Intel, The Computer Company

Intel is now in the computer business, manufacturing (or having made) Classmate PCs to compete with the OLPC movement, seeding these for free into schools for pilots, and offering them at low cost ($2-300) to schools, governments, etc., from China to India to, this week, Newport Beach.

Here is an interesting question:

At what level of manufacture and sales does the fertilizer turn into poison? Where do Intel’s customers draw the line and start seeing their chip supplier as their competitor?

Is it 100k units? Is it 500k? Is it a million? Does it depend on the size of the country?

Right now, Intel’s customers think the chipmaker is just seeding the clouds. What if they’re wrong? When and how will they decide, regardless of what Intel tells them?

It’s an interesting question.