Global semiconductor sales climb 14.4% in November

Smartphones, tablets, other mobile devices cited as growth drivers

Fueled by an explosion of mobile computing devices, semiconductor sales across the world increased 14.4 percent in November over the same month last year, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association.

The SIA cited the growing market for smartphones, tablets, e-readers and other mobile devices as the main impetus for the increase. Semiconductor sales in November reached $25.97 billion, up from $22.71 billion a year ago. For the entire year through November, semiconductor sales were $271.8 billion, compared to $202.8 billion in November 2009. SIA President Brian Toohey, quoted by the Associated Press, said, "Despite continuing macroeconomic uncertainty, the semiconductor industry is slated to close the year at record sales levels with year-over-year growth rates not experienced in nearly a decade." It's interesting what a difference a single year can make. In this IDG News Service article from October 2009, the month-over-month growth in semiconductor sales was "partly driven by growing netbook sales and falling laptop prices." Smart phones -- or as former SIA president George Scalise called them, "smart cell phones" -- are barely mentioned, and tablets aren't mentioned at all.

Chris Nerney writes about the business side of technology market strategies and trends, legal issues, leadership changes, mergers, venture capital, IPOs and technology stocks. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisNerney.

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