Intel has denied the Taipei-based Digitimes report suggesting the chip giant would be offering a $100 subsidy for Ultrabooks in an effort to allow OEMs to slash prices for these super-thin laptops.
"There is absolutely no truth to it whatsoever," Intel spokesperson Bill Calder told CRN. "There is no $100 dollar subsidy for Ultrabooks. It just simply doesn’t exist."
The Digitimes report
had asserted that PC manufacturers including Acer, Asus, and Toshiba are expected to lower Ultrabook prices below $1,000 by the end of 2011, with an Intel subsidy of $100 allegedly reducing prices by another five to 10 percent in the first quarter of 2012. Digitimes also maintained that the high costs of processors and SSDs may deem the lowered price point unreachable.
Intel’s Calder said that although Ultrabooks are still fairly new on the tech scene, the outlook for these super-chic notebooks is bright.
"We’ve always said that this is very early in what is a phased process that will occur over the next couple of years," he said. "We are still only in the first six months of Ultrabooks in existence and, frankly, the momentum is good right now if you look at how things are selling."
Intel has been promoting these lighter, thinner, sleeker notebooks since the Computex event in May. Intel has since trademarked the term "Ultrabook," and emphasizes its potential to reshape the whole of the computing industry.
"The implications of Ultrabooks are huge," Intel president and CEO Paul Otellini said during a keynote a keynote speech at the IDF event. "This is a transformation in computing and an expansion opportunity for Intel and developers."
Intel anticipates the transition to its Ivy Bridge architecture to be one of the main catalysts behind Ultrabook market growth in 2012, Otellini said.
Acer, Toshiba and Lenovo stared unveiling Ultrabooks in September, while other OEMs are allegedly gearing up to launch their own brands at next year’s CES event, scheduled for January 10-13 in Las Vegas. According to EE Times, Consumer Electronics Association’s director of research Shawn DuBravac said that the event is expected to host between 30 and 50 new ultrabooks.
As the Ultrabook buzz continues, IHS iSuppli analysts predict these next-gen laptops will dominate upwards of 40 percent of the notebook market by 2015.
"Ultrabooks will represent 43 percent of global notebook PC shipments in 2015, up from 2 percent in 2011 and 13 percent in 2012," IHS reported. "Following their first year of shipments in 2011, Ultrabook penetration of the notebook market will increase rapidly, climbing to 28 percent in 2013 and then to 38 percent in 2014."
A separate Digitimes report said Acer President Jim Wong already expects its Ultrabook prices to drop from its current $1,000 price to $799-$899 by Q2 2012, and as a low as $499 in 2013.