According to analyst iSuppli, AMD’s gains in recent years have been caused by improved processor design, which gave it the technological edge. But this changed with the launch of Intel’s Core Duo desktop chips in January and the Core 2 Duo desktop and notebook lines in recent months. Prior to this, iSuppli claimed that AMD held the performance high ground with its Athlon 64 and the Opteron server processors.
The analyst said Intel’s processors have been well received by market experts and their take-up will be boosted by very aggressive pricing.
Matthew Wilkins, senior analyst for computer platforms at iSuppli, said: “Intel has taken a sharp knife to its pricing for its Core 2 Duo products. It is coming in with aggressive pricing so it can outperform the competition. The company is selling some of its dual-core microprocessors for less than $1,000, which is the same price level of many value products, such as the low-end Celeron microprocessor. This is a remarkable development because it shows Intel’s intention to drive dual-core technology through the product range.
“As a result of significantly more competitive products from Intel – at very aggressive price levels – AMD’s inroads into Intel’s desktop PC market share could slow down this quarter.”
AMD is still struggling to edge past Intel in the retail computer and notebook sector, but recent figures from analyst Current Analysis show that Intel is starting to extend its lead again. Intel’s share of the market for July was 53 per cent, up from 51 per cent in June. Preliminary figures indicate that it will extend its share for August to 58 per cent. The figures exclude online sales and sales to the business sector.
Toni Duboise, senior analyst at Current Analysis, said: “The battle between Intel and AMD will intensify for the remainder of 2006. Only time will tell whether Intel’s resurgence can be likened to the waking of a sleeping giant.”
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