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Netbooks no longer appeal to first time buyers says Intel

The world of microprocessors is dominated by Intel with secondary players like AMD coming in far behind. Intel helped to usher in the era of the netbook with its wildly popular Atom line of CPUs and still has little in the way of competition.

Intel has announced that it sees the netbook market shifting. The company said that it no longer expects netbooks to appeal to first-time buyers. Intel says that it sees netbooks as a secondary computer for users or an option for kids needing their first computer.

Intel's Sean Maloney said at a media event, "I don't think first-time buyers are going to buy netbooks. The first time you buy something you want the real deal. It's consistent not just in China, but all around the world. If you're going to spend your hard-earned money for the first time, you're going to put a computer in your house."

Maloney said that he doesn't see the trend of netbook sales changing soon. The machines have traditionally sold to users with one or two PCs in the home already. He also adds that the market for kids 7-11 years old is underserved. Disney for instance is offering a netbook for kids that is festooned with Disney characters and software right out of the box.

EWeek reports that Q2 revenues for Atom processors and chipsets spiked 65% from the first quarter to $362 million. This was also the quarter where Intel had to pay the massive EU fine, which it is appealing. Intel also still maintains that netbooks will allow new people to be introduced to computing, which is particularly important in emerging markets. Netbooks, according to Maloney, are now a well-established market.

He said, "There is a new category established. That category is, to an extent, maturing. It is not so much in the early phases."

Much of the netbook focus isn't on the U.S. market with the economy still in a recession. Intel says that it sees the economy in areas like India and Brazil improving.

He says, "If you are dependent on the U.S. consumer, or U.S. business alone, obviously you are in one box. If you are global, you're in another. There are a number of countries, Brazil included, that actually seem to be coming back pretty quickly."

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Where is AMD?
By Belard on 7/30/2009 11:25:33 AM , Rating: 5
AMD.. what are YOU guys doing?

When the netbook market was forming up, big ol' Intel saw the same problem that others did. VIA's C3 type CPUs are weak as always and decided go into that market by re-packaging and updating a PentiumIII CPU.

How hard would it have been to re-package an AMD-32/XP mobile CPU into a smaller package (and remove some useless items) and bring that to the market? Considering that the AMD XP 2500 is more poweful than the P4s of that era and more so than the Atom... you guys could BE in that market as well... along with YOUR OWN ATI chipsets.

When you can make low-power dual core 64bit CPUs use 45watts or less today. I imagine you guys can do even more so with an older CPU... Like this AMD-XPm CPU at 35w with 130/180nm manufacturing (HUGE by todays standards)
Athlon XP-M 2200+ 1800 MHz Repackage it into a smaller package that is 1/3 the original size (453 pins). Grab a mobile ATI chipset and you're ready to go.

Could have been a bit cheaper than Intel, with better graphic performance and lower energy than intel. Then grab some market and respect.

AMD, you are blowing it again... But yeah, its understood that unlike Intel - you guys don't have the $$$ to R&D an old chip and manufacture on a newer smaller process. If you guys weren't in the red and blew it with the first X4 CPUs and held your own when C2D first came out - you could have done this.


RE: Where is AMD?
By Spivonious on 7/30/2009 11:28:25 AM , Rating: 2
Screw the Athlon XP. Put an old Thunderbird in a 45nm package and I'm sure the power levels would be low enough for a netbook.

RE: Where is AMD?
By HrilL on 7/30/2009 11:53:51 AM , Rating: 2
And it would still rock the atom as well.

AMD is avoiding the "netbook" market. They do have some new CPUs in the channel for ultra-mobile notebooks. They want to actually give people some bang for their buck while Intel does things differently. They give you crap and then when they finally come out with something better they expect you to spend more money on that. Smarter marketing but worse for the consumer. AMD's marketing has always been their major downfall. When was the last time you saw AMD ads?

When AMD had a better product Athlon x2 days Intel had so many ads and now that they are in the lead again I don't see many ads for them either. AMD needs better marketing if they want to get out of the hole they're in. Having a better product alone won't get you to the top.

RE: Where is AMD?
By Souka on 7/30/2009 6:57:46 PM , Rating: 3
I just love reading all these Pro AMD, anti-Intel comments....and vice versa...

"Intel does things differently. They give you crap "

RE: Where is AMD?
By Moishe on 7/31/2009 11:18:11 AM , Rating: 3
Not just better marketing, they need better everything.

AMD has some great CPUs and some great technology, but they're not executing well at all.

