Sales Estimates Slashed for Ultrabooks for 2012 Due to Poor Adoption
October 2, 2012 8:57 AM
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Ultrabooks on the decline
About a month ago, Intel
cut the outlook
for its Q3 earnings by $1.1 billion. The reduction in earnings indicated that perhaps Intel's ultrabooks weren't selling as well as the company wanted. Intel originally hailed the ultrabook as the next big thing to revive the struggling PC economy.
So far, ultrabooks haven't performed as well as expected in large part due to the high cost of the machines and increasing popularity of tablets. Research firm IHS iSuppli has cut its shipment expectations for ultrabooks globally during 2012. Previously, iSuppli expected 22 million ultrabooks to ship globally during 2012. The research firm has now cut that estimate to 10.3 million for the entire year.
The research firm cites two major reasons for poor sales in the ultrabook realm citing "nebulous marketing and unappealing price." ISuppli also points a finger at Intel as having to own up to standards that are too strict, confusing the marketplace between what's an ultrabook and what is an ultrathin notebook.
Sony VAIO T13
"So far, the PC industry has failed to create the kind of buzz and excitement among consumers that is required to propel ultrabooks into the mainstream," Craig Stice, IHS's senior principal analyst for computer platforms, wrote in the report.
The research firm also criticized pricing of ultrabooks that sit near $1000 for most units. The company believes that a price cut bringing ultrabooks and the $600-$700 price range could increase sales next year. When Intel first started counting the ultrabook, $600-$700 was the price range many expected the machines to come to market in.
ISuppli believes that Intel's new processor, code-named
, expected to launch in the middle of 2013 will also help improve sales in the ultrabook market.
is also expected to have an impact on sales in the segment.
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It's an issue of expectations
10/2/2012 9:59:27 PM
If price were no object, I think that most people would prefer a 2-3lb notebook to a 5lb notebook. it's so much easier to carry, or even take on a short trip with. I think Intel's issue is that they seriously expected this to be 40% of the PC notebook market by the end of 2012. If they were more realistic it wouldn't be seen as such a disappointment.
The MacBook Air is selling well, but it is difficult to extrapolate it to the rest of the PC market. While the majority of Macs sold are portables, and the majority of Mac portables are MacBook Airs, the thing to remember is that Macs are premium devices that sell at premium prices. The cheapest Apple notebook is the base 11.6" MacBook Air at $999. People who plunk down 4 figures after tax aren't the same people who pay $500 or even $800 for a notebook. Ultrabooks will eventually take off, but Intel should have been more realistic with the uptake rate.
"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins
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