Samsung is pretty cool on the potential for Intel’s new Atom chip – and is considering whether to launch an Eee PC rival. We visited Samsung’s HQ last week in Suwon City, South Korea to find out about the firm’s plans for future kit and in our previous report found out that Samsung plans to stick with the UMPC.
Asked whether he was excited about Atom, Jeongseon Euh, Principal R&D Engineer in Samsung’s Computer Systems Division replied. “Not this moment.”
And when pushed whether Samsung would be producing an Eee PC rival, Samsung’s Sales and Marketing representative added that the company is adopting a ‘wait and see’ approach - something it didn't do with the UMPC. “We want to see how the market is going to react on that one. The major brand [are] not making mini PC,” he said citing the examples of Dell as an established company that hasn’t yet entertained the sub-notebook idea.
“We are considering very seriously to invest,” he continued. “We haven’t decided yet. We will wait and see whether the HP and Asus models will work or not,” intimating that the sweet spot for the market is around the $500 mark.
The Samsung executives expressed dismay at low-cost laptops actually being sold at higher prices. “The price point we’re really struggling with is between $499 and $699 US dollars. What I’m trying to say is that [by] Asus or HP [launching] those kind of Mini PC at those price points there’s a lot of sacrifice in terms of performance.”
“HP’s [£350 model] is very interesting to see how that will work. Linux ‘al;ready a sacrifice’
So in other words, Samsung is raising the same kind of point about the more expensive sub-notebook versions that we have. After you raise a sub-notebook past the £250 or even £300 mark, you might just as well go and buy a fully featured notebook – unless your desire is for supreme portability of course.
The Samsung representatives we spoke to also agreed that low-cost PCs could have knock-on effects for other product lines. “That’s the key issue for the Samsung brand. That’s a marketing issue.”
NEXT: More on Atom and Samsung’s plans for Intel-powered Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs)