The chip choices that Dell has made for its business PC line provide some insight into the challenges facing Advanced Micro Devices in the wake of the European Union ruling Wednesday against Intel.
“At this point in time we have one AMD desktop but no AMD notebooks,” Darrel Ward, director of product management for Dell’s business client product group, said in a phone interview Wednesday on a topic unrelated to the EU case. “If you talk to us a year from now, it’s probably going to be different. What we try to do is optimize our portfolio based off where we see demand and where we can get the best ROI (Return On Investment) for our engineering dollars.”
So, is Dell involved in some venal backroom dealings with Intel in order to box out AMD? We don’t know the answer to that question, but most likely not. Dell is simply trying to provide what it considers to be the best systems for its customers.
AMD’s 2001 complaint to the EU and subsequent 2005 antitrust lawsuit against Intel have propelled many of the allegations against Intel. And AMD’s argument has been made abundantly clear via the EU decision: that is, Intel is leveraging its dominant market position in an illegal manner to exclude competitors from the PC processor market.
But what about AMD competitiveness? And, as a corollary, why do vendors like Dell choose Intel over AMD?
“In part it’s because Intel’s manufacturing is so superb,” said Dan Hutcheson, CEO and Chairman of VLSI Research, a marketing research firm. “And the fact that Intel has such huge economies of scale. That’s been one of their big advantages.”