Wednesday, February 3rd 2021

Despite AMD Momentum, Intel Claws Back Market Share in Both Desktop and Mobile

AMD's CPU offerings are generally considered to best Intel's competition, especially since the company's Zen 3, Ryzen-5000 series of CPUs launched to great critical and customer acclaim. However, silicon performance can only get you so far - one other issue impacting market penetration is availability of said processors. As AMD fights for constrained wafer supply from TSMC - in no small part due to their focusing of their entire portfolio on the company's highly-sought 7 nm process - users worldwide are generally seeing insufficient stocks of AMD silicon to satisfy their needs. And as such, it seems that at least some users are going with Intel solutions, due to their higher availability in the market.

According to a report from Mercury Research, AMD's constrained chip supply has led the company to a market share loss QoQ. AMD's desktop penetration fell from 20.1% to 19.3% in a single quarter, and its mobile market share saw a similar decrease, going from a 20.1% share down to 19.1%. Of course, not only from market share and shipments are a company's financials made of; AMD ushered in higher ASP (Average Selling Price) for its products, leading the company to a 50% increase in YoY revenue. This doesn't mean AMD is selling less CPUs, however; the x86 CPU market grew a massive 20.1% YoY, so AMD is actually shipping more product than in previous years - it just couldn't account for the entirety of that x86 market increase. Overall, and considering AMD's desktop, mobile, and server markets, the company's x86 market share decreased by 0.7% in Q4 2020 to 21.7% - still a very significant increase, YoY, from its previous 15.5% of the market pie.
Sources: Mercury Research, via Tom's Hardware
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114 Comments on Despite AMD Momentum, Intel Claws Back Market Share in Both Desktop and Mobile

#101
kapone32
RandallFlagg
Agreed. However, I think AMD is more guilty of that than Intel. See my previous post, we now know they shipped a bit under 1M Zen 3. That is about what Intel shipped in less than 1 day.

I'm quite certain that had they wanted to, Intel could have shipped 1M Rocket Lake CPUs in Q4. As noted, it only takes a day. In fact, I'd be suprised if Intel didn't already have tens of millions of Rocket Lake chips sitting around ready for shipment.

What AMD did is the definition of paper launch :

"A release of a product, especially a computer component, in extremely limited quantities, making it very difficult for consumers to get their hands on. The purpose of this is generally for a company to be able to say "we have the fastest chip", before they can actually produce large numbers of them. "
It would not surprise me if Intel held back new products. I don't think that AMD is in a position to wantonly do that though. What I would postulate is that the demand for the consoles took everybody by surprise. I also believe that the stall of the supply chain earlier had a stronger effect on AMD than Intel simply due to their supply chain.
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#102
RandallFlagg
kapone32
It would not surprise me if Intel held back new products. I don't think that AMD is in a position to wantonly do that though. What I would postulate is that the demand for the consoles took everybody by surprise. I also believe that the stall of the supply chain earlier had a stronger effect on AMD than Intel simply due to their supply chain.
That's probably all true. I have a problem with how AMD characterized it though, they said 'unprecedented demand' was why there was a shortage.

I call that mixing truth with lies. Demand was unprecedented. However, even if there had been normal demand in Q4 of ~100M PCs, they would have only had 1%.

If Su had said 'We're contractually bound to fulfill PS5/Xbox first, but we wanted to get some out to early adopters to show the market what was coming' - then I'd be perfectly ok with that. Because it would be like, honest.

But that is not what they said, they used the high demand as cover for what was always a low volume paper launch that never had a chance to fill demand, even in normal times.
Posted on Reply
#103
kapone32
RandallFlagg
That's probably all true. I have a problem with how AMD characterized it though, they said 'unprecedented demand' was why there was a shortage.

I call that mixing truth with lies. Demand was unprecedented. However, even if there had been normal demand in Q4 of ~100M PCs, they would have only had 1%.

If Su had said 'We're contractually bound to fulfill PS5/Xbox first, but we wanted to get some out to early adopters to show the market what was coming' - then I'd be perfectly ok with that. Because it would be like, honest.

But that is not what they said, they used the high demand as cover for what was always a low volume paper launch that never had a chance to fill demand, even in normal times.
I like that the debate is structured but AMD is for me not in a position to show weakness (true or not) of their operation. I am confident that not even AMD were aware of how high the demand would be for their chips either. The consoles were the one though. When did Sony start (world wide) pre-orders for the PS5? For years AMD has made a fool of itself in some cases but Lisa Su is not perfect but she is about the most honest CEO in that space that I have seen.

