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Gartner: Ultrabooks to Take Off in 2013, Sort of

By - Source: Cnet | B 18 comments

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.

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  • -3 Hide
    back_by_demand , July 19, 2012 9:51 AM
    I want a Surface Pro, many other will join me, that classifies as an ultrabook for me, and a tablet at the same time
  • 5 Hide
    Onus , July 19, 2012 10:07 AM
    The title and the article say two very different things. I prefer the pessimistic view of the article; hopefully the meaningless "ultrabook" buzzword can die a flaming death.
  • -5 Hide
    DjEaZy , July 19, 2012 10:15 AM
    ... i love my acer 18.4 laptop with windows 7... but in the future... i rather buy a MacBook Air, than a ultrabook with windows 8...
  • Display all 18 comments.
  • 7 Hide
    molo9000 , July 19, 2012 10:19 AM
    back_by_demandI want a Surface Pro, many other will join me, that classifies as an ultrabook for me, and a tablet at the same time


    Because having desktop software on a 10" touchscreen is such a great idea....oh wait.
    Expensive, heavy, low battery life.... it's an abomination.
  • 1 Hide
    killerclick , July 19, 2012 10:46 AM
    back_by_demandI want a Surface Pro, many other will join me, that classifies as an ultrabook for me, and a tablet at the same time


    Considering how previous laptop/tablet combinations failed commercially (Tablet PC, Transformer), which tablets sold well (iPad, Kindle Fire and now Nexus 7), and the abysmal sales numbers for Ultrabooks, I somehow don't see Surface Pro being successful.

    It's easy for many people now to say they want a Surface Pro, but when it goes on sale six months from now, it might be harder to decide to drop around $1000 on it, especially if there are new and better things available. People who like Windows 8 and Metro will probably get the Surface, but seeing how most people buy laptops around $600, I somehow don't see the numbers Microsoft needs for Surface to be a success.
  • -2 Hide
    back_by_demand , July 19, 2012 10:53 AM
    molo9000Because having desktop software on a 10" touchscreen is such a great idea....oh wait.Expensive, heavy, low battery life.... it's an abomination.

    Whatever dude, feel free to not buy one, but don't be such a poisonous tw@t to the people who are looking forward to it
    ...
    Desktop software has been on 10" netbooks for years and we never had this level of hatred, the fact it can do the job of a laptop and a tablet is totally beyond some people - you stick with your even heavier laptop, i'm sure it will suit you well
  • 0 Hide
    math1337 , July 19, 2012 2:02 PM
    I have better things to spend my money on, like a $500 15.6'' fat laptop with better specs. MBA sells well because it's the cheapest mac. Ultrabooks don't sell well because they're on the expensive side of PCs.
  • 0 Hide
    marclee37 , July 19, 2012 2:14 PM
    price is the main concern. with under US$330, i can have a decent 10", 2gb ram, n2800, 1.3kg netbook. with under US$450, i can have more powerful 11", 4gb ram, e450, 1.5kg netbook. these are good enough for my general use. don't need anything much pricier or heavier.
    what is the price and spec for a general "ultrabook", why it is named ultrabook? to me it is just notebook, netbook is also notebook.
  • 1 Hide
    back_by_demand , July 19, 2012 3:37 PM
    marclee37why it is named ultrabook?

    They had to call it something, essentially another formfactor where the SSD,RAM and other parts are all built in instead of modular, allows a much thinner and lighter machine.
    ...
    No one had a problem with Netbook as a term and everyone knows the difference between one of those and a normal Notebook
    ...
    Why is it so difficult for people to grasp, maybe they should just not used the word "ultra" because unless it has the same power as an Alienware gaming machine people just don't think "ultra" means anything
  • 1 Hide
    del35 , July 19, 2012 3:48 PM
    No ultrabook for me. Thanks but no thanks. I want power substance and expandability. Have I ruled out icrap in the previous sentance?
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , July 19, 2012 4:53 PM
    When thunderbolt gets to the point where I can connect it to an external video card to power 3 monitors at home and take the same thing on the road, I'll get one immediately.
  • 1 Hide
    gm0n3y , July 19, 2012 5:52 PM
    I may be in the minority here, but I'm actually thinking about getting an ultrabook in the next year. I already have a decent gaming rig and I don't currently own a laptop. I only need a laptop for light use around the house or around town / vacation. I won't be gaming in any of those circumstances so I don't need anything more powerful than a decent ultrabook. And I'd like to keep it as small as possible.

