AMD regains x86 processor market share

Posted by Wolfgang Gruener

Chicago (IL) – A new report released by Mercury Research indicates that AMD is bouncing back in terms of market share. Most interestingly, the research said that AMD’s gains are not so much based on the fierce price battle with Intel, but on the fact that it had a product mix better suited to the market requirements in Q2.

According to Mercury Research, AMD had an x86 processor market share of 22.9% in Q2 of this year, up from 18.7% in Q1 and even up from 21.6% in Q2 2006. Intel, in comparison, is estimated 76.3%, down from 80.5% in Q1 of this year and up from 72.9% in Q2 2006.

Dean McCarron, principal analyst at Mercury Research said that AMD regained most, “but not all of the share it lost last quarter due to its inventory issues”. The company built a whole lot of inventory during Q4, which it could not sell in Q1, but apparently could get rid of in Q2.

According to McCarron, Q2 2007 showed “strange behavior”, as demand grew over Q1, which is uncommon in the seasonal trendline. “Everyone is still trying to figure out where this demand came from,” he said, but noted that there was “significant” growth in the lower end of the market, which apparently came especially from emerging markets. McCarron said that the desktop CPU battles of Q2 2007 were mainly fought in the price range of about $60, which involved the very low-end of AMD’s Athlon 64 X2 line, as well as Intel’s Core 2 Duo E2140 and E2160 processors.

AMD’s current X2 processor offering, which is priced in its entirety below $200 in terms of tray prices, suggests that AMD now has an advantage over Intel in the current market, but McCarron disagreed – as both companies have products available to serve this market. However, he noted that in Q2 AMD may have had the better product mix and lower average selling price to address market demand.

Last week, Current Analysis reported that AMD was able to increase its share in the U.S. retail market.