Intel is slated to meet with Taiwanese supply chain manufacturers this coming July to discuss possible ways on how to reduce production costs for making Ultrabooks. The company is planning to push down the prices of these devices down to $699 starting the second half of this year. This move, Intel believes, will help the company meet its goal of selling 20 to 30 million units of Ultrabooks this year.
It is believed that part of the reason behind Intel’s decision is Apple’s recent announcement that it will offer a price slash of $100 from the MacBook Air. Fundamentally, Ultrabooks and the MacBook Air are targeted at a similar demographic, particularly, those looking for a lightweight but powerful mobile computer. Both kinds of devices also currently offer the Intel Ivy Bridge processor, which figures as a selling point for both of them. This implies that Intel needs to get a move on if it wants to have an advantage over the Apple products.
At present, Intel’s main concern is to cut the costs of the individual parts that are used on Ultrabooks since these, at least to a degree, increase the price of the ultraportable notebooks. This is expected to prompt manufacturers to look for substitutions for costly components. For instance, Intel is looking into using fiberglass-enhanced plastic instead of aluminum-alloy shells. In the same manner, prismatic lithium-ion batteries might be used in place of Li-polymer batteries in the future. Manufacturers can also save on expenses if they install hybrid hard disk drives instead of solid state drives. At this point, it is unknown what these compromises will do to the quality of Ultrabooks, on which Intel likewise places a premium.
The bottom line, of course, is that consumers will benefit from this decision since it forces Ultrabook manufacturers like Asus, Acer, Lenovo, Dell, HP, Toshiba, and Samsung as well as supply chain manufacturers to look for better and more cost-effective solutions.