Calls for Intel per-unit subsidy for Ultrabook success

Intel has got its way – despite questions raised about the difficulty of producing a sub-$1000 Ultrabook, it asserts that the machines will retail for less than $999.

That’s $998 then. Acer, Asustek and Lenovo will definitely produce the machines below the thousand dollar mark, and we will see them towards the end of this year.

The bill of materials will reach over a pricey $700, though, reports Digitimes. Intel has told TechEye in the past that costs may be high at first, but we’ll see them come down the longer the form factor is out there.

What is difficult is that Intel is really pinning its hopes on the Ultrabook as the new portable device – so early adopters will be paying through the roof for something with an arguably uncertain future instead of the popular tablet.

At least Ultrabooks will provide that functionality that tablets will not be able to offer as professional machines.

Notebook makers in Taiwan believe that the target price below $999 could be achieved if Intel is willing to reduce its CPU prices – as well as a $100 subsidy per unit for marketing. That is a lot of money it doesn’t want to lose.

Notebook and component manufacturers are holding on to see consumer reactions before they throw themselves in at the deep end. With the threat of reducing CPU prices and those subsidies, it’s hard not to think it’s a rocky road for Intel from the get go. Has it been hoist by its own petard?

Like the manufacturers, we will wait and see.

Intel Capital is investing $300 million into its Ultrabook campaign.