The launch of Radeon 5800 series and subsequent launch of Radeon 5700 was greeted by immense number of positive reviews. In all fairness, AMD did an excellent job in infusing DirectX 11 technology into its R700-like architecture and adding immersive features such as Eyefinity. Personally, I consider Eyefinity to be one of infliction points for next generation gaming. The decision to bundle DirectX 11 games is also an important one - DiRT 2 and/or BattleForge.
However, AMD's own partners are growling about shortage of parts all across the board. Given that the allocation for 5000 series is limited, partners tried to fulfill their backlog for all those 4800 orders. As it usually happen, things are progressing nicely in the AIB shark-pool until a big shark comes in and snatches the allocation.
According to our sources, Apple was the Great White for Q3 2009. The giant from Cupertino bought complete 60-day, two month stock of ATI Radeon 4000 series chips, most notably the Radeon HD 4850. This "shopping" by Apple was caused by AMD's sales initiative in order to try to get into black for Q3'09. Remember - Dirk Meyer promised that AMD would return to profitability in H2'2009 - and ATI sales folks are certainly doing the best they can to achieve just that.
The new Apple machines will feature ATI Radeon HD 4850 as a more affordable BTO [Build-To-Order] option, complementing current ATI Radeon HD 4870 512MB as a $399 option. We are not aware when the Apple BTO system refresh will happen, but expect an announcement in the next couple of weeks.
All in all, it looks like ATI is really saving AMD's bacon, because if there weren't for that ATI purchase, AMD would look gloomy indeed. Instead, you'll see quite good news on the graphics front in those Q3 2009 financial results. Will this Apple's two-month stock buyout enough to pull the company into the black? Only time will tell - we only need to wait until tomorrow [Thursday, October 15, 2009 at 5:00PM ET].
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