Lost Apple business could hurt Nvidia's market share

When Apple unveiled its refreshed MacBook Pro lineup last month, everyone focused on the Sandy Bridge processors within and the new Thunderbolt port. Apple did make another very notable change, however: it ditched Nvidia across the board, offering users either Sandy Bridge's built-in graphics component (in the 13" MacBook Pro) or AMD Radeons (in the bigger models).

DigiTimes now reports that Nvidia's GPU market share for the first half of 2011 could be "impacted" by the change. Depending on exactly how Nvidia's share suffers, it could mean the company didn't make up for the lost business with other design wins.

Apple is certainly a bigger player than it used to be, and it has gone from nearly universal adoption of Nvidia GPUs to a more mixed product lineup. Nvidia chips remain integrated by default in the MacBook, MacBook Air, and Mac mini, while the Macbook Pro and iMac lineups have defected to AMD. Considering the MacBook, MacBook Air, and Mac mini all feature older Core 2 processors, though, they might follow.

DigiTimes blames Nvidia's unwillingness to offer discounts for the defection. By contrast, it says AMD "has offered a good quote and is showing a corporative [sic] attitude." The site expects AMD to "be able to form further cooperation with Apple," as well.

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