Tech earnings season kicked into high gear tonight, with companies worth of one-third the value of the entire technology sector reporting. One company that should have caught investors' eyes is Intel. The company managed to beat earnings estimates and also pointed toward better-than-expected demand in the year ahead.

However, as senior technology analyst Eric Bleeker notes, while investors might cheer Intel's beating earnings this quarter, the important thing to watch is the long-term storyline in emerging markets. On its call, Intel highlighted that 20% of PCs are now sold in China and that it saw a 15% growth rate in the country last year. Throw in huge growth rates in other markets like Indonesia and India, and a striking observation comes forward:

The PC might be dying in America, but it's thriving in the rest of the world.

That storyline should mean Intel outperforms software peers like Microsoft, which can't as easily profit from these markets, while other semiconductor plays with exposure in China, like AMD, NVIDIA, and Marvell, can ride the trend of surging technology demand in these emerging markets for years to come.

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This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.