    I think the main problem is that the ultrabook / air are luxury items. To me there are 3 main categories of users. The first (and by far the largest) are average users (your mom, neighbor, etc) that want something that functions and is cheap. The second are enthusiasts (people like us) who want the best performance (and performance/$). The third are techie-hipsters (i.e. apple users) that want the shiniest product regardless of price / performance. None of those people will buy an ultrabook. The only people that will buy one are the crossover enthusiasts/techies that like shiny things and don't mind spending money to get them.
  • 1 Hide
    dfusco , July 19, 2012 6:16 PM
    back_by_demandWhatever dude, feel free to not buy one, but don't be such a poisonous tw@t to the people who are looking forward to it...Desktop software has been on 10" netbooks for years and we never had this level of hatred, the fact it can do the job of a laptop and a tablet is totally beyond some people - you stick with your even heavier laptop, i'm sure it will suit you well


    Right and Netbooks have been such a success. Oh wait, It's a netbook with a crappy keyboard. That should go over well.
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , July 19, 2012 6:39 PM
    dfuscoRight and Netbooks have been such a success. Oh wait, It's a netbook with a crappy keyboard. That should go over well.

    Are you really that ignorant? I guess so.
    30 to 40 million units a year they were shifting until the iPad came out and then sales started going down. Microsoft is giving people the tablet fix they want, backwards compatability with all their existing software and having a seamlessly detachable keyboard so the people that want to type on a real keyboard can do so
    ...
    I have never ever in my life seen a product that is designed to give so much extra to such a broad range of markets be so utterly misunderstood
    ...
    And all this can be traced back to a few poisonous fanboys who, if this was revealed by Apple, would be fapping themselves silly at how magical and revolutionary it was, but because it is Microsoft they just don't get it
    ...
    No doubt there will be a hackintosh and a linux version within days of release because the hardware itself is just too good to pass up, so that should keep them happy too, but the purist iPad fanboys are so obviously threatened that it is laughable at the lengths they are going to to piss all over the forums and mark down to infinity anyone that DARES to say that they like the look of this thing
  • 0 Hide
    dfusco , July 19, 2012 7:32 PM
    back_by_demandAre you really that ignorant? I guess so.30 to 40 million units a year they were shifting until the iPad came out and then sales started going down. Microsoft is giving people the tablet fix they want, backwards compatability with all their existing software and having a seamlessly detachable keyboard so the people that want to type on a real keyboard can do so...I have never ever in my life seen a product that is designed to give so much extra to such a broad range of markets be so utterly misunderstood...

    I understand that MS FAILED time and again to sell tablets. They decided that tablets had to be content creation devices because after all it HAD to run office! Along comes Apple and actually makes the tablet sell (and sell HUGE!) as a content consumption device.
    Now MS is back having watched Apple do what they could not and what do they decide? Yep, you got it, the tablet is a content creation device. Time to watch the epic fail...
  • 0 Hide
    robojin , July 19, 2012 10:18 PM
    the only reason why i like ultrabooks is because they look better in the eyes of a not so smart people, thus making the notebooks/normal laptops a lot cheaper.
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , July 19, 2012 10:41 PM
    dfusco
    back_by_demandAre you really that ignorant? I guess so.30 to 40 million units a year they were shifting until the iPad came out and then sales started going down. Microsoft is giving people the tablet fix they want, backwards compatability with all their existing software and having a seamlessly detachable keyboard so the people that want to type on a real keyboard can do so...I have never ever in my life seen a product that is designed to give so much extra to such a broad range of markets be so utterly misunderstood...I understand that MS FAILED time and again to sell tablets. They decided that tablets had to be content creation devices because after all it HAD to run office! Along comes Apple and actually makes the tablet sell (and sell HUGE!) as a content consumption device.Now MS is back having watched Apple do what they could not and what do they decide? Yep, you got it, the tablet is a content creation device. Time to watch the epic fail...

    Thing is, these new tablets are just as slick, and just as good for content consumption
    ...
    It's not just content creation that is the thing, it's all the methods of consumption that are appealing, like being able to watch my collection of .MKV movies without having to re-encode them, or FLAC audio, or any other kind of media that is unplayable on the iPad
    ...
    But let's assume I already own an iPad and all I want to do is watch movies or music that are in an Apple happy format, I should be happy, but if I then want to actually do some work I have to open my Macbook Air
    ...
    How much did those 2 devices cost and how much do they weigh together, more than a single Surface Pro on both counts, but all these details are academic, it doesn't matter that it is a good idea in principle because Microsoft did it and you all just hate Microsoft, but you have to concede that the design is outstanding and if this is only the first generation of Surface-Type devices then just imagine what is in store for us all when Apple copies the idea for the iPad 4
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , July 19, 2012 10:49 PM
    Oh, and just to make everyone extra happy

    http://forums.appleinsider.com/t/151179/steve-wozniak-on-microsoft-surface-steve-jobs-came-back-reincarnated-at-microsoft

    The Woz likes the Surface big time, from 2:20 onwards