Chip firms enjoy steady market share

The competition for market share among x86 processor companies in the fourth quarter was largely a stalemate, but both Intel and...

The competition for market share among x86 processor companies in the fourth quarter was largely a stalemate, but both Intel and Advanced Micro Devices profited from higher-selling prices, according to data from Mercury Research.

Intel slightly increased its substantial lead in the market for desktop, notebook, and server processors based on the x86 instruction set, boosting its share from 82.6% to 82.8%, said Dean McCarron, principal analyst with Mercury. AMD's share fell by the same amount that Intel's rose, coming in at 15.5%.

Increases in the average selling prices of their chips accounted for Intel and AMD's successes. Intel's server business had a good quarter to account for its higher average prices, and AMD was able to take tighter control of its channel to increase average prices and post its first profit in nine quarters.

Intel lost a little share compared with the same quarter the previous year, but McCarron said that figure is misleading. AMD's market share last year was affected by a poorly timed decision to increase inventories as processor demand waned, forcing the company to clear out a backlog of inventory and give up substantial market share.

The shipment numbers do not include the processors Intel makes for the Microsoft Xbox.

Tom Krazit  writes for IDG News Service 

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