With the PC market crashing, Intel says $200 Android laptops are on the way

PC chip giant Intel has revealed it is working with hardware partners on laptops, using the company’s Atom processors and running Android, that could cost as little as $200.

Intel’s executive vice president and chief product officer Dadi Perlmutter told CNet that while the low price point could be reached with Android, laptops running Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system could be more expensive.

“We have a good technology that enables a very cost-effective price point,” Perlmutter says.

“[The price of Windows 8 laptops] depends on how Microsoft prices Windows 8. It may be a slightly higher price point.”

The news comes at a tough time for Intel, which has seen its traditional PC chip market erode since the release of Windows 8, with worldwide PC sales taking a 13.9% hit during the first quarter of 2013 according to recent IDC figures.

The release of Windows 8 has led to a dramatic 13.9% year-on-year slump in first quarter PC sales, according to new IDC figures.

According to the report, worldwide PC shipments totalled 76.3 million for the quarter, with the contraction marking the largest percentage single quarter decline in the sector since the mid-1990s, and exceeded analysts’ forecasts of a 7.7% drop in sales.

The declines were not limited to just one or two vendors, with shipments declining for HP (down 23.7%), Dell (10.9%), Acer (31.3%), and Asus (19.2%), with only Lenovo escaping with flat sales.

“At this point, unfortunately, it seems clear that the Windows 8 launch not only failed to provide a positive boost to the PC market, but appears to have slowed the market,” said IDC clients and displays program vice president Bob O’Donnell.

“While some consumers appreciate the new form factors and touch capabilities of Windows 8, the radical changes to the UI, removal of the familiar Start button, and the costs associated with touch have made PCs a less attractive alternative to dedicated tablets and other competitive devices.”

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