Bernstein Research analyst Stacy Rasgon noticed there's an interesting situation going on in the processor inventory channel. Usually, there's a channel inventory buildup in the first half of the year, followed by a channel drain in the second half, but this year it's the other way around.
In a typical cycle, Intel would have overshipped by 8 million units but this year they undershipped the PC market by around 3 million units, in a market where PC vendors themselves are also flushing inventory:
Our analysis suggests the company has in fact been draining channel inventory in the first half of the year, in stark contrast to their typical pattern (namely, 1st half channel builds, followed by 2nd half channel drains), in a market where PC vendors themselves are also flushing inventory, and suggesting the idea of a 2H fill on the back of Windows 10 and Skylake may not be entirely crazy […] In 1H15 Intel seems to have under-shipped the PC market by ~3M units, vs their normal behavior to over-ship by ~8M, suggesting ~2 weeks of inventory out of the channel vs where they would normally be positioned.
Intel cleared a lot of processor inventory this year, which should have a positive impact on it's third an fourth quarter financial results, but Rasgon is still a bit concerned about what lies ahead for datacenter processors.