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Intel's Arrandale chip shortage hindering Apple, other notebook makers

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Constrained supplies of Intel's new Arrandale Core i3, i5 and i7 processors may be responsible for delaying shipments of some of Apple's new MacBook Pros while postponing other PC makers' laptop launches by months.

A report by PC World cited securities researcher CLSA Asia Pacific Markets as saying "A dearth of the [Arrandale] chips could cause delays in the rollout of sleek new laptops by three months or more," while noting that the supply problems could give Intel rival AMD an opportunity to win market share in the fast growing notebook arena.

Intel chief executive Paul Otellini admitted, "we were slightly behind, quite frankly, satisfying all the demand our customers wanted on 32nm [processors] in the first quarter even though we were producing much more than we first thought. We expect to catch up to that demand in the second quarter on 32nm over the course of the quarter."

Shortages of the new chips have caused open market prices to rise 20% over the contract price of the parts. The report cited IDC research director Shane Rau as saying the shortage of Arrandale chips is affecting smaller PC vendors the most, as large vendors get first priority from component makers during shortages. Smaller vendors "have to find other solutions," the report stated.

Apple's use of the Core 2 Duo in the 13" MacBook Pro (rather than the latest Core i3, and with no option to use other Arrandale processor upgrades) appears to have been an engineering decision made in response to realizing that Intel would not be able to deliver the new parts quickly enough.

Some orders of 15" MacBook Pros are being pushed back to the end of April or early May, particularly custom "built to order" models with Core i7 upgrades.

While the popular 13" model was initially sold out in some locations on its first day of availability, supplies have since seen fewer problems because of its use of more common CPUs unaffected by Intel's Arrandale supply problems.

Apple is rumored to be in discussions with AMD that could balance Apple's dependance upon Intel as the sole supplier for its Mac CPUs. AMD offers cheaper processor options and better graphics cores thanks to its acquisition of ATI, but does not currently match Intel in performance or efficiency in its mobile processors. Intel also has much greater manufacturing capacity.
post #2 of 24
Custom... Really?

There are hardly enough configuration variations offered for MacBook Pros for any model to be considered truly 'custom'.
"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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post #3 of 24
If you choose any options othert han a straight off the shelf model, that makes it custom. No matter how small or large the change.
post #4 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple's use of the Core 2 Duo in the 13" MacBook Pro (rather than the latest Core i3, and with no option to use other Arrandale processor upgrades) appears to have been an engineering decision.

I think it had nothing to do with supply. Core-i3 with Intel HD would not have been a viable improvement over a faster C2D with Nvidia 320M. it was the right way to go according to all benchmarks I've seen.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post

Custom... Really?

There are hardly enough configuration variations offered for MacBook Pros for any model to be considered truly 'custom'.

I'm astounded that even you would go so far outside reality as to suggest the BTO options are NOT customizing your order.
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post #5 of 24
I don't know. Since every single "i" series MacBook Pro on the market is in stock and/or ships within 24hrs, I couldn't give a rat's ass about this "story".
(ie, at this point it has nothing to do with Apple MacBook Pros)
post #6 of 24
Quote:
Apple's use of the Core 2 Duo in the 13" MacBook Pro (rather than the latest Core i3, and with no option to use other Arrandale processor upgrades) appears to have been an engineering decision made in response to realizing that Intel would not be able to deliver the new parts quickly enough.

I doubt this is true. These engineering decisions had to be made months ago without knowledge of how many Arrandale parts were truly going to be available at launch. I'm more inline with the convention wisdom that states "Apple used Core 2 Duo in the MBP 13 because they didn't want to be stuck with Intel IGP so they kept the Nvidia board and added beefed up GPU"
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post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by isaidso View Post

I don't know. Since every single "i" series MacBook Pro on the market is in stock and/or ships within 24hrs, I couldn't give a rat's ass about this "story".
(ie, at this point it has nothing to do with Apple MacBook Pros)

Really? So why then is my "i" series MBP not going to ship until the 30th when I ordered it a week ago? You need to check the thread on MBP delays.
http://www.appleinsider.com/articles...pple_says.html
post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by WelshDog View Post

Really? So why then is my "i" series MBP not going to ship until the 30th when I ordered it a week ago? You need to check the thread on MBP delays.
http://www.appleinsider.com/articles...pple_says.html

He's referring to the standard builds. The US and Canada online stores are noting 24 hours for all MBPs but I wouldn't be surprised for this to change, even for the US, as Amazon is noting 2-5 week for the new 13" MBP. That was be where I was going to get mine, but now I'll likely just get it from Apple's online store.


PS: Apple makes it easy to see country variances in the same product. Just change the two-letter country code in the URL.

http://store.apple.com/us/browse/hom...ly/macbook_pro
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post #9 of 24
I wonder why Intel is experiencing delays.
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http://www.grammarbook.com/punctuation/quotes.asp

Never argue with idiots, they'll bring you down to their level and beat you with experience. - a bumper sticker

Never quote idiots, they just clog up...
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post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Intel chief executive Paul Otellini admitted, "we were slightly behind, quite frankly, satisfying all the demand our customers wanted on 32nm [processors] in the first quarter even though we were producing much more than we first thought. We expect to catch up to that demand in the second quarter on 32nm over the course of the quarter."

