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Can Intel Save The (PC) World?

By Oonagh Reidy | Monday | 13/05/2013

Can Intel plan offer the midas touch for PCs?

Intel to reveal plans to revive the PC industry with cheap touchscreen notebooks. 

The chip maker, which has struggled in the mobile-centric computing world, is to reveal an investment strategy which it hopes will lead to the development of low-cost touch-screen notebooks. 

Intel VP and General Manager, Global Ecosystem Development, Zane Ball, will next week deliver a keynote address at "Paths to a Healthier Display Industry" conference in Canada, discussing a plan to drive production of notebooks with touch technology. 

Intel are hoping its new strategy will drive innovation across touch based PCs. 

"With the flat-panel TV replacement boom having concluded, the growth of the display business now must be driven by other product areas that companies can address through inventive form factors, features or pricing," says Ball. 

Recent figures show the global PC market slumped 14% in first quarter 2013 - the worst ever quarterly decline -  as smartphones and tablets emerge as new computing kings. 

"Fading" mini notebook demands have taken a big chunk out of the low-end market and there has been "a weak reception" for a slew of touch notebooks, Ultrabooks running Microsoft's new Windows 8 made by big PC players HP, Dell and Samsung, according to analysts IDC.

The high price of notebooks is also major factor affecting notebook demand. 

"New notebook technologies such as touch or ultrabook generate a lot of interest and traction, but high price points prompt many consumers or businesses to hold onto their current system longer," says Chrystelle Labesque, IDC analyst. 

This isn't the first time Intel has put big bucks into reviving the PC market. 

In 2011, it came up with the Ultrabook formula - slim, light notebook - Intel's answer to Macbook Air. 

Intel's VP will also  discuss Intel's Ultrabook effort and its impact on the touch-screen market at the IHS/SID 2013 Conference on May 20. 

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