Ultrabooks have been marketed by the PC industry, most notably Intel, Acer, and Asus, as a counterbalance to the rise of tablet-culture: thin, light, and powerful. These computers were supposed to offer the portability of a tablet with the power of a PC. While this category of computer sounds promising, the sales have been less than impressive.
Digitimes reported in late October that Asus and Acer only expect to sell approximately 100,000 Ultrabook computers by year-end – half as many as initially expected.
These disappointing numbers haven’t stopped market research firm IHS iSuppli from declaring that by 2015 Ultrabooks will account for nearly half of all laptop sales. The quantitative metric that IHS iSuppli uses to declare “nearly half” is 43 percent, which would represent a 41 percent increase in market share.
In order for Ultrabooks to get to this level where they would “own the podium” in market share, they would jump to 12 percent in 2012, then to 28 percent in 2013, and 38 percent in 2014 before finally hitting 43 percent in 2015 according to HIS iSuppli’s calculations.
“To compete with media tablets, notebook PCs must become sexier and more appealing to consumers,” said Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst, compute platforms at HIS in a press release. “With media tablets having already reversed the expansion of the previously fast-growing netbook platform, PC makers now are keenly aware that the notebook must evolve to maintain market growth and relevance. Enter the Ultrabook, which borrows some of the form-factor and user-interface advantages of the media tablet to enhance the allure of the venerable notebook.”
Rival market analytics firm Gartner projects that 63.6 million tablets will be sold in 2011, a figure expected to rise to 326.3 million in 2015.