This is a crucial time of year for retailers - the run up to Christmas often accounts for as much as half of annual turnover. For Nvidia to leave such a gaping hole in its product line is likely to be disastrous for its Q4 profits. And, just as importantly, leave ATI with the mid to high-range AGP market all to itself.
While Nvidia plugged some of the gap left by the PCIe 6800 by launching its GS version, there is no sign of any replacement for the AGP version. That leaves Nvidia with nothing above the 6600GT for the AGP market.
This begs the questions of whether it misjudged the market by ending production too soon or if there are production problems. As Nvidia has proven reluctant to return our calls about this situation, it is obviously something of an embarrassment to the firm. It remains to be seen how much of an embarrassment it will be for the firm's bottom line.
The only other reason for this happening would be if it had a new product waiting in the wings. The only possibilities would be the 6800GS which seems unlikely as it would have been announced at the same time as the PCIe version; or a 7600 which is even less likely.
It might well have been a reasonable idea to drop the AGP 6800 after Christmas. Once the feeding frenzy is over, let it slowly drift out of the channel. To do so before seems extremely careless. AGP graphics card sales may be losing out to PCIe these days but it's still a big market to simply hand to your main competitor. µ
First sign of nVidia 7600 spotted
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