Klekowski, Intel: MacBook Air Will Sell Very Well In Romania

11.22.2011 By Adrian Seceleanu

Romania is a market where people lay “surprisingly” high emphasis on fashion and design, on the cars they drive and the clothes they wear, so the new generation of ultra-thin portable computers with a similar design to the MacBook Air range will sell very well despite prices hovering around EUR1,000, Tomasz Klekowski, Intel’s manager for Central and Eastern Europe, told ZF in an interview. Intel is the world’s largest manufacturer of microprocessors.

"Romania is a very good market for ultrabooks. Every time I come here I am surprised that people focus a lot on the way they look and choose their clothing and cars so carefully. Ultrabook is a fashionable product, which matches these requirements very well, "says Klekowski.

He expects the new generation of computers to sell in high volumes on the Romanian market.

Ultrabooks, a new category of portable computers with Intel processors, which appeared on the market largely as a result of pressure from the US processor manufacturer, stands out from the rest of portable computers running on Windows through a set of mandatory features - it has a special design, is less than 18-mm thick, has a battery autonomy of at least 5-7 hours, a Windows boot time of around 12 seconds, and weighs 1.5 kilos or less.

Whereas prices for a "regular" laptop can start from RON1,000 (around EUR230), the Ultrabook range is available for prices starting from RON3,600 for smaller-screen models. But this is not a problem, says Klekowski.

"The Ultrabooks will generate high volumes and we are in permanent contact with the manufacturers, seeking ways to lower the price of these computers to less than EUR1,000. But this level of prices is not new - there have been EUR1,000 laptops on the market for years and people have bought them in the past as well. We expect sales to be very good in Romania."

Asus is one of the companies that launched ultrabooks on the Romanian market, at prices that range between RON4,300 and RON5,700, but other models will also reach the market.

"Ultrabooks have started to be launched worldwide and in the fourth quarter there will be such computers on the market from four companies: Asus, Acer, Toshiba, and Lenovo. In the last two weeks, these products have been launched in several countries, they received very good reviews and demand has so far tended to exceed supply," he says.

According to him, initial sales of ultrabooks are very good, but he says there are concerns over the Thailand floods affecting component deliveries. Klekowski says he believes "companies that will have ultrabooks on stock in the fourth quarter will sell them all."

Intel will only starting next year get involved heavily in promoting ultrabooks on markets such as Romania, because it will focus only on a few key markets this year.

"In the first quarter [of next year] we will extend coverage of our marketing activities to the entire EMEA region," Klekowski said.

HP, one of the leading companies on the local PC market, estimated halfway through the year that PC sales (desktops, laptops, servers) in Romania would rise by 15% in 2011, to 700,000 units.

"We believe the Romanian PC market is growing by over 10%, especially on the consumer segment. We have not yet seen full data on sales to distributors in Romania for the third quarter, but I expect they will show growth. Romania will be one of the healthiest markets in Central and Eastern Europe, but we have to be very careful when analyzing the data because we have to see when the products sold actually reach the end consumer." (EUR1=RON4.3608)

(English version by Daniela Stoican)


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