updated 12:20 am EDT, Wed November 2, 2011
Atmel touchscreen chips struggle in Q3
Atmel gave an outlook on Tuesday for the fall that was one of the few cluews as to how well iPad rivals were faring in the market. It expected its touchscreen contoller chip sales to drop 12 to 16 percent, as low as $402.7 million, at a time when shipments were normally up. Some of the company's tablet customers, including Dell and Samsung, had higher than usual inventories that pointed to a lack of sales.
The forecast for the complete year was being bumped up $25 million to $375 million based primarily on smartphones, where Android's rapid rise favored Atmel's strategy. It serves HTC, Nokia, and Samsung, among others.
CEO Steve Laub also pointed to a still-lingering tough economy and to companies consolidating around single chips for touch control, which hurt the amount Atmel could make for every device.
While not always directly connected, they come as the companies themselves have remained silent. Dell has never been known to enjoy especially strong Streak and Streak 7 sales, having dropped the five-inch model. Samsung's lack of commentary might be the most telling, as the company touts most milestones but has been silent about the performance of the Galaxy Tab 10.1. Unlike in phones, where Android has been on the rise for the past three years, Android tablets have lately been on a contraction and saw Motorola ship just 100,000 Xoom tablets, less than half what it did in the roughly five weeks after launch.
Apple in its last quarter alone moved 11.12 million iPads, or several times what its next-best rival managed. [via Reuters]