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Ultrabooks will rescue PC industry – beancounters

But only if prices fall below the $1,000 bracket

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Ultrabooks will give stagnating notebook sales and the wider PC components industry a shot in the arm, but only when prices are chopped, beancounter IHS iSuppli has warned.

Low-cost laptops no longer whet the appetite of tablet iPad-hungry consumers, but PC makers didn't realise this until it was too late and a mountain of products stacked up in the channel.

“With media tablets having already reversed the expansion of the previously fast-growing netbook platform, PC makers now are keenly aware that the notebook must evolve to maintain market growth and relevance," said iSuppli principal analyst Matthew Wilkins.

The abacus-stroker says Ultrabooks will make up just two per cent of global notebook shipments this year but by 2015 will comprise 43 per cent of volumes.

The hefty $1,000 price tag is like a noose round the neck of the ultrabook, strangling sales in the year to date.

But Intel and its PC chums currently working on a batch of products to be released this Christmas – though Acer and Asus have both debuted – need to find a way to shave cash off the asking price.

"If an attractive price point can be achieved and the consumer deems this a must-have product, the entire semiconductor manufacturing supply chain could rapidly reorient itself to serve the fast-growing Ultrabook market," said the analyst.

“Ultrabooks require a comprehensive bill of materials, so companies focused on memory, logic and power management all would participate in the revitalisation of demand," it added. ®

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