Korean PC Makers Protest Intel Centrino Tie-Ins

PC makers in Seoul are raising red flags about Intel's cooperative sales and marketing program, which they say is growing too focused on Intel's Centrino offering.

SEOUL, South Korea—PC makers here are raising red flags about Intel Corp.s cooperative sales and marketing program, which they say is growing too focused on Intels Centrino offering.

, the companys newest offering for mobile PCs, includes a new mobile processor, related chip sets and "PRO/Wireless 2100 Network Connectivity," an 802.11 wireless networking module.

"Although Intels Centrino mobile technology consists of a processor, chip set and WLAN, Intel also sells each device separately," a spokesperson for Intel Korea said. But Korean PC makers insist that the Intel Pentium M processor is considered out-dated by consumers. As a result, they charge, Intels marketing activities are focused exclusively on Centrino.

To identify and raise awareness about the Intel Centrino mobile technology, Intel has developed a striking magenta Centrino logo featuring the Intel Inside mark. Manufacturers can use the mark only with notebooks that include the Intel Pentium M processor, the Intel 855 chip set family and the Intel PRO/Wireless 2100 Network Connection.

Changes to the Intel Inside program, which helps underwrite PC makers advertisements, are further contributing to Korean PC makers dilemma. The Intel Inside program is what is known as a "Back-Margin Program," and it currently subsidizes up to 70 percent of the cost of local PC makers advertising budgets. However, Intel Korea is preparing a new plan to cover up to 85 percent of PC makers Centrino notebook advertisements, officials said.

Korean PC makers have little choice but to adopt Intels Centrino mobile technology, but the grumbling is likely to continue, sources said.

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