Shortly after going on sale, it looks like Intel’s sixth-generation Skylake processors are facing a global shortage, with several retailers warning users of limited availability of the CPUs. It doesn’t seem to affect just the CPUs with unlocked multiplier, as even mobile SKUs are also in short supply.
During a recent earnings and financial call, CEO of Asus talked about the shortage of Skylake processors:
In September we are going to produce a lot of ‘Skylake’ products, but we expect significant shortage of ‘Skylake’ globally, not just for Asus. That is why in August we have Windows 10, but ‘Skylake’ only accounts for a very small percentage. In the fourth quarter, ‘Skylake’ will take a higher percentage….. is in significant shortage right now in the third quarter.”
Daniel Snyder, a spokesman for Intel, revealed to KitGuru that the latest-generation processors would be more widely available over the course of the quarter as Intel increases production:
We are experiencing supply tightness due to strong demand and expect additional volume to be available as Q3 progresses.
Considering that it takes 42 days for a freighter containing hardware from Europe from Taiwan and 20 days for it to reach the US from Taiwan, if Intel were to significantly increase production of Skylake next month, it would be four to five weeks until we see the hardware reaching store shelves. Which means the first Skylake-based notebooks may not be available up until November.
A likely reason for the shortage could be that Intel did not anticipate the high demand, with another possibility being that the vendor is strategically delaying the launch in order to give retailers the ability to clear inventory of last-generation CPUs.