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AMD PC market share contracted in Q1

But still up on Q4 2002

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AMD's share of the PC processor market during the first quarter of this year was lower than it was a year ago, but the chip maker can take some consolation from the fact that its share is higher than it was during the Christmas quarter.

So shows the latest figures from Mercury Research. AMD took 16.6 per cent of the market during Q1 2003, down from Q1 2002's 18.2 per cent but up from Q4 2002's 13.8 per cent.

The sequential increase isn't surprising, given Intel's marketing blitz during the run-up to Christmas. Even during a downturn in consumer spending, you'd expect Intel's advertising muscle to tilt the balance of PC sales even further in its favour. And the kind of people who buy AMD-based kit are more likely to buy outside the Christmas period, or at least on a less seasonally focused basis.

Q4 inventory clear-outs followed by renewed processor shipments in Q1 2003 help explain AMD's sequential rise too.

Still, Intel can take little joy from Mercury's numbers. Yes, its market share remains high - 81.7 per cent - but year-on-year that figure increases by a mere 0.9 per cent. AMD's sequential gain came at Intel's expense, said Mercury.

If AMD's market share is down year-on-year, and Intel's up only a fraction, that's good news for other PC processor manufacturers, like VIA and Transmeta, whose combined share has increased to 1.7 per cent. But that also shows just how far they have to go to match AMD, let alone challenge Intel. ®

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