Samsung & Lenovo lose preferential pricing for Intel Atom processors

July 6, 2009 at 1:48 pm

Atom pricingSince the first netbook was launched nearly two years ago, screen sizes have got progressively larger. The ‘typical’ netbook size has moved from 7-inches, to 9-inches and the current standard, 10-inches. However, a number of manufacturers haven’t stopped there and are looking at 11.6”/12.1” devices to launch under their netbook brands.

The likes of Microsoft and Intel are keen to draw a line under what a typical netbook should be, mainly to ensure discounts are only awarded to devices that meet strict guidelines. For example, Microsoft will only allow OEMs to use Windows 7 Starter Edition if the screen size is no bigger than 10.2-inches.

Intel has their own rules and it seems as if they are not happy about Samsung and Lenovo releasing larger netbook models. Lenovo has already launched its 12.1-inch Ideapad S12 whilst Samsung is rumoured to launch the N510, its first ION-powered netbook. According to a report in Digitimes, both companies have broken Intel’s restrictions on having panel sizes larger than 10.2-inches.

As a result of this, Intel has cancelled both companies preferential pricing for Intel Atom 1.6GHz N270 processors. Intel themselves declined to respond citing “customer confidentiality”.

I’m not sure why this is restricted to both Lenovo and Samsung though. Acer has already released an 11.6-inch netbook in the form of the Aspire One 751, whilst MSI is also due to launch a 12.1-inch Wind U200 netbook soon. Could this have something to do with Lenovo and Samsung both planning ION-powered machines? If true, it sounds as if Intel has not learned their lesson regarding their recent anti-trust fine.


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