Intel gives $100 PC ultrabook subsidy, delays Atom due to Apple iPad

“Intel is giving Windows-based ultrabook makers a $100 discount to help them try to undercut Apple on price, part suppliers in Taiwan claimed late Tuesday,” Electronista reports. “Designers were getting the “marketing subsidy” in a move that Digitimes understood would lead to prices dropping five to ten percent below the $1,000 mark. The drop would follow an earlier cut expected before the end of 2011 and would presumably come from Intel’s $300 million ultrabook fund.”

“Lopping off the marketing costs would bring that same system to $840 before the profit margin and make $1,000 or less relatively simple,” Electronista reports. “Apple, without that benefit, has sold its own 13-inch MacBook Air at $1,199, albeit often with a faster processor. Companies like Acer and ASUS aren’t used to having to use higher-end parts such as aluminum and SSDs as often as Apple and have repeatedly expressed discomfort at being so close in pricing as Apple.”

Electronista reports, “Apple was also creating problems in the netbook arena, a follow-up rumor floated the same day. Intel’s delay on Cedar Trail Atom processors has now allegedly come from ‘competition from tablet PCs,’ which in the current market is shorthand for the iPad.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: How “ultra” can anything be when it can’t run Mac OS X. Not very. Only Apple’s MacBook Air can run all of the world’s OSes and all of the world’s apps on a lightweight sliver of perfectly-machined beauty:
Apple MacBook Air

All of this struggling just to create second-rate Windows-Limited knockoffs of Apple’s MacBook Air. Imagine if the PC players spent their energies on their own ideas instead of trying to copy Apple… oh, right, then they end up with this:

Intel's Ottoman PC concept
Intel's Ottoman PC concept

Related articles:
New Apple 11.6-, 13.3-and 15-inch MacBook Air notebooks to take on ‘ultrabooks’ in Q112, say sources – November 28, 2011
‘Ultrabook’ manufacturers look to plastic as Apple commandeers unibody aluminum supplies – November 21, 2011
Intel, PC assemblers struggle to get ‘ultrabooks’ below $1,000 – September 8, 2011


    1. $100 is not to promote Atom, it is to sabotage MBA, to derail it, to commit this diversion.

      Intel wants to control this market and fears that Apple’s MBA might be the threat in the future if Apple will move from Intel away.

    2. The Atom can’t be an expensive chip, so the effect is that they’re probably giving them away and offering a sizeable additional amount on top of that.

      It’s a little nuts. Intel is taking money earned from Apple (and others) from full-sized processors and giving it to competitors to help their products compete against Apple.

  1. Obviously, Intel needs to be punished for this.

    If all the theories about ARM’s cores being able to eventually compete with Intel’s much bigger CPUs are right, then this punishment might happen.

    Not sure about this, though. Even ARM’s non-existent core A25 will be way slower than Intel’s newest chips.

    So the only way Apple could punish Intel more realistically is buying AMD. However, this is not what Jobs would do, the more so Cook.

  2. Well said, MDN 🙂

    and wow, Intel doesn’t want to loose its cake here, does it? I can’t wait for when Apple either Buys AMD or begins to create its own CPU for MacBooks.

    Screw intel and their monopolistic bribing jive-asses.

  3. It’s hard to believe that Apple accepts to pay more than others for same chips. Probabaly Apple gets the same discount, with condition that they maintain their price level. So I’d expect higher margin for Apple.

    1. As far as I’m aware. Apple does not and has not ever used the Atom processors in a production system. Even the original MacBook Air used a full fledged Intel CPU. Only crippled by clock speed for power consumption reduction.

      Offering produces the ability to make an Atom based laptop to compete with the MBA is not a solution. The inferior chip will produce an inferior product. Do we really need to compare tablets to the iPad to show how this works?

      1. Two different topics in the story Armand.

        One is about the subsidy for Ultrabooks (the normal notebook procs) and the second is that the Cedar Trail Atom proc is going to be delayed due to competition from the iPad.

      1. Good point.

        Additionally, I recall in the past that the marketing cash was given only if the company put one of those “Intel Inside” stickers on the computer, something I doubt Apple would ever do.

  4. This slays me: “tablet PCs,’ which in the current market is shorthand for the iPad.”

    It’s not shorthand. Shorthand is SHORT. This is cognitive dissonance. They are unable to see or SAY that the only viable tablet PCs are iPads.

  5. Intel has always played dirty. They must already know for sure that Apple will convert all their computers to Arm processors, to be willing to spit in the face of their very good customer.

  6. I have no idea how this will work out.

    I just know that if the day comes when I can’t buy a macbook with an intel proc im moving off the mac, unless it happens that ARM is the defacto perf king and x86 is going the wayside by then.

    I like that Apple is pushing ARM, Intel does their best work when they feel threatened as was witnessed years ago when AMD started producing chips that ate the P4 netburst arch for lunch.

    Im suspecting Intel will be coming out with a crushing low power high perf offering within the next 2 years that has everyone thinking “f*ck….”. Thats what happened the last time everyone was claiming they were doomed.

  7. So it takes a slower processor, cheaper construction, and a $100 subsidy form Intel for PC vendors to produce an MBA-wannabe at a lower price than the MBA?

    Give me the aluminum unibody and overall Mac quality, not to mention the benefits of OS X and superior integration with iOS products. Game over for the “Ultra” books.

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