Sales and Marketing
We sell our products primarily to OEMs and ODMs. ODMs provide design and/or manufacturing services to branded and unbranded private-label resellers. In addition, we sell our products to other manufacturers, including makers of a wide range of industrial and communications equipment. Our customers also include those who buy PC components and our other products through distributor, reseller, retail, and OEM channels throughout the world.
Our worldwide reseller sales channel consists of thousands of indirect customers—systems builders that purchase Intel microprocessors and other products from our distributors. We have a boxed processor program that allows distributors to sell Intel microprocessors in small quantities to these systems-builder customers; boxed processors are also available in direct retail outlets.
In 2011, Hewlett-Packard Company accounted for 19% of our net revenue (21% in 2010 and 2009) and Dell Inc. accounted for 15% of our net revenue (17% in 2010 and 2009). No other customer accounted for more than 10% of our net revenue. For information about revenue and operating income by operating segment, and revenue from unaffiliated customers by geographic region/country, see "Results of Operations" in Part II, Item 7 and "Note 30: Operating Segment and Geographic Information" in Part II, Item 8 of this Form 10-K.
Our products are sold through sales offices throughout the world. Sales of our products are typically made via purchase order acknowledgments that contain standard terms and conditions covering matters such as pricing, payment terms, and warranties, as well as indemnities for issues specific to our products, such as patent and copyright indemnities. From time to time, we may enter into additional agreements with customers covering, for example, changes from our standard terms and conditions, new product development and marketing, private-label branding, and other matters. Most of our sales are made using electronic and web-based processes that allow the customer to review inventory availability and track the progress of specific goods ordered. Pricing on particular products may vary based on volumes ordered and other factors. We also offer discounts, rebates, and other incentives to customers to increase acceptance of our products and technology.
Our products are typically shipped under terms that transfer title to the customer, even in arrangements for which the recognition of revenue and related costs of sales is deferred. Our standard terms and conditions of sale typically provide that payment is due at a later date, generally 30 days after shipment or delivery. Our credit department sets accounts receivable and shipping limits for individual customers to control credit risk to Intel arising from outstanding account balances. We assess credit risk through quantitative and qualitative analysis, and from this analysis, we establish credit limits and determine whether we will use one or more credit support devices, such as a third-party guarantee or standby letter of credit, or credit insurance. Credit losses may still be incurred due to bankruptcy, fraud, or other failure of the customer to pay. For information about our allowance for doubtful receivables, see "Schedule II—Valuation and Qualifying Accounts" in Part IV of this Form 10-K.
Most of our sales to distributors are made under agreements allowing for price protection on unsold merchandise and a right of return on stipulated quantities of unsold merchandise. Under the price protection program, we give distributors credits for the difference between the original price paid and the current price that we offer. On most products, there is no contractual limit on the amount of price protection, nor is there a limit on the time horizon under which price protection is granted. The right of return granted generally consists of a stock rotation program in which distributors are able to exchange certain products based on the number of qualified purchases made by the distributor. We have the option to grant credit for, repair, or replace defective products, and there is no contractual limit on the amount of credit that may be granted to a distributor for defective products.
Distributors typically handle a wide variety of products, including those that compete with our products, and fill orders for many customers. We also utilize third-party sales representatives who generally do not offer directly competitive products but may carry complementary items manufactured by others. Sales representatives do not maintain a product inventory; instead, their customers place orders directly with us or through distributors. We have several distribution warehouses that are located in close proximity to key customers.
Over time, our larger customers have generally moved to lean-inventory or just-in-time operations rather than maintaining larger inventories of our products. We have arrangements with these customers to seek to quickly fill orders from regional warehouses. As a result, our manufacturing production is based on estimates and advance non-binding commitments from customers as to future purchases. Our order backlog as of any particular date is a mix of these commitments and specific firm orders that are made primarily pursuant to standard purchase orders for delivery of products. Only a small portion of our orders is non-cancelable, and the dollar amount associated with the non-cancelable portion is not significant.
Our platform sales generally have followed a seasonal trend. Historically, our sales have been higher in the second half of the year than in the first half of the year, accelerating in the third quarter and peaking in the fourth quarter. Consumer and business purchases of PCs have historically been higher in the second half of the year.
Our corporate marketing objectives are to build a strong, well-known Intel corporate brand that connects with businesses and consumers, and to offer a limited number of meaningful and valuable brands in our portfolio to aid businesses and consumers in making informed choices about technology purchases. The Intel® Core™ processor family and the Intel Atom, Intel® Pentium®, Intel® Celeron®, Intel Xeon, and Intel® Itanium® trademarks make up our processor brands.
We promote brand awareness and generate demand through our own direct marketing as well as co-marketing programs. Our direct marketing activities include television, print, and Internet advertising, as well as press relations, consumer and trade events, and industry and consumer communications. We market to consumer and business audiences, and focus on building awareness and generating demand for increased performance, improved energy efficiency, and other capabilities such as Internet connectivity and security.
Purchases by customers often allow them to participate in cooperative advertising and marketing programs such as the Intel Inside® Program. This program broadens the reach of our brands beyond the scope of our own direct marketing. Through the Intel Inside Program, certain customers are licensed to place Intel logos on computing devices containing our microprocessors and processor technologies, and to use our brands in their marketing activities. The program includes a market development component that accrues funds based on purchases and partially reimburses the OEMs for marketing activities for products featuring Intel brands, subject to the OEMs meeting defined criteria. These marketing activities primarily include television, print, and Internet marketing. We have also entered into joint marketing arrangements with certain customers.