At it's size Intel should not be so much more nimble than AMD... but they ARE. Intel is executing their business almost flawlessly. I have always been a fan of AMD, but I have to admit that Intel is handing them their arses, and it's not just a matter of more money. This is a management issue. If AMD had technology that was similar and the management to predict, understand, and enter emerging markets quickly AND market themselves well, they would do well despite Intel's competition.

RE: Where is AMD?
By teldar on 7/30/2009 11:56:39 AM , Rating: 5
The Barton core was the best. After that it was a step backwards. I can't remember now, but I think it had more cache than the models that followed it, even though it was on a larger process. All I know is that both my parents have barton core XP's running that have been through a few motherboards each.

Beautiful CPU's.

RE: Where is AMD?
By Sulphademus on 7/30/2009 1:12:49 PM , Rating: 3
Barton was the last of the K7 Athlon line.
Barton doubled the L2 cache to 512. I dont remember if there was anything else different. [Maybe 90nm vs 130?]
The Hammer (Claw/Sledge) Opteron and Athlon 64 (K8) were the next ones after Barton.

RE: Where is AMD?
By Trippytiger on 7/30/2009 8:03:48 PM , Rating: 2
Barton was 130 nm. Big and high-voltage, just the way I like it!

RE: Where is AMD?
By djc208 on 7/30/2009 12:03:41 PM , Rating: 2
I think the other big problem is they don't have the fabrication capability. Even if they got something together tomorrow, it doesn't have a place to make them. It's only 45nm fab is probably full with it's desktop chips.

Besides it seems like they're doing OK in the low end laptop market, especially with their chipsets which have much better integrated graphics than the Intel machines in the same class.

But you're right, something here would be better than nothing.

RE: Where is AMD?
By PrinceGaz on 7/30/2009 4:28:34 PM , Rating: 3
AMD don't have any fabrication capability as they sold that side of the business so that they could concentrate on CPU design and selling. Therefore if Global Foundries doesn't have spare 45nm capacity, they could always have someone else like TSMC do it at 55nm or possibly 40nm.

RE: Where is AMD?
By crystal clear on 7/30/2009 1:02:06 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry the netbook market is exclusively for Intel & partners ....No AMD & No Apple -its just too late .

Soon it will be netbooks against smartbooks competing for their market share,namely Intel & ARM

RE: Where is AMD?
By Belard on 7/30/09, Rating: 0
RE: Where is AMD?
By crystal clear on 7/30/2009 9:00:07 PM , Rating: 2
Intel is not exclusive... They don't own the right

Yes they have become exclusive courtesy of & thanks to AMD .

Apple does not know how to make junk (as they call it).

I wish to see serious competition between Intel & ARM.

As for AMD they dont seem to get out of their spiral of losses & lame excuses & poor product offerings.

AMD is ready for a buyout/takeover by another company sooner or later.

RE: Where is AMD?
By augiem on 7/30/2009 2:19:21 PM , Rating: 2
No Apple? Yeah, for now. I would not be shocked at all to see Apple unveil a netbook. And it will of course NOT be called a net book and absolutely will be a revolutionary achievement for mankind.

Might be cool though. They'd probably give it a touch screen.

RE: Where is AMD?
By therealnickdanger on 7/30/2009 2:35:38 PM , Rating: 4
It will also debut for the bargain prices of $999.99.

RE: Where is AMD?
By smilingcrow on 7/30/2009 2:49:04 PM , Rating: 3
So many people here are assuming that AMD can build a more power efficient CPU than Atom for the Netbook market. Why assume that? Intel have easily had the more power efficient processors outside of the server market for years now so why you should AMD suddenly be able to build an Atom smasher? Considering Intel’s fabrication advantage over AMD it’s not an easy thing for them to beat Intel. Surely Intel will be first with a 32nm Netbook CPU which alone could give it a significant advantage.

RE: Where is AMD?
By DotNetGuru on 7/30/2009 4:34:45 PM , Rating: 1
Oooh, the Atom-Smasher... I like that name.
The problem is that Intel's architecture is years ahead of AMD and Intel is able to sell processor designs from a few years back as 'new' netbook processors. As always, the only reason AMD is still around is because Intel wants them there.

RE: Where is AMD?
By Moishe on 7/31/2009 11:25:37 AM , Rating: 2
AMD may have failed to start well, but nobody can be ruled out. The market for processors is always changing. If AMD had that mindset, they would have never entered the CPU market to begin with.

There is always room for innovation.

RE: Where is AMD?
By sprockkets on 8/1/2009 10:13:46 AM , Rating: 2
They do have an ATOM like cpu, it's called Geode, and they have the low power Athlon as well.

How many Atom boards have you seen? Now try and find AMD's low power processor for sale, anywhere.

"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook
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