Ever since AMD launched third-generation Ryzen back in July, there’s been evidence that the company’s CPUs were selling extremely well in the PC component channel. One company, European retailer Mindfactory, has released regular data dumps with retail sales comparisons showing AMD spiking to 80-82 percent market share. Now, leaked information suggests the trend has continued into February, which aligns well with overall Newegg and Amazon data.
— TechEpiphany (@TechEpiphany) February 23, 2020
For Week 8 of the year, AMD’s share of Mindfactory’s CPU sales has risen to 86.11 percent, up half a percent from previous. AMD has always been popular in Germany, but this is a very strong showing under any circumstances. Both Intel and AMD ASPs have dropped from where they were when we last checked in August, but AMD’s decline has been much larger. Intel ASPs have fallen from 296.87€ to 291.35€, though it looks as though ASPs swing a fair bit on the week to week. While we don’t have the graphs Mindfactory typically provides, the tweet above suggests the reason for the disparity — AMD’s top-shipping CPU is the 3600, at $199, compared with Intel’s 9700K, at $385.
Overall, AMD continues to perform extremely well in the desktop retail market. Eight of the top 10 best-selling CPUs at Amazon and seven out of 10 at Newegg are AMD. AMD currently holds about 15 percent of the overall PC market. Desktop is its strongest space; Mercury Research reported AMD’s market share as 17.7 percent as of Q4 2019. The reason stellar performances at Mindfactory aren’t translating into faster market share gain is that the retail CPU channel is only a fraction of the desktop market. Notebooks are also a much larger percentage of total PC shipments per year than desktops.
It’s unclear how significant the impact of coronavirus on PC sales will be. Microsoft, HP, and Apple have all warned about the impact coronavirus could have on their PC sales. Because virtually all systems are assembled in China, the work stoppages related to COVID-19 have hit production hard. Some of those factories are already coming back online, but production lines can’t just leap to full output from zero overnight.
One potential beneficiary of the slowdown is Intel, which has been struggling with a CPU shortage for over a year now. The impact of coronavirus has hit PC production much harder than CPU production as far as we know, which means the bottleneck has moved from Intel’s CPUs to the number of systems HP, Lenovo, Apple, and other companies can build on a weekly basis. We know for a fact that multiple OEMs have taken an output hit over the past month, which means Intel should have some spare inventory building for the rest of the year. We’ll have to wait for a few months to see how large the impact on Q1 2020 will be, and of course, that will itself depend on how far COVID-19 spreads, so it’s impossible to make a prediction right now.
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