Chip makers AMD and Intel are competing viciously for shares of the mobile processor market and notebook and portable customers can expect to benefit as both companies race for new technologies and a price war ensures.
The financials of both companies, spilled in quarterly earnings reports made public Oct. 17 by Intel, Oct. 18 by AMD, presented a tale of revenue and margins that told of price war at hand and still to come. Each reported that sale prices for mobile chips were flat, but that sales have gone through the roof.
Each is battling for dominance in the mobile space as vendors make the notebook computer their primary market. While estimates vary, analysts believe notebook sales will overtake desktop sales as the main source of revenue for most large PC manufacturers in the next few years.
"This is a highly competitive space, not just with features sets, but also price, and it benefits the consumer greatly," said Jim McGregor, an analyst with the InStat Group of Phoenix, Ariz.
"In the last decade, you saw the price of desktops fall and now it seems that notebooks are headed that way. What we have now is not a true mobile solution; its more like a semi-mobile solution. I think we are moving toward a true mobile solution and notebooks are going to have a much more consumer-oriented price range."
Better processor technology also plays a role in what types of notebooks IT departments will look to purchase and vendors are equally jumping over themselves to incorporate the new advances of the chips as well slash prices. Traditional improvements, such as clock speed, have given way to other features, like more energy efficient machines, better management options and longer battery life.
If a price war cometh, Intel may have the upper hand, with their better financial outlook and a greater size being able to absorb lower prices in notebooks sales as the solid margins from its desktop and server processors continue.
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