News Bits: European Sales, ThinkPad Branding, Asus Memory Rumors, Pentium M Price Cuts

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Europeans are Buying Notebooks in Droves

Europeans are better at saving money than Americans, so we’ll assume they can afford all these notebooks that sales figures indicate they’re buying.  According to UK-based market watcher Context, notebook sales are just about to take over the sales of desktop computer sales.  Here’s a few numbers to indicate how popular notebooks all of a sudden became in Europe last year:

  • In France 40.5% more notebooks were sold in 2004 than in 2003. 
  • In Spain 33.2% more notebooks were sold in 2004 than in 2003.
  • In the UK 7.1% more notebooks were sold in 2004 than in 2003.
  • In Germany notebooks attributed to 53.1% of all computer sales
  • In Italy notebooks attributed to 62.5% of all computer sales.

If you live anywhere on the map above, chances are you’ll buy a notebook instead of a desktop computer

The kicker is that Context only tracks in store sales, so direct sellers like Dell are completely ignored from these numbers, so they might (and likely are) even higher than reflected.

More: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/03/21/euro_notebook_market_jan_05/

Lenovo to tweak ThinkPad name, new “Lenovo IBM ThinkPads” arriving soon?

The “Access IBM” button will become, not “Access Lenovo” but rather “ThinkVantage”

Lenovo has decided that the ThinkPad will be called the “IBM ThinkPad” for the near term, but they’re not sure if in the long term it will become “Lenovo ThinkPad” or just “ThinkPad”.  Furthermore, the famous “Access IBM” button that sits at the top of all ThinkPad keyboards will become the “ThinkVantage” button.

Reports also indicate that Lenovo/IBM are on the brink of bringing some of the existing Lenovo products to the rest of the world.  Could this mean consumer targeted widescreen notebooks from IBM/Lenovo soon?  Hmmmm.

More: http://news.com.com/Lenovo+to+tweak+ThinkPad+name/2100-1044_3-5628552.html?tag=nefd.top

Asus to start own-brand memory cards for notebooks

It looks like Asus is going to pull a Sony by producing its own brand of memory cards for notebooks it sells.  Rumor has it that Asus is planning to produce these small-size flash memory cards for both the OEM and own-brand market. Although the exact details and release schedule of the memory products have not been finalized, the sources hinted that the products will be designed for use with notebooks and mobile phones.  Asus has no comments on these rumors.

Asus aims to ship four million notebooks this year, with half of its shipments being own-brand. The estimates that the 15.4-inch notebook market will become the mainstream by the second quarter of next year.  15.4-inch Notebooks will have a 31.8% share of notebook sales according to Asus

More: http://www.digitimes.com/systems/a20050321A1001.html

Intel Pentium M Price Cuts for July and Intel Pentium M 780 July Release

According to the Inquirer Intel will be slashing prices on its Intel Pentium M chips around the July time frame.  This will coincide with a release of their Pentium M 780 2.26GHz processor.  There likely won’t be any faster processor releases after the Pentium M 780 sees the light of day, but fear not, the faster dual core Pentium M chips from Intel should arrive January of 2006.

Some example price cuts are that the current Pentium M 770 2.13GHz processor will drop from $637 to $423 and the Pentium M 760 will go from its current price of $423 to $294.  These price cuts will surely translate to cheaper notebook prices around August, the back to school sale purchase time.

More: http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=21998

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