Intel to Put Back Desktop Celeron Launch to June

SAN FRANCISCO (04/20/2000) - Intel Corp. is delaying its planned launch of two desktop Celeron chips until June, sources close to the company said today. The two chips -- with clock speeds of 633MHz and 667MHz respectively -- were set to appear Monday.

"Demand continues to be high for our products as we said in our earnings Tuesday," an Intel spokesman said in a phone interview today. "Our public guidance remains unchanged, we still intend to ship faster Celerons in the second quarter." However, the Intel spokesman wouldn't be drawn on an exact shipping date for the chips.

Intel decided to move the planned launch date of April 24 to late June in order to ensure that a sufficient quantity of the processors are available at the launch date, sources close to the chip maker said today. The 633MHz and 667MHz Celeron chips will now be launched at the same time that Intel releases its 700MHz Celeron in late June, the sources added.

The chip maker had decided on the April 24 date at a time when it looked as though its processor supply/demand tightness would only run into the first quarter of this year. Intel has since said publicly that such tightness will continue into the second quarter of this year. During a conference call Tuesday to discuss the company's first quarter fiscal 2000 results, Intel officials admitted the company had "undercalled" demand for its processors, particularly in the consumer market. [See "UPDATE -- Demand Boosts Intel's Q1 Revenue to US$8 Billion," April 18.]The value consumer market where Celeron plays is very different from the enterprise-level market in which its high-end Pentium III processors sell.

Inventory issues are a lot more important in the value market, where it's vital to ensure that retailers have sufficient volumes of the processors in PCs on their shelves when the chips are officially launched, the sources said.

Intel, based in Santa Clara, California, can be contacted at +1-408-765-8080 or via the Internet at http://www.intel.com/.

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