Desktop processor manufacturers like Intel and AMD have little to no market share in the mobile segment. The whole of tablet segment is conquered by ARM based devices, thanks to ARM’s 290 semiconductor vendors who license its technology in order to address the needs of various segments of device. Intel did create mobile platforms such as the fairly recent low power Atom processor, also popular as Intel Medfield. The mobile Medfield Atom processors are implemented in Intel AZ210 which is currently being marketed by Lava, Orange and Lenovo in India, UK and China respectively.
Intel actually ported Android operating system to x86 in order to bring support for Medfield processor, however, it has been recently working on a next gen Atom processor, codenamed as Clover Trail, which will be exclusively used with upcoming Windows 8 operating system from Microsoft, Intel’s quickest option to get into the tablet market, however, Microsoft’s announcement of Windows RT, a version of Windows 8 which will run on ARM based systems, has been a bad news for Intel as it has to stand against ARM based devices. Now, it seems like the competition just got tougher for Intel.
Lenovo has predicted that ARM based Windows RT tablets will carry a price tag that will be $300 lesser than those running Windows 8. Microsoft’s Windows RT is nothing but Windows 8 adapted to run on ARM based systems and Microsoft will be using Windows RT on its own Surface tablet. It should be noted that Lenovo was among Microsoft’s Windows RT launch partners.
“RT will play in consumer and retail at very aggressive price points,” said David Schmoock, head of Lenovo’s North America operations. “It will do well but it’s going to be more of a consumer price point play to begin with,” he said, in an interview today.
According to Lenovo, Windows 8 tablets will be costing somewhere around $600 and $700, so going by Lenovo’s claims, the ARM based tablets booting Windows RT should be costing somewhere in the neighborhood of $400, which places it directly in the segment which has been largely dominated by Android based tablets.
This news should be a nightmare for both, AMD and Intel as they were planning to use Windows 8 as a wormhole to get into the mobile market. $300 is definitely a significant amount to discourage buyers from choosing Intel based Windows 8 tablets, and customers will obviously choose for ARM based tablets as people will go for anything that is cheap and free. Quality matters for sure, but I don’t think companies like Lenovo will compromise on that front either.
The only strength of Windows 8 compared to Windows RT is its application compatibility, but again, Apple’s iPad has testified the fact that compatibility of existing application is not required in order to generate huge sales figure.
Apart from this disappointing news, Intel has got more bad news too. Intel has been trying to push Ultrabook brand of notebooks which aim at delivering more attractive devices to consumers with thinner and lighter designs. Intel had projected that ultrabook branded laptop devices would capture 40 percent of the consumer laptop market in 2012, but according to Schmoock, that figure is more likely to be between 20 and 25 percent.
“It’s going to require a very strong first couple of weeks of launch of Win 8,” said Schmoock. “They’ll be a lot bigger than they are now. I don’t know if it will get all the way up to 40 percent.” Intel has always been known for setting ambitious targets. If words of Schmoock turn out to be true, AMD and Intel won’t be able to seek the year-end sales boost that they were hoping Windows 8 would fetch for them.
If ever you have planned to buy a Windows tablet device later this year, would you buy Windows 8 tablet or settle for the economical ARM based Windows RT tablet? Connect with us using the comment form below.
Company profile: Lenovo Group Limited is a Chinese multinational information technology and electronics company co-headquartered in Beijing, Singapore and Morrisville, North Carolina. It manufactures variety of products including personal computers, portable devices such as tablet computers and servers, electronic storage, mobile phones, workstations, and IT management software. According to 2011 market share, Lenovo happens to be world’s second largest PC vendors (Hewlett-Packard is the largest PC vendor). The company is very popular for ThinkPad line of notebook computers and the ThinkCentre line of desktops (these systems were originally manufactured by IBM, however, Lenovo acquired IBM’s personal computer division back in 2005).