Acer chairman JT Wang said on Friday that "tablet fever" is already starting to cool down, and that consumers are looking to notebooks again thanks to Intel's Ultrabook design and the intriguing features Windows 8 promises to bring to the PC sector next year. Acer came to this conclusion thanks to recent surveys which have indicated that consumers have a high interest in Intel's sleek Ultrabook form-factor.
Other players in the PC sector reportedly share the same opinion: that tablets are mainly marketed for entertainment purposes and will eventually reach market saturation. Once that happens, consumer desire to replace their notebooks and/or desktops with tablets will diminish. Tablet volumes will then reach a certain level and sales will stagnate.
The release of new OS is also expected to drive stronger sales for notebooks than tablets, especially during the back-to-school season of 2012. But that remains to be seen: the market hasn't really experienced what Microsoft has in store for consumers other than glimpsing at a quad-core prototype during Microsoft’s recent TechEd New Zealand conference. Windows 8 could change the way we interact with tablets, or it could merely be just another OS on another non-Android, non-iOS tablet.
As reported earlier, Acer is slated to launch an Ultrabook during September for as low as $799 USD. Asus is also offering a similar product in September, and will be followed by Dell, Toshiba, Lenovo and Hewlett-Packard (HP) in Q4 2011 or Q1 2012.
Friday Acer president Jim Wong added that Ultrabooks will only account for a portion of the notebook shipments in 2011, but the numbers are expected to increase to somewhere around 25 to 35-percent in 2012. Intel previously predicted that Ultrabook shipments would reach 40-percent by the end of 2012.