Intel: Spring Peak Laptop Family Offers Hardware Margins over 10%

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print

Intel has worked with a handful of ODMs to create a small family of two notebooks and a docking station for system builders and the channel, designed to provide VARs with something as rare as a Bigfoot sighting -- hardware sales margins of above 10 percent when sold to businesses. The product line offers additional revenue opportunities in the form of software, support and services sales as well.

Intel’s making hardware sales more lucrative for resellers and system builders again, working together with a handful of ODMs on a family of notebook products called "Spring Peak" that can be white-labeled and resold to business end customers at a margins estimated to be above 10 percent.

ODMs such as ASI, Equus and Seneca Data have introduced to the channel two notebooks and a docking station that works with both notebooks. A 13.3-inch notebook is based on Intel’s previous generation of processor chips, the Core 2 Duo. The 15.6-inch notebook features the processor chips Intel unveiled today, the 2010 Intel Core family.

Intel’s Bill Davidson, mobile marketing manager, told Channel Insider that the 13.3-inch notebook is ultra-low voltage (ULV) and is less than an inch thick.

The docking station features an optical drive that can be used when either notebook is docked.

Both notebooks support Intel’s Anti-Theft technology, but the 13.3-inch notebook does not support the vPro technology announced by Intel today.

"Customers have been asking for notebooks that support the channel," Davidson told Channel Insider. These notebooks do because of the margin opportunity and because of their business-required features, such as the docking station. Previously, said Davidson, if an RFP specified a docking station, the channel and system builders couldn’t pursue it. Now they can.

Today’s pricing marks a difference, too.

"Whitebooks have been priced at a disadvantage when compared to notebooks," Davidson said. These new notebooks are configured with features businesses want and are priced in such a way so that resellers and system builders can earn a healthy margin—above 10 percent—when sold into businesses and priced competitive to other business PCs. Davidson says they will be "very competitive" when compared with other notebooks for business. They are not priced to compete with consumer PCs, however.

"This is about the fact that the channel has historically had a difficult time competing with the really aggressive price points advertised in the Sunday circular, but have been more successful with the slightly higher price points for business notebooks," Davidson told Channel Insider.

Intel’s Anti-Theft technology, sold with software, support and service, provides channel partners with additional revenue opportunities.

Davidson acknowledges that in North America there aren’t many of these whitebook PCs sold through the reseller channel when compared with those sold by branded manufacturers such as Dell and HP.

The business features in the Spring Peak lineup will help system builders make more of a dent, Davidson believes.

"Our primary goal is to help local OEMs and channel be more successful," he said. "System builders and the channel be successful with a channel-friendly and channel-branded notebook."

Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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