An Enormous Success?

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Some facts and figures on how well AMD and Intel have been doing. — Ed

I wrote an article about Hammer the other day, and I saw one curious point mentioned a number of times, that the Athlon XP and/or PR has been enormously successful.

It’s true that the AMD flacks keep saying that over and over again, but if you believe them on face value, I have a bridge to sell you.

The truth is that neither the XP nor PR has been a roaring success. It’s not a failure, either. Much more like holding one’s head above water.

Let’s take a look at the numbers:

AMD CPU Production: Second Quarter, 2001 (before XP):

Market Share

AMD CPU Production: First Quarter, 2002 (after XP):

Market Share:

This represents all AMD processors, of course. How many of these processors are Athlons? 4.5-4.7 million. What’s the sales trend? Downward. I didn’t say the last two things, AMD did.

“We shipped more Duron Q1 than Q4. We shipped less Athlon in Q1 than Q4. Hope to sell higher percent of Athlon in Q2.”

(The transcript is still pretty much a summary rather than an exact transcript, but the message is clear.)

Is it a big decline? Probably not, but calling success “doing better than a big decline” is a new definition for both me and the word.

But if you define this as a roaring success, then what do you call this?

Intel CPU Production: Second Quarter, 2001

Market Share

Intel CPU Production: First Quarter, 2002

Market Share

(Market share and numbers are extrapolations from AMD’s market share and/or total x86 production numbers. So if AMD said they made 8 million x86 processors, and said 41 million x86 processors were sold, 41 – 8 = 33.)

Sorry, AMDroids, this is not roaring success for Sunnydale. They’ve retrenched a little and are getting higher prices for their CPUs, and basically Holding On For Hammer, which will be the next assault on Intel.

Under the circumstances, AMD is doing as much as can reasonably be expected, and holding on isn’t doing badly at all.

But that’s not great.


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