Anyone expecting to see Intel rest on their laurels in the months until IvyBridge appear to be in for a surprise. Perhaps reacting to speed-bumped AMD Bulldozer CPU's, or slackening demand in the SI market for performance SandyBridge before Christmas, the i5-2550K may be incoming over the next few weeks.
The question, also raised upon the announcement of the i7-2700K, is whether this is a new product or just a i5-2500K with a fractionally higher multiplier. All indications are that apart from a 3.4GHz clock-speed (indicating a small increase over the 33x multiplier of the 2500K) the CPU is functionally identical to the i5-2500K and like the 2700K may not be designed to formally replace its predecessor.
In fact, the 2500K may not even undergo a price reduction with the introduction of the 2550K. Instead it could fill the narrow void between the 2500K and 2600K, but on the face of it not provide any increase in performance for the overclocker.
One ray of sunshine is possible for hardware fans. Whilst the 2700K wasn't a replacement for the 2600K, it does appear that the CPU is better binned and can achieve significantly better overclocks than its predecessor. If the same can be said for the 2550K vs the 2500K, it could prove to be a cannier purchase than one might think.