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Ultrabooks Could See Price Pressure Due to New Macbook Air

By - Source: Digitimes | B 30 comments

A series of requests for quotations (RFQ) issued by Apple to Taiwan-based supply chain makers is apparently raising some concern among Ultrabook makers and their opportunity to market thin notebooks.

According to Digitimes, the RFQs affect MacBook Pro and MacBook Air computers as well as the speculation that Apple could lower the prices of its current notebooks to clear out its stock. The MacBook Air sells from $999 and the MacBook Pro from $1,199 at this time.

While any update to its Macbook Air is significant for all vendors that offer Ultrabooks, it would be rather silly to assume that Apple will not be updating its Air and all other notebooks this years, especially when we know that Intel is preparing the introduction of a new processor architecture.

As long as Ultrabook vendors are still trailing the concept of the MacBook Air, there may indeed be reason for concern that Ultrabook sales could be negatively impacted. Of course, vendors could also choose a route to innovation to differentiate their Ultrabooks from Apple's Macbook Air other than in SSD/HDD space, processor speed and coloring.

 

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  • 10 Hide
    Afrospinach , January 4, 2013 11:16 AM
    abbadon_34Since when has any mac put price pressure on a pc?


    Ultrabooks are pretty outrageously priced and I dare say apple has a better showing in this segment vs the market as a whole.
Other Comments
  • -2 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , January 4, 2013 10:21 AM
    Quote:
    Of course, vendors could also choose a route to innovation to differentiate their Ultrabooks from Apple's Macbook Air other than in SSD/HDD space, processor speed and coloring.


    Cut the BS... how else do you want to "innovate"? Anything more complex than dumb simplicity of Apple's devices and sheeple cry that it's "too complex" and "nerdy". What do you want other vendors to do, stick an LCD on the ultrabook a-la Razer Blade? No, seriously, WHAT INNOVATION do you expect rather than better tech specs? Okay, I saw a Samsung ultrabook that managed to have an ODD and remain thin... I think that's all you can do. WHAT MORE?
  • 0 Hide
    DjEaZy , January 4, 2013 10:30 AM
    ... i wanna a macbook air with a AMD APU...
  • Display all 30 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    abbadon_34 , January 4, 2013 10:35 AM
    Since when has any mac put price pressure on a pc?
  • 0 Hide
    freggo , January 4, 2013 10:50 AM
    how can a Mac Book be a serious replacement for PC type hardware?
    Different OS, different software, steep learning curve. Who in his right mind would bother with it.

    You end up saving a few bucks on hardware and spent a ton to replace your PC software.
    Maybe I am missing something here but this argument about price pressure makes no sense to me.
  • -3 Hide
    -Jackson , January 4, 2013 10:56 AM
    Quote:
    how can a Mac Book be a serious replacement for PC type hardware?
    Different OS, different software, steep learning curve. Who in his right mind would bother with it.

    You end up saving a few bucks on hardware and spent a ton to replace your PC software.
    Maybe I am missing something here but this argument about price pressure makes no sense to me.

    But you have to consider all the iSheep --Ahem, stupid consumers who have no knowledge or care for this, only the fact that the product is shiny and pretty.
  • 0 Hide
    de5_Roy , January 4, 2013 11:03 AM
    ultrabooks were never relevant. :D 
    if intel really wants to sell ultrabooks, they should either lower cpu prices or stick ulv core i3 and pentium cpus with hd 2500/4000 igpus in them.
  • 10 Hide
    Afrospinach , January 4, 2013 11:16 AM
    abbadon_34Since when has any mac put price pressure on a pc?


    Ultrabooks are pretty outrageously priced and I dare say apple has a better showing in this segment vs the market as a whole.
  • -3 Hide
    kawininjazx , January 4, 2013 12:07 PM
    DjEaZy... i wanna a macbook air with a AMD APU...


    Apple has been the only company smart enough to not use AMD CPUs.
  • 0 Hide
    lamorpa , January 4, 2013 12:23 PM
    Then again, you 'd want to buy a Mac, so, for most people, the point is moot.
  • 3 Hide
    InvalidError , January 4, 2013 12:42 PM
    AfrospinachUltrabooks are pretty outrageously priced and I dare say apple has a better showing in this segment vs the market as a whole.

    You can find Ultrabooks down to about $700... but at that price, the feature set looks more like an overpriced supercharged nettop running Windows than something I would like to use as an alternative to a PC or want to buy over a $500 conventional laptop.

    I agree, Ultras are currently much too expensive for what they are worth to most people.
  • 6 Hide
    WithoutWeakness , January 4, 2013 1:00 PM
    amk-aka-phantomCut the BS... how else do you want to "innovate"? Anything more complex than dumb simplicity of Apple's devices and sheeple cry that it's "too complex" and "nerdy". What do you want other vendors to do, stick an LCD on the ultrabook a-la Razer Blade? No, seriously, WHAT INNOVATION do you expect rather than better tech specs? Okay, I saw a Samsung ultrabook that managed to have an ODD and remain thin... I think that's all you can do. WHAT MORE?

    Tech specs may be how companies have to innovate on devices like these. Make something that nobody else has made. Or take something they did and make it way better.

    Screen resolution would be a good start. We have $400 10" Android tablets with 2560x1600 screens yet almost all of our 13" and 15" laptops have 1366x768 screens and only a handful of $1000+ models have 1920x1080.

