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Intel leaving product recalls to partners

The Intel Sandybridge flaw has been one of the worst hardware issues for Intel in recent memory. Many of their partners are already in full damage control mode, supporting their customers with returns and refunds. Samsung were one of the first to issue a public statement supporting refunds.

An Intel spokesman has said that the company does not plan to formally recall the affected products, although their customers and PC OEM’s were free to act as they wanted. The cost of this is said to be in the region of $700 million (to fix it), and $300 in lost revenue. It sounds a lot of money, but remember Intel paid $8 billion for McAfee, so while this is damaging to the company name, it won’t put them under any financial pressure, their coffers are deep.

Cougar Point has been found to have a structural flaw inside which can degrade the performance of SATA linked devices, such as hard disk drives. The Sandy Bridge processor is not affected at all.

Dave Salvator, Intel Spokesman has said “Normally we would have preferred to engage with our customers first, but the lawyers basically came back and said, you have got to announce to the world first, then start working with your customers, so that’s exactly what what we did. So basically almost from the moment that the release crossed the wire, we’ve been in intense and busy and almost constant conversations with our customers to work on a fix”.

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Therefore, right now all their OEM’s are still working with Intel as they work through the issue.

So far, companies such as Samsung have been proactive, offering to replace or refund affected products, although the costs would be taken by Intel. Acer have also said that they would have a response to the “potential impact to consumers and the associated recall plan, should one be required” by Feb. 2.

Online stores such as Newegg have already removed Sandybridge motherboards from their listing, and will be returning the products for refunds.

Dell issued this statement “Dell and Intel are in communication regarding the design issue in the recently released Intel 6 Series (Sandy Bridge) support chip, code-name Cougar Point, This affects four currently-available Dell products, the XPS 8300, the Vostro 460, the Alienware M17x R.3 and the Alienware Aurora R.3, as well as several other planned products including XPS 17 with 3D. We’re committed to addressing this with customers who have already purchased one of the four products and will provide further details on this as it becomes available.”

Other companies such as MSI and Asus are already working out a course of action to support their customers.

KitGuru says: A nightmare for Intel partners, just as much as Intel themselves. The manpower involved to deal with RMA’s and refunds will be staggering.

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