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IDC: COVID to leave US$26B impact on semiconductor market

23 Mar 2020

A new IDC report states that the COVID-19 virus will have a serious impact on the semiconductor market, on top of the PC market, the smartphone market, and global IT spending.

The impact will likely be close to US$26 billion.

The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has now spread globally with the vast majority of countries reporting cases

In addition to the human cost of life, the impact of the spread of the virus on the global economy is only beginning to be appreciated and has deep implications for the world's technology supply chain. 

The ‘Impact of COVID-19 on the Worldwide Semiconductor Market Forecast’ report provides a framework to evaluate the market impact through four scenarios that assess the range of possible outcomes. 

According to the report, “There is nearly an 80% chance for significant contraction in worldwide semiconductor revenues in 2020, instead of a previously expected minor overall growth of 2%.”

Each scenario is based on varying assumptions and severity of the impact to businesses for technology suppliers. 

For each scenario, a range of critical factors are assessed with a resulting updated forecast, presented with leading indicators to help clients navigate this emergency.

"The emergence of COVID-19 has brought with it travel bans and quarantines; massive slowing of the supply chain; uncertainty in the stock market; falling business confidence, and growing panic among the population," says IDC semiconductors and enabling technologies programme vice president Mario Morales. 

"Despite the growing uncertainty and panic, technology suppliers must continue to focus on their long-term investments, maintain engagement with partners and prospects, and look to specific markets for stability. Emerging technologies like 5G, the Internet of Things, high-performance computing, and intelligent edge will be fundamental to an overall recovery by the technology sector."

Other report highlights include:

  • There is still a one-in-five chance that a fast, strong bounce back from COVID-19 in 2020 is possible.
     
  • On a global level, the COVID-19 crisis is just beginning, with too many variables to immediately craft a single forecast in response.
     
  • The impact to technology supply chains in China are significant, but the timing of the recovery is uncertain.

At this time, IDC says it believes the most likely outcome for this event will be a year-over-year revenue growth rate of -6% for the worldwide semiconductor market in 2020, giving this scenario a 54% probability. 

Under this scenario, the supply chain will start to recover, and quarantines and travel bans will ease, over the summer. 

For the worldwide semiconductor market, the impact will be $25.8 billion. 

While the impact of the virus will be felt through the bulk of the year, the accumulated knowledge about the virus, public health initiatives, and other efforts will to some degree mitigate the harm done by COVID-19. 

In the short term, there will be lower demand for systems and some impact to component availability, but as recovery sets in, growth will return to the market.