updated 07:10 am EDT, Thu August 18, 2011
Lenovo to deliver sub-$1000 ultrabook in 2012
Lenovo is aiming to deliver 'mainstream' ultrabooks by 2012 according to its Chief Operating Officer Rory Read. 'Mainstream' is a term that is typically understood to mean a sub $1000 price, which is where PC manufacturers feel they need to be able to price their MacBook Air competitors. Intel recently announced a $300 million fund to spur innovation in the thin and light segment. However, PC makers have complained that Intel's specification for ultrabooks and the cost of its components, makes it unlikely that PC makers can deliver a MacBook Air competitor that undercuts Apple in the short term.
Read, who was talking at Lenovo's earnings conference call Thursday, had this to say about the issue:
"Lenovo will invest in innovation to be a leader in that space and that will drive demand. No doubt," he said about Ultrabooks.
"You'll see us introduce over the coming quarters the ability to reach mainstream price points with solutions that were only 18 months ago in premium segments. That's just a natural evolution of the space."
With regard to the cost-competitiveness of Lenovo's planned Ultrabooks, Read said that mainstream pricing wouldn't happen before the end of the year, but "...that's definitely going to happen."
Lenovo's current closest MacBook Air competitor, the Thinkpad X1 is currently on sale on the Lenovo online store for the same price as the roughly equivalent entry model 13.3-inch MacBook Air, at $1,299. This represents a $386 saving over its normal price, and starts with a Core i3 chip, versus the ULV Core i5 in the MacBook Air. It is also lumped with a spinning hard drive at this price point versus the high speed SSDs that ship standard across the MacBook Air range.
At Lenovo's conference call, the company revealed that it had exceeded market expectations with a first quarter profit of $108.8 million versus $54.9 million for the same period last year. Its revenue was also up against the same period last year, reaching $5.92 billion again $5.15 billion. [via CNET]