Inventories in the computer channel are still very low and dealers and distributors are holding out little hope of things being given a kick by the introduction of Windows 7.
A senior source at a distributor told TG Daily: "Windows 7 will only give a little uptake. We're not expecting too much from Windows 7."
He said that channel inventories are at an all time low and signs that the semiconductor industry is recovering are more a reflection of that than any real improvement in the marketplace.
"No one has enough resistors or capacitors in stock," he said. "The industry is in a catch up mode." This had led to some manufacturers building only when they received firm orders rather than building and hoping the channel would sell through the products. The traditional seasonality associated with this time of year still isn't showing.
Not yet the time to break open the Cristal champagne
However, he was more optimistic than some industry semiconductor analysts who have predicted that a real sea-change in the state of things is unlikely until August 2010. He said: "Perhaps April/May of 2010 will make the difference to everything." The channel and the industry traditionally expect seasonal sales at that time of year. This year has changed all the rules of the game.
* Meanwhile semiconductor equipment maker ASML said that sales in the third and fourth quarter are expected to be better than their previous forecasts. ASML customers include TSMC, Samsung and Intel.