Intel's Core i3 and Core i5 processors based on the Arrandale core are still in short supply. The chip giant revealed the shortage hit in March and will last throughout April, causing some PC vendors to delay the rollout of new laptops, while some vendors are paying up to a 20 percent premium over contract prices on the open market. The shortage of these chips could be the reason why Apple decided to stick with a Core 2 Duo on its new 13" MacBook Pro laptops.
The shortage is attributed to higher-than-expected demand. Intel CEO Paul Otellini recently told investors that his firm is already producing much more 32nm chips than planned, but that they're still slightly behind satisfying all customer demand for these new chips.
"It is unusual to find a device shortage that cannot be solved in the open market," Converge said. Most laptop manufacturers have been able to keep up with demand by using older Intel Montevina processor family chips, the distributor said, but "we also believe the Arrandale shortage must ease soon or it will have a prolonged effect."
Shane Rau, a research director at IDC, said the shortage of Arrandale chips is mostly affecting smaller PC vendors. Large vendors get first priority from component makers during shortages, while smaller vendors have to find other solutions.
"I don't think that the shortage will be so acute as to hold back the market and raise system prices significantly," he said.