Despite having just released two new Ivy Bridge Core i3 mobile processors, Intel may already be looking to drop the price on one of them in order to make its Ultrabook platform more enticing to consumers.
Pricing on the ultra-thin laptops has been the primary issue Intel and its manufacturing partners have grappled with since the first Ultrabooks have hit the shelves. It's been difficult for laptop makers to drop prices well under the $1,000 price point without sacrificing profitabilty. Thus far, Intel has proposed using plastic cases instead of the metal chassis it originally demanded as part of the platform, but hasn't budged on lowering its chip prices, despite manufacturers requesting the company do so.
With laptop profit margins in the mid single digits, manufacturers are reluctant to make any other concessions on their end to make Ultrabooks more affordable. Now it appears that Intel could finally budge on lowering the price of its new Core i3-3217U processor, according to a Williams Financial Group research analyst. The analsyst says the price cut would be between $25 to $27, or roughly 11 percent, off the original $225 price.
Ironically, if Intel is to make this concession in pricing, it comes at a time when pricier Ultrabooks are actually gaining traction with consumers -- sales of Windows laptop costing more $900 have climbed 39 percent so far in 2012 compared to last year. Still, with back-to-school shopping right around the corner, and with AMD promoting its own ultra-thin laptop initiative, more Ultrabooks will need to get closer to the $500 mainstream price point if they are to meet Intel's heady sales goals.
[Via Xbit Labs]