Intel Paves Way For $99 Tablets
Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) is reportedly developing low-cost, entry-level platforms for Android tablet manufacturers.
According to DigiTimes, the company will add Android support for Bay Trail-T (a system on a chip for tablets) by the end of the year.
Bay Trail-T was initially launched for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 tablets. After Android support is added, the company will offer an entry-level iteration for seven-inch tablets priced between $99 and $129 in the early months of 2014. The Bay Trail-T platform will also be targeted toward seven and eight-inch tablets priced between $149 and $199.
Intel is not stopping there, however. The company will tackle eight to 10-inch tablets (priced between $199 and $249) with both the Bay Trail and Cherry Trail platforms, as well as 10-inch models above $249.
Intel does not appear to be building any new tablets on its own. The company will instead provide Bay Trail and other platforms to manufacturers looking to produce new devices.
Thus far, this strategy has not been overly successful.
Apple, which produced the world's most popular tablet, has used Intel processors in its MacBooks for several years. When developing the iPad, however, Apple chose to go with its own A-series processors.
Amazon, the second biggest tablet producer in America, uses Qualcomm chips and an ARMv7 in the Kindle Fire HDX. In older Kindle Fire tablets, Amazon employed chips from Texas Instruments.
Google's Nexus 7 used NVIDIA's Tegra 3 for the first iteration, but swapped it out for the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro in the 2013 edition.
Microsoft's Surface Pro is one of the few prominent tablets that have utilized Intel processors. Designed as a laptop replacement, Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 employ different versions of Intel's Core i5. This processor is typically found in laptop computers, not tablets.
However, instead of using an entry-level Intel processor for the Surface RT or Surface 2, Microsoft used NVIDIA chips and quad-core ARM Cortex CPUs.
Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.
Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer of Benzinga. You can reach him at louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him @LouisBedigianBZ
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