IDC: Intel lost ground to AMD again last quarter

Perhaps AMD's financial success in the fourth quarter wasn't due entirely to that $1.25-billion Intel settlement. The underdog also managed to grow its share of microprocessor shipments in both the desktop and mobile markets, according to the latest round of numbers by market research firm IDC.

AMD commanded almost 29% of the desktop microprocessor market in the fourth quarter, up from exactly 26% a year before:

  Q4 2008 Q3 2009 Q4 2009
Intel 73.9% 72.2% 71.1%
AMD 26.0% 27.4% 28.6%

The smaller firm also made headway in the mobile market, although it remained a much smaller player there. We can probably attribute some of that increase to AMD's new consumer ultraportable processors like the Athlon Neo, which have shown up in a wealth of laptops recently.

  Q4 2008 Q3 2009 Q4 2009
Intel 89.1% 88.0% 87.3%
AMD 10.2% 11.9% 12.7%

For the microprocessor market in its entirety, IDC says AMD's share has crept up from 17.7% in the fourth quarter of 2008 to 18.7% in Q3 2009 and 19.4% in Q4 2009. Intel's market share fell from 81.9% to 81.1% and 80.5%, respectively, over the same three quarters.

IDC's latest report also includes data about the health of the microprocessor market. Reportedly, overall shipments "rose modestly" between the third and fourth quarters, suggesting the market "is returning to normal seasonal patterns." Q4 2009 microprocessor shipments were 31.3% higher than a year before, too. Looking at 2009 as a whole, IDC recorded a 2.5% increase in shipments and a 7.1% decline in revenue.

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