Intel released its first quarter 2009 financial results today and there’s good news and bad. On the one hand, the company beat Wall Street estimates with earnings of 11 cents a share (although revenue and profits are way down from Q1, 2008). On the other hand, revenue from the Intel Atom processor fell by 27% from the previous quarter. And that’s not good news for Intel, since the Atom processor and the netbooks it powers are the fastest growing segment of the computer industry.

I don’t think Intel’s going out of business any time soon. But the chip maker is facing increased competition from VIA, AMD, and ARM in the netbook space. The dip in revenue could be an indication that the market for netbooks isn’t growing as fast as it was in the end of 2008. Or Intel could be offering chips for lower prices. But it could also mean that computer manufacturers are starting to snap up low end processors from Intel’s competitors.

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