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AMD CEO Promises Re-Structuring

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Frustrated once more by Intel, CEO Hector Ruiz is forced to study AMD’s exit from businesses outside AMD’s core: microprocessors and graphics chips.

It’s ironic the company may have to cut the very escape routes they desire the most to retreat from a deadly-competitive universe ruled by the blue giant star, Intel.

While Intel wooed Apple, AMD chose to woo Dell, once a famously-exclusive Intel shop. When AMD stumbled in its counterattack to Intel’s new chip line, AMD’s most-prized customer dumped them hard, hard enough so the loss of a single customer gets blame for much of the shortfall. Intel, on the other hand, went on to sell Apple 4 million units a year.

AMD was viewed as gutsy but never as a real rival to Intel until it grabbed an upper hand in 2003 with 64-bit Opteron. AMD now has to again build up enough tech success to generate the finances needed to fuel an escape from the black hole of direct competition with giant Intel.

Go AMD’s Q1

WH Smith Avoids Us, Expands into Denmark

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The confectionery, books and news retailer, reports sales up 1.8% to £734m. Group pre-tax profits rose by 8% as CEO Kate Swann’s strategy kicks in. She wants to avoid entertainment to focus on higher margin products such as confectionery, books and drinks.

In entertainment, like-for-like sales were down 15%. Gross margin was lower Y-to-Y due to a competitive market, price declines and lower-margin game consoles.

WH Smith is also due to open 5 units at Copenhagen airport in partnership with the outlets’ current operator SSP. But Swann says this move is not a precursor for more international expansion.

Bryan Pini Deceased

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Bryan PiniA sudden heart attack this week in Silicon Valley took Bryan Pini from us. Many readers will remember Bryan because he held executive roles in international sales at Asoka, Actiontec Electronics, Telecruz Technologies and Diamond Multimedia/S3/Sonic Blue. 

If you didn’t know Brian brought to Europe one of the world's first MP3 player, the Diamond Rio, then you may remember his golf game: when Bryan graduated from the University of the Pacific, he was an inductee into their Sports Hall of Fame.

If you want to pass a message on to Bryan’s family, email us.
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Apple Buys Back into Microprocessors

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iPhoneApple will spend $278 million in cash to buy a “boutique” microprocessor design company and everybody wants to know “Why?” PA Semi designs clever low-power chips that most guess could help make a better future for iPhone and  iPod.

Founded by Dan Dobberpuhl (a lead designer for Alpha and StrongARM microprocessors developed by Digital in the 1990s), PA Semi now has a 64-bit dual core microprocessor that is 300% more efficient while consuming only 5 -13 watts at 2GHz.

Apple may have bought itself a very strategic asset--a powerful microprocessor of its own with low power demands to support all the mobile apps their software gurus can dream up.

Go Apple Buys a Who? 

Acer Bullish on Low Cost Laptops, Smartphones

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Gianfranco LanciAcer says its PC shipments will total 25m to 30m this year, up from about 20m.

President Gianfranco Lanci also forecasts a 40% annual rise in laptop shipments, and about 5m to 7m units will be those new low-cost Atom-based laptops Acer will launch at Computex in June… Hmmm, those two forecasts (up 5-10m in total units and up 5-7m from low-cost laptops) seem to share a common number.

Acer says revenue during Q2 will be slightly down from Q1…but wait until those low cost laptops hit total revenue per unit figures.
That may be why Acer hopes to launch its first smartphone at end of this year and build that category to 10% of revenue. "The worldwide smart phone market is estimated to grow by more than 30% by 2011," notes Lanci.

Go Acer’s Buys Into Smartphones

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