Intel wants more clone notebooks

— 2:24 AM on July 14, 2005

Intel is looking to invigorate the clone notebook market by improving its Mobile Value-Added Distributor (MVAD) program.

Under the MVAD program, distributors have been encouraged to buy barebone systems from the makers and complete the final stages of assembly before selling fully-configured notebooks to customers.

Intel and the clone vendors hope that the trend towards modulization and standardization will turn the present brand-oriented notebook market into a channel-oriented one, the sources said.

Select vendors are currently selling barebones notebook chassis to the general public, allowing consumers to add their own processors, memory modules, and hard drives. Mobile graphics standards like NVIDIA's MXM and ATI's Axiom should also make it easier for barebones notebook manufacturers to accommodate a wide range of graphics solutions.

While the wider availability of clone notebooks and barebones mobile chassis is certainly a good thing for those who wish to roll their own laptops, a stronger clone notebook market should also benefit Intel. All of those clones are going to need processors, and it seems likely that Intel could charge smaller distributors more for its mobile processors than it would larger manufacturers that expect volume discounts.

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