Shortages of Intel’s CPUs have persisted for well over a year now, but according to Dell, they actually got worse in the ongoing quarter because of unexpectedly high demand for client computers and servers. As a result, the company had to cut its revenue forecast for the fourth quarter as sales of its PCs were impacted by the tight supply.

Last week Intel issued a letter apologizing for CPU shipment delays because despite of the fact that it increased its 14 nm capacity by 25% year-over-year in 2019, demand still outpaced supply. Furthermore, Intel experienced production variability in the fourth quarter and because it had limited inventory buffers, it could not absorb the impact. Intel did not explain what variability meant in this case, but based on comments from Dell, it looks like Intel could not produce enough processors for commercial and premium system.

Here is what Jeffrey Clarke, COO of Dell, had to say:

“Intel CPU shortages have worsened quarter-over-quarter the shortages are now impacting our commercial PC and premium consumer PC Q4 forecasted shipments.”

Even though Intel’s supply and demand balance is not favorable to makers of systems, Dell’s PC business revenue was on the rise in Q3 increasing to $11.4 billion by 5% year-over-year. Sales of commercial PCs were up 9% to $8.3 billion, whereas shipments of consumer computers were up 6% to $3.1 billion.

It is particularly noteworthy that Dell remains cautious about Intel CPU supplies going forward, though it naturally does not make any actual predictions, but rather promises to monitor situation and adjust forecasts. Dell is not the first PC company that is cautious about Intel’s ability to meet demand as ASUS also expressed similar concerns earlier this month.

Related Reading:

Sources: Dell, Reuters

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  • visualzero - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    TSMC has as well announced delayed shipments (3x increase in production lead times) for 7nm due to strong demand and AMD is not at top of the pecking order for TSMC. Thus AMD is most likely not able to (at least not fully) use this as an opportunity to grab some important wins from Intel.
  • eva02langley - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    That's where you are wrong, TSMC KNOWS that AMD is a huge partner even if the volume is not as important because AMD is bringing expertise in compute products for TSMC. Also, they stand by them with EPYC. Not only this, but Apple and QCOM are going to move to 5nm soon leaving a lot of capacity that AMD has already secured.
  • lmcd - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    What on earth are you talking about? Apple and Nvidia are both ahead in TSMC priority, as AMD's been hedging with GloFo for the past couple years.
  • Qasar - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    and you read this where, lmcd ????
  • Samus - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    This isn't surprising. The enterprise and corporate sectors are having exceedingly high cycling this quarter due to Windows 7 retirement in January: they aren't upgrading old pc's and instead buying new ones.

    And because all these OEM's are shortsighted in their diversity, they don't carry enough AMD products to offset Intel's supply.

    So what the fuck is that all about? I work for 2 dozen clients in the corporate sector and they don't give a shit what CPU is in the PC as long as it joins a domain, runs Outlook and accesses QuickBooks.
  • lmcd - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    Enterprise images are much more portable within a CPU brand. Windows 10 will successfully boot on an i7 Skylake+ with an image built on a Sandy i3. From personal anecdote, I've had quite a few issues trying to use an Intel image on AMD.
  • Qasar - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    lmcd " I've had quite a few issues trying to use an Intel image on AMD. " the BETTER question to ask your self is WHY would you even think of doing that ?? putting an image from one cpu maker to another, should tell you right then and their you would have problems, and are just wasting your time. you want to make more work for your self ??? do that, im sorry to say, is just dumb
  • Teckk - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    If Dell can't go to AMD for volume reasons Apple can't either, though they don't have as much volume compared to Dell I guess?
  • lmcd - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    AMD still doesn't have a mobile chip with LPDDR4X support. Dunno why everyone's ignoring that in mobile, there's still a feature gap.
  • Qasar - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    yet... you mean

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