ATI reported on their third quarter results last week, which came as a bit of a surprise to most, as their net result was a loss of about $ 8.5-million. Honestly we expected ATI to do a lot better as they’ve been introducing one new product after another in the past few months. But that could just be the gist of the matter; introducing new products which aren’t available just yet, hence they’ve created a demand but no sales, as the products aren’t available at the introduction. But wait a minute hasn’t that been ATI’s modus operandi for the past two years? Introducing new products and then not being able to ship them in volume for the next few months?
Well, in hindsight it took ATI more than six months to get availability on its Radeon X800 XT PE graphic cards, motherboards carrying the XPRESS 200 chipset never made it into the retail channel and only showed up in OEM designs and HyperMemory never really materialized. But more recently we’ve seen lots of press about Crossfire, ATI’s competing solution to NVIDIA’s SLI, but again are left wondering where the actual product is at? Doing a product introduction is one thing, but making sure there’s actual availability of that product is another. Hence ATI looks to have fallen victim to its own marketing tactics as the paper launches seem to have finally caught up with them in the from of declining sales.
But there’s more, as despite not being able to ship products shortly after their introduction ATI has been delaying quite a few products over the past few months as well. Crossfire for example was supposed to be introduced months ago and their new graphic card architecture, dubbed R520, should’ve materialized into actual products on retail shelves by now. Instead R520 has been delayed again, probably due to the fact that the initial design is no match, or cannot guarantee a decisive victory over NVIDIA’s latest graphic card, the GeForce 7800 GTX, which was available in volume at introduction. Maybe ATI needs to follow suit again, much like they did with SLI, after all that would be in their, but more importantly the customer’s best interest.