An Intel executive has officially confirmed that Android notebooks will be available in stores in the future with prices starting at around the $200 mark.
The news comes shortly after various unconfirmed reports mentioned Android laptops and is delivered by Dadi Perlmutter, Intel’s chief product officer.
Perlmutter’s remarks made to CNET come after Intel’s own CEO Paul Otellini last week mentioned touchscreen PCs that would cost around $200 without specifying what operating system they would be equipped with.
Now things are getting clearer, with Android confirmed for such products. The fact that Google’s OS is free for OEMs to use, compared to Microsoft’s Windows 8 that has to be licensed by companies, is apparently also a factor:
“We have a good technology that enables a very cost-effective price point,” Perlmutter said. The price of Windows 8 laptops “depends on how Microsoft prices Windows 8. It may be a slightly higher price point.”
The $200 Android machines would run on Intel’s Atom processor, and they will most likely be tablets that ship with a keyboard dock that would transform them into laptops when needed – it’s worth pointing out that no Intel partner made any announcements unveiling such products, so we have no idea how these Android notebooks will look or what they’ll have to offer.
Launch periods for these Android laptops have not been provided, although Perlmutter apparently said that he expects the PC market to “pick up” in the second half of the year and into 2014, as new products become available. Does this “new products” list include Android-based notebooks? Does this mean we’ll see Android notebooks in time for Christmas? We’ll just have to wait for Intel’s future announcements.
Even more interestingly, it looks like more expensive Android tablets packing Intel’s Core chips would also be available to consumers, priced at $399 and $499, which means such Intel-based products could end up competing against high-end players in the tablet business.
Obviously Intel wants to quickly adapt to the mobile needs of consumers and become a more important player in the smartphone and tablet businesses, especially considering the declining PC sales.
The company has already made its first steps into the smartphone business – this year’s Lenovo K900 handset is a great example, as the Intel-based device managed to match the Galaxy S4 in benchmark test – and now it looks like it’s ready to make a more serious play for the Android tablet/laptop business as well.
Furthermore, the company has confirmed that data-only multimode LTE Intel processors will shipped by mid-2013, while multimode voice over LTE will arrive later this year, so it’s pretty clear that the mobile business is definitely getting more and more important for Otellini and Co.
Would you replace your current PC with an Intel-based Android notebook?