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Are Asustek and Intel falling out over gray market Atoms?
Ricky Morris, DIGITIMES, Taipei [Friday 26 June 2009]

Back in May we published a commentary raising concerns about the Atom CPU inventory situation among Taiwan's notebook vendors, following reports that Intel was cracking down on chip dumping in the China market.

We speculated that perhaps at least one major notebook vendor was sitting on a pile of Atom CPUs that were rapidly losing value and said that, if our analysis was correct, we could expect to see more evidence around the end of the second quarter.

Today Sylvie Barak at the Inquirer has posted a report claiming that Asustek is in conflict with Intel over just such an issue.

"Asus apparently became overconfident in 2008, ordering massive number of Atom chips and stockpiling Eee PCs, motherboards, VGA cards, DVD ROMs and more, thinking it was too big to ever be affected by the credit crunch. Turns out Asus was wrong and was left 'holding the baby' with excessive inventory of finished products, CPUs and chipsets since Q4 last year."

"[Intel is] reportedly going as far as banning Asus from accepting any China-based white-box orders. A recent Intel dictat is said to forbid distributors from selling processors to customers outside their local market, especially on the shady Chinese grey market."

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