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Intel gets ready to cut Pentium 4 prices by up to 55%

Cuts scheduled for 26 August, 28 October

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Intel said this week it is going to make some aggressive price cuts to help drive sales of its desktop Pentium 4 processor.

No kidding. Pricing data leaked to Web site Xbit Labs suggests Intel wants to push P4 prices right down to below current Pentium III levels to a smidgeon above Celeron prices with cuts of up to 55 per cent.

According to leak, Intel's next big round of price cuts will take place on 26 August, the date mentioned by sources cited todayin The Inquirer. On that day, we'll see the 1.3GHz, 1.4GHz and 1.5GHz P4s come down to $133 a pop (when sold in batches of 1000) from $193, $193 and $256, respectively. That translates into cuts of 31 per cent and 48 per cent.

The 1.6GHz part will fall from $294 to $163, down 45 per cent, while the price of the 1.7GHz chip will become $193, also a cut of 45 per cent, from its current $352 price tag. The 1.8GHz P4 will fall from $562 to $256, a cut of 55 per cent.

The 1.9GHz and 2.0GHz will priced at $375 and $562, respectively, on that day, but it's not yet clear whether they will launch before the 26th. Since the 2GHz chip will assume the current price of the 1.8GHz part, we expect they will debut on that day.

Then, on 28 October, the 2GHz P4's price will fall again, to $401 (down 29 per cent), the 1.9GHz part to $274 (down 27 per cent) and the 1.8GHz chip to $225 (down 12 per cent).

By comparison, the 1.2GHz 0.13 micron Tualatin Pentium III will be priced at $241 on 28 October, down from $268 on 26 August. The 1.3GHz Tualatin PIII will fall to $193 from its 26 August price of $225, the same price as the 1.1GHz 0.18 micron Coppermine PIII, which is currently at $241. The point: why buy a PIII when you can have a higher clocked P4 for less? This gives PC makers no incentive to buy PIIIs.

The pricing data suggests the 1.1GHz and 1.0GHz Celerons will indeed ship this quarter, again on or before 26 August. On that date, they will be priced at $103 and $89, respectively. The 950MHz part will be priced at $74, while the 900MHz and 850MHz chips will fall to $64. That's the current price of the 850MHz, 800MHz, 766MHz and 733MHz Celerons, so don't expect them to survive for long come 26 August.

Xbit Labs' information also notes the arrival of a 1.2GHz Celeron at $103 and the 2.2GHz P4 at $615. No dates are given, but we expect the 2.2GHz P4, a 0.13 micron part codenamed Northwood, to ship sometime in November - in other words, not so long after the 28 October price cuts.

Related Stories

Intel's gigahertz Celerons coming this quarter
Intel: desktop Pentium III to die before year-end

Related Link

Xbit Labs: Intel to Prepare a Daring Price Drop

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