Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

IDC: Only 500K Ultrabooks Sold So Far

By - Source: IDC | B 44 comments

Sales don't quite match the marketing yet.

Following a rather sobering Q2 PC market report from Gartner yesterday, IDC has also released some worrying news about the state of the PC market. IDC researchers estimate that shipments fell 0.1 percent from the same quarter last year. The company said that the result is below the projected path of 2.1 percent overall growth for the year, but are in line with slow growth for Q2 and accelerating growth for Q3 and Q4.

Of course, much of that growth would depend on notebooks and the adoption of Ultrabooks, which not only carry Intel's hope to sell more processors, but the hopes of an entire industry that you and I will walk into Best Buy, Fry's or hhgregg and replace an aging system with an ultrathin expensive notebook. Apparently, that has not happened yet on a wider scale, as IDC estimates that only 500,000 Ultrabooks were sold in H1. This compares to forecasted sales of about 225 million notebooks for the year. We remember that Ultrabooks were predicted by Intel to capture about 30 to 40 percent of the market once fully available. "Ultrabooks have not yet produced a significant rise in volumes – in part due to anticipation of improvements such as Windows 8, which is expected later this year, but also due to pricing," IDC said.

From a regional view, the U.S. PC market is developing into a significant concern for the industry. "The U.S. market suffered a double-digit contraction in the second quarter as market saturation and economic factors combine with anticipation of Windows 8 and other changes later in the year. In this context, consumers are delaying purchases, and vendors and retailers are slowing down their PC activities to clear existing inventories," said IDC's David Daoud. "The situation is exacerbated by consumer notebook saturation, a slowing replacement cycle in the commercial sector, and the big macro-economic and political events affecting confidence and spending." Even worse, Daoud believes that Windows 8 will not show its impact on PC sales until Q4.

Display 44 Comments.
This thread is closed for comments
Top Comments
  • 20 Hide
    Anonymous , July 15, 2012 4:24 PM
    Ultrabooks are simply overpriced and it has nothing to do with anticipation of Windows 8. From what I've seen of Windows 8 and the reviews its new interface is getting, Windows 8 is shaping up to make Windows Vista and Windows ME look like overwhelming successes.
  • 16 Hide
    Vorador2 , July 15, 2012 4:44 PM
    To get a decently specced ultrabook, you need to pony up a lot of money. Most people what they want is something to replace their desktop, and sometimes carry around if they're gonna travel. For that a conventional laptop is sufficient. Ultrabooks are targeted to the road warrior, and most of them can do with current smartphones for their field work.

    Also, the lower end market for mobility is getting eaten by tablets. So more or less the only market remaining is higher end pricey ultrabooks for people who need both mobility and power.
  • 13 Hide
    razor512 , July 15, 2012 6:01 PM
    I wonder why people are not buring an ultrabook, who here doesn't want a $1000+ computer, with the specs of a $400 computer (minus the DVD drive) but is a bit thinner

    (even though the thickest part of a laptop is the cd drive, and the motherboard+ heatsink only takes up about half of the thickness of the unit (meaning you can make an ultra book by simply making the case thinner and getting rid of the CD drive and using a lithium polymer battery)

    hmm


    anyway, in terms of functionality and performance, a ultrabook is basically in between a netbook and a laptop and for it to sell, it should be priced as such.

    The thinness doesn't really help since if you are in a situation where you cant bring a standard laptop, then you wont be able to have an ultrabook with you either.

    the only benefit you get is less weight meaning the laptop bag will not feel as heavy. which is not worth the huge price increase.
Other Comments
  • 7 Hide
    killerclick , July 15, 2012 4:09 PM
    I love it when something overhyped fails so badly.

    I look forward to reading about the failure of Microsoft Surface and Windows 8 next year.

