Intel's Otellini shows optimism about the PC industry

The way Paul Otellini sees things, analysts have got it wrong: the PC industry is booming... just maybe not necessarily in mature markets like North America and Western Europe. At least, that seems to be the jist of what he told Forbes in a lengthy but interesting interview yesterday.

Otellini said he expects PC unit shipments will climb 13 to 15% this year thanks to two driving forces: corporations phasing out Winows XP and buying Windows 7-powered machines, and a strong uptick in emerging markets like China, Brazil, and India (which is purportedly seeing 8-9% GDP growth). He added this interesting tidbit:

The traditional analyst firms don’t see the emerging markets. A lot of that is below their radar. China is the second-largest market in the world for PCs and by 2012 will be number one. Brazil is the fourth-largest market. These guys don’t have a handle on that; they look at retail sales at Dixons and Best Buy and draw a conclusion.

Otellini threw in a "told you so," too. In late 2009, Intel predicted PC unit growth in the "high teens" for 2010. Analysts were purportedly expecting 5-6%, but according to Otellini, the real number turned out to be 17%.

The Intel CEO also talked tablets with Forbes, mentioning in passing that he owns both an iPhone and an iPad. While he expects Intel to make its mark in that arena, he doesn't see tablets as a threat to the PC. "Tablets, like smartphones and netbooks, are additive to the overall computing spectrum," he noted. "When we introduced netbooks three years ago people were worried that it would cannibalize the notebook. But both grew nicely."

If you're at a loss for something to do on your next coffee break, I recommend reading the full interview at Forbes. Otellini also discussed phones, Windows on ARM, the McAfee acquisition, and his succession at Intel. His perspective is an interesting one for sure.

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