"Slightly behind" AND "producing much more than we first thought" means two things:
- Demand is higher than projected.
- They're producing faster than projected.

All good..
post #11 of 24
INTC stock has not gone anywhere in the last decade. However, with so much demand for the Arrandale processors, new multicore server processors, I took a small position on INTC.

It is a cyclical mature business, but there seems to be multi year demand due to the upgrade of old PCs, Servers plus new demand from Asia/China. Other drivers of demand include the Windows 7, Server software upgrades, music, video apps, etc that need a lot of processing.

The stock has a PE of 12, pays a dividend of 2.8% and hardly any debt. I just do not think that AMD is a serious threat.
post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by AjitMD View Post

INTC stock has not gone anywhere in the last decade. However, with so much demand for the Arrandale processors, new multicore server processors, I took a small position on INTC.

It is a cyclical mature business, but there seems to be multi year demand due to the upgrade of old PCs, Servers plus new demand from Asia/China. Other drivers of demand include the Windows 7, Server software upgrades, music, video apps, etc that need a lot of processing.

The stock has a PE of 12, pays a dividend of 2.8% and hardly any debt. I just do not think that AMD is a serious threat.

haha, Recruiting investors in INTC so you can sell off your small position at a profit are we?
post #13 of 24
Maybe this is why AMD are being visited.
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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post #14 of 24
Good thing I'm not buying any new MacBooks as much as I need one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post

Custom... Really?

There are hardly enough configuration variations offered for MacBook Pros for any model to be considered truly 'custom'.

You have an odd definition of custom.

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Although I no longer own Apple products like I did before, I'll continue to post my opinions.

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post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple is rumored to be in discussions with AMD that could balance Apple's dependance upon Intel as the sole supplier for its Mac CPUs. ]

Apple needs to buy up AMD. They need graphics. And they cannot deal with having growth constrained by these third-party suppliers.
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by icyfog View Post

I wonder why Intel is experiencing delays.

Most of their production is going to other companies instead of Apple.
post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevie View Post

Most of their production is going to other companies instead of Apple.

I think this story is jumping to a big assumption: "Apple ship delays plus Intel production delays equals Intel supply delays to Apple". That's complete speculation, IHMO. Intel will mainly delay orders made by its smaller customers. I wouldn't consider Apple a "small" Intel customer, and I doubt Intel shuns Apple in that way. Intel scored a coup by gaining Apple from Motorola's PowerPC chip some years ago, so to now give them cold shoulder treatment, particularly while Apple's sales and market share are increasing would be plain nuts (i.e., "bad business") on Intel's part.

Intel simply just can't keep up with everyone's demand at the moment. Both corporate IT and consumers simply want to buy new computers, unfortunately all at the same time. Most of that is due to everyone putting off new PC purchases during the recession. Apple's ship delays are more likely due to supply problems from its other suppliers, such as the anti-glare screen and memory providers in these custom orders.

In general I like Apple Insider's articles, but sometimes they seem to have a skewed opinion/agenda. It me, the whole point of this article is to reemphasize the Apple+AMD hook-up theory, suggesting that these so-called supply problems from Intel are forcing Apple to look into AMD providing future CPUs.
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by DamonF View Post

Intel will mainly delay orders made by its smaller customers. I wouldn't consider Apple a "small" Intel customer


Not Hardly:

"A tally of worldwide PC shipments by IDC shows that Hewlett-Packard maintained its lead as the largest vendor of PCs, though Acer is close behind. HP had 19.7 percent of the 79.1 million PCs shipped during the first quarter; Acer had 13.6 percent; Dell had 13.3 percent; Lenovo had 8.8 percent; and Toshiba 5.8 percent. "

http://news.cnet.com/8301-31021_3-20002523-260.html

Apple is not even listed: It is an also-ran with less than 5.8%. I would not consider Apple to be a "small" Intel customer, but they are not "large" either.

Apple is a large manufacturing company as a result of the iPod/iPhone, but as a computer company, they are the size of a bug when compared to the rest of the total desktop/laptop market.
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamG View Post

Not Hardly:

"A tally of worldwide PC shipments by IDC shows that Hewlett-Packard maintained its lead as the largest vendor of PCs, though Acer is close behind. HP had 19.7 percent of the 79.1 million PCs shipped during the first quarter; Acer had 13.6 percent; Dell had 13.3 percent; Lenovo had 8.8 percent; and Toshiba 5.8 percent. "

http://news.cnet.com/8301-31021_3-20002523-260.html

Apple is not even listed: It is an also-ran with less than 5.8%. I would not consider Apple to be a "small" Intel customer, but they are not "large" either.

Apple is a large manufacturing company as a result of the iPod/iPhone, but as a computer company, they are the size of a bug when compared to the rest of the total desktop/laptop market.