    Innovation should happen from the bottom up, not from the top down.
  • 20 Hide
    Anonymous , July 15, 2012 4:24 PM
    Ultrabooks are simply overpriced and it has nothing to do with anticipation of Windows 8. From what I've seen of Windows 8 and the reviews its new interface is getting, Windows 8 is shaping up to make Windows Vista and Windows ME look like overwhelming successes.
  • 16 Hide
    Vorador2 , July 15, 2012 4:44 PM
    To get a decently specced ultrabook, you need to pony up a lot of money. Most people what they want is something to replace their desktop, and sometimes carry around if they're gonna travel. For that a conventional laptop is sufficient. Ultrabooks are targeted to the road warrior, and most of them can do with current smartphones for their field work.

    Also, the lower end market for mobility is getting eaten by tablets. So more or less the only market remaining is higher end pricey ultrabooks for people who need both mobility and power.
  • 8 Hide
    Anonymous , July 15, 2012 4:50 PM
    I've been shopping for an Ultrabook for about two months. The thing I've been waiting for is the Ivy Bridge processor, because of the substantial graphics boost. Current models either have lackluster specs (eg 32 Gb SSD, 4 Gb ram), or are wildly overpriced. If manufacturers would be a little more reasonable on profit margins, there would be plenty more buyers. One more thing, it sucks when you combine the lackluster specs with the inability for the user to swap in a new SSD or add more ram. That's the real deal-breaker for me. Nobody is waiting for Windows 8 to make a purchase.
  • 12 Hide
    sundragon , July 15, 2012 4:52 PM
    1. The first/second gen Ultrabooks are okay but not great.

    2. Apple knows it customers. They made a bet and in 2008 realized their customers are interested in purchasing a macbook with Industrial Design that makes it very thin and light with nearly the processing power of a full notebook.

    3. I think most people looking to purchase a Windows based laptop are going for lower price for performance and the Ultrabooks are still not as good bang for buck as regular laptops. Based on what people on this forum say (anti Apple holy war aside) They want a laptop that as specific performance level at the lowest possible price. Finally - the current Industrial Design for Windows based Ultrabooks is not spectacular - It may take Sony/Dell/Lenovo a generation before they use their R&D to come up with designs that are unique and stand out among their competition.

    4. The introduction of Haswell based Intel processors (2013) should change the performance/price calculation. (If you believe Intel's marketing/disclosures) - It will bring a much better GPU architecture and far better energy use envelope compared to the current Ivy Bridge.

    Time will tell (2013) if Haswell is 80% of what Intel says it's gonna be, we are all going to have laptops that will use far less energy and have GPUs that will give AMD a run for their money.
  • 2 Hide
    scannall , July 15, 2012 5:37 PM
    Part of the problem is that a lot of people who would by a Windows laptop is still stuck in the 'race to the bottom' mindset. Not a lot of people look at Windows laptops as a 'premium' product. So, in order to meet the race to the bottom crowd a lot of the Ultrathins take shortcuts, and use crappier materials than they really should.

    That isn't saying that every Windows Ultrathin is a pile of crap. But enough of them are that it taints the ones that aren't.
  • 13 Hide
    razor512 , July 15, 2012 6:01 PM
    I wonder why people are not buring an ultrabook, who here doesn't want a $1000+ computer, with the specs of a $400 computer (minus the DVD drive) but is a bit thinner

    (even though the thickest part of a laptop is the cd drive, and the motherboard+ heatsink only takes up about half of the thickness of the unit (meaning you can make an ultra book by simply making the case thinner and getting rid of the CD drive and using a lithium polymer battery)

    hmm


    anyway, in terms of functionality and performance, a ultrabook is basically in between a netbook and a laptop and for it to sell, it should be priced as such.

    The thinness doesn't really help since if you are in a situation where you cant bring a standard laptop, then you wont be able to have an ultrabook with you either.

    the only benefit you get is less weight meaning the laptop bag will not feel as heavy. which is not worth the huge price increase.
  • 13 Hide
    Kami3k , July 15, 2012 6:13 PM
    memadmaxThen you design the next great processor architecture you dumb punk... I bet you are one of the 99%'rs huh? You sound like one... I bet you think all the banks need to be destroyed too huh?


