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Intel makes Scrooge-like Celeron pricing decision

Company described as “deeply cynical"

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Intel’s decision to introduce far more powerful 366MHz and 400MHz Celerons on the fourth of January was described as “deeply cynical” today. The chip giant has advertised the previous versions of the Celeron processor extensively in the run-up to the Christmas period, but will slash the prices of its 300MHz and 333MHz parts when it releases the new chips. Three years ago, Intel attracted similar criticism when it released chips with MMX extensions just after it had pushed the previous processors to first time buyers. Rana Mainee, European research director of AMD, which also produces microprocessors, said: “I agree it is deeply cynical and unfortunate this should happen, but more and more people have wised up to this and defer their purchases until after Christmas.” Market research company Inteco figures showed that the split was roughly half and half, said Mainee. He said: “Intel has always felt they have to clear out the old stuff over Christmas. People who buy at Christmas are typically first time buyers who don’t know the difference.” AMD has never been guilty of such cynical action, claimed Mainee. “If you look historically over the last two years, we bring out new microprocessors in Q2, which allows people enough time to design them in for the Christmas period,” he said. The processors will come in 370-pin sockets. Earlier this month, Intel was accused of dumping its previous Slot One processors into the channel. The company declines to comment on its pricing strategies. ®

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