Although Advanced Micro Devices has developed several generations of chips for tablet PCs, it has not shipped a lot of them because makers of tablets were not too interested in making slates based on x86 processors and Microsoft Windows operating system. As a result, AMD now believes that chips for tablets are no longer a priority for the company.
The PC market is slowly rebounding, therefore, it makes a lot of sense for AMD to address it, according to Kevin Lensing, senior director for mobility solutions at AMD. Next year AMD will continue to offer code-named Mullins accelerated processing unit for tablets and will not release a new APU for this market segment. Instead, the company will try to sell more system-on-chips for notebooks.
“The tablet market is in a price battle and profit margins for chip makers are minuscule. We are evaluating [tablets] closely. It is not our priority,” said Mr. Lensing in an interview with PCWorld.
Tablet sales are slowing, with the market concentrated around Apple, Samsung and low-cost Chinese tablet makers. AMD’s arch-rival Intel is currently the largest supplier of chips for non-Apple tablets. However, Intel’s mobile chip division constantly loses money because it has to compete against small Chinese chip vendors who are used to extremely thin margins.
But while AMD is concentrating resources on products in which it has the best chance to grow, including personal computers, it does not want to abandon the tablets completely.
“As the opportunities arise, we can nail it quickly,” said Mr. Lensing.
Moreover, keeping in mind that hybrid 2-in-1 systems are getting more and more popular, eventually AMD will have to offer chips for them.
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KitGuru Says: Keeping in mind that AMD cannot “buy” its way on the market of chips for tablets, like Intel, it makes a lot of sense for the company not to invest in this market segment and focus on PCs instead.