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In fact, independent market research company IDC says that the underdog is gaining market share on archrival Intel (Nasdaq: INTC ) . While Intel has launched one strong product after another lately, and AMD seems to be trailing in many respects, consumers and corporate buyers still see value in AMDs products.
Intel lost 4.7 percentage points of total processor market share to land at 77.3% in the first quarter, according to IDC's report. AMD picked up 4.6 points to a 22.3% share, and far-behind low-power specialist VIA snagged the remaining 0.4% of the market.
Much of the market shift came from Intel's netbook-level Atom chips, whose sales dropped 33% from the previous quarter. Sophomore slumps sure happen fast in the semiconductor space. Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ ) and Dell (Nasdaq: DELL ) have been selling netbooks for over a little over half a year now, and Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) still hasn't entered that cost-conscious market.
So the Atom phenom couldn't hold on to its early gains. But the larger lesson to learn here is that AMD remains a strong competitor even while Intel is executing very well. In years past, AMD's success often depended on Intel making mistakes like delaying a critical processor upgrade. That's no longer the case.
My mainstay AMD holdings are still worth about half of what I paid for them a couple of years ago -- but the additional batch I picked up last December has doubled in value. On average, I feel pretty good -- one foot in the freezer and one in the oven -- and the battle will rage on for years to come with plenty of share gains still ahead. Count on it.