For the first time in PC history, consumers are choosing notebooks powered by something other than "Intel Inside" -- namely AMD. The most recent results from StoreBoard in the U.S. reveals the K6-2 processor has catapulted AMD to the top spot in retail notebooks in June.
As previously reported, AMD is the first processor manufacturer to challenge Intel's dominance in this niche. Both AMD and Cyrix made their debut in the retail notebook market in January of 1998, but Intel was still able to prevail by retaining 68% to 93% market share. That all changed in March of this year when AMD was able to muster 39% share opposite Intel's 55% share. AMD continued to gain ground until finally capping the market in June with 58.2% market share. Intel's share was reduced to 40%, an all time low (see graph 1).
AMD's K6-2 was not only responsible for the lion's share of AMD's success, but it was the core in six out of the top seven retail notebook models in June(see table 1).
This may be a significant milestone for AMD, which has been striving to increase its average selling price to over $100 (£61) per processor in order to favourably impact profits. The notebook market has yet to suffer the free-fall price declines experienced in the retail desktop market. So, in theory, the notebook market remains one aspect of the PC industry able to maintain decent profit margins(see graph 2).
While Intel has been recently able to contain AMD's assault on the retail desktop market it appears that AMD is directing its focus right where it needs to be -- increasing returns.
Take me to the Pentium III Special.