I think we can give them a pass for Xmas with the launch of Valhalla and CP 20077. I was floored to read somewhere that Epic has 190 million users.

You already established that AMD is killing it in the DIY. It's not like you can't buy a 5600X or 5950X. The 5800X is starting to trickle in but the 5900X is hard to get. It is only the beginning of February. Regardless of how we look at it the internet sale, in a qurantine of PC parts that have seen a 100+% uptick in adoption can cause serious supply chain constraints. Wait till we get the numbers for some of the players. Didn't Logitech have a 95% increase in revenue Y over Y?
Posted on Reply
#104
Arc1t3ct
Caring1
Fixed that for you.
It's a case of buy from us only or else.
Exclusive "high volume" partners get better prices. This is true for most markets.
Posted on Reply
#105
RandallFlagg
kapone32
I like that the debate is structured but AMD is for me not in a position to show weakness (true or not) of their operation. I am confident that not even AMD were aware of how high the demand would be for their chips either. The consoles were the one though. When did Sony start (world wide) pre-orders for the PS5? For years AMD has made a fool of itself in some cases but Lisa Su is not perfect but she is about the most honest CEO in that space that I have seen.

I think we can give them a pass for Xmas with the launch of Valhalla and CP 20077. I was floored to read somewhere that Epic has 190 million users.

You already established that AMD is killing it in the DIY. It's not like you can't buy a 5600X or 5950X. The 5800X is starting to trickle in but the 5900X is hard to get. It is only the beginning of February. Regardless of how we look at it the internet sale, in a qurantine of PC parts that have seen a 100+% uptick in adoption can cause serious supply chain constraints. Wait till we get the numbers for some of the players. Didn't Logitech have a 95% increase in revenue Y over Y?
Numbers really are already out. AMD lost market share, and did not make very many Zen 3.

I think one can also infer that AMD 'defended' its market share during Q4 by selling through backstock of Zen 2 that it had left, since 1M Zen 3 would be 0.6% of the market and of AMDs 20% share - about 3% of that.

That means 97% of AMDs sales were something other than Zen 3.

So in effect, they got the halo effect of Zen 3 and used it to sell Zen 2.

But the past is the past. Main question is, what happens now.

PS5/Xbox are still sold out. Intel is probably 6 weeks away from starting to get RKL into consumer hands - and will likely do so with tens of millions of units to start, not sub 1 million. TGL-H is out, albeit on the 35W 4 core versions, but we expect to see the 45W 6 cores in March along with RKL.

Allocation in Q4 was 80% PS5/Xbox, so what we see entering the market now is probably the result of the remaining 20%. However, it is Q1 now, and I've seen nothing about what they are allocating in Q1.

Q1 demand should be far lower than Q4, the holidays have that effect every year. So this little bit of easier to get supply of Zen 3 (at this moment, it is sold out everywhere I looked, but to your point I have seen 5600X/5800X stay in stock for hours in the past week vs seconds a month ago) - this may actually be nothing more than demand dropoff following the holidays.

Meanwhile I can get a 10600K at microcenter for $190, and a 10700K for $280, and a 10850K for $350.
Posted on Reply
#106
Caring1
RandallFlagg
Article that has an estimated number for how many Zen 3 shipped in Q4.

Almost 1 Million.

Now lets put that in perspective, which the article completely failed to do.

How many PCs shipped in 2020? 302.4M.

Zen 3 was only a Q4 product. So, what were PC shipments in Q4? 143.7M

Ok, so AMD shipped < 1M Zen 3 in Q4, into a market of 143.7M PCs sold.

This comes out to 0.6%.

To put this in more perspective, Intel had about 80.5% of the market. 80.5% of 143.7M is 115.7M. A quarter is 3 months, or roughly 90 days.

1M CPUs is about how many CPUs Intel shipped in 3/4 of one day in Q4, on average.
Quantity does not equate quality.
Pretty sure we have already established Intel saturates the market to retain sales dominance (along with their shady practices).
Posted on Reply
#107
MikeSnow
About this "paper launch" thing, availability is indeed a bit spotty for Zen 3. I randomly checked Amazon UK and I only found the 5800X. Amazon Germany had three out of the four Zen 3s available, with the 5950X missing. Here in Romania the 5950X is missing as well, but the other three have been in stock at all times this year. In Bulgaria I didn't find any of the Zen 3 CPUs.

