Intel officials are working with suppliers and manufacturers to help drive ultrabook prices below $1,000 to better enable them to compete with tablets.
executives reportedly are continuing to work with suppliers in hopes of
driving down the price of ultrabooks, the ultra-thin and light notebooks the
chip maker has been promoting since first introducing the concept in May.
vice president of sales and marketing and general manager for the Asia-Pacific
region for Intel, told Reuters
that company officials understand
the need for driving down the price of ultrabooks
to make them more competitive
with Apple's MacBook Pro and various tablet PCs on the market. Doing so will
mean greater cooperation from the various players in the supply chain, from
suppliers to manufacturers.
Price will be a key driver
if Intel is to meet
its goal of having ultrabooks account for 40 percent of all notebooks shipped
by the end of 2012.
challenging target. ... In order for that to happen, the price has to come
down," Shenoy told the news organization. "At some point, you'll have to
be at that price point, but it doesn't have to be overnight. It takes time to
engineer a cost down. ... More work needs to happen in the ecosystem. Even if
we're giving the chips away for free, we couldn't hit the price point we want
to hit if we don't work with the rest of the industry."
Acer and Asus
are the first OEMs to release
ultrabooks, which Intel sees as a way of not only boosting a PC industry under
siege from increasingly popular tablets, but also another vehicle to grow the
chip maker's presence in the mobile device market. The least expensive of these
is $899, with other models for selling well north of $1,000.
for ultrabooks is one of devices that are thin-less than 0.8-inches thick-and
offer the benefits of traditional laptops with the features of tablets,
including long battery life, instant-on and always-connected capabilities,
Price has been
a key concern. Intel executives have said ultrabooks must be less than $1,000,
but some in the industry have questioned how easily that can be done. Intel CEO
Paul Otellini, during an Oct. 18 call with analysts and journalists to report
the company's quarterly financial earnings, acknowledged the price issue, and
said the key will be suppliers and manufacturers being able to reduce the costs
of their products. Helping them do that is the goal behind the $300 million fund Intel has created
and hardware companies developing products for the ultrabook form factor,
price below $1,000 will enable ultrabooks to compete better against the MacBook
Pro-whose least expensive model costs $999-and tablets.
officials see stages of development for ultrabooks, starting with this first
round of systems that will run on the chip maker's Sandy Bridge processors.
Next year, systems based on Intel's upcoming "Ivy Bridge" platform will begin
hitting the market. The step after that will come in 2013, with the release of
Intel's "Haswell" chips. Each new chip platform promises greater performance,
more features and better energy efficiency, Intel officials said.