God bless our good quality industry sources. They’re worth their weight in gold. We’ve just had it confirmed Intel WILL be dropping out of the entry level chipset market for at least nine months.
That's right, as of now Intel no longer has a value segment and there will be nothing until the two generation’s time when a family of chipsets known as Broadwater are slated for release in “mid 2006”.
This shocking and surprising news comes after we first heard titters to this effect earlier this month and it is sure to spark a scramble for market share from the likes of ATI, SiS and Via. So why would Intel do this? Initial musings suggest its new commitment to Apple could play a role, but our source tells us that Intel is also telling insiders its factories “are being used to produce something new and interesting”.
What exactly could this be? Intel is keeping its lips sealed but we hear that “dual core mobile/media” and “codename Napa” is going to play a part in it. “Digital Home was mentioned, in hushed whispers,” we were also told.
Certainly, with AMD taking the company to court over its trading practises and thoroughly spanking it in the first round of dual core processors, Intel is having a rethink. Yet, whether it is wise to risk so much at this stage to test new waters is a matter for debate. Clearly, Intel believes its brand is strong enough that it can re-enter the value segment after a sizeable break and claim back any losses.
By contrast, I see it as a gamble because this year’s value buyers (students/young professionals) tend to become next year’s midrange clients and eventually high end seekers. You abandon your newbies, you risk future customer brand loyalty. As per usual, Intel says tomAto, I say tomaRto, but its not going to call the whole thing off…