© luchschen Business | December 11, 2012

21 million ultra-portable computers to ship globally in 2012

Low ultrabook sales in the first half of 2012 have undermined Intel’s bullish “40% of notebook” claims previously this year.
Higher than expected device prices, the wait for Windows 8, and a sluggish global economy have hindered sales for the new thin and light portable computers. Nevertheless, after the launch of Windows 8 and the release of a host of new ultrabook models we will see shipments rise to twenty-one million by the end of 2012.

Ultrabooks – a term coined by Intel for ultra-portable computers based on its processor architecture – are part of the broader portable computing market typically associated with the terms “laptop” or “notebook” PC. Targeted at mid-range prices, the most popular ultra-portable today is Apple’s MacBook Air. The company also came first in ABI Research’s latest ultrabook Competitive Assessment study.

“One of the biggest factors hindering ultrabook sales has been the awaited launch of Windows 8,” says senior analyst Josh Flood. “However, with the launch of Windows 8, we may see a double whammy effect. A number of consumers have held off from computer purchases so they could purchase an ultrabook with Windows 8 during the year. Furthermore, with the abundance of new ultrabook model releases, older systems’ prices will reduce and this will entice purchases from the low to mid-range price segment.”

North America is currently the largest market for ultrabooks with half the world’s shipments. Western Europe and Asia-Pacific follow behind respectively. Interestingly, the majority of ultrabook purchases are for personal use, unsurprisingly with the lion’s share of advertising and marketing by vendor OEMs focused on style and convenience. Intel has claimed the ultrabooks are a much better value proposition for business use and ABI Research projects a more equal split between consumer and business purchases of 60%/40% by 2017.


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