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Is Intel Pushing Android-based Notebook Hybrids?

By - Source: DigiTimes | B 13 comments

Intel's recent talk about Bay Trail and low price points seemingly backs up talk about Android hybrid notebooks.

Unnamed sources from notebook vendors told DigiTimes that Intel is pushing hybrid notebooks that use Google's Android operating system, form factors that can be used as both a notebook and a tablet thanks to a detachable keyboard. China-based Lenovo is supposedly the first on the list to produce such a device, an 11-inch Android-based Yoga notebook slated for a May release.

According to the report, many other OEMs are jumping on the Android-based hybrid bandwagon as well including HP, Toshiba, Acer and Asus with models hitting the streets in the third quarter. Sources claim that Intel has estimated the retail "sweet spot" to be around $500 USD, mirroring a statement made by Intel CEO Paul Otellini last week.

The news shouldn't be surprising given all the recent talk about how disappointed OEMs have been with Windows 8. Microsoft's new touchy update has been partially blamed for the dramatic drop in PC sales over the last several quarters. Yet while Microsoft is making slow progress in the smartphone and tablet sectors, it's currently still not enough to fend off the more lucrative Android and iOS solutions.

Earlier this week Otellini hinted during the company's first-quarter earnings conference call to Windows 8 devices with a smaller form factor and a smaller price point. These inexpensive designs will be based on Intel's upcoming quad-core "Bay Trail" 22-nm chip, the first complete redesign of the Atom micro architecture since it debuted in 2008.

"If you look at touch-enabled Intel-based notebooks that are ultrathin using [Bay Trail] processors, those prices are going to be down to as low as $200," he said. Otellini also predicted that more standard Ultrabook designs sporting the upcoming Haswell chip will likely reside within the $499 price range.

This is not the first time we've heard about Android on notebooks this year. DigiTimes coughed up another story earlier this month claiming that "Androidbooks" may march into the market by the end of 3Q13 or the beginning of 4Q13. Given that Intel released the x86 image of Android 4.2 "Jelly Bean" last year for Atom-based chips, and that Google doesn't charge a licensing fee to use Android, the idea is far from being farfetched.

Sources claim these Intel-based Android hybrids will attract strong demand because (1) consumers are highly familiar with Android and (2) Google has brought Quickoffice to Android for editing Microsoft Office files. Of course, the latter is part of Google Apps for Business, but should make Android more competitive against a Windows 8 solution in the home or office.

Recently ZDNet reported that many PC OEMs are unhappy with Microsoft and what it has done with the Windows platform. One OEM source supposedly said that Microsoft is destroying the PC industry while another said that Microsoft has driven millions of customers over to Apple. Based on the DigiTimes report, OEMS are flocking to Android to produce lucrative solutions to make up for the revenue void that Windows 8 has seemingly left behind.

Display 13 Comments.
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  • 7 Hide
    damianrobertjones , April 21, 2013 9:20 AM
    Testing? Why can't I post
  • -1 Hide
    Kafkar , April 21, 2013 11:11 AM
    Huh?
  • 3 Hide
    killabanks , April 21, 2013 12:32 PM
    amen broda!! balmer has been digging microsoft's grave for awhile now.
  • 3 Hide
    InvalidError , April 21, 2013 12:41 PM
    You can buy a low-end Win8 laptop for ~$350 and a convertible is almost a laptop with the computer mounted to the back of the LCD rather than under the keyboard... or conversely, a tablet with custom keyboard dock.

    Intel's $500 goal for an Android convertible is somewhat on the high side if they expect to whip up significant demand for it in a market flooded with $200-300 devices that can do just about the same stuff except for requiring an aftermarket bluetooth keyboard to do so.

    Of course, it isn't in Intel's own interest to lower goals that far but this is what trends since the N7's introduction point to.
  • -2 Hide
    gnodeb , April 21, 2013 1:06 PM
    I really think that problem is with hardware vendors. I've upgraded several Win7 machines to Win8 and I'm not looking back. But I didn't purchase any new hardware. I already have 4 PC at home... I don't need faster one so no reason for upgrade. I would like to have some nice convertible, but I'm not willing to pay 1500 euros for it (that is the price of Sony duo 11 here). I'm tired of waiting for reasonable offer while hearing complains about M$. M$ gave us cheaper then ever OS that does not require faster hardware. Get over it and make something worth of spending money... or I'm going to eat a lot of icecream instead :D 
  • 7 Hide
    merikafyeah , April 21, 2013 2:00 PM
    Quote:
    Testing? Why can't I post


    The new interface is BS. You can't do line breaks without editing in the forums.

    See the gap between these two paragraphs? You can't do this in the article comment section, or else you get the message, "An error has occured." (very specific and helpful isn't it?). Seriously though, what kind of interface can't handle simple line breaks? What is this, the 80s?

    Andohbytheway, it's "occurred", not "occured". Even the errors have errors...
    yo dawg...

    Toms...turning back into dinosaurs one flaw at a time.
  • -1 Hide
    Shin-san , April 21, 2013 6:59 PM
    $500? There's already Windows 8 Atom tablets that cost that much.
  • 0 Hide
    psiboy , April 22, 2013 4:18 AM
    As someone who works the front line selling pc's (for one of Australia's biggest computer retailers) I see the major oem's as having caused the slowdown by not pushing enough stock of the few touch based models they make to retailers in anything remotely resembling sufficient stock! Could have sold 5 times more windows 8 devices if we could get our hands on sufficient stock! They completely missed the the mark with what consumers actually want at least in the quantities anyway.... Not to mention too many units with Atom's in them which consumers associate with piss poor performance thanks to netbooks!
  • 0 Hide
    ojas , April 22, 2013 5:37 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Testing? Why can't I post


    The new interface is BS. You can't do line breaks without editing in the forums.

    See the gap between these two paragraphs? You can't do this in the article comment section, or else you get the message, "An error has occured." (very specific and helpful isn't it?). Seriously though, what kind of interface can't handle simple line breaks? What is this, the 80s?

    Andohbytheway, it's "occurred", not "occured". Even the errors have errors...
    yo dawg...

    Toms...turning back into dinosaurs one flaw at a time.

    Oh so that's why i was getting those errors! Thanks :D 

    And you know the state of proofreading on this site...
  • 1 Hide
    catfishtx , April 22, 2013 6:13 AM
    Well, Microsoft, you did not listen to us. Let's see if you listen to others in the industry. For the love of God, stop your stubbornness and patch Win 8. Give consumers (You remember us, right?) the option to use Metro or not or boot straight to the desktop. And don't give me that Win 95 BS. All you had to do was run "progman.exe" and your new Win 95 desktop looked like the old Win 3.1 desktop. You eased us in to that Start button but you didn't ease us off. We don't mind change but we all like to do it at our own pace.