Intel's Skylake-based processors, originally expected to launch in early third-quarter 2015 to support the release of Windows 10-based notebooks, may not become available until the end of the third quarter or early fourth-quarter 2015. The delay is expected to hurt demand for Windows 10 notebooks.
The Skylake series is Intel's next-generation CPU platform, following the existing Broadwell. Because mainstream Broadwell-based processors will not be released until early January 2015, Intel has decided to postpone Skylake processors' ready to market (RTM) schedule to avoid the new CPU platform from impacting the lifecycle of notebooks using the mainstream Broadwell processors.
Intel has set the RTM schedule for the Skylake to the 37-47th weeks of 2015 (the end of August to the end of October). If the plan is unchanged, Skylake-based notebook models are expected to become available in the retail channel at the end of September, at the earliest, as the upstream supply chain normally takes another 4-5 weeks after CPUs' releases before shipping out end products.
Windows 10-based notebooks are already facing many negative factors that could impact their shipments in 2015: most enterprises are expected to finish their PC replacement by the end of 2014 after Microsoft terminated support for Windows XP; Microsoft will offer free upgrade to Windows 10 for existing Windows 8/8.1 notebooks; and Windows 10 lacks attractive features.
The Skylake delay is expected to worsen Windows 10-based notebooks prospects, and may in turn weaken the notebook market's performance in the second half of 2015, Digitimes Research believes.