Wondering who to blame for high-priced UMPCs? According to "market sources" out of Taiwan, it's Intel -- and Asian manufacturers in the company's thrall. The story goes something like this: Microsoft really, really wanted the UMPC to be priced at around $700. And the company was all set to partner with VIA, which could have delivered the goods using its C7-M processor. However, manufacturers like Samsung and Asustek demurred, insisting that Intel, with its good name and R&D might, was the only way to go. That bumped pricing up to the $1,200 range, and soured the whole UMPC launch. Well, maybe. If that's the case, we still have to wonder why the VIA-powered TabletKiosk eo is going for $900. And we can't help but point out that both Samsung and Asustek have had no trouble spurning Intel before, pumping out AMD-powered computers when it suited them. Regardless, VIA may have the last laugh. Samsung is already planning a $700, VIA-powered UMPC for later this year, and if other companies follow, pricing for the mini-tablets may actually come down across the board. Whether that will goose demand enough to make this a solid product category is, of course, another story.

[Via TG Daily]