Intel CEO Paul Otellini last week said touchscreen PCs could debut at prices as low as $200 in the coming months. At the time, he didn't specify what operating system those products would run.
But Dadi Perlmutter, Intel executive vice president and chief product officer, told CNET on Wednesday that notebooks priced at the $200 level will predominantly be Android products running on Intel's Atom mobile processor. Whether Windows 8 PCs hit that price largely depends on Microsoft, he said.
"We have a good technology that enables a very cost-effective price point," Perlmutter said. The price of Windows 8 laptops "depends on how Microsoft prices Windows 8. It may be a slightly higher price point."
We've contacted Microsoft and will update the report when we have more information.
Intel, which makes chips that power the majority of the world's computers and servers, has been pushing new types of computers as it faces a slowdown in that key market. In particular, the company expects convertibles/detachables to gain traction with buyers. As the name suggests, such devices convert between a tablet and a notebook depending on what the user needs at a particular time. A criticism of convertibles has been their higher price point.
Perlmutter didn't specify what the Android notebooks will look like, but it's probable they'll be convertible-type devices. He also noted that he expects the PC market to pick up in the back half of the year and heading into 2014 as new devices become available.
While the cheapest laptops will use Intel's Atom chips, Perlmutter said devices running Intel's mainstream Core line could sell for as low as $399 to $499. And some higher-end Atom-powered devices could also extend to that level.
Meanwhile, Perlmutter said Intel will ship data-only multimode LTE processors by mid-year and multimode voice over LTE and data processors later in 2013. Currently, Intel only offers a single-mode LTE chip, which limits the processor's addressable market. Perlmutter noted that product is mainly used in access points.
Intel in 2014 will introduce a mobile chip that integrates LTE on the same piece of silicon as the application processor, Perlmutter added. The company has been gaining some traction in smartphones, but volumes remain low. Perlmutter expects higher volumes in 2014.
It's vital for Intel to expand into smartphones and tablets as it core PC market slows. Tech research firms Gartner and IDC earlier this month said first-quarter PC shipments posted an ugly slump in the first three months of the year, the worst since IDC started tracking the figures in 1994. The period marked the fourth consecutive quarter of year-over-year shipments decline, and the market is expected to slump for all of 2013.