Intel's name game: Switching to good-better-best to reduce complexity

What's in a name? If you're Intel, there's plenty of brand equity in names like Atom, Centrino, Core and Pentium.

What's in a name? If you're Intel, there's plenty of brand equity in names like Atom, Centrino, Core and Pentium. But there's also a fair share of confusion, too, among consumers and IT buyers.

And so, Intel is planning on revamping its portfolio of brand names, an effort that revolves around a good-better-best format. In a statement, the company said:

...we are focusing our strategy around a primary 'hero' client brand which is Intel Core. Today the Intel Core brand has a mind boggling array of derivatives (such as Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad, etc). Over time those will go away in its place will be a simplified family of Core processors spanning multiple levels: Intel Core i3 processor, Intel Core i5 processor, and Intel Core i7 processors. Core i3 and Core i5 are new modifiers and join the previously announced Intel Core i7 to round out the family structure. It is important to note that these are not brands but modifiers to the Intel Core brand that signal different features and benefits. For example, upcoming processors such as Lynnfield (desktop) will carry the Intel Core brand, but will be available as either Intel Core i5 or Intel Core i7 depending upon the feature set and capability. Clarksfield (mobile) will have the Intel Core i7 name.

So glad Intel has taken the complexity out of it. Actually, the company acknowledges that there will be multiple brands in the market next year, including the old names, as the company makes the transition.

Under the Core brand, the i3 represents the entry-level of the Core family, with Core i5 and Core i7 representing the mid-level and high-level products. Celeron will stick around for entry-level computing, Pentium for basic computing and Atom for devices such as netbooks and smartphones. For PCs, think of Celeron being good, Pentium being better and Core being best.

Even Centrino, which came to be synonymous with wireless computing, won't completely go away. The company plans to transition the name to WiFi and WiMax products next year.

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