Feeds

Intel cutting prices, taking on all comers in fondleslab market grab

Even Chinese 'white box' tablet-makers are welcome

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Intel is so desperate to gain a foothold in the fondleslab market that it's willing to slash its margins in exchange for market share, supply-chain sources claim.

Industry insiders have told Taiwanese tech-news rag DigiTimes that Chipzilla has been cutting prices and offering marketing subsidies to tablet vendors willing to build designs with its processors.

The main targets of these efforts have been Chinese white-box vendors, at least 20 of which are reportedly already building tablets based on Intel processors and system-on-chip (SoC) components.

To reach buyers in the notoriously stingy price-sensitive Chinese market, however, those slabs will need to arrive at rock-bottom prices, especially given the glut of cheapo ARM-based tablets already available.

IDC research shows fondleslab sales cooled a bit in the most recent quarter, but the world's vendors still shipped a combined 50.4 million units in the three months ending in March, the vast majority of which were based on some flavor of ARM chips.

Nearly two-thirds of them also run Android, the major exception being Apple's market-leading iPad line. And that may be a problem for Intel, because recent tests suggest you might be better off sticking with an ARM-based device if Google's mobile OS is your thing.

Enter Microsoft. The "Wintel" partnership may not be as strong as it was in previous decades, with each company courting other partners as their respective interests diverge. But when it comes to tablets, Intel and Redmond are in pretty much the same boat.

According to recent figures from Canalys, Windows tablets accounted for less than 5 per cent of the market in the fourth quarter of 2013. Worse, of the Windows slabs that did sell over the holiday buying season, more than half were made by Microsoft itself.

Microsoft needs new tablet partners just as badly as Intel does, which explains why it, too, has been going all-out to slash its prices for hardware OEMs – even going as far as to offer a new version of Windows that will cost nothing for makers of slabs with screens smaller than nine inches.

Intel has backed its own price cuts with other efforts to woo Chinese manufacturers, as well. It recently launched an "innovation center" in Shenzhen, and also launched a $100m fund aimed at helping local kit-makers develop Intel-powered devices.

Taiwanese supply-chain vendors say Chipzilla's goal is to reach total shipments of 40 million Intel-based tablets in 2014, and that with a total of around 30 vendors on board, it ought to be able to hit that number.

Shipments don't equal sales, however. And considering that the target market is China – ground zero for what Apple CEO Tim Cook calls the "junk part of the market" – Microsoft and Intel may find that even driving the prices of Windows tablets below $200 may not be enough to overtake the iOS and Android juggernauts. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Chipmaker FTDI bricking counterfeit kit
USB-serial imitators whacked by driver update
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.