Socket 2011 CPUs priced similarly to Sandy Bridge-E
Even though the thermal paste is barely dry on Intel’s new Haswell CPU microarchitecture, its performance-oriented Ivy Bridge-E processors are due to be launched soon, and now we finally have some pricing info. According to VR-Zone, we’ll be seeing three Core i7 Ivy Bridge-E CPUs debuting around Q3 this year, including the 4820K, 4930K, and 4960X.
Just in case you haven't gotten the memo yet: HDD prices haven't returned to pre-flood levels, and don't expect them to anytime soon. Don't take our word for it; that information's coming straight from the horse's mouth, as a European sales director for Western Digital -- one of the two big HDD manufacturers -- recently said that prices won't drop that low until next year.
If Comcast’s 105Mbps service costs $199.95 per month (in select markets), then naturally 1Gbps service should cost around $2,000 a month right? Well according to scrappy independent ISP sonic.net, $69.99 sounds much more reasonable, and they plan to put their money where their mouth is. The company has committed to rolling out 1Gbps fiber service to around 700 homes in the Sebastopol California area, and will study the results over the next few months to prove that its possible to offer such a high tier of service for $70, and still remain profitable.
In recent years, media companies have promoted all manner of punitive measures to stop piracy online. Everything from three-strikes laws to stiff fines have been suggested. A major new report from a group of academics studying the problem indicate there is one way to abate piracy. Companies have to stop charging so much money. Simple, right?
I’m guessing the vast majority of our readers read the headline, smacked their foreheads and said “duh!”, but believe it or not component prices dipped even faster in the pervious quarter then analysts were expecting. Dell executives were the first to admit that core components such as memory and LCD screens were significantly less expensive than expected, and this had a hugely positive impact on profits.
Healthy OEM profits are great for shareholders, but when asked about when these reductions would start being reflected in end user pricing Dell’s CFO Brian Gladden admitted it would probably take a few quarters for the price reductions to make its way through the supply chain. “There will be some areas where I think it will bottom out a little bit in maybe LCDs and hard disks as we see those markets play out”.
Either way you can expect to see lower prices going into the holiday season, and its only get better going into 2011.
We have heard from Various Verizon executives that tiered data was probably on the way, and now we might have the details. The new information is still preliminary, but it's looking like a better situation for heavy users that AT&T offers. If true, Big Red would be keeping the standard $30 smartphone data plan for unlimited data. They would be adding a cheaper $15/150MB option for light users. When AT&T made the switch, unlimited data was cut in favor of a 2GB cap at $25 per month.
Pricing on MiFi data looking like $50/5GB and $80/10GB. Users of feature phones will get the option for a $30 unlimited plan, and a $15/150MB plan. Frankly, we'd like to see cheaper pricing for feature phones. It's basically impossible to use as much data on these handsets as it would be on a smartphone.
These plans might be a bit more expensive than AT&T's, but the option for unlimited data could be kept at the same price. While pricing on feature phones is a little high, we like this approach better than other carriers. These details only pertain to Verizon's 3G service. Expect different rates for the new LTE network when it launches later this year.
Dell has announced that the US version of their Streak Android phone will be available for purchase today by those that pre-ordered. The phone supports AT&T's 3G bands and will cost customers $299 with a two year contract, and $549 without. The exact ship date was not given. After posting this information, Dell removed the blog post, but we expect the facts to remain the same.
The Dell Streak is a 5-inch Android phone that Dell is fond of referring to as a tablet. At launch, the Streak will have Android 1.6, which sort of astounds us. Android 1.6 came out nearly a year ago. Dell claims that a 2.2 Froyo update will come later this year. The phone runs a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 512MB of RAM, and the 5-inch touchscreen is 480x800 resolution.
The question is, will people in the US respond to a phone this big? The price is a little high, the OS is out of date, and the skin Dell is using looks fairly unattractive. Have any of you pre-ordered it? Does this pricing information scare you off?
Google's cloud-based Chrome OS is scheduled for a year-end release, with the first devices based on the platform slated to arrive early next year. The fact that it will be rooted in the cloud should restrict its use to casual computing devices like netbooks and tablets. But what will Chrome devices cost?
Well, according to Google CEO Eric Schmidt, about as much as any reasonably priced netbook currently on the market. He said at the Atmosphere Cloud Computing forum that Chrome devices should cost anywhere between $300-400, while making it clear Google will have no say in setting the price of such products.
"Those prices are completely determined, by the way, by the costs of the glass, the costs of the processor and things like that, but in our case Chrome OS and Android are free so there is no software tax associated with all of this,” he said.
Love it or hate it, the $499 entry level iPad is much cheaper than anyone expected. Tablet PC makers which were hoping to ride the wave of enthusiasm Apple was bound to kick up, are now being forced to step back and really question if they have what it takes to compete. Unnamed sources from within Asus and MSI claim they were counting on an iPad that would debut at $1,000 or more, making room for a more powerful and open device for $200-$300 less. Now that the new price to beat is less than half of what they expected, they will need to determine how they will differentiate if they can't win on price.
Apple made a lot of questionable decisions in the design of its new tablet, but its difficult to argue with their business intuition. They clearly understand that in order to create and hold on to early adopters, they will need to lock as many people as possible into the iTunes application ecosystem, even if that means sacrificing their usual fat margins to do it. They are willing to risk making a small profit on the entry level device with the hope that they might convince you to upgrade to a more expensive model when you reach the store, and if all else fails, make up any lost revenue when you come back for accessories or hit up the iTunes store.
The iPad has some pretty serious limitations, sure, but can a $500 tablet PC running Windows 7 really take on Apple?
Apple looks at the digital marketplace and it sees great potential. There are more digital consumers than ever, more options for consumption than ever, and more content than ever. But, the digital marketplace is underperforming. Going back to Econ 101, Apple suspects the lack of demand is related to price--specifically, prices are too high--especially for video. To open the floodgates of demand, Apple is asking TV networks and studios to half the price of their content on the iTunes Store: from $1.99 to $0.99 per episode.
For TV networks it’s not that simple. They draw revenue from over-the-air broadcasts, cable, DVD releases, and other pay-for-content providers. While revenues overall may be down, they don’t see how Apple’s proposal works for them. Sure, they may see additional revenue if digital demand picks-up in response to lower prices. But, they also risk taking a hit if there’s a concomitant drop in demand elsewhere. That’s a risk they don’t appear eager to take.
Apple’s request, which would definitely help its bottom line, is compatible with the preferences of an emergent class of digital consumers. They want their content. They want it now. And they want it cheap. These preferences, however, aren’t compatible with today’s content providers, who generate revenue from a variety of sources, and have interests that directly conflict with the emergent digital marketplace. For example, Comcast is about to swallow NBC, which makes it a content provider and a conduit for content. Comcast can’t let digital consumption threaten either. As long as this remains true, realization of the potential of the digital marketplace will be a long time coming.