipments

The indirect impact of iPad shipments on PCs is hurting graphics product shipments, according to Jon Peddie Research

Worldwide shipments of PC graphics products were flat during the fourth quarter last year, potentially hurt by growth in tablet shipments, according to research released by Jon Peddie Research on Monday.

Graphics products could have felt the impact of tablets such as Apple's iPad, leading consumers to delay PC purchases, said Jon Peddie, president of Jon Peddie Research. Peddie said there is a general feeling that people are not buying iPads exclusively for use as PCs, but as companions to PCs, Peddie said.

The net effect of tablets on graphics products could be minimal if PC shipments pick up again, Peddie said. The company is forecasting 12 percent to 15 percent growth in graphics product shipments this year, driven by Intel's Sandy Bridge and Advanced Micro Devices' Fusion chips, both of which integrate a CPU and graphics processor on a single chip.

There could be pick up in demand for business PCs and computers used to create content, Peddie said. However, tablets would likely impact low-end PCs such as netbooks.

Graphics products ship as either a separate card, or as an integrated graphics processor in PCs, which include chips based on the x86 instruction set. Jon Peddie Research doesn't count the iPad as a PC.

Around 113 million graphics chips and integrated graphics shipped during the fourth quarter last year, flat compared to the fourth quarter in 2009. Intel, the leading graphics vendor, and AMD gained market share at the expense Nvidia.

Intel held 52.5 percent market share, growing from 51.1 percent during the fourth quarter in 2009. AMD was in second place with 24.7 percent market share, compared to 21.7 percent in 2009. Nvidia was in third place with a 22.5 percent market share, falling from 26.5 percent in 2009.

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