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AMD steals Q1 market share from Intel

VIA, Transmeta did too

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The first three months of the year showed the usual minor adjustments to the world's x86-chip makers' market shares.

AMD came out of Q1 2005 with 16.9 per cent of the x86 CPU market, up less than a third of a percentage point more than Q4 2004. Arch-rival, Intel, lost half a percentage point of market share between the same periods, easing to 81.7 per cent of the market.

The remaining 0.2 percentage points lost by Intel went to VIA and Transmeta, although the latter will soon leave the x86 chip market.

Looking back at Q1 2004, Intel's Q1 2005 share was down 1.8 per cent year on year, while AMD's share was up 1.9 per cent.

Both companies set "new records for their unit volume [shipments]", Mercury principal analyst Dean McCarron said, eWeek reports.

Intel did particularly well in the notebook market, McCarron added, thanks to the Centrino product line refresh it made early in the quarter. "The numbers are indicative of a pretty fundamental change in the PC market" away from desktops to notebooks, he said.

Right now this shift favours Intel, as AMD strives to build momentum around its Turion mobile processors. Leaving to one side the merits of the rival products, Intel's Centrino, takes in the system logic and the wireless support as well as the processor and is a stronger marketing proposition than a brand focused on the processor alone.

That said, performance remains a key metric, and if Turion can take a lead here, AMD may yet carve out a good notebook market share. Alas, initial figures suggest the flip side of performance, battery life, isn't a Turion strong point. ®

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