July 2, 2008 – Unexpected strength in the PC market is good news for microprocessor (MPU) suppliers, with both AMD and Intel touting gains from different perspective, according to the latest data from iSuppli.
Intel maintained its big lead in overall MPU market share with just under 80%, picking up more than 1% vs. 4Q08. AMD lost about the same slice of share sequentially to finish at 13% of the market. (The data reflects sales for all global MPUs, not just x86.) But from a year ago, AMD’s gains are clear; it’s gained more than two points of share, about half of that at the expense of Intel (see table below).
While calling Intel “the short-term winner” in the MPU segment, iSuppli’s Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst for compute platforms, wrote in a research report that AMD’s foothold “has become much stronger during the last year, particularly on the desktop side,” where it has added quad-core Phenom MPUs and later tri-core and dual-core versions for “prosumer” and business markets.
Both Intel and AMD (and other smaller suppliers, who account for ~7% of quarterly MPU sales) got a boost from an “encouraging” upswing in the PC sector in 1Q08, Wilkins said. Global PC shipments were 69.9M units, up 12.1% from a year ago, mostly due to a “very strong” notebook sector (30% Y-Y growth), while desktop unit growth remains “essentially flat.” That uptick in demand allowed both Intel and AMD to maintain their prices in 1Q, suggesting their longstanding pricing war has been shelved (at least for now).
iSuppli projects global PC unit shipments to rise 10.5% for the full year 2008.