Published in Graphics

Nvidia is out of most Apple notebooks in 2011

by on10 December 2010

AMD gets in on the action
We've asked around in our industry source circles and we got some confirmation on rumours claiming that Nvidia is out of Apple.

Intel will replace Nvidia in most of its low-end notebook models and AMD will get many of it smobile GPUs in some higher end MacBook Pro class SKUs. Again, we will repeat that AMD will get Fusion to Apple in late 2011 for some entry level notebooks as well. Nvidia will continue to provide GPUs for recently refreshed MacBook Air products. This won't change in 2011.

AMD won the deal using the same strategy that they used with HP. It sells GPUs below prices it usually charges and this is apparently a Nvidia is unwilling to play. AMD investors will see some comfort in getting AMD in more Apple products, but we don’t see much profit for the troubled chip maker, at least not in the short term. AMD has most of HP’s mobile GPU business as it loses money on its GPUs, so the same thing will happen in the Apple deal.

Still, analysts won’t see this as a good development for Nvidia, as losing Apple means losing a lot of face and a few percent of total Nvidia notebook business market share. Separate reports confirmed by some announcement made by Nvidia CEO Jen Hsun Huang indicate that the company got most of Sandy Bridge quad core design wins with its Optimus platform and that they have scored much more business than in 2010 or as a matter a fact ever, but this is something that we will have to look deeper into.

So, while the Apple deal is a clear loss for Nvidia, it appears to be a pyrrhic victory for AMD. The only clear winner is Apple, as it will offer more choice to consumers and pay less for mobile GPUs.

Last modified on 10 December 2010
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