AMD has updated its projections for the third financial quarter, which officially ends tomorrow, and it's not good news: it's suffered a drop which could be as high as four percent.

In a statement, AMD confirmed that it "expects revenue for the quarter ending September 25, 2010 to be in the range of down one to four percent as compared to revenue of $1.65 billion for the quarter ended June 26, 2010," which comes as a nasty surprise following earlier claims that it would be experiencing a seasonal upswing this quarter.

The unexpected dip comes, the company claims, as a result of "weaker than expected demand" across the board - but AMD singles out the laptop market in Western Europe and North America as being particularly bad this quarter.

But why the massive dip? Sadly, AMD's current offerings in the laptop sector - and in particular the company's somewhat power-hungry range of CULV chips for ultra-slim laptops - are struggling to hold a candle to rival Intel's releases, which is making AMD-enabled laptops a harder sell.

The problem is deeper than that, however - and affects the entire industry.

When Apple launched its iPad, only the most ardent Apple fan saw it as being a mainstream success - after all, the device was at its heart not much more than a scaled-up iPod Touch, right?

It now appears that Apple has a runaway success on its hands, with consumers opting to grab one of the slim, sexy pieces of metal and glass instead of a laptop - and it's causing a sales slump across all manufacturers.

AMD's dip, indicative of this trend, isn't unique in the industry - but will comes as a blow to its investors and employees alike.

Are you saddened that AMD appears to be slipping, or will the company rally on the launch of its new lower-cost chips and ahead of the end-of-year sales boom? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

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