The other shoe has dropped – not that it’s that unexpected – just that it could screw up some economic models.
See, the general manager of Intel’s emerging markets unit Lila Ibrahim told Reuters Wednesday that Intel was going to see to it that a second-generation version of the cheap Intel-designed Classmate PC, the widget Intel used to fight back the altruistic One Laptop Per Child effort, makes the great leap from the third world to the first.
She said that PC makers in Europe and the United States are going to sell the laptop for $250-$350 – and in a recession year too, my, my.
Actually that $250-$350 price range is what the contract manufacturers will sell the boxes to the OEMs for. Intel expects the street price to be more like $299-$400. There are different designs, different SKUs, different colors.
Intel is planning on making the announcement in a couple, few weeks.
The ruggedized, wireless, Celeron-based laptops will be sold with either XP or Linux on them, which impacts the price, as do things like applications, after-sales support and distribution costs, and there’s a Classmate 3 somewhere behind the Classmate 2.
Reuters says Intel has only sold 100,000 Classmates to date but intends to ramp production.
Alternately there’s the Intel-based Asustek Eee PC, also designed by Intel, which started as a seven-inch Linux-based laptop and is expected to ship mostly with XP this year for $390-$400.
Asustek’s quotas reportedly call for five million units shipped, up from 300,000 last year.