Monday, July 4, 2011

Intel paying handsomely to attract downstream vendors into launching Ultrabooks

Intel has recently started planning a new marketing strategy for its Ultrabook concept and has invested heavily into the related budget and resources hoping to attract first-tier notebook vendors into developing Ultrabooks, according to sources from downstream notebook players.

Due to the failure of Intel's Consumer Ultra Low Voltage-based (CULV-based) ultra-thin notebooks in 2009, while the notebook market has been severely impacted by tablet PCs, most notebook vendors are taking a conservative attitude toward Intel's Ultrabook concept and Intel is hoping its heavy investment will be able to attract these vendors to launch Ultrabook products, the sources noted.

Intel announced its Ultrabook concept in June with a goal of having 40% of the global consumers notebooks using its Ultrabook concept at the end of 2012. Asustek is already set to launch its first Ultrabook concept-based notebook, UX21, in September.

Although Intel is providing a significant budget to support its partners launching Ultrabooks, the Ultrabook CPUs' rather high prices are currently still affecting downstream vendors' willingness to adopt as vendors are still concerned whether the Ultrabook product's prices can reach as low as US$1,000 as claimed by Intel. Although the vendors have already started testing Ultrabooks, most of them are still conservative about opening projects for production.

Currently, most of the vendors are monitoring Asustek's performance with its UX21 and will cut into the market when the timing is appropriate.

For the Ultrabook product line, Intel has recently launched four dual-core CPUs and is set to launch a single-core Celeron 787 CPU in September and Celeron 857 in the fourth quarter to replace Celeron 847, the sources added.

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