Originally Posted by SGladwell
Yes. The vast majority of those Intel chips not sold to the majors go to the minors (i.e. store house brand computers, the "white box" computers that dominate much of the international market, and so on) with hobbyists accounting for basically nothing. Keep in mind that most of those "loose" chips that are sold in the USA end up getting exported to someplace like India, South Africa, or Poland and turned into white box computers for their domestic markets. The majors have almost no presence outside of the West, and even then their position in the US is far stronger than it is in Europe. The world's largest one-day volume of computer turnover in history (about a quarter million machines in one German workday, or about 35 minutes ) was a bunch of white boxes sold by the supermarket chain Aldi in 2001 or 2002. It may seem like a large number to you, because perhaps lots of people in your circles do that sort of thing. And on an absolute scale 0.2% of chips produced is a pretty large number. But that is not representative of the population at large by any means.