Intel's empire wasn't built in a day, nor does it look like it's in any danger of falling. AMD does continue to chip away, however, and managed to gain some ground in the market share disparity between the two chip makers.
According to iSuppli, AMD in the fourth quarter of 2009 grabbed a 12.1 percent chunk of worldwide microprocessor revenues , picking up 1.6 percentage points from its position in the same quarter in 2008, and 0.28 percent over its position in Q3 of 2009.
Intel, meanwhile, dropped a percentage point from 2008, but still holds a dominating 80.6 share of the market. The No. 1 chip maker did gain slightly over the previous quarter, rising 0.1 of a point from 80.5 percent.
"For the full year of 2009, the market share situation was somewhat more balanced with AMD and Intel picking up two-tenths and three-tenths of a percent of share, respectively, in 2009 compared to 2008," said Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst for computer platforms at iSuppli. "This is an interesting development because PC average selling prices (ASPs) dropped significantly during the course of 2009 - especially for notebooks. So, the fact that AMD and Intel virtually maintained their market share at the annual level shows that neither supplier was overly punished by the dropping ASPs. It also indicates that neither was able to capitalize on the situation very effectively."
All other chip makers accounted for 7.3 percent of combined shipments.