It is well documented that the desktop PC category faces a number of challenges, more so today than ever before, and because of that, AMD and Intel’s battle for share has become even more fierce. A look at the PC market using data from gap intelligence’s PowerPivot-based Desktop PC report shows that Intel, which has always dominated the market, still maintains control of the retail desktop PC aisle. However, recently, AMD has been able to reduce the gap between the two chip makers.
One of the many reasons for Intel’s desktop PC domination is its differentiated offerings. A look at the charts below shows that in addition to traditional desktop PC towers and plug-in AIOs, Intel’s chips are found in nettops and in mobile/portable AIOs, the second of which represents a growing part of the desktop PC market. On the other hand, AMD’s chips are currently limited to traditional desktop towers and plug-in AIOs and have yet to make an appearance in portable AIOs.
Intel has a wide range of partners in the desktop PC industry, which helps the chip maker further strengthen its dominant position. Some of Intel’s powerhouse partners include vendors like Apple, HP, Dell, and Lenovo.
On the other hand, AMD’s partner list is limited to a handful of vendors and it is heavily reliant on HP, with other desktop vendors contributing a very small share to AMD’s desktop assortment. Even within its existing partner base, most of AMD’s chips are used to power low-end desktops. From the charts above and below, you can see that Acer is using AMD chips for its entry-level Gateway brand, while using Intel processors for its higher-end Acer desktop PC line. To be able to increase its share, AMD will have to break the low-end barrier and expand its offerings to higher-end desktop lines.
Helping its retail share, AMD and its PC hardware partners have increased their marketing efforts. For the first time in the last 6 months, advertisements for AMD-based desktops overtook ads for Intel-based desktops in March 2014. Ads for AMD-based desktop PCs have been increasing since the beginning of the year primarily due to aggressive efforts by HP, AMD’s closest partner.
Intel continues to dominate the desktops PC market and its long list of partners help Intel stay at the top. Additionally, Intel is seen as an innovator in the industry by its partners, which helps the chip maker diversify its product offerings. AMD on the other hand, is relying on HP to gain share in the desktop PC market and is pushing a low-cost value proposition with its other vendors. To grow in the market, AMD will have to diversify its partner list and work to expand its presence in its partners’ higher-end PCs.
Given AMD’s present situation, its brand perception, partner list, and position on the technology curve, AMD will continue to remain aggressive through advertising and will have to continue to fight for every partner product and retail shelf spot. gap intelligence will continue to monitor Intel and AMD’s retail battle and the new Desktop PCs powerpivot report is the perfect tool for our clients to do the same.