It was fun while it lasted.
Market analysts say that Intel regained large chunks of market share from AMD in the first quarter. Analyst firm iSuppli says Intel's market share jumped from 75.7 percent in the fourth quarter to 80.2 percent in the first quarter. AMD, meanwhile, sank from 15.7 percent to 11.1 percent.
Sam Bhavnani of Current Analysis, meanwhile, broke it down by type of computer for U.S. retail (about 11 percent of the worldwide market). In desktops, Intel rose from a 46 percent share to a 58 percent share while it saw its notebook market share rise from 66 percent to 72 percent.
Mercury Research, often considered the unofficial standard for Intel-AMD market share issues, will weigh in soon.
The Intel-AMD cycle almost at times seems to be a natural phenomenon. Intel will become complacent. AMD will release a relatively advanced chip design that will let them gain market share. Intel will stem its losses through manufacturing and then mount a comeback by releasing a new series of advanced chips along with a lot of price cuts. Red ink and dire fears of AMD's demise will follow, to be preceded only by a comeback.
This last cycle was a little longer than usual. Typically, Intel has three good years and one bad year, while AMD has three bad years followed by good one. With Opteron and Athlon 64, AMD got 2.5 really good years. And with Barcelona, a chip coming this summer, a comeback may be a little more rapid than usual.