Print 21 comment(s) - last by name99.. on Aug 9 at 4:10 PM

  (Source: Asus)

ASUS UX21 Ultrabook
Bill of materials offered doesn't include marketing or assembly

Intel first talked about Ultrabooks in May of this year and hopes that large numbers of the machines will be shipped through its partners like ASUS, Acer, and HP among others. So far, no Ultrabooks have hit the market, but they are coming. Intel originally promised the machines would sell for under $1,000.

There are concerns now that Intel might not be able to deliver on that price promise. Some makers that were working on Ultrabooks for consumers are now claiming that the machines can’t be made and sold for under $1,000 as Intel stated. Intel is now offering up the bill of materials (BOM) for reference design ultrabooks to prove the machines can be built and sold for under $1,000. 

The Intel reference platform has a price for the BOM of as low as $475. The BOM doesn't include the cost of assembly or marketing. Intel plans to make a huge marketing push to promote Ultrabooks and the cost of that is worked into the $16 billion set aside for various programs this year.

Analyst Beau Skonieczny thinks Ultrabooks still have promise, noting, "By incorporating newer technologies, such as Thunderbolt [an I/O technology], 3-D transistors and next-generation Ivy Bridge [22-nm] processors, Intel is better positioned to take on higher-end tablet platforms and thin-and-light notebooks, such as Apple's iPad and MacBook Air products,” Skonieczny wrote. “Intel anticipates Ultrabooks will achieve about a 40 [percent] mix in the consumer market by the end of 2012; however, the success will be dependent on a quick ramp of volume sales to translate to lower prices for consumers."

The ultrabook platform has more than one reference system. The BOM for 21mm ultrabooks runs from $475 to $650. The BOM for thinner 18mm machines runs $493 to $710. These prices will allow the machines to be sold for under $1,000 according to Intel. Some makers are holding off on their machines until they see how the market reacts to the notebooks. 

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RE: pricing
By michael2k on 8/8/2011 7:58:15 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, but considering the article is expressly about THIS product, exactly, all the Tier-1 cheaper laptops are irrelevant.

It's always a shock when Apple manages to undercut the competition.

RE: pricing
By SPOOFE on 8/9/2011 5:49:09 AM , Rating: 2
The fact that mass-produced items are cheaper is certainly relevant; Intel is essentially seeking to define a sub-market and there's no reason to think their products will sell in any significant volume. Apple, conversely, has an established market and a rich history of market trends from whence to derive data for their products. They're not being asked to jump in blind; the manufacturers want financial security.

It's always a shock when Apple manages to undercut the competition.

Apple doesn't have competition, they have infringers.

RE: pricing
By michael2k on 8/9/2011 10:25:41 AM , Rating: 2
Except that every mass produced ultrabook (past and present) has been more expensive, not cheaper. THIS item, as you said, is cheaper from Apple. The Lenovo X300, X301, the Dell Adamo, the Samsung Series 9, and now these proposed future ultrabooks all clock in at more expensive than Apple's MacBook Airs.

So, no, mass produced items that aren't ultrabooks are irrelevant. Yes, the MacBook Pro is more expensive than mass produced PCs from Dell/Acer/HP, etc, but this article and this thread isn't talking about regular notebooks. Netbooks are cheaper, but we're not talking about crippled performance Atom or Athlon Neo systems.

We're talking about ultrabooks. The question, as I earlier posed, is why Apple can undercut the competition?

It's not unlike the iPad; why did it take a year for the competition to act sensibly? Apple was the one that established the market and it took a year for Asus to release the cheaper (and solidly successful) Transformer.

Not it's been several years, the market for ultrabooks has been established, Intel wants to sell more of them, and all of Apple's competitors have released more expensive, not cheaper, models. What business is Dell, Samsung, etc, in that they can't mass produce something cheaper than Apple?

My only guess is that Apple has stolen all the tricks Dell and Samsung have, and used it to their advantage, plus added a few more: Reduced BOM, reduced packaging, reduced warehousing and shipping, reduced warranty costs, reduced points of failure, and then lowering the price accordingly so that competitors cannot match.

RE: pricing
By Scott66 on 8/9/2011 12:06:20 PM , Rating: 2
When Apple released the original iPad, potential competitors were surprised at the low pricing. It forced them to redesign theirs or take serious cuts to their margins. Many just didn't release the product and started on the next model.

“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads

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