Windows 8 ultrabooks to hit local market by year’s end: Intel
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The local subsidiary of the world’s largest microchip maker, Intel Indonesia Corporation, has announced that at least 40 Windows 8-powered ultrabooks boasting touch-screen capabilities would be released in the country late this year.
Intel manufactures the chips — 3rd Generation Intel Core Processors — which help run these devices.
Santosh Viswanathan, Intel Indonesia Corporation’s chief representative, said the entry of these Windows 8 ultrabooks marked “a revival of the PC [personal computer]”.
The penetration of PCs — both desktops and notebooks — is far lower in Indonesia than mobile phones. Mobile subscriptions in this country, with its population of more than 240 million people, exceed 200 million, while PC shipment numbers have reached nearly 6 million this year.
“We are confident that the Windows 8 PC will bring back some excitement into the PC market,” he further said.
He added that at least 140 Windows 8 ultrabooks would start entering the market following the official launch of Windows 8 – the latest operating system from Microsoft – slated for Oct. 26.
Around 40 of the 140 models, he noted, would sport touch screens and “convertible form factors”, meaning that they can function as tablets as well as PCs. In order to convert to a tablet, users can detach the screen from the keyboard.
“Touch is what people want,” Viswanathan added, referring to an Intel survey that showed that 80 percent of consumers preferred touch-enabled interactions with their PCs over the use of a keyboard, mouse or trackpads.
He pointed out that convertibles acted as a “bridge” between content consumption, which is easily carried out on tablets and smartphones, and content creation, which is generally conducted on notebooks.
Another survey by Intel shows that 44 percent of consumers prefer these convertible ultrabooks over none-convertible ones or tablets for devices running on Windows 8.
Viswanathan added that Intel had collaborated with approximately 10 PC manufacturers including local ones, such as Axioo, which would provide the market with a slew of ultrabooks of various specs and models, including those without touch screens.
The touch-screen ultrabooks would cost around US$600 and over, with convertibles priced higher than the clamshell versions, he said.
Prices, however, were expected to fall as production increased to meet the higher demand, which Intel plans to spur by collaborating with marketing experts, he noted.
“We still see opportunity in Indonesia because of its huge population. And also because consumers here like exciting new things,” he said.
Based on their third-quarter report, the California-based chip maker reported that revenues from their PC Client Group registered flat quarter-to-quarter growth, and had dipped 8 percent year-on-year.
Paul Otellini, Intel’s president and CEO, said the results “reflected a continuing tough economic environment”.
He added, however, that the company was “pleased with the continued progress in ultrabooks”.
According to Viswanathan, Intel has prepared investment of $3 billion to jump-start factories, such as Taiwanese touch screen-panel maker, Wintek, to manufacture products that meet ultrabook standards.
However, Viswanathan said that although economic uncertainty had affected consumer spending, business across cities — from tier one to tier four — in Indonesia recorded “double digit growth”.
“That’s why we want to reach across the market, especially to first-time PC buyers,” he said.
—JP/ Mariel Grazella
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