RealTime IT News

AMD's Market Share Zooms in Q4

It could get a lot harder for AMD to convince folks that it's the victim of Intel's monopolistic abuse if its market share continues to rise.

AMD has crossed the 20 percent share mark for overall shipments in the fourth quarter of 2005, according to a report released this week by Mercury Research.

Its 21.4 percent market share of an industry otherwise dominated by Intel is a strong bump up from the 17.7 percent Mercury said AMD had last quarter. The last time AMD reached 20 percent share was in 2001.

PC microprocessor shipments actually grew less overall, 7 percent, than the historical average of 9.4 percent for the fourth quarter.

Consulting firm Merrrill Lynch said in a report the numbers indicate the industry spent the most recent quarter digesting higher than usual volume in the previous quarter.

AMD's growth was led by strong growth in its dual-core processors, which grew 14 percent since the previous quarter.

"We believe that Intel is crippled in the high-end desktop market by the poor competitiveness of its dual-core Netburst-based products," said Merrill Lynch in its report.

AMD is also making gains on the notebook side where it has long-trailed badly versus Intel.

The company's mobile market share stood at 15.1 percent at the end of the fourth quarter, up 24 percent from 12.2 percent in Q3, according to Mercury, which only released raw data and is not commenting on the results until next week.

However, Merrill Lynch, a client of Mercury's, noted that while AMD grew mobile market share, its average selling price declined 6 percent, as it used discounts to win more customers.

For Intel, shipments of the Pentium M mobile processor increased 10 percent in the fourth quarter, which offset an 8 percent decline in unit shipments of its Celeron processor designed for so-called "value" or low-cost systems.

On the server side, AMD's dual-core Operton had a solid quarter helping AMD reach 16.4 percent of the overall server market, up from 12.7 percent. Opteron accounted for 40 percent of AMD's unit shipments and 60 percent of its revenue.

"AMD's product advantages continue to be the most apparent in this [server] market," said Merrill Lynch.

AMD has filed a lawsuit against Intel over charges the chip maker has acted as an abusive monopoly. Intel has denied the charges.

The case is in a pre-discovery process, as AMD seeks documents from various customers of both its own chips as well as Intel's. One of those customers, Dell, is thus far the only major PC maker not to use AMD processors as part of its product mix.