While PC sales have been slower over the past few years, it looks like Intel had been planning for such an occurrence. According to market data, Intel withheld processor shipments for the first half of the year in order to prepare the channel for the Skylake chips that launched in the 2nd half. By draining the inventory of Haswell/Haswell-Refresh CPUs, Intel is hoping to push buyers onto Skylake quicker.
Usually, Intel oversupplies the market in the first half of the year. This allows builders ranging from small shops and larger OEMs to build up systems and stock, allowing for faster sales once the back to school and holiday season come along. However, this got switched up this year as Intel timed their Skylake launch to coincide with Microsoft’s release of Windows 10. By draining older stock earlier, Intel hoped that Skylake would have an easier time in the market and ride the Windows/holiday wave.
By reducing the number of Haswell systems still available, Intel is hoping consumers will turn to Skylake instead. Usually, Intel would over-ship the market demand by about 8 million units, but this year, they under-shipped by about 3 million, an 11 million difference overall. As builders are low on Haswell stock, they will have no choice but to turn to Skylake for the holiday demand. By moving users more quickly onto Skylake revenue for the chipmaker increases and customers are able to benefit from the newer architecture faster. Those looking for cheaper Haswell processors are going to be out of luck though.
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