Intel CEO brushes off economic crisis

Intel post positive quarter despite popularity of low-cost Atom chip pushing down the average selling price of its processors.

Intel president and CEO Paul Otellini has assured customers that the IT industry is not about to enter a "post-dotcom downturn", after the company announced earnings were up in the third quarter, narrowly beating analyst expectations.

Net income for the quarter was US$2 billion, up from $1.8 billion, while net revenue reached $10.2 billion. Intel said that sales in both its microprocessor and chipset units drove revenue, but the company admitted that the popularity of its low-cost Atom chip had brought down the average selling price of its processors.

Although Intel executives admitted the current financial turmoil would have an effect on its business, Otellini said it was not time to hit the panic button. "This is not the post-dotcom kind of downturn," he said. The Intel CEO added that demand for computers was low immediately following the dotcom crash because there were so many available on eBay, offered by companies that had shut down, he said. "That skewed demand," he said.

Otellini said he did not expect to see such widespread availability of second-hand PCs during the current downturn, while emerging markets are also expected to boost demand.

"I'm of the opinion that technology will do well during this downturn, for the simple fact that we sell tools of productivity," he added.

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