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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

AMD drops the Personal Internet Communicator plan

Slashdot Slashdot It! Digg! Advanced Micro Devices(AMD) will cease manufacturing the money-losing Personal Internet Communicator (PIC) in the third quarter of 2006, according to a fiscal report filed with the SEC last week. The line of inexpensive PCs was designed to help consumers in developing countries gain Internet access.Introduced in 2004, the PIC was supposed to be a long-term investment for AMD, "so to say it's not making money seems a little odd. In the early years of any investment, you often have a negative cash flow, because it's a time when you are building up a business," Endpoint Technologies Associates Principal Analyst Roger Kay Why did they start this money losing thing? The PIC was developed as part of AMD's global "50x15" initiative, which was aimed at bringing Internet and computing capabilities to half the world's population by 2015. The unit was marketed in Brazil, China, India, Mexico and Russia. They cannot afford to lose anymore cash In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing last week, AMD said that the US$249 machine failed to generate significant sales and, unfortunately, many of the units were returned. Nearly $16 million in operating losses during the first nine months of 2006 were due to PIC-related write-offs, according to the filing. They are still going to support the $100 laptop The company plans to continue its partnerships with the One Laptop Per Child nonprofit group -- which builds $100 laptops -- and with Microsoft's pay-as-you-go computing strategies.

"We are expanding what we started with the PIC, developing new business models and new technologies that will be introduced in emerging markets," the company said.

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