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Unaffected by Intel chip issues, Apple increases notebook orders - report

post #1 of 12
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Shipments of notebooks reached Apple's expectations in January, and the MacBook maker plans to increase its orders for the first quarter of calendar 2011, providing further evidence that the company is largely unaffected by an Intel chipset design error, according to a new report.

DigiTimes reported Wednesday that Apple's notebook shipments are expected to "remain strong" in the first quarter of 2011. It noted that retail channel vendors indicated a widely publicized design flaw in the chipset accompanying Intel's latest-generation Sandy Bridge processors "did not impact" Apple, and the company is expected to increase orders.

The Mac maker was reportedly aided by the fact that it is slower in upgrading its products to the latest platform. The report said that Apple is still using Intel's Calpella chips for "most" of its current models, allowing it to "completely" avoid the impact.

"The sources pointed out that because Apple's products have high (average selling prices), even if the company is slow in upgrading its products to the latest platform, it will not see a significant impact on its pricing or gross margins," the report said.

"However, for Hewlett-Packard (HP), Acer and Dell, which heavily depend on their economic scale, the new platform will help raise their ASPs and therefore, these makers will try to launch notebooks with new platforms as early as possible."

The report follows an exclusive scoop from AppleInsider published on Tuesday, as people familiar with Apple's plans indicated that the company's new MacBook Pros are in production and on track for release in early March. The company reportedly anticipates an introduction of the new models in about two weeks' time.

Intel disclosed earlier this month that it discovered an error in its series 6 chipsets, dubbed Cougar Point, which causes the performance of serial ATA ports numbered 2 through 5 to degrade over time in extreme conditions. The issue applies to both mobile and desktop processors, and does not affect SATA ports 0 and 1.

Just a week after the error was revealed, Intel announced that it had resumed shipment of chipsets for Sandy Bridge-powered PC system configurations not impacted by the design flaw. The company also said the new, fixed version of its support chip would begin shipping for systems that relied on SATA ports 2 through 5 in mid-February. In addition, the company confirmed it will meet its deadline to begin shipping dual-core Sandy Bridge chips on Feb. 20.
post #2 of 12
They are selling a lot of the current version. I bought one.

The Sandy Bridge sales will really be big!
post #3 of 12
I think I read all this in the previous article.
post #4 of 12
Perhaps I'm dense, but I fail to see how the SB issue would affect MBP sales when the current gen doesn't use SB?

Anyone who was waiting for a SB MBP would hold off until the soon-expected refresh, at which point it is reasonable to assume the SB issue would be resolved. Anyone who was unable to would have to purchase today's MBP - but I suspect this number is statistically insignificant.

Anyone care to enlighten me?
post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by nbcbubba View Post

Perhaps I'm dense, but I fail to see how the SB issue would affect MBP sales when the current gen doesn't use SB?

Anyone who was waiting for a SB MBP would hold off until the soon-expected refresh, at which point it is reasonable to assume the SB issue would be resolved. Anyone who was unable to would have to purchase today's MBP - but I suspect this number is statistically insignificant.

Anyone care to enlighten me?

It takes time to produce chipsets. If Apple said they don't want any "bad" ones, they'd have to wait for "good" ones which would take quite a bit of time if they want to launch their new MBPs worldwide without causing backorders immediately.
post #6 of 12
I never noticed until recently, but most of the articles posted on this site only offer one, maybe two new paragraphs and everything else is a recap. Kind of annoying.

I am really looking forward to the new MBP announcement. I'll be ordering one asap.
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

It takes time to produce chipsets. If Apple said they don't want any "bad" ones, they'd have to wait for "good" ones which would take quite a bit of time if they want to launch their new MBPs worldwide without causing backorders immediately.

Thats the point, there arent bad ones for pretty much all notebook and AIO manufacturers needs. There are two perfectly good SATA III ports on the chip chipset Apple can use. This is exactly the number that are used across the board. Maybe its time Apple started using 6Gbps SATA III.
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by j1h15233 View Post

I never noticed until recently, but most of the articles posted on this site only offer one, maybe two new paragraphs and everything else is a recap. Kind of annoying.

I am really looking forward to the new MBP announcement. I'll be ordering one asap.

