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AMD Closing Gap With Intel in Tepid Q1 PC Market

The first quarter is never a boom time for PC sales. But amid the cyclical slowdown, chipmaker AMD has managed to narrow the gap with market leader Intel, thanks in large part to its deal with Lenovo, according to checks from analyst firm FBR Capital Markets.

The firm looks for both companies to meet analysts' earnings expectations when they report first-quarter financial results, but for Intel, legal and regulatory challenges remain a concern. Hardware Central has the details.

Checks with the top five notebook builders and top four desktop motherboard makers show that the first quarter of 2010 so far is in line with the typical slowdown that takes place in the post-holiday quarter, so Intel and AMD will likely report quarterly earnings that match their earlier projections.

But thanks to its recent acquisition of Lenovo as a customer, AMD (NYSE: AMD) is poised to gain some market share on its larger rival. AMD had been slipping for some time, but with its new mobile platform and the addition of the biggest PC brand name in China -- one of the few hot markets in the world -- it's regaining lost ground.

Those are two conclusions from a pair of research reports from FBR Capital Markets looking at Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) and AMD. Overall, the firm forecasts first-quarter PC builds to decline 9 percent from the fourth quarter of 2009, which was a tremendous quarter to begin with, but typical of seasonality.

Notebook builds are expected to fall 9.5 percent quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) from Q4 09, and desktop builds to drop 8.5 percent. Strong Asian notebook demand is offsetting softness in Western Europe, according to FBR analyst Craig Berger. And there are other challenges.

"We hear component tightness (but not shortages) still exists for hard disk drives, Blu-ray optical disk drives, and DDR2/DDR3 memory chips," Berger said.

Read the full story at Hardware Central:
AMD Gains on Intel in Q1 PC Slowdown