Bay Trail could power $99 Android tablets

Intel is hungry for a larger slice of the Android tablet market. At least, that's the vibe I'm getting from a DigiTimes story posted earlier today. The story says Intel will launch a new flavor of its Bay Trail Atom processor aimed at cheap Android slates next year.

How cheap are we talking? Well, DigiTimes specifically mentions 7" tablets with price tags ranging from $99 to $129. It also talks of "7- to 8-inch models at US$149-199." As far as Android tablet pricing goes, even $149 is pretty close to the bottom of the bargain bin.

DigiTimes says the chip meant to power those offerings will be known as the Atom Z3735D. Word about this chip comes from "sources with Taiwan's tablet supply chain," who also expect a launch in the first quarter of 2014. Sadly, there's no mention of clock speeds, core counts, or anything of the sort. The Atom Z3735D might have a lot in common with its current, quad-core siblings, or it might be a pared-down dual-core part—we just don't know.

Either way, it sounds like Intel may be ready and willing to trim its historically ample margins in order to woo makers of cheap Android slates. Given how popular 7" Android tablets are these days, that kind of a move could do wonders for Intel's market share.

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