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White Box Market for Laptops

February 6th, 2004 · No Comments

Dana Blankenhorn writes about Intel’s plan to create a reference platform for platforms:

A “reference platform” is a single design that a Taiwanese OEM can use to build something. It specifies both hardware and software. Taiwanese OEMs like such platforms because it lets them build and ship quickly, ahead of their mainland competitors. And if a group of Taiwanese OEMs got together on a major “reference platform” in the PC space, they could continue to profit from it, by sharing in license fees paid by their Chinese counterparts to use the same thing.

The result would be a “white box” market in laptops. This would accelerate the move toward laptops, raise Intel margins (it makes more on laptop chips) and give the chipmaker a slightly bigger piece of the laptop profit than they can now get from outfits like Dell and H-P, who currently call the shots on laptop design.

This is very clever.

Oh, and what’s in it for you? How about laptop prices that are much, much closer to desktop prices, Mhz for Mhz.

I am amazed that it has taken Intel such a long time to think this up! This also shows the growing importance of laptops in the computing ecosystem.

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