Sales of ultrabook computers never really took off. The ultra slim and lightweight laptops were priced higher than many people expected and, along with heavy competition from the MacBook Air and traditional laptops, many consumers were waiting for the arrival of Windows 8 before purchasing a new computer. Following the launch of Microsoft’s (MSFT) new operating system and with the release of new ultrabook models, however, worldwide shipments are expected to increase to 21 million by the end of the year. The estimates come to us from ABI Research, which notes that the North American market totals half of all ultrabook shipments, followed by the Western European and Asia-Pacific markets. More →
Once seen as the PC industry’s only hope in the “post-PC era,” the number of Ultrabooks expected to ship by the end of this year is now estimated to only be half as much as projected. According to an IHS iSupply report, only 10.3 million Ultrabooks might be shipped this year as opposed to the 22 million previously forecasted. IHS iSupply says “nebulous marketing and unappealing price” are the two biggest factors holding Ultrabooks back.
Despite the launch of Windows 8 later this year and the wave of ultra-thin Microsoft-powered notebook computers that will accompany the new operating system, Apple will continue to dominate the ultra-thin portable PC market through 2012 according to a new report. Digitimes Research, the analyst arm of industry watcher Digitimes, on Thursday issued a report suggesting Apple’s popular MacBook Air series of laptops accounted for 50% of global ultra-thin notebook shipments last quarter in spite of the continued ultrabook push across numerous PC vendors. More →
For people who want super-thin computers and who don’t feel like paying more than $2,000 for a Retina MacBook Pro, ultrabooks are a blessing. And according to the NPD Group, ultrabooks are helping to keep the U.S. notebook market afloat as they “are off to a fast start capturing nearly 11 percent of all $700+ Windows notebooks sales at U.S. retail through the first five months of 2012.” What’s more, ultrabooks’ share of Windows notebooks costing at least $700 has steadily climbed month by month this year, going from just over 6% in January to more than 15% in May. NPD says strong ultrabook sales are welcome news for the Windows notebook industry, which has seen overall sales of laptops costing $700 or more fall 3% through the first five months of 2012. Full press release after the jump. More →
Early ultrabook adoption has not lived up to vendors’ expectation according to numerous accounts. Spurred by the popularity of Apple’s MacBook Air, these new ultra-thin notebook PCs offer ample performance despite their sleek, slimmed-down cases. High prices are often cited by industry watchers as the root cause behind slow ultrabook sales, however, and it looks like this is indeed the case in the enterprise market, according to TechRepublic. The site asked 12 CIOs if they planned to roll out ultrabook models at their respective organizations — 11 said no. High prices were repeatedly cited as a cause for the negative responses, and according to a recent report, ultrabook pricing is likely to remain high until next year. More →
Intel’s next-generation Ivy Bridge processors will be the first to feature a “3D Tri-Gate transistor,” The BBC reported on Sunday. The company plans to initially release 13 quad-core processors for desktop computers that it promises will offer more computational power while using less energy. Intel hopes its new transistors, which have been in development for 11 years, will help it challenge ARM’s reputation for energy efficiency. “This is the world’s first 22 nanometre product and we’ll be delivering about 20% more processor performance using 20% less average power,” the company said, adding that dual-core processors aimed at ultrabooks will be announced “later this spring.” Intel promises that “there will be 50% more supply than we had early in the product cycle of our last generation, Sandy Bridge, a year ago. And we’re still constrained based on the amount of demand we’re seeing in the marketplace.” Digitimes on Monday reported that shipments of the company’s latest processors will still be lower than expected, however, and it will not be able to satisfy the strong demand anticipated from PC vendors. More →
Intel is expected to move up the announcement of its next-generation Ivy Bridge processors from the original date of April 29th to April 23rd, Digitimes reported on Thursday. ASUS, Acer, Lenovo and Hewlett-Packard are all preparing to release their second generation of ultrabooks in May, with average prices expected to “rapidly” drop from $999 to $699. To promote ultrabooks, Intel has also reportedly set up a $300 million fund to assist its partners in ultrabook design as well as research and development. Earlier rumors have suggested that Apple is planning to refresh its iMac family of computers with Intel’s 22nm-based Core i5 and Core i7 Ivy Bridge processors in June or July. The Cupertino-based company is also said to be ramping up production in preparation for thinner 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pro models. More →
