Wed, Jun 27, 2012 - Page 13 News List

Intel still expects Ultrabooks to be a major market driver

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Intel Corp yesterday said that it expected the unit price for Ultrabook laptops to hit a sweet point between US$699 to US$799 in the second half of the year after global PC brands launch new models powered by Intel’s latest affordable processor.

The US chip giant yesterday said it would stick to its original expectations that Ultrabooks would account for 40 percent of consumer-oriented notebook computers by the end of this year, shrugging off the potential impact of Microsoft Corp’s newly unveiled Surface tablet.

“We have no plan to change the figure,” Intel’s Taiwan manager Jason Chen (陳立生) told reporters on the sidelines of a media briefing.

“Tablets and Ultrabooks are two different products,” Chen said.

Microsoft’s Surface tablet can be regarded as a form of Ultrabook, Chen said, because one of its versions is powered by Intel’s Core i5 processor, which is part of Intel’s Core processor family for Ultrabooks.

“Ultrabooks are not necessarily clam shells,” he said.

Chen also said Intel has no immediate plans to cut processor prices to quicken the adoption of Ultrabooks.

“There will be no change in the prices for notebook and Ultrabook processors. The prices are reasonable,” he said.

Instead, Intel pinned its hopes on sales of new models during the shopping seasons in September and December to boost uptake. Most of the 110 Ultrabook designs from its PC partners are expected to hit the market in the third and fourth quarters, Chen said.

Kevin Lin (林福能), general manager of sales at Asustek Computer Inc (華碩電腦), the world’s No. 5 PC brand, said yesterday the company planned to launch its first Ultrabooks, equipped with Intel’s entry-level Core i3 processor for the ultra-thin notebook, next month or in August.

“We think the unit prices for Ultrabooks will drop to a mainstream level of between US$699 and US$799 as some have expected in the second half,” Chen said.

An entry-level Ultrabook, equipped with Intel’s Core i3 and a 13-inch screen released by Chinese PC brand Lenovo Group (聯想) on June 11, was priced at a higher level of NT$26,900 (US$897) per unit. Lenovo has not set a date for sales yet.

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