Correcting the Time(s)

About two weeks ago, a number of Internet news places reported that AMD outsold Intel for a week, and we had to explain that that wasn’t so.

Well, somebody else has gone and made the same mistake, and since a few people have been known to read it, I did what I had to do:

From: “Edward Stroligo”

To: [email protected]
Subject: May 17 John Markoff article
Date: Mon, 17 May 2004 08:51:01 -0500

The article above has the following statement:

“Late last month, Current Analysis, a research firm in La Jolla, Calif., reported that for the week of April 24, the percent of personal computers sold using A.M.D. chips had surpassed those using Intel chips, with Advanced Micro at 52 percent of PC’s sold versus Intel at 47 percent. It was the first time in recent history that Intel had lost its lead.”

This contrasts with what was said in this article (

“Desktop PCs with processors from Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) outsold desktops based on processors from Intel Corp. for the week ending April 24 in U.S. retail channels (my emphasis), according to research released late last week from Current Analysis Inc.”

U.S. CPU sales now constitute about a third of worldwide sales, and U.S. retail sales (which exclude direct sales via mail, internet, etc.) are a rather small subset of total U.S. sales. As I’m sure the Current Analysis people will tell you, the U.S. retail market is one of AMD’s strongest sector, with sales regularly in the 40%-ish range.

Intel continues to sell somewhat over 80% of the world’s CPUs sold in PCs, with AMD currently at about 15%. Unfortunately, the article leaves the impression that the number is more like 50-50, which simply is not so. This is much like reporting a poll of New York voters as “Kerry Leads Bush By 20 Points” and leaving out the “in New York” part.

Thank you in advance for the correction.

I immediately got back this automated reply:

From: [email protected]

To: [email protected]

Subject: Your E-Mail to The Times
Date: Mon, 17 May 2004 09:52:15 -0400 (EDT)

Thanks for your message to our Reader Comment mailbox. Your e-mail
will reach the appropriate editor promptly. We are grateful to
readers who take the time to help us report thoroughly and

Ordinarily a comment about news coverage will receive a further
reply. And we do pay respectful attention to all messages, even those
that are part of organized letter-writing campaigns, for which we are
not staffed to reply individually. A correction generally takes two
or three days to appear on Page A2, after fact checking. . . .


The New York Times

Let’s see what comes from this.


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