AMD has had some pretty serious problems over the past two years, mostly caused quite obviously by their ongoing war with the rivals from Intel. These problems were further deepened by the fact that Core 2 Duo architectures behave far better than any of AMD's CPUs in just about any application, and this state of facts has led to a very serious slump in the company's market share. Moreover, even if everyone's expecting the August launch of their future quad-core family of processors, code-named Barcelona, there is still a lot of skepticism related to its actual performances.
For these reasons, and also in an attempt to cut its very serious losses, the company decided to make a bold (yet not quite unexpected) move and almost completely eliminate its single-core line-up, while cutting the prices of their dual-cores CPUs. Thus, according to an article by Kristopher Kubicki for DailyTech, AMD has decided to completely phase out all single-core Athlon and Sempron models currently on retail. Moreover, the company's also dropping two of its lowest-cost dual-cores, namely the Athlon 64 X2 3800+ and 3600+, currently priced at $79 and $69, respectively.
However, we're not talking about a worldwide move, since the ultra-low cost Athlon 64 3500+, Athlon 64 3200+, Sempron 3500+ and Sempron 3200+ will continue to exist in high growth markets, like Brazil, Russia, India and China, where most customers can't really afford to purchase the more expensive dual or quad-core versions.
As for the price-cuts mentioned earlier, they're quite impressive, at least in some cases. Thus, the top-range 6000+ model will retail for just $169 (a $60 drop from the previous 229 US dollars price), while the other models, down to 4000+, will record price drops between 20-40 US dollars.
As suspected, besides the aforementioned reasons, this move also has an Intel-related cause. Thus as the same article from DailyTech informs us it would seem that these price-cuts actually represent a pre-emptive strike at Intel, which also announced a wave of price-cuts for July 22. However, it's still debatable whether AMD's decision will make any difference, but we'll probably have to wait until fall to see its exact effects.
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