In recent months, AMD’s market share in Japan has dwindled, with the company dropping substantial ground to Intel. According to BCN, a Japanese electronics aggregator that gathers sales volume data from shops and e-tailers across the country, AMD-branded CPU sales dropped to their lowest level in three years in January, accounting for barely 25% of overall sales volume. As is customary, AMD’s loss is Intel’s gain, with the blue behemoth claiming a 74 per cent share of total sales for the same month.
AMD’s market share in Japan (measured by monthly sales volume) peaked at over 70% in June 2020; the second peak of 68 per cent of monthly CPU shipments came in December of the same year, aided by the launch of the Ryzen 5000-series CPU family a month earlier. In any event, it appears that the most popular AMD goods revolved around the Ryzen 5 family’s exceptional price-to-performance ratio, with products from this family accounting for about half of AMD’s sales during those peak months.
Intel suffered severe shortages during 2020 due to low production yields with its 10nm manufacturing process. Thus, AMD’s market share gains aren’t entirely attributable to the company (now rebranded to Intel 7). These disruptions wreaked havoc on Intel’s roadmap, forcing the corporation to backport designs to 14nm to fulfil performance and volume demands rather than using the ill-fated (at the time) 10nm technology. AMD products were able to fill the hole created by Intel’s manufacturing troubles due to Intel’s less competitive portfolio, higher volume of overall worldwide market share across product categories, and AMD’s then-advantage of having its production at TSMC.
However, in the semiconductor industry, tides do turn, and Intel has mostly recovered from its manufacturing challenges, ramping up volumes following the re-engineering of the 10nm process with its SuperFin technology. Meanwhile, AMD is experiencing shortages with its foundry partner TSMC, which also serves some of the world’s largest wafer-consuming companies alongside AMD — Apple, Qualcomm, and several other clients competing for TSMC’s limited node production capacity, which the pandemic has exacerbated.
One can conclude that AMD’s declining market share indicates that the company’s CPUs have grown less desired than Intel’s. The debut of Alder Lake and the 12th Gen Core family, which put Intel back on pace with AMD in terms of CPU performance (and in our Best CPUs for Gaming selections), undoubtedly contributed to AMD’s sales slump. However, despite the overwhelming demand and supply limits in the electronics sector, AMD has continually outperformed its peers in terms of earnings, leading the IC (Integrated Circuit) industry’s growth for 2021.
AMD, like all other corporations, emphasises the production (and delivery) of products with higher ASPs (Average Sale Price) — and even then, AMD prioritises inventories and supplies for markets where its brand is more well-known. We may be observing the consequences of AMD’s product and distribution goals. Still, the reality remains that Intel outsold AMD three to one in Japan, with a significant portion of the sales volume gain occurring after the November 2021 launch of Alder Lake. A month isn’t enough to establish a pattern, but smoke does tend to ascend whenever there’s a fire.
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