    OLED screens would vastly improve the vibrance and contrast ratio of laptop screens as well. They cost more than cheap LCDs with TN panels but when companies are cramming i7's into these things you can certainly drop to an i5 and put the budget toward better technology elsewhere.

    Better battery life in Ultrabooks would be welcome as well. 5 hours is alright but when you consider that Ultrabooks were designed to be ultra portable you should be able to go a full 8-10 hours without being plugged in.

    Windows 8 brings touch to the table and I'm still waiting for a company to make a true hybrid solution for both creation and consumption. Tablets with keyboard docks aren't the answer. A laptop with a touchscreen isn't the answer and companies know that. Lenovo has some amazing hybrid designs and I think they're on the right track. Surface Pro is another great idea with the kickstand and the keyboard integrated into the cover (though the battery life again becomes an issue here).

    There are plenty of ways to innovate. Windows 8 has flipped the industry on its head and hardware manufacturers are quickly learning that traditional notebook-style laptops aren't what people are looking for in 2013. They want the sleekness of a tablet with the power of a notebook. We just need the hardware to make it possible. Intel's Haswell chips will hopefully be the launchpad for low-power, high-performance devices that don't break the bank.
  • 3 Hide
    hate machine , January 4, 2013 1:26 PM
    Apple... lower prices for new gen products. Those should not be in the same sentence.
  • 0 Hide
    jacobdrj , January 4, 2013 2:05 PM
    I too am disappointed that Apple never used AMD APUs. Would have made a lot more sense for their compact designs.
  • 0 Hide
    blubbey , January 4, 2013 2:26 PM
    Competition leading to lower prices? Fantastic for the consumer. Well done Apple. I never thought I'd see that.
  • 0 Hide
    de5_Roy , January 4, 2013 3:00 PM
    Quote:
    I too am disappointed that Apple never used AMD APUs. Would have made a lot more sense for their compact designs.

    they almost did. they went far talking about putting llano apus in their laptops. amd and glofo failed to deliver, apple went with intel.
  • -1 Hide
    dauntekong , January 4, 2013 3:07 PM
    I chuckled just by reading the title....

    MacBook Air... yeah right uh huh ok... well good for you... *SARCASM*
  • 0 Hide
    cbfelterbush , January 4, 2013 3:11 PM
    I think that old Wolfgang is a tad off. I would say that the MacBook Air is trailing the concept of thin and light laptops. Such as the original Sony clam-shell ultra-thin Vaio that dates back to pre-MBA times. However separating them like they are different products is Laughable, an ultrabook like the ZenBook Prime and the MBA are nearly the exact same thing. Having used them both a lot I find the ZenBook to be the more capable of the two and the 1920*1080 screen is much nicer than the MBA.

    However this segment of product is about to get turned on its head with the likes of the Transformer Book. This product shows real innovation, not the "higher res display = innovation that you get with Apple. Add a Cache drive and call it something fancy, his is not product innovation but rather marketing innovation.

    So the real question is can Asus and friends continue to innovate while Apple Markets their innovation. Without having Apple leave a rotten taste. -CB
  • 2 Hide
    velocityg4 , January 4, 2013 3:20 PM
    One thing I don't get with Ultrabook makers. Why don't they sell them with SSD's. It's difficult to find a decently priced and speced Ultrabook with an SSD. It's ridiculous when a 128GB SSD can be bought for $20 more than a 500GB laptop hard drive.

    I tried recommending a good Ultrabook to a client with an SSD but couldn't find one at a reasonable price. They all had a small amount of RAM and last generation CPU. While you could find plenty of good current gen units in the $700 to $800 range using a regular hard drive or hybrid drive. You have to spend $1200 for one with an SSD only. These makers need a 128GB SSD model for $25 more than the same 500GB HD model.

    Since most people don't store many files. Computer companies need to start pushing SSD's in laptops and desktops. For the few that need tons of space they can purchase a large secondary drive in store or do build to order with a large hard drive. Either large primary replacing the SSD, secondary or get a hybrid drive BTO.

    freggohow can a Mac Book be a serious replacement for PC type hardware?Different OS, different software, steep learning curve. Who in his right mind would bother with it.You end up saving a few bucks on hardware and spent a ton to replace your PC software.Maybe I am missing something here but this argument about price pressure makes no sense to me.


    1. They use the same hardware so you could run Windows solely if you desired.

    2. Windows 8 is a huge change. So it would require a steep learning curve. Heck Mac OS X is a lot closer to older versions of Windows than Metro.

    3. Most people don't have a lot of purchased software. For the most part all people buy is MS Office and an anti-virus. Otherwise they just use the free software which came with the computer or download some other freeware. Since they'll likely buy a new version of Office with any computer it wouldn't matter if it was Windows or Mac. The other major free software is available for Windows and OS X.
  • 1 Hide
    kellybean , January 4, 2013 3:39 PM
    I'll take an Air any day over an Ultrabook and Windows 8
  • 0 Hide
    rwinches , January 4, 2013 3:40 PM
    Except for the early McIntosh days when publishing houses fell in love.
    I think the popularity of mac has been student discount driven.
    When they had the PowerPC chips and some server market they did have fairly cool stuff.
    I remember two fails though the NuBus and that license deal where Blue something, sold the same equipment for less and they were surprised that it cut into their mac sales - Doh
    Always wanted to check out a Lisa I did get to touch one once, it was off, but that's it. At that time I was working with the new Small UNIX systems like Fortune, Zilog, Altos and ones I don't remember they were cool but expensive. It would have been nice to see how Apples Visual UNIX compared on that Lisa
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