It seems Intel is hurting in PC sales due to a 'weak demand'in the PC DiY market. Hence Intel is pushing its motherboard partners to bundle Optane memory, much like MSI recently did. Motherboard manufacturers aren't too happy about it though as the bundle increases price, and Optane really isn't in demand at all.
Intel this is furter looking to bundle Optane memory with motherboards using 200 series chipsets such as Z270, in the PC DIY channel to stimulate demand for the Kaby Lake platform. Retailers however are also pessimistic about the idea since the next-generation Coffee Lake is set to become available in late August and consumers are waiting for the new products reports digitimes.
Intel released its Kaby Lake-based processors as well as Optane memory and SSD products in January, but their demand has been weak and Intel is hoping the new bundling promotions will be able to increase sales for both product lines.
Sources from channel retailers noted that Intel's Optane memory is only supported by 200 series motherboards and Kaby Lake-based Core i7/i5/i3 processors, making the upgrade rather price unfriendly.
However, the retail channel already has over 130 models of motherboards that support Optane memory from players including Asustek Computer, Gigabyte Technology, Micro-Star International (MSI) and ASRock, currently. The retailers are now placing their hope in the third quarter and believe the new platform will stimulate demand.