But I don't think we can fully blame AMD for this. It's an industry wide problem. Intel is lucky enough to have its own fabs, so they are in a better position, but other than that, AMD, Nvidia, the memory manufacturers, etc., all have problems delivering enough chips and/or are fighting for manufacturing capacity. Even the auto manufacturers are affected by the poor availability of various chips used in the cars and had to reduce production.

I don't see why AMD should have waited more to build a Zen 3 stock. Me and two of my friends already have Zen 3 CPUs, and if AMD would have postponed this launch, I would have probably still been stuck with my old 7700k. So personally, I'm happy AMD had this "paper launch", and I can enjoy gaming on a nearly a silent PC, compared to my previous one that sounded like a vacuum cleaner as soon as I saturated a core.

And if you choose buy Intel because of these availability and price issues, I don't blame you. They are good products, although a bit too power hungry for my taste for 2021.

I'm not happy about this situation either, but it is what it is. You can't build extra manufacturing capacity overnight. I think we'll be lucky if these problems go away by next year.
Posted on Reply
#108
ColinB123
As usual, 'market share' is for bragging rights, not much else. "1 millionth processor....."
It's the revenue, and crucially, the profitability that translates into a healthy future (actually, any future at all!)
Now, if only AMD can manage their supply (ermmm,,, 'demand') better, they'll be able to take advantage of an historic period.
Posted on Reply
#109
RandallFlagg
MikeSnow
But I don't think we can fully blame AMD for this. It's an industry wide problem.
AMD can absolutely be blamed. When their major release comprises ~3% of what they sold for the quarter, and 0.6% of the overall market, that absolutely fits the definition of a paper launch. This has nothing to do with production, they simply did not make them, they made something else.

In other words, they made a conscious decision to release a product which they had no intention of making in quantity. Logically they might be able to hide behind the supply constraint argument had say 20% or even 10% of their sold units been Zen 3. But it wasn't 20%, nor was it 10%. It was 3%. This was released purely for marketing purposes.
Posted on Reply
#110
Makaveli
RandallFlagg
AMD can absolutely be blamed. When their major release comprises ~3% of what they sold for the quarter, and 0.6% of the overall market, that absolutely fits the definition of a paper launch. This has nothing to do with production, they simply did not make them, they made something else.

In other words, they made a conscious decision to release a product which they had no intention of making in quantity. Logically they might be able to hide behind the supply constraint argument had say 20% or even 10% of their sold units been Zen 3. But it wasn't 20%, nor was it 10%. It was 3%. This was released purely for marketing purposes.
I think the quantity was there just not for the consumer market.

Their priority is OEM, Enterprise, and console with consumer being last. The first two markets provide the biggest revenue for them and console is all mind share. If I was in there position my would have done the same thing. And Intel most likely has the exact same priorities when it comes to allocation production minus a console market. And yes intel still has it own fabs but I don't see them doing it differently.
Posted on Reply
#111
renz496
kapone32
You mean like securing 7nm orders from TSMC.

Intel was being outsold up to 6 to 1 in the newest consumer market (Germany). You can buy any AMD CPUs from Germany and some of the companies provide free world wide shipping too. What I see for the last quarter was as Xmas loomed and interest in PC hit a fever pitch many pre built PCs that had been sitting in inventory for months were gobbled up by parents of adolescents and some PC lovers. As evidence, (before it became known), when the 3000 series and 6000 series launched one could buy a mid range Gaming PC for the cost of a 3080. The consoles are probably the biggest drag on supply but we are starting to see supply improve. It would seem the 5600X is becoming easier to acquire.
AMD is doing fine in DIY market but OEM still dominated by intel due to sheer volume intel able to deliver.
Posted on Reply
#112
Tom Sunday
kapone32
I like that the debate is structured but AMD is for me not in a position to show weakness (true or not) of their operation. I am confident that not even AMD were aware of how high the demand would be for their chips either. The consoles were the one though. When did Sony start (world wide) pre-orders for the PS5? For years AMD has made a fool of itself in some cases but Lisa Su is not perfect but she is about the most honest CEO in that space that I have seen.

I think we can give them a pass for Xmas with the launch of Valhalla and CP 20077. I was floored to read somewhere that Epic has 190 million users.

