AMD Calls it Quits on Ferrari as Acer Launches Intel (Ferrari?) Phone
2/1/2013 by: Theo Valich
At the launch of 59th Formula 1 car in Maranello, Italy, Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro presented all of its technical partners and sponsors, welcoming the arrival of Chinese Weichai Power, year after the company welcomed Indian TATA Services. However, there was one name missing - Advanced Micro Devices.
After 12 years, four driver and six constructor championships, AMD is no longer present on the "Technical Partner" list of vendors inside the Ferrari ecosystem. The company decided to use its resources more wisely, and not spend money on sponsoring the team with the highest level of global recognition.
The partnership between Ferrari and AMD was one of reasons how AMD got its largest shareholder of today, the investment conglomerate from Abu Dhabi (Mubadala Abu Dhabi), which at the time owned 5% of Ferrari S.p.A. When Mubadala divested their 5% share of Ferrari, we expected that sooner or later, AMD will follow suit.
The collaboration between AMD and Ferrari brought Acer into the fold, with the Taiwanese manufacturer releasing Ferrari-branded notebooks with AMD hardware inside. There were a few models that were sub-standard, but the 4000 Series with Carbon Fiber enclosure won numerous awards from international media.
Be that as it may, over the past few years we witnessed stagnation in relationship, with AMD just waiting for contract to expire, without expressed desire to move the relationship to another level. We view this as a missed opportunity, since AMD failed to capitalize on merchandising that surrounds Ferrari these days. However, after Lance Armstrong scandal (AMD was one of key sponsors for his cyclist team), the company moved away from sports and building resources to create extra value for the consumer, which is something we welcome.
Coincidentally, at the same time that AMD left Ferrari ecosystem, Intel made an announcement that the Atom SoC will power future Acer smartphones, starting with Liquid C1. Given that previous Liquid E phone was used in special Ferrari Liquid E edition, it might turn out that Intel will replace AMD with Ferrari-branded technology products, starting with smartphone.
Looks like Ferrari-branded Windows 8 Tablet / Convertible and Ultrabooks are just an announcement of two away.