Digitimes reports that Intel is currently being favored over VIA for UMPC designs. Apparently, the price differential of $400 or more does not outweigh the strength of the Intel brand name for consumers. That's a shame as many find the UMPC designs very compelling until their heart stops beating after seeing the sticker price. Hopefully, prices will come down over time and we'll have several options for hardware to power these handheld devices.
Market sources indicated that Microsoft originally planned to partner with VIA Technologies to promote its "Origami" Ultra-Mobile PC (UMPC), as VIA's C7-M embedded processor is priced at US$700-800, compared to the Intel Celeron M and Pentium M series at US$1,200-1,400. VIA's chip, however, is not preferred by OEM vendors, including Samsung Electronics and Asustek Computer, because of Intel's stronger brand awareness and R&D capability, according to the sources.