Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) is struggling to ready a key component used in new tablets built for Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows 8, offering up an advantage to Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad going into the holiday quarter.
Intel has been unable to create power-management software for its Clover Trail processor in time, leading to Microsoft delaying approving tablets that use the chip, Bloomberg said. Tablets featuring Clover Trail are those that Intel designed to compete almost directly with the iPad. While the delay will mean manufacturers have less time to get their devices ready for the holiday shopping season, it may go on to hurt them even in the new year, with Apple reported to be readying a new iPad for release in March or April.
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“It’s bad news for Microsoft and Intel because it’s not going to present the best light on either one and it will hurt the perception of Windows 8,” Directions on Microsoft analyst Wes Miller told Bloomberg.
Windows-based manufacturers such as Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ), Dell (NASDAQ:DELL), and Lenovo are all relying on the latest version of the Microsoft operating system to chip at Apple’s 70 percent share of the $63.2 billion tablet market.
“The PC channel is in chaos right now,” JMP Securities analyst Alex Gauna told Bloomberg. “They don’t know what to do. They don’t know what to design for, they don’t know what the consumers are going to buy. Tablets have stolen their growth trajectory, plus the macro situation, plus Wintel [Windows and Intel] has made a mess of their ecosystem.”
Intel has maintained that tablets and laptops convertible into tablets built on Clover Trail will be available starting on October 26. The company also held an event last week that showcased tablets from Acer, Asustek, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Lenovo, and Samsung that were based on the chip. However, any slip-up will hurt Intel, which is predicted to report a sequential decline in third-quarter sales for the first time in two decades.
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