We read with great interest Wednesday's news about the record $1.45 billion fine levied against Intel by the European Commission for violating antitrust legislation. By giving rebates to PC makers buying Intel chips and urging them to drop products using other CPU brands, Intel maintained an unfair competitive advantage over the competition (namely AMD), according to regulators.
Years of appeals are doubtlessly ahead, but even if Intel ends up with a worst-case scenario, the company at least has booming Netbook CPU sales to fall back on, thanks to the popular Atom processor.
Doing a little back-of-the-envelope math, we figured out how many Atom-powered Netbooks it would take to cover this billion-plus fine.
Assuming Intel sells the Atom CPU (found in virtually every Netbook) to system makers for around $53, then it would only take 27,169,811 new Netbook sales to make up for the proposed fine.
A tough job? You bet, but according to IDC, Netbooks already account for 8 percent of the portable computing market, and appealing new entries, such as Dell's $299 version of the Mini 10, are sure to drive some additional sales.