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Is Intel Pushing Android-based Notebook Hybrids?

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.

  • damianrobertjones
    Testing? Why can't I post
    Reply
  • damianrobertjones
    People want cheap kit and, for some reason, Android is the current software with 'the buzz'. It doesn't matter if it's any good it's what people are telling other people to buy. As for business... Not a chance in the world.
    Reply
  • damianrobertjones
    "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." - This paragraph makes me laugh. Dear OEM, stop pushing crappy hardware year after year
    Reply
  • damianrobertjones
    "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." - This paragraph makes me laugh. Dear OEM, stop pushing crappy hardware year after year
    Reply
  • Kafkar
    Huh?
    Reply
  • killabanks
    amen broda!! balmer has been digging microsoft's grave for awhile now.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    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.
    Reply
  • gnodeb
    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
    Reply
  • merikafyeah
    10696857 said:
    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.
    Reply
  • Shin-san
    $500? There's already Windows 8 Atom tablets that cost that much.
    Reply