AMD unleashes Personal Internet Communicator
We've already learned most of the basics about AMD's Personal Internet Communicator, but today AMD is making it official:
Mumbai, India – October 28, 2004 – To foster the rapid adoption of technology in high-growth markets throughout the world, AMD (NYSE: AMD) today formally unveiled a business strategy with initial participants in India, Mexico and the Caribbean to enable 50 percent of the world’s population with Internet connectivity and computing capabilities by 2015. As part of its 50x15 strategy, AMD is announcing the Personal Internet Communicator (PIC), an innovative consumer device that enables affordable, managed Internet connectivity and offers Microsoft® Windows®-based computing capabilities to help fulfill the communication, education and entertainment needs of people in high-growth markets.
That's just as expected. The bigger news, I suppose, is that AMD has already picked up some partners in various regions who will manufacture and sell the devices:
In conjunction with the introduction of the PIC, AMD announced customers in various countries around the world, including the TATA Group in India, CRC in Mexico, and Cable and Wireless in the Caribbean. TATA is the first company to embrace and distribute the PIC in its respective region. TATA will market the PIC and offer it initially to consumers in five cities in India. CRC will work with local distributors in Mexico to offer the PIC along with a suite of educational software. Cable and Wireless is deploying the PIC in support of disaster relief efforts throughout the Caribbean.
These local telcos will bundle Internet access service with the access device, and AMD even suggests some creative pricing and payment options:
Pricing to the consumer is determined by the service provider, which may offer variety of subscription, microfinancing options and bundling packages at different price points. Microfinancing in the form of payment plans helps consumers avoid large, up-front cash deployments at the point of sale.
It's an intriguing and ambitious plan, and it could really flop. However, if it succeeds even in one part of the world, it might be a very, very big success.