An Intel executive recently called for an industry-wide effort to bring the prices of the devices down and indicated that it will not be up to the chipmaker to hit price points that resonate with consumers.
"More work needs to happen in the ecosystem. Even if we're giving the chips away for free, we couldn't hit the price point we want to hit if we don't work with the rest of the industry," vice president of sales and marketing and general manager for the Asia-Pacific region Navin Shenoy told Reuters in an interview.
That is a bold statement that may not sit too well with some of Intel's best customers, who are scrambling to get ultrabooks out for retail prices of less than $1000, which means that the actual cost to build those devices is somewhere in the $600 to $700 range.
According to Shenoy, about 40 percent of the consumer PC market may be occupied by ultrabooks by the end of next year, but this price-aggressive approach indicates that all Intel may be shooting for is a replacement of an existing market and not the opening of a new market - or a future market that builds on currently evolving trends, such as touch input models. As thin as ultrabooks are, they still follow the same general idea the original notebook, the 1984 Compaq LTE had: a keyboard and an attached screen. Touch never made sense on mainstream notebooks before and I would express some doubt that touch will suddenly make sense if notebooks are simply as thin as a Macbook Air, which the ultrabook trend aims to replicate.