PC vendors and manufacturers say that Intel needs to cut CPU prices if it expects them to stay within the sub-$1000 ultrabook price range.
PC vendors and manufacturers are reportedly expressing their concerns about Intel's ultrabook concept and the supposed sub-$1000 price range. The problem, it seems, is that Intel is asking too much for its processors, forcing them to either choose "underpowered" chips or reduce the component specifications to meet the price goal.
According to several reports from DigiTimes, Acer Taiwan president Scott Lin and Compal Electronics president Ray Chen are both asking Intel to provide a subsidy over its CPU prices. If the vendors are forced to choose slower processors or change the system specs, the resulting ultrabook performance will be significantly reduced. Vendors may not be willing to push these sub-par devices thus missing Intel's 40-percent market prediction.
As it stands now, the biggest cost for ultrabook manufacturers is the CPU and the operating system. Next in line are the ultra-thin components like the LCD screen and the solid state drive (SSD). Sources claim that brand vendors are cutting their quotes to notebook ODMs by more than 50-percent to maintain their own profitability because they are unable to reduce component cost.
Unnamed sources have also added that ultrabooks may not catch on despite Intel's push simply because they're 30-percent higher than mainstream notebooks. Students and recent graduates usually grab notebooks priced between $600 and $768 USD, while the working-class citizen typically picks up a notebook for around $830 USD.
Wednesday industry sources pointed out that ultrabooks may still prove to be popular with consumers if they generate good a price/performance ratio and are heavily pushed by both "channel retailers and notebook brand vendors." But if Intel doesn't help manufacturers and vendors by providing subsidies over CPU prices, there might not be much to promote.