CHIPMAKER Intel came out of its Sandy Bridge chipset recall smelling like a rose, managing to increase its share of the chip market in the first quarter of 2011.
Following the launch of Intel's Sandy Bridge architecture at CES in January, the firm was left to announce the embarrassing recall of eight million or so Cougar Point chipsets after a bug was found in its SATA controller. At the time The INQUIRER said that Intel handled the recall well by taking a proactive approach, something that Isuppli's figures confirm.
Analysts at Isuppli claim that not only did Intel weather the Cougar Point chipset recall but it managed to increase its market share to 82.6 per cent, an increase of 1.6 per cent over the fourth quarter in 2010. AMD's market share on the other hand has been squeezed even further, accounting for just 10.1 per cent of the first quarter 2011 market.
Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst of compute platforms at IHS said, "The fact that [Intel] achieved a 25 per cent increase in revenue in the first quarter of 2011 compared to the same period in 2010 shows that its chipset concern did not really affect the company to a significant degree. This serves as a testament to Intel's capability to react to a potential crisis with speed and agility. Intel's handling of the issue on both the public relations and business fronts stands in stark contrast to other recent examples of big companies facing major product quality challenges."
Intel's Cougar Point chipset recall could have gone so much worse for the firm, since it affected the firm's headline product for 2011. While the company should be lauded for owning up to and dealing with the matter, the fact that it managed to increase its market share by almost two percentage points is a surprise. AMD will be hoping that its Llano APUs will help it claw back some of the lost ground, which Isuppli pegged at 1.7 per cent since the first quarter of 2010.
Although Isuppli's figures paint a rosy picture for Intel at present, the analyst firm notes that tablets are going to "cut down" netbook shipments, a market where Intel is extremely strong with its Atom chip. It cites Apple's Ipad as a device that will push the popularity of system-on-chip designs, a market where Intel is all but absent. µ