Published in Notebooks

Intel won’t subsidize ultrabooks

by on02 December 2011

$100 price cut not happening, official

A rumour originating out of Taiwan earlier this week indicated that ultrabooks will have $100 shaved off their price, in order to make them somewhat more attractive to cash strapped consumers.

It’s no secret that Intel has set aside a generous $300 million market development fond to make ultrabooks more popular. However, these funds are not subsidies as such and they will not translate into direct price cuts. Intel won’t offer additional subsidies to reduce end user prices.

According to high ranking sources at Intel, that would like to remain unnamed, the company won’t offer anything like the $100 subsidy reported earlier, not in December and not in early months of 2012. Ultrabooks will sell at more or less the same prices for the time being. However, it is worth pointing out that Intel’s long-term goal, as set by CEO Paul Otellini, is to hit a $699 entry level price sometime next year. The bad news is that we won’t see any cuts as soon as we hoped for.

After Ivy Bridge ultrabooks, there might be a chance to see some machines cheaper, especially when vendors start to clear their inventories of current generation Sandy Bridge products. However, this is more likely to happen in the second half of 2012, April at the earlies, but the June - Computex timeframe sounds more realistic. We expect to see dozens of new ultrabooks at CES, but as things stand now, they will probably not be any cheaper than existing models. Ivy Bridge officially launces only in April 2012, so you can expect proper second generation ultrabooks only in the second half of the year.

If you were enchanted by the sheer beauty and thinness of ultrabooks, and you have them on your Xmass shopping list, you won’t save an extra $100 by waiting a couple of weeks. Intel says it just won’t happen. On the upside, the latter half of 2012 should be a great time for ultrabooks and we expect to see a flood of new designs, based on Ivy Bridge chips, in even sleeker designs and with touchscreens, all running Windows 8, of course.

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Ultrabook prices might drop thanks to subsidies

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