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Intel looks to smart TV, Ultrabook

Smart phones and smart television are emerging markets for giant chip manufacturer Intel over the next few years.

The company's director of Asia Pacific marketing and consumer sales, Makiko Eda, took time out from the recent Intel Developer Forum (IDF) 2011, in San Francisco, to discuss Intel's marketing strategy with The Nation.

Q: How is Intel positioning itself in the market when facing the rising popularity of smart phones?

A: A lot of people use smart phones today. Overall, I think it's a great thing because it means more people have a digital aspect to their lives. They are integrating themselves into a lot of Internet activities - social networking with their friends and other technology. That's a good thing for us, because we do foundational technology for all of these aspects.

We are now collaborating with Google on smart phones. We have been working on this area, trying to provide a good experience in smart phones, so we will continue to work on that.

At the same time, I don't think PCs are going to go away. They are such an essential [part of life] and have different functions. If you try to live without this, it is, in my life, impossible; and I think many other people find it that way.

Overall I think it's a good thing. We will try to do our best to integrate our technology with different devices as much as possible.

Have you any figures or statistics about Intel's market share in Asia and Thailand?

In terms of market presence, we have been very fortunate that lots of people choose Intel. Regarding marketing activity, we will try to communicate how exciting our technology is in a creative manner. In Asian Pacific we have used Korean pop stars and interesting digital projects like Museum of Me. It's all about surprising and pleasing consumers with Intel's technology.

Our mission is to create the future. We call ourselves the Sponsor of Tomorrow. We have to see ahead - five to 10 years down the road - to observe how people live and start looking for new technology and lots of research and development. These efforts start at universities. Intel is trying to find the right technology for the future and work with the community.

What are the latest developments in Smart TV? Are there any possible joint projects with other major players in the Smart TV market?

I think the Smart TV market is still being developed. It's very new. Our initiative is the capabilities of all the devices, because it's our technology that is the basic standard. There's a lot of digital content [available] and we think it's a good idea to put it on television for consumers to enjoy. We have been working on this area for the last few years and we will continue to invest in it.

The whole idea of Smart TV is just about to go. The market and people are still figuring how it fits into their lives, so we will see how it works.

We are approaching this in two ways: One is working with TV manufacturers to integrate our chips into televisions and the other is working with satellite-box manufacturers to have [content] distributed like a cable company.

What are Intel’s plans for expanding the smart TV market in Thailand? And what impact will smart TV have on digital marketing and advertising?

Thailand is a very important market for us. The whole Southeast Asia region is very active in social media - especially in Thailand. It's a very urban environment and a very young and optimistic audience. We will continue to communicate the excitement that we can bring to their lives through Intel technology. That's why we are very active in conducting our activities there and will continue to be active.

[On the second question], it will take some time. Right now smart TV is being developed; the market is being created. We have to wait and see what the market will be like.

What observations does Intel have regarding the Thai market? Are any new trends developing at the moment?

I think the Thai audience is very aspirational. In my view it's a very active young audience that is optimistic about the future. It matches our brand promise of creating a better future tomorrow. I believe there is a lot we can offer. We like to communicate the value of PCs and technology. We are very active in education, particularly in teaching children how to use PCs. Those activities will continue and I think there's a very bright future for people in Thailand

When will Ultrabook be launched in Thailand? How much will it cost?

I think it's coming. We work with customers who are PC manufacturers and you should ask them for specific plans. We work closely with major players such as Acer, Lenovo and Toshiba. The price of Ultrabook will be determined by the PC manufacturers. They have different strategies on how to price their products. Our role is to coordinate and make Ultrabook accessible to as many people as possible.

Ivy Bridge and Haswell [new processor microarchitectures] are also coming. We will put more emphasis on creating the category of Ultrabook first, [so] we will start with Sandy Bridge. [You will learn more about] what's great with Ultrabook when it is introduced. We will mention additional features when we introduce Ivy Bridge and Haswell integrated into Ultrabook.

The most interesting thing from a marketing point of view is helping people to understand what this category is all about. It is not like a usual laptop. It's going to be much thinner and more responsive. It's going to be a very different experience for consumers. We will put more emphasis on talking about that.






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