With inventory growing 10% sequentially since the September quarter and revenue falling 19% during the same period, Intel is clearly feeling the crush of its slumping PC customers. And given the direction the industry and the economy -- the liquidation of Circuit City on Friday jumps to mind -- there's plenty of downward pressure still building.
Businesses aren't buying loads of new gear, and with rising unemployment and falling home prices, consumers aren't nearly as free-spending as they once were. But within the gloomy big picture is a vibrant corner at the low end of the market that is growing. So-called netbooks, the under-$500, stripped-down laptops from Asian upstarts like Acer, MSI and Asus, have caught on with tight-fisted consumers.