Reports that Intel was notifying partners about plans to postpone mass shipments of Ivy Bridge processors turned out to be only partially true, according to VR-Zone. The new report claims that desktop processors are still on schedule and “only the dual-core [mobile] models have been pushed back.” The reason behind the the delay is said to be tied to the massive stock of Sandy Bridge CPUs Intel still has on hand. Intel reportedly has large quantities of leftover CPUs that have not yet been shipped to its vendor partners. The first dual-core Ivy Bridge models will not arrive until some time in May, meaning updated Ultrabooks won’t launch until early June. More →
Ultrabooks will remain pricey through the end of this year, with ideal pricing of $600-$700 finally being reached in 2013 according to Digitimes. Due to the high production cost associated with the computers — especially solid state drives, which are 10 times more expensive than traditional hard drive — prices are expected to remain high in order to maintain profitability. As vendors work on reducing costs, ultrabooks have chance to reach $799 in the second quarter of 2012, a significant drop from the $999 price point of the first generation models but still well above the “sweet spot” the new notebook supposedly must hit in order to be more widely adopted. More →
Acer chairman JT Wang on Thursday reaffirmed the company’s dedication to the new “ultrabook” market, further distancing his company from the low-margin netbooks that have dominated its PC lineup in the past. Following the success of Acer’s first-generation ultrabook — the Aspire S3 reportedly shipped between 250,000 and 300,000 units during its first quarter of availability — Acer plans to launch new ultrabook models in both the second and third quarters this year. According to DigiTimes, Wang estimates that Windows and Intel-powered ultrabooks will account for between 25% and 35% of the company’s PC sales in 2012. Wang expects notebook shipment volume to slide between 10% and 15% sequentially in the first quarter, however he expects full-year shipments to grow 10% compared to 2011. While sales in the U.S. and Europe are likely to remain relatively slow according to Acer, the company projects strong sales in Brazil, the Philippines, Thailand and other Southeast Asia markets. More →
The Consumer Electronics Show is one of the biggest technology trade shows in the world, and this year’s CES was as big as it has ever been. It was estimated that between 140,000 and 150,000 people attended the show in Las Vegas this week — CES’s record stands at 149,529, achieved last year — and the show was as busy as we’ve ever seen it. Hundreds of companies touted thousands of gadgets and all of the big names were there showing off their upcoming wares. As is always the case, however, a few products managed to outshine the rest. Here, we provide a quick rundown of our favorite tech from CES 2012. More →
There is no clear cut winner or loser at the Consumer Electronics Show but if there was, Samsung would easily be a top contender for the crown. The South Korea-based consumer electronics giant came to CES 2012 with guns blazing, showing off everything from new televisions, ultrabooks and smartphones to a revolutionary new washing machine. Yes, a washing machine. Samsung had a gigantic booth packed to the brim with cutting-edge tech, but the stars of this year’s show in our eyes were Samsung’s new Super OLED HDTVs. The only word that can possibly describe them is gorgeous. They’re unbelievably slim, incredibly bright, and they produce colors unlike anything we’ve seen on a TV before… but we’ll let the pictures do the talking. Our CES 2012 booth tour featuring Samsung follows below.
Day 1 of the Consumer Electronics Show is drawing to a close, and a keynote featuring Intel is the perfect way to end the day. Intel is the driving force behind a seemingly endless line of devices that have helped shape the industry as we know it today, and this evening we should get a look at how Intel intends to continue driving innovation moving forward. Smartphones and tablets powered by the company’s next-generation Medfield processors will definitely be on display, and the company invested $300 million in ultrabooks so we’ll undoubtedly see a parade of slim new laptops on stage during the event as well. Will Intel have a few surprises up its sleeve? The keynote is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. Eastern / 4:30 p.m. Pacific, so hit the jump and tune in for our live coverage. More →