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AMD makes big comeback in U.S. retail

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AMD makes big comeback in U.S. retail

San Diego (CA) – AMD has been on a rough ride lately, repeatedly testing investors’ confidence in the company. But if we believe a new report of Current Analysis, the company has just wrapped up a rather sensational July that may leave some wondering what happened to Intel last month.

According to the market research firm, AMD-based desktop and notebook PCs achieved a unit share of 51.0% in July in U.S retail: Compared to June 2007, the company was able to steal 13.4 points from Intel; AMD’s share was also up 4.3 points year over year from 46.7% in July of 2006.

This jump in market share comes somewhat unexpected, but was explained by Current Analysis West through the firm’s aggressive processor pricing. “As evidenced by several of the back-to-school product refreshes this year, AMD has aligned with its OEM partners such as HP and Gateway to bring assertively priced design wins to market.  As a result, AMD systems now offer a much lower average selling price than its rival Intel,” stated Toni Duboise, senior analyst for the market research firm.  

However, AMD retail PCs apparently are not much cheaper than their Intel-based counterparts: Current Analysis West said that AMD PCs barely missed to account for half of the retail PC revenue in July: The market research firm estimates that AMD PCs captured 48.4% of the retail PC revenue share, while Intel PCs accounted for 51.6% of total retail PC revenues in July.

These numbers do not allow a conclusion of whether AMD’s processor sales are recovering or whether the company’s profitability is increasing. However, there is a clear sign that, at least in July, AMD had a strong presence in U.S. retail and sales of AMD-based PCs into U.S. retail were up sharply during this month.

Historically, AMD has always been stronger in the desktop segment in U.S. retail and July 2007 was no exception. Current Analysis West estimates that 66.6% of all desktop PCs sold during the month carried an AMD processor (Intel: 33.4%). AMD desktop PC revenue share was only 62.0%, due to the lower average selling price (ASP) of AMD PCs: The average AMD PC sold for $536 in July, while Intel PCs went for an average of $657.  

Current Analysis West said that the best-selling AMD desktop PC in July was HP’s Pavilion a6110n with an Athlon 64 X2 4400+ processor, a 320 GB hard drive and 2 GB of main memory for $545; Intel’s best-seller was the Pavilion a6120n with a Core 2 Duo E4400 CPU, a 320 hard drive and 2 GB system memory for $610.

Surprisingly, AMD-based notebooks also showed an unusually strong presence during the month of July. 44.8% of all U.S. retail notebooks integrated an AMD processor – a record high for the company. Unit share was up 11.8 points from 33.0% in June and up 20.5 points from 24.3% in January of this year. Intel Centrino notebooks, on the other hand, were estimated at a retail unit share of 55.2% in July – down from 67.0% in June and more than 75% in January.

Equally interesting is the fact that AMD-based notebooks are not much cheaper than Intel-based systems. According to Current Analysis West , AMD notebooks sold for an average of $748, while Intel systems were priced at $764.