Product Availability and Retail Marketing

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Now that you know all about the processor and its features, when and where can you get one? As I went over briefly earlier, they are in fact available now in many places throughout the country and the world. Unless you have been hiding under a rock, you have probably seen the pictures of the Athlon XP being sold in Japan since the third of October.

There are several major OEMs planning on releasing some Athlon XP systems either today or very soon. Both Compaq and HP have already preliminarily signed on with AMD to being a major OEM for this new processor to the public. Worldwide, there are more than 10 that are in the final stages of production or shipment of complete systems to retail or online outlets. There will also be a good supply of OEM and retail boxed processors for consumers to purchase, starting today. Many of AMD’s channel and system builder partners have had the product in stock for nearly a week, but simply weren’t allowed to sell them until today. Monarch Computer is one such company that has the Athlon XP processors for sale now.

As of today, all chipset manufacturers that have AMD-based product available are claiming to have or are completing the final stages of certification for the AMD Athlon XP processor. This including AMD’s own AMD 760 chipset, Acer Labs M1647 chipset, SiS and their 735 as well as 745 and 750 chipsets, VIA’s KT266 and KT266A chipsets and the upcoming NVIDIA nForce chipset. Whether or not the individual boards that use these chipsets are compatible and ready to go is still in the air, and will be discussed on the following page.

As the retail market becomes the main focus of AMD’s market muscle, what can you expect to see the next time you enter a Best Buy or Circuit City and glance at the computers they have for sale? The marketing tags will look something like this:

Notice on the retail information sheet that the computer will be labeled solely with its model number, but that the actual operating frequency will be included in the information so as to avoid any ideas of false advertising, etc. It will be up to the retail sales personnel to describe what QuantiSpeed architecture is and how it helps the Athlon XP processor outperform competitive 1.8 GHz processors. How well this tactic works has yet to be seen, but with proper training on the sales floor, I think AMD will have a much easier time competing with Intel in terms of marketing in the retail segment.

This retail shelf tag example will probably change in 2002 when AMD and its partners release the still under development standard performance number system.

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