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AMD cuts deeper into the PC pie

By using the strength of its Athlon processor, Advanced Micro Devices increases its share of desktop PC sales worldwide, according to a new report.

Tech Industry
Advanced Micro Devices continues to move on up in the PC market.

The chipmaker, leveraging the strength of its Athlon processor, boosted its share of desktop PC sales worldwide last year, according to a new report from researcher Gartner. AMD, citing the report, said it increased its share of desktop PCs from 18 percent in 2000 to 22 percent in 2001.

AMD executives were quick to point out that the gains came during the worst PC market since 1985. PC unit shipments declined by approximately 5 percent in 2001, a year marked by a slowing economy and the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. At the same time, rival chipmaker Intel went on the offensive, quickly reducing prices on its new Pentium 4 processor. The moves touched off a price war between the two companies.

"2001 marked a banner year for the AMD Athlon family...It is especially significant that we were able to increase market share within a challenging business climate," Ed Ellett, AMD's vice president of marketing, said in a statement Thursday.

AMD said it fared particularly well with consumer desktop PCs in Japan and Western Europe. The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company did not break out its North American consumer PC sales figures, choosing instead to cite fourth-quarter gains in the U.S. market for corporate desktop PCs.

According to Gartner, AMD's share of small-business desktop sales increased from 20 percent to 37 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with the same quarter a year ago. In the same period, its share of desktop PC sales to mid-sized businesses rose from 11 percent to 28 percent, and its share of the government market jumped from 16 percent to 32 percent.

AMD chips were also present in 42 percent of desktop PCs shipped in the Japanese home PC market in 2001, according to the report. AMD accounted for 41 percent of home desktop PCs shipped in Western Europe and 28 percent of those shipped in Eastern Europe.

Overall, AMD's PC processor market share, including notebook and server chips, stood at 20.2 percent in 2001, according to Mercury Research, up from 16.7 percent in 2000. Intel finished 2001 with 78.7 percent of the global PC processor market, down from 82.2 percent in 2000, according to figures released by Mercury in January.

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