Intel and Google Team up on Affordable Android Notebooks

29 Apr

Intel is confirmed to be releasing its Atom chips for a series of Android-based notebooks, according to CNET. A few known highlights of the notebooks include their highly affordable price range (approximately $US 200), “convertible” body, and touch screen functionality. What the final products will look like, along how Google’s Operating System will actually be tweaked to suit the notebook devices, has yet to be confirmed.

Considering the previously failed PC investments, the strategy of releasing economically priced “Android-based” PCs is an interesting move for Intel. The company’s CEO, Paul Otellini, had reportedly been hinting about countering tablets with extremely affordable PC devices, and seems to believe that an eventual turnaround for the ailing PC industry is still possible. In his recent interview with CNET, Intel CPO Dadi Perlmutter also echoed Otellini’s sentiments, but added that the company needs “new computer types” such as convertible/detachable notebooks to gain traction with buyers. Perlmutter estimates that the PC market may begin to pick up as soon as during 2H13, and that its momentum will be strengthened in 2014 following the release of Atom-powered notebooks.

An interesting theme that seems to pop up time and again throughout Intel’s interview is importance of maintaining products at “low price-points.” The emphasis hardly comes as a surprise when the disappointing market performances of Intel’s favored but pricy Ultrabooks are taken into account.

The challenges awaiting Intel will be the same as it were before: convincing consumers why they should choose notebook PCs over other mobile devices. Just as PC devices are becoming increasingly more affordable, so too are tablets and smartphones. A white-box branded tablet can reportedly be purchased in China for as little as $US 65, for instance; decent Android tablets with respectable NVIDIA and Qualcomm processors, likewise, are also currently available on the market for $199-$299.