As stated in a recent post, most of the articles posted on this site only offer one, maybe two new paragraphs and everything else is a recap. It’s been asserted that this practice is “kind of annoying.”

In forum related news, AppleInsider poster by the name of j1h15233 had this to say about recent rumors, "I am really looking forward to the new MBP announcement. I'll be ordering one asap.”

post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Logisticaldron View Post

As stated in a recent post, most of the articles posted on this site only offer one, maybe two new paragraphs and everything else is a recap. Its been asserted that this practice is kind of annoying.

In forum related news, AppleInsider poster by the name of j1h15233 had this to say about recent rumors, "I am really looking forward to the new MBP announcement. I'll be ordering one asap.


Nice.
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Logisticaldron View Post

Thats the point, there arent bad ones for pretty much all notebook and AIO manufacturers needs. There are two perfectly good SATA III ports on the chip chipset Apple can use. This is exactly the number that are used across the board. Maybe its time Apple started using 6Gbps SATA III.

Exactly! I've been trying to get people to understand that. The other ports are the older 3GBs SATA ports. Most portables won't need them. In fact, manufacturers have asked Intel to continue delivering them, and so they are.
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by nbcbubba View Post

Perhaps I'm dense, but I fail to see how the SB issue would affect MBP sales when the current gen doesn't use SB?

Anyone who was waiting for a SB MBP would hold off until the soon-expected refresh, at which point it is reasonable to assume the SB issue would be resolved. Anyone who was unable to would have to purchase today's MBP - but I suspect this number is statistically insignificant.

Anyone care to enlighten me?

if you expect a february 15th release date then Foxconn has to build these things and order parts, etc. Intel sprung this a few weeks ago so chances are there were no parts ordered to build current gen MBP's. so there are shortages
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by nbcbubba View Post

Perhaps I'm dense, but I fail to see how the SB issue would affect MBP sales when the current gen doesn't use SB?

Anyone who was waiting for a SB MBP would hold off until the soon-expected refresh, at which point it is reasonable to assume the SB issue would be resolved. Anyone who was unable to would have to purchase today's MBP - but I suspect this number is statistically insignificant.

Anyone care to enlighten me?

As I would interpret the evolving story...

New chipset SandyBridge expected in general February time-frame. All computer manufacturers begin to plan their new 2011 models around it.

Apple planned to wind down current (2010 intro) MB Pro models, which were using the previous gen chipsets (not Sandybridge), and had already begun to manufacture new MB Pro models, presumably based on new SandyBridge chips.

They do this on purpose - close down the prev gen manufacturing line and let the prev gen models in stock get sold and deplete the stockroom inventory because they don't want to have to discount last gen models when folks see the 'newest latest new chipset model' - SandyBridge in this case.
And they do this at the same time that they are beginning to ramp up whatever the new model manufacturing line. So there is as little overlap as possible. Reference Just-In-Time inventory and supply-chain management.

(Rule of Apple:

thou shalt not sell Macs at discount.) Intel discovers flaw and requests a halt on the new mfg lines -- which are already running -- while it investigates. This affects both their own SandyBridge chips, and computer mfgs using them.
Discovers that chip works fine with first two SATA ports - and thus no worries for machines that only use first two ports, but does have real problem on the other SATA ports.

Thus Apple can resume production of new MB Pro models already in the mfg process line -- which will use the already available new SandyBridge chips since they are totally good with the primary two SATA ports.

So outcome for Apple is that there was a short week or several pause while situation was investigated, and now that it looks OkeeDokee, they can resume production.
So new MB Pros will likely arrive a few weeks later they was originally thought (guessed). Now estimated by industry news to be early March.

Downside for some Apple resellers is they might run out of the old 2010 MBP models before they get the new 2011 models because of the chipset snafu delay.

The folks really affected by the chip flaw -- and thus seeing a longer delay because they will have to get whole new chipsets from Intel -- are the builders of tower and minitower PCs, such as Dell, HP, etc, who use more than two SATA ports on the motherboards. (I saw an article that indicated some of those machines which were already made and sold with early SandyBridge chips might have to be recalled and exchanged. ouch.)

(just my personal story info condensation and simplification)
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