There is a clear interest in ultra-compact notebooks and their level of success these days.
Market researchers such as IDC and Gartner have expressed, at the very least, doubt that the new notebook class is shipping in significant numbers, while Intel yesterday said that it is happy with the innovation level and that shipment goals have been achieved.
IDC already retracted its 500,000 shipment estimate for Ultrabooks and said that its view on the market is too limited to come up with a reasonable estimate. Gartner also released some additional information via Cnet, but has been very careful not to be too specific. One can only imagine that Intel was unhappy about the PC shipment reports that triggered a wave of articles carrying the sentiment that Ultrabooks are failing. Intel's earnings call yesterday was a good example of how Ultrabook sales are a matter of perception, even if we learned that CEO Paul Otellini was not confident enough to mention any detailed shipment estimates.
Gartner told Cnet that the Ultrabook is far away from reaching its 40 percent market share in 2012. For now, the market research firm believes that Ultrabook and MacBook Air shipments will have a 5 percent market share of total notebook shipments this year, which puts them into the range of about 11 million units. However, Gartner also said that the "Macbook Air is a "big" portion of that 5 percent". Another blurry statement, but it surely reaffirms that there is little confidence that Ultrabooks will be taking over the market, even with the arrival of Windows 8 in mind.
Gartner thinks that the ultracompact notebook market will climb to about 17 million units, which is a decent increase, but not even close to the 90 - 100 million Intel will need to substantiate its original 40 percent market share claim.