Intel has decided to make touchscreen functions a standard specification for its third-generation ultrabooks, which is expected to launch shortly after the release of its Haswell platform in early June, according to sources from the upstream supply chain.
However, overall related costs will increase by at least US$70-80, and while Intel hopes its brand partners to offer their ultrabooks at a price level in the sweet spot of the market, the sources are concerned that the strategy will greatly shrink ODM profits, despite Intel marketing subsidies.
Strong demand for touch panels has recently created a shortage of about 20%, causing touch panels' prices to remain sky-high. Since DRAM is also seeing price rises and with Intel raising prices with Haswell, the sources pointed out that related players will need to absorb all the extra costs to allow their devices to stay at the sweet spot in the market.
Although Intel recently increased its marketing subsidies by 20% and promised its partners smooth supply for key components such as touch panels, the sources believe these assistance measures will not benefit the overall business of its partners.