We understand that talking up your products is something every product manager needs to do, but you would think that companies would stop claiming their products will out perform Apple’s at this point, considering the number of CEOs and executives who have had to eat a slice of humble pie in the last two years. But, that didn’t stop Intel product manager Anand Kajshmanan and Intel media relations representative Alison Wesley from going down the same road that others, like RIM CEO Jim Basillie, and Samsung head of product planning, WP Hong, went down before them — claiming their products will unseat Apple as top dog in the industry.
Talking about the MacBook Air, and how Ultrabooks will best Apple’s offering to PCWorld, Intel’s dynamic duo unleashed a couple of gems:
[quote]The MacBook Air is a great product, sure. It has the Intel Core processor, it’s a great choice for someone who wants to invest in the Mac operating system, and it offers some of the things we talked about. But really, with the Ultrabook, it’s about offering all those things in the same device–the great responsiveness, the great battery life–and with an operating system that people have come to love over the years, as well as all the legacy applications that they would like to run. And they want to do all this at mainstream price points, which is where we think one of the biggest key differentiators is, and the biggest value that Intel can bring to this space. We can actually get the ecosystem to move to an extent [that it will] bring all of these great features in a laptop down to mainstream price points.[/quote]
From the sound of it, Intel’s definition of an ultrabook is the exact same as the definition of a netbook: cheaply made, ultra-portable devices that won’t break the bank, but that probably won’t make it through a year of daily use either. For Intel, the success of ultrabooks lies with its price point.
When commenting on the iPad, and Apple’s move towards touch-based, post-PC devices, the Intel team went on to say:
[quote]The fact that you have content creation on Ultrabooks is a huge differentiator. Plus, with all the unique form factors, as we said, to be able to use the Ultrabook as a tablet when you want to is an extremely unique value proposition.[/quote]
That last quote pretty much sums up just how far outside of reality Intel is these days, and how they have no idea what consumers actually want. The fact that content creation is even part of the discussion, despite acts like The Gorillaz recording an entire albums with only an iPad, borders on absurd. Clearly Intel’s top brass need a wake-up call. The days of buying cheaply made, plastic computers are over. People have no problem purchasing quality made devices that are built to last. This is the reason the MacBook lineup continues to outsell its competition, and it’s the main reason why the iPad is outselling computers on a whole at Apple. Ditto for the iPhone.
Success in this industry is no longer about providing cheap alternatives. It’s about providing quality, and no one does that better than Apple. In fact, Apple’s so good at providing quality that some of the best ultrabooks heading to market are MacBook Air clones. Maybe Intel needs to do some better market research, because from where we’re standing, these ultrabooks are a rebranding of netbooks, and history has shown that no one wants to buy crappy netbooks.