AMD overtakes Intel in US retail sales for first time

AMD has nosed ahead of Intel in sales of processors in the US retail market for the first time according to market researcher Current Analysis.

The research findings carried out via a panel of leading US retailers found that during October, 49.8 per cent of the total market for desktops and notebooks sold in the US retail market were fitted with AMD processors. Intel, by comparison only accounted for the 48.5 per cent of the market.

Actually, AMD appeared to have had a slight advantage in the September figures as well although the lead was in the desktop market only. AMD’s share of unit sales in the US retail desktop sales was 52.0 per cent in September, rising substantially to 67.7 per cent in October. By comparison sales of notebooks with AMD chips increased from 26.2 per cent in September to 31.5 per cent in October showing that the company still has some way to go to match the success of the Centrino brand.

The lead is unlikely to last though. It is mostly a reflection of seasonal sales as the big Christmas buying period gets under way. A year ago, AMD also looked to be closing the gap on Intel with around 40 per cent of the market compared with Intel’s 60 per cent. But, after the holiday buying season, Intel stretched its lead again so that by the spring of this year Intel had close to 80 per cent of retail sales as businesses entered the market.

Despite their success in volume sales, AMD chips remain at the budget end of the market. The revenue share of retail PC sales of AMD is only 40.1 per cent compared with that of Intel at 57.6 per cent because the average price of an Intel powered PC is significantly more than one fitted with AMD.

Furthermore, the figures do not represent the whole picture for US sales as it refers to the retail sector only. Dell, the world’s biggest PC manufacturer and an Intel-only shop, sells direct through its website or over the phone. It doesn’t have a high street presence whatsoever, and its sales are not included in Current Analysis’ figures.

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