Intel says no to massive ultrabook CPU price cut

Notebook makers demand cheaper chips

Apple MacBook Air 11.6in

Intel has apparently rejected demands from notebook makers that it slash the cost of its ultrabook chips.

Manufacturers keen to release skinny laptops along the lines of Apple's MacBook Air range say Intel's products need to be cheaper if they're to comptete.

The inevitable unnamed sources say vendors asked the CPU giant for a 50 per cent price cut, according to DigiTimes. The call was rejected, but Intel did offer big-name buyers a 20 per cent discount.

So don't expect ultra-slim notebooks to become low-cost offerings any time soon.

As it stands, Air alternatives are likely to come at a premium. Last month, Asus grumbled it will have to charge more than $1000 (£610) for its ultrabooks - even more than Apple charges. Whether that's before or after the 20 per cent discount isn't known.

Apple has the same problem. Its threat to shift to ARM chips - named by Intel as motivation for getting its processors' power consumption down - may also have won it an even better deal from Intel, but it's mass-purchase of Flash chips, the other pricey component in ultrabooks, gives it a further edge over its rivals. ®

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