Posted by: Olga Kharif on September 1, 2005
I just got a copy of the letter that chipmaker Intel has finally written in response to a lawsuit from smaller rival AMD. No surprises there: Intel calls AMD’s claims “incorrect and contradictory.” You can view the full response here.
But looking through the full, 63-page letter (it’s, basically, rehashing the history of the microprocessor and Intel’s rise to fame), I found one noteworthy comment that Intel makes. According to the document, Intel denies that AMD has ever upped it in technological leadership. Which pitches Intel against the rest of the world, which is convinced that AMD got a 64-bit chip out first.
Granted, Intel is saying this to explain why so many companies are buying its processors vs. AMD’s. Still, Intel’s statement seems contradictory (to repeat Intel’s own language where AMD’s claims are concerned) to what everyone knows to be true.
Of course, AMD makes lots of big claims of its own. My colleague Arik Hesseldahl just talked with AMD’s chief counsel, Tom McCoy, who said, “If we’re going to have straight-forward price competition, there would be a rapid rise in AMD’s market share.” True, AMD’s prices have historically been lower than Intel’s, and yet its market share has been a lot lower. But I believe that that’s not because Intel offers marketing incentives to its vendors, it’s simply that it spends more on marketing, so consumers are looking for those PCs with the “Intel Inside” sticker. AMD will have a lot of proving to do to convince me that’s not the case.
AMD is also promising to shine light on the inner workings of the “Intel Inside” program in court, which will no doubt make for interesting reading.