Sources in Taiwan's notebook supply chain told DigiTimes that ultrabook vendors have difficulty to lower ultrabook prices to $799 and below, as targeted by Intel for Q3 2012, because of the high production cost. Pricing will likely start at $859 and mainstream models will be a couple of hundred dollars more expensive than the entry-level models.
Intel has recommended cost-decreasing solutions and is optimistic about reduction in prices for second-generation ultrabooks, the sources said. However, most vendors or ODM makers have not yet adopted such solutions because costs of key components, including processors, SSDs, screen panels, chassis and batteries, have not dropped and are expected to stay at similar levels in the second half of 2012, the sources indicated.
Based on the current costs of components, retail prices for second-generation ultrabooks will exceed US$859 and mainstream models will range between US$999-1,299, the sources analyzed.
The launch of Windows 8 in October 2012 is expected to stimulate demand for ultrabooks in the fourth quarter, but additional cost due to touch panels will push up retail prices for Windows 8 ultrabooks, the sources indicated.