Lenovo and Asustek are expected to release Chromebooks using Google-certified solutions from China-based Rockchip in the first half of 2015 at the latest, and their devices are expected to be priced at US$149, a new low for notebook products, according to Digitimes Research's latest finding from the Greater China supply chain.
Rockchip is a first-tier tablet application processor (AP) designer in China and has recently cooperated with Intel over chip design and the distribution of Intel's SoFIA chips.
In October 2014, Lenovo announced a 10.1-inch Android notebook using Rockchip's RK3188 solution and Digitimes Research estimates that Lenovo's RK3288-based 11.6-inch Chromebook will become available in the market at the end of 2014 at the earliest or in the first half of 2015 at the latest. Asustek's 11.6-inch Chromebook is expected to be released in 2015.
Digitimes Research expects Lenovo's and Asustek's 11.6-inch Chromebooks to be priced at US$149, 25% lower than the US$199 of the C720 from Acer, the largest Chromebook vendor currently.
The new price point will further reduce notebooks' ASPs and also put strong pressure on Microsoft, which launched an inexpensive licensing project in 2014, looking to halt Chromebook's development.