AMD planning cut price "ultrabook"

While Intel is preparing to launch its next-generation Ivy Bridge platform for Ultrabooks in April, AMD has a cunning plan to drop the cost of its Trinity chip by 20 percent for its equivalent model.

AMD is forbidden by trademark law to call its product an Ultrabook, but its Ultrathin is apparently set to come out in June with a price tag which is 20 percent lower than the $799-999 touted by Intel.

According to Digitimes, AMD’s new platform is expected to attract vendors such as HP, Acer and Asustek  away from the Intel “vision”.

Originally AMD planned to launch the Deccan platform with Krishna and Wichita APUs in June of 2012, and upgrade to the Kerala platform in 2013 with Kabini APU. This will compete against Intel’s Ivy Bridge in 2012 and Haswell in 2013.

But it seems that AMD has changed its strategy to take into account Intel’s Ultrabooks and will have Trinity-based APU to handle the Ultrabook market and sell its Ultrathins as cheaper to expand its share in the ultrabook market.

If Digitimes is correct, in 2012, there will be 75 new ultrabooks based on Intel’s platform with models based on AMD to reach 20 units.

While the AMD Ultrathins will not be especially clever compared to Intel’s Ivy Bridge-based Ultrabooks, they will be $100-200 cheaper than the Chipzilla models.

On one hand this will be good for the man and woman on the strasse, but manufacturers are concerned that AMD’s Ultrathins could cause the price of Ultrabooks to plummet rapidly. From a manufacturing point of view, price drops are OK if you are ramping up to big production. But AMD jumping into the market with low cost machines means that the price will have to fall before larger scale production is possible.