You already established that AMD is killing it in the DIY. It's not like you can't buy a 5600X or 5950X. The 5800X is starting to trickle in but the 5900X is hard to get. It is only the beginning of February. Regardless of how we look at it the internet sale, in a qurantine of PC parts that have seen a 100+% uptick in adoption can cause serious supply chain constraints. Wait till we get the numbers for some of the players. Didn't Logitech have a 95% increase in revenue Y over Y?
I worked in high profile corporate appointments all of my life. Starting with the days when they came to our colleges in Cambridge (Boston) and hired us on as junior executives. Actually competing for us. The statement here earlier made "I call that mixing truth with lies" is 100% correct and still maintains itself tofay in all corporate walks of life. Its called marketing. Once I became a HQ VP with an office on windowed VP row, it became glaringly clear that they were "Predators and then the Chickens." Being in the very lucrative pharma business we always took the position that the customer is our chicken. The need us more as we need them.

Mr. Huang who is now pulling down a nifty annual CEO cash compensation of USD$12 million has the same attitude. (Huang holds US$11 billion worth of NVIDIA stock directly under his own name) Reality: With people like Huang, Bill Gates, and or Lisa Lu they are not living any more in the reality of the chickens. The live sheltered away from the chickens behind the gate of a country club community and in mid-century fairway homes. Mr. Huang right now doesn't care about a few bitching DIY's who's 1%-2% marketshare and chicken life revolves around staying in line to buy a GPU. He has bigger fish to fry like putting to good use the USD$40 billion (ARM) aquisition. Maybe he will have a few CPU's coming your way.

The only real thing that has however changed is that hi-tech corporate executives do not have to wear suits anymore, work on campuses and addressing shareholders in T-shirts. No problem, with a total shareholder return of 190%, over three years time all NIVIDIA shareholders are smiling all the way to the bank.
Posted on Reply
#113
kapone32
Tom Sunday
I worked in high profile corporate appointments all of my life. Starting with the days when they came to our colleges in Cambridge (Boston) and hired us on as junior executives. Actually competing for us. The statement here earlier made "I call that mixing truth with lies" is 100% correct and still maintains itself tofay in all corporate walks of life. Its called marketing. Once I became a HQ VP with an office on windowed VP row, it became glaringly clear that they were "Predators and then the Chickens." Being in the very lucrative pharma business we always took the position that the customer is our chicken. The need us more as we need them.

Mr. Huang who is now pulling down a nifty annual CEO cash compensation of USD$12 million has the same attitude. (Huang holds US$11 billion worth of NVIDIA stock directly under his own name) Reality: With people like Huang, Bill Gates, and or Lisa Lu they are not living any more in the reality of the chickens. The live sheltered away from the chickens behind the gate of a country club community and in mid-century fairway homes. Mr. Huang right now doesn't care about a few bitching DIY's who's 1%-2% marketshare and chicken life revolves around staying in line to buy a GPU. He has bigger fish to fry like putting to good use the USD$40 billion (ARM) aquisition. Maybe he will have a few CPU's coming your way.

The only real thing that has however changed is that hi-tech corporate executives do not have to wear suits anymore, work on campuses and addressing shareholders in T-shirts. No problem, with a total shareholder return of 190%, over three years time all NIVIDIA shareholders are smiling all the way to the bank.
Mr Huang has proven himself to be no different than the rest of them agreed. I do think that Lisa and indeed AMD are different though. What I would point at are the relationships that AMD has established with their products and solidified with their service. I am in no illusions that Lisa (AMD) are not intoxicated by the fumes of their own conceit. I honestly think that AMD could care less about what Nvidia does at this point and may even be less reticent to give us value for our money. I do think though that AMD cares about their base a little bit more.
Posted on Reply
#114
Tom Sunday
kapone32
I am in no illusions that Lisa (AMD) are not intoxicated by the fumes of their own conceit. I do think though that AMD cares about their base a little bit more.
Indeed you are correct in all of your statements. While I am sitting here retired with a golden parachute and allowing my former corporate times (again) to simply deluge me. When one hits the magic 70-years of age one looks at the world quite differently. But corporately I have been company to things you would not believe. And those still being exercised and or observed by the many I left benind or mentored and even pushed into SVP positions. As to Lisa she in her corporate leadership role today clearly is a giant compared to the many out there, besides making a lot of people active on Wall Street a lot of money. She had a great ride over especially the past 10-12 months. But as we all know so well Wall Street has no memory. So for Lisa its now "intermission" and many are looking for an encore. I dearly wish her well. Thanks for your kind comments.
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