While other parts of the economy are definitely feeling the slowdown from the energy pinch, Intel remains upbeat and expects no slowdown in global demand for personal computers.
Eweek quotes Intel Chairman, Craig Barrett, "We gave a relatively upbeat business forecast, saying that despite the economic problems in the United States our business is so international that we didn't see any slowdown in the PC market."
He also seemed to brush off the European Union’s recent antitrust charges saying that price reductions for microprocessors and computers have an "anti-inflationary nature". While prices are rising globally, prices for computers and processors have dropped which he calls a testimony to high competition in the sector.
On the high end of desktop processors where Intel currently dominates, it is more like a boxer keeping his opponent on the ropes. AMD currently doesn’t have anything to compete directly with Intel’s high end and Intel would like to keep it that way by slashing its prices and keeping AMD safely behind. Good for consumers right now, but without serious competition those prices will go up someday and there may be less reason for rapid innovation.
Barrett went on to say "It looks as the market is functioning as it should, because every year consumers are getting more for less. We continue to say that, please just look at the facts, don't just listen to a competitor complaint."
Last year the European Commission accused Intel of giving computer makers rebates to limit their use of rival AMD's chips or avoid them altogether. They issued additional charges against Intel earlier this month, saying Intel had paid a retailer off to avoid offering computers with chips made by AMD.
It certainly sounds like Intel will use any tool it can lay its hands on to stay ahead of AMD, and when you’re the size of Intel, what is a little economic downturn?