Intel may have just validated concerns that the PC market was relatively weak in the fourth quarter. The company has reported a net profit for the period of $2.6 billion based on revenue of $13.8 billion, which is only slightly better than its performance last year; it's also a drop from what we saw in the summer. The company believes that Q4 showed "signs of stabilization" for the PC business, although the numbers also hint that a recovery isn't coming any time soon. While the firm's Data Center and Other Intel Architecture groups did boost their revenue year-over-year by 8 and 9 percent, respectively, its PC Client division was flat. In other words, any extra cash came largely from embedded chips (including mobile) and servers, not regular desktops and laptops.
The Q4 results have also given Intel a chance to look back at its results for all of 2013, and they too suggest that the PC market hasn't been kind to the processor giant. The Data Center group was the only one to boost its revenue during the year; the PC group saw its revenue drop 4 percent, while the Other Intel group dipped 7 percent. It's not entirely surprising, then, that Intel is shifting its focus from traditional PCs to wearables and other forms of ultra-mobile computing, where it's more likely to see long-term growth.