    I know you are a Fox News drone as you had to bring politics into this. Not everything is about politics FYI.
  • 1 Hide
    sundragon , July 15, 2012 6:24 PM
    UltraIvyBookI've been shopping for an Ultrabook for about two months. The thing I've been waiting for is the Ivy Bridge processor, because of the substantial graphics boost. Current models either have lackluster specs (eg 32 Gb SSD, 4 Gb ram), or are wildly overpriced. If manufacturers would be a little more reasonable on profit margins, there would be plenty more buyers. One more thing, it sucks when you combine the lackluster specs with the inability for the user to swap in a new SSD or add more ram. That's the real deal-breaker for me. Nobody is waiting for Windows 8 to make a purchase.


    If you can wait till 2013 - you may be rewarded with a better cpu/gpu combo with Haswell and a considerably larger SSD (as SSD chips prices are falling and the competition is heated).
  • 1 Hide
    sundragon , July 15, 2012 6:30 PM
    razor512I wonder why people are not buring an ultrabook, who here doesn't want a $1000+ computer, with the specs of a $400 computer (minus the DVD drive) but is a bit thinner (even though the thickest part of a laptop is the cd drive, and the motherboard+ heatsink only takes up about half of the thickness of the unit (meaning you can make an ultra book by simply making the case thinner and getting rid of the CD drive and using a lithium polymer battery)hmmanyway, in terms of functionality and performance, a ultrabook is basically in between a netbook and a laptop and for it to sell, it should be priced as such.The thinness doesn't really help since if you are in a situation where you cant bring a standard laptop, then you wont be able to have an ultrabook with you either.the only benefit you get is less weight meaning the laptop bag will not feel as heavy. which is not worth the huge price increase.


    There may be one more thing to consider

    The R&D required to push thin makes the Ultrabook a bit more expensive to develop compared to regular laptops.

    The company wants to recoup that invested R&D cost. It's more than just making a thin notebook without a DVD drive.

    Example:
    Apple's removing the conventional 2.5" SSD form factor and replaced it with a large SSD DIMM that saves on space. No one else makes that piece so they had to eat the R&D to bring that to market.
    I bet the other Ultrabook manufacturers are doing similar fresh to market designs and it costs money.

    That being said, I think you hit it on the nose - Most customers who want to purchase a Windows based laptop use your logic to decide on a laptop and that's why they aren't selling.
  • 2 Hide
    traverser , July 15, 2012 7:03 PM
    I believe people have gained wisdom in their purchasing of laptops. I've overspent on a laptop, and with hardware repair cost, I'll never make that mistake again.

    I couldn't talk a family member into smart buy just cause she is new to the game. Not going to knock what she ended up with, just that I felt with the cost of a AMD based cpu, plus a hard drive to ssd switch for twice the size she could have saved half the money. Oh well, the benefits of marketing.
  • 0 Hide
    CaedenV , July 15, 2012 7:44 PM
    1) Nobody is complaining about the power of the device, it has the capability we want it to have for a road warrior wanting a PC expierence away from the confines of the office.
    2) Price is a little high, but not aweful for what you get.
    3) Nobody except for me and a few others are really 'waiting' on win8
    4) It meets every other point that Intel and manufacturers were trying to achieve
    5) Nobody cares about AMD in this market as it is aimed at 'elete' users in the business profession.

    ... So what went wrong?
    1) a lack of priority for the form factor, as you can get the same machine in a bigger box quite a bit cheaper, or rather spend the same money on a much better machine with a larger formfactor.
    2) The promise of so much better hardware coming down the pipe, without the 'need' to move to a new platform in the way of CPUs and SSDs specifically, but also batteries
    3) Weak economy (ya, it's a cop out, but it does effect some people)
  • 0 Hide
    chibiwings , July 15, 2012 8:01 PM
    ultrabooks are so expensive on our country.

    i just got a new laptop with Intel i7 3610QM, Nvidia GT 640M, 8GB RAM + i bought 120GB SSD and Added a caddy for another 750 GB HDD all of that for $750 (our currency is not $ BTW)

    now can an ultrabook change my mind? judging on the specs that's out on the market
  • -2 Hide
    thillntn , July 15, 2012 8:18 PM
    too many people still use optical drives. i will stick with a 13 inch laptop till the ultrabooks figure out a way to incorporate that. I dont need another thing to carry around with me (all in one)
  • 6 Hide
    A Bad Day , July 15, 2012 8:45 PM
    Looks at price

