Intel chipset embarrassment could ease UK inventory glut

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Intel chipset embarrassment could ease UK inventory glut

Microscope contributor

Delays to PC launch dates caused by Intel's flawed Sandy Bridge chipset could help ease the massive build up of inventory in the UK channel, according to IDC.

The CPU giant has suspended sales of its second gen Core CPU after discovering a design fault - SATA ports within the chipset may degrade over time and hit performance - but this came too late for Dell, Samsung, Lenovo and HP which had already integrated the line.

In a statement, Intel forecast revenues to reduce by roughly $300m as it switches off the production line for the current version, and an estimated $700m to repair and replace affected materials.

"The company expects to begin delivering the updated version of the chipset to customers in late February and expects full volume recovery in April," Intel stated.

Dell yesterday confirmed the XPs 8300, the Vostro 460, Alineware M17xR.3 and the Alienware Aurora R,3 are impacted by the design fault as well as planned launches including the XPS 17 with 3D.

Another PC giant HP confirmed it was "postponing" this month's launch of Sandy Bridge business notebooks, Apple will hold off with the Macbook Air, while motherboard makers MSI and Gigabyte have halted sales of compatible models.

However, following a weak Q3 and Q4 in the UK, there is a glut of inventory which could result in cost cutting as vendors endeavoured to clear the decks in preparation for SKUs based on Sandy Bridge.

With Intel freeing up supply in late spring, it will take time for PCs based on the new chipset version to reach the local channel, Eszter Morvay, IDC senior research director told MicroScope.

"All vendors were going to push volumes into the market based on Sandy Bridge but there is a massive build up of inventory so the chipset issue could be a blessing in disguise, it will give one or two months to clean up the channel," she said.

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