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Intel price fork doesn't frighten them yet

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A senior executive at AMD Europe said today that speculation Intel is cutting its prices would not alter its position its Athlon K7 pricing. (See Intel turns Pentium III/600 price screw on AMD K7) Meanwhile, an industry observer said he doubted whether Intel would take such steps pro-actively and wondered whether the company was managing to build more Pentium IIIs faster. Robert Stead, European marketing director at AMD, said: "Our position is we will offer a good product at a fair price. A fair price is determined by infrastructure costs and the competitive position." But, he added: "Clearly we need to run a business and have customers." But Joe D'Elia, senior microprocessor analyst at Dataquest Europe, said: "Certainly, if I were Intel, I wouldn't take prices down proactively but wait to see what the position on the Athlon is. "Intel might want to do that anyway if its Pentium III yields are ahead of what it thought it could do." He pointed out that Intel did not really move its prices, it moved its products. If Intel had taken pro-active steps on pricing, it would only have done so if it could maintain its margins, D'Elia said. On the Athlon K7, D'Elia said that AMD at last had a chance to strike at Intel's high end market. "The question is, will it? People can't have one motherboard that will take both products." He said the big question was whether major vendors would implement the Athlon K7, and, if so, whether AMD could deliver. AMD's Stead said that he was encouraged by a spate of Athlon K7 benchmarks which have appeared on various hardware sites, but that AMD had more up its sleeves. "I've seen some extremely good benchmarks," he said. None of these hardware sites had been "seeded" with Athlon K7s, but it was clear they had product, he said. He said: "There's a lot more detail to come in the next few weeks. Over the next few weeks you will see more [official] benchmarks from us, consistent with what we've already told the market." ®

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