    Nah, no thanks. I'll stick with a cheaper and somewhat thicker lappy.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , July 15, 2012 9:34 PM
    This is pretty stupid. They JUST started really pushing these things. First of all, IvyBridge just came out. Most vendors didn't even have Ivy Ultrabook products out for full sale until June. Intel is just now getting the dual core ULV parts out the door. IDC must not have heard that Ivy was delayed until May and the dual core stuff wasn't going to be out in high volume production until mid summer (late July time frame). IDC is mostly looking at sales of SandyBridge based notebook parts which are not good Ultrabook parts. Ivy may not have been that great of a desktop product, but it is a great laptop product since HD4000 on the mobile side FAR exceeds Sandy on the mobile side while having a minimum 20% edge in CPU performance (more overhead room to Turbo + 15% IPC).

    Heck, even Apple JUST a few weeks ago launched their MacBooks. Let's have this conversation again in March of 2013 when people have had a chance to evaluate and buy.
  • 0 Hide
    Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer , July 15, 2012 9:53 PM
    I'll be buying a laptop this month (I need to beat out Windows 8) and I just don't understand why I would want to buy a Ultrabook when, for the same price as a higher-end one, I could get a machine like a 14" Thinkpad with a high-resolution matte screen, a better processor, better graphics, comparable battery life, more ports, an optical drive (or second hard drive/battery)...overall a much more capable machine. The only disadvantages, if they can be called that, are the weight and aesthetics...and frankly, I don't think of a Thinkpad as being ugly, and I'd rather have a machine that favors durability over weight and appearance anyway.

    Granted, that's just my opinion, and maybe for some the Ultrabook thing makes sense...but I just don't see it, personally.
  • -2 Hide
    pepe2907 , July 15, 2012 10:19 PM
    sundragonThere may be one more thing to considerThe R&D required to push thin makes the Ultrabook a bit more expensive to develop compared to regular laptops.The company wants to recoup that invested R&D cost.


    And why I should pay for the R&D of a private company if it's new product gives me nothing better /or nothing I want enough to pay the price/?

    I think you are completely wrong sundragon. You talk about things from a point of view of a manufacturer, but when I am buying I don't /and why should I/ see things from that point. What I care is solely about what I get for my bucks /sorry "progress" proponents/.
    Well, of course there are Apple fans, but they are limited to Apple /and to be honest you really need to invent the iPhone, iPod or at least the Walkman to have your own fans/.


  • 0 Hide
    blazorthon , July 15, 2012 10:27 PM
    Microsoft$ucksThis is pretty stupid. They JUST started really pushing these things. First of all, IvyBridge just came out. Most vendors didn't even have Ivy Ultrabook products out for full sale until June. Intel is just now getting the dual core ULV parts out the door. IDC must not have heard that Ivy was delayed until May and the dual core stuff wasn't going to be out in high volume production until mid summer (late July time frame). IDC is mostly looking at sales of SandyBridge based notebook parts which are not good Ultrabook parts. Ivy may not have been that great of a desktop product, but it is a great laptop product since HD4000 on the mobile side FAR exceeds Sandy on the mobile side while having a minimum 20% edge in CPU performance (more overhead room to Turbo + 15% IPC). Heck, even Apple JUST a few weeks ago launched their MacBooks. Let's have this conversation again in March of 2013 when people have had a chance to evaluate and buy.


    Ivy does not have 15% higher performance than Sandy at the same clock frequency except in one or two very specific workloads (assuming that is what you meant when you said IPC because although some people use it that way, the term does not mean that and is actually an architectural term that is not directly related to real-world performance) that aren't used by the average consumer. Someone didn't read much into IB. Almost all of the extra performance of IB compared to SB is in the clock frequency and GPU. Architecturally, IB is not much better than SB. Also, the only problem with it on the desktop side is that there is crap paste between the IHS and the CPU die instead of a much more thermally conductive flux-less solder.
Display more comments