You're stating stats from their entire unit sales which include AMD-based PCs and non-Core-i CPUs, which account for the majority of PCs being shipped. When it comes to Arrandale I bet Apple is the major player.
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post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

You're stating stats from their entire unit sales which include AMD-based PCs and non-Core-i CPUs, which account for the majority of PCs being shipped. When it comes to Arrandale I bet Apple is the major player.

Yep. However, I'm not sure that AMD equipped computers skew things much, given that AMD is a small portion of total PC sales.

But if we look at whether Apple is a big buyer of one of Intel's products, then you might be right. I thought, however, that the statement was concerning Intel as a company, and not just one of their many products.

And I doubt that Apple is very big in an "Apple vs. the rest of the CPU purchasers" comparison, which is what the original statement was saying.
post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamG View Post

Yep. However, I'm not sure that AMD equipped computers skew things much, given that AMD is a small portion of total PC sales.

But if we look at whether Apple is a big buyer of one of Intel's products, then you might be right. I thought, however, that the statement was concerning Intel as a company, and not just one of their many products.

And I doubt that Apple is very big in an "Apple vs. the rest of the CPU purchasers" comparison, which is what the original statement was saying.

If you want to do an "x vs. the rest of the CPU purchasers" then even Dell is small with the rest being more than 4x the unit sales.

But is that really how Intel rates the value of their customers? I doubt it. I think it would be based almost entirely on the money they spend. It probably takes 8-10 Atom-based netbooks to equal what Intel gets from the average single Mac sale, yet each netbook is being paired equally against a fullsized PCs in the stats you list. Don't get me wrong the metric has a use, just not in the way it's being used now to suggest Apple is inconsequential to intel's bottom line.
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post #22 of 24
Apple ships nigh 3 million Macs a quarter. I don't know about you but I don't think there are many companies that are sneezing at that amount of sales.

I keep seeing people over the web attempt to downplay Apple's influence. This is due somewhat to Apple's deft marketing. They still "feel" like that small underdog company to many but the 40 billion in the bank isn't there because they are small potatoes. They have Microsoft like revenue numbers and there's no signs of abatement with regard to them pushing their iPhone OS and Mac OS ecosystems forward.

I do think it's time to add AMD to the lineup for no other reason than product differentiation in pricing and removing the reliance on a single supplier.
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post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Apple ships nigh 3 million Macs a quarter. I don't know about you but I don't think there are many companies that are sneezing at that amount of sales.

I keep seeing people over the web attempt to downplay Apple's influence. This is due somewhat to Apple's deft marketing. They still "feel" like that small underdog company to many but the 40 billion in the bank isn't there because they are small potatoes. They have Microsoft like revenue numbers and there's no signs of abatement with regard to them pushing their iPhone OS and Mac OS ecosystems forward.

I do think it's time to add AMD to the lineup for no other reason than product differentiation in pricing and removing the reliance on a single supplier.

Is it possible that those alleged meetings with AMD could be for a more complex purpose than merely CPU purchases? Perhaps Apple is interested in AMD as a partner to advance their internal chip designs derived from the PA Semi and Intrinsity (rumored) acquisitions. Maybe they want to buy AMD? AMDs market cap is well within the reach of Apple's cash pile. Maybe AMD has got something Apple wants and we don't know what it is? Or something ATI has.

Time will tell.
post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

I doubt this is true. These engineering decisions had to be made months ago without knowledge of how many Arrandale parts were truly going to be available at launch. I'm more inline with the convention wisdom that states "Apple used Core 2 Duo in the MBP 13 because they didn't want to be stuck with Intel IGP so they kept the Nvidia board and added beefed up GPU"

Agreed. The benefits of Core i3 alone are not significant enough to outweigh keeping a better-than-9400M integrated Nvidia chipset, with higher-clocked Core 2 Duo.

Plus there's the refudging of the motherboard, adding a discrete card and switching between Intel HD etc. which will add more time and cost to updating the MacBook Pro 13".

I wrote at length (and it was suggested I was going overboard) on how Intel is shoving their rubbish IGP up everyone's rear.

I think Apple found a good compromise in sticking to Core 2 Duo on the 13" and making smooth switching to the discrete GPU on the 15" Core i5 and upwards.

My fear was that Core 2 Duo would be phased out and Apple would have to take only Arrandale parts. However 32nm production and even Sandy Bridge will take time to reach full stride, Looks like Core 2 Duos will be around until at least early 2011.

My only major "disappointment" (and I don't like this word) is that 40nm ATI 5 series GPUs would have been great and, Nvidia or ATI, 256MB VRAM is really just sad. It should be 512MB or 1GB. But I'm thinking from a gaming perspective, I'm not sure how VRAM helps general apps.

And to those that say "oh, but 1GB is too much for a GPU of that class", I suggest when you're driving games with antialiasing at 1680x1050 or 1920x1200, the 1GB will be useful. And 512MB over 256MB is definitely highly influential on gaming performance.

But I guess, who games on a Mac, right?

On a side note, you should see the performance-per-watt for Nvidia's big (pun somewhat intended) new thing aka Fermi aka Nvidia 480 / 470. Run it in SLI and I think you could power a small African village.
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