Latest Intel price list shows business strength

Intel didn't cut prices on a single CPU on its latest price list, another sign business is good.

Intel has published its latest chip price list, without lowering the cost of a single chip, indicating the personal computer industry is humming along this year.

What's good for Intel is normally good for the PC industry, since Intel central processing units (CPUs) power around four-fifths of the world's PCs. Intel typically cuts prices in the April through June period, analysts say, and for two main reasons: it's historically a slow season for PC sales, so Intel lowers prices to attract consumers; and because new product introductions push down the prices of older chips.

This year, despite introducing new chips to the market, Intel didn't trim prices on any of its existing chips on its June price list, and in May, it made only a few modifications.

"The PC market, as we all know, has been very, very good," regional public relations manager for Asia at Intel, Lulu Tsao, said.

Late last month, Gartner raised its forecast for projected worldwide PC shipments to a total of 202.1 million units in 2005, a 10.2 per cent increase from 2004, compared to a previous forecast of 9.9 per cent growth. The market researcher credited strong sales of mobile PCs for the upward revision.

Stronger laptop sales globally prompted Intel to raise its revenue forecast for the second quarter last week. The company said sales could reach between $US9.1 billion and $US9.3 billion for its fiscal quarter ending July 2, up from a previous forecast of $US8.6 billion to US$9.2 billion.

The company has recently launched some major new chip products, including its dual-core Pentium D series and supporting chipsets, and the Intel PRO/Wireless 5116 for the WiMax wireless broadband standard.

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