Intel denies fault over delayed mobile PIII launch

Intel has once again come under fire for failure to deliver a chip on time, though this time the company is claiming that it is not at fault and has nothing to hide.

Published reports on July 29 suggested that Intel was forced to delay the launch of the Mobile Pentium III processor from September to November because of product glitches. However, the chip giant had a very different story to tell.

Intel officials said that the confusion dates from one month ago, when the desktop version of the 0.18-micron processor -- code-named Coppermine -- was delayed from September to November. At that time, the officials said, PC OEMs were given a choice of launching Mobile Pentium III processor-based notebooks in September, as originally planned, or in November in conjunction with the desktop chips.

Intel claims that the OEMs agreed to hold off on the mobile launch so the desktop and mobile products could be announced simultaneously in November, and that it was the OEMs' decision, and not product glitches, which led to the delayed launch of the mobile chip.

Most notebook vendors were unwilling to comment on the explosive issue, but one of the top four vendors confirmed Intel's version of the events under condition of anonymity.

"That is more or less my recollection of the events," said an official from the notebook vendor.

Intel owns up to the confusion caused by delaying the desktop Coppermine chips in the first place, but maintained that the decision to hold off on the mobile launch was that of the OEMs.

"We didn't do anybody any favours by getting Coppermine out later," said Seth Walker, an Intel spokesman. "But the mobile stuff is ready." http://www.intel.com

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