Last summer, iSuppli worked out that AMD only had 13% of the processor market in the first quarter of 2008. Could the new wave of Phenom II processors allow AMD to climb back up the ladder? According to DigiTimes, motherboard makers seem to expect so—they supposedly believe the share of AMD-compatible motherboards in the distribution channel will reach 30% in the first half of this year.
CPU shipments and motherboards in the channel aren't necessarily linked, of course, but DigiTimes' sources at board makers still expect AMD to make gains. They note that Socket AM2+ motherboards "support all AMD CPU lines"—including the freshly released batch of triple- and quad-core Socket AM3 processors—making them attractive to consumers "in terms of price/performance ratio." The sources aren't too enthusiastic about AM3 mobos, though, since they see high DDR3 memory prices as a limiting factor.
This reasoning is admittedly a tad puzzling, because there are plenty of affordable LGA775 motherboards out there with support for Intel's latest Core 2 processors. That said, folks who want Core i7 chips have to upgrade to expensive LGA1366 boards, and Intel will introduce a third socket with cheaper Core i7 derivatives in the second half of this year. Those changes could make users a little more reluctant to upgrade on the Intel side.