Feeds

Ultrabooks: objects of desire but just too darn expensive

Priced to stay on shelves?

Boost IT visibility and business value

Here's a snippet of market data of interest to folk keeping tabs on the Ultrabook market. In the UK, during the past four years, laptops costing £800 or more have never taken more than 7.5 per cent of notebook sales as a whole.

That's no great surprise, perhaps - you'd expect cheaper laptops to outsell pricey ones. But it is a problem for Intel, which wants World+Dog to ditch their old, thick notebooks in favour of new, skinny Ultrabooks that cost more than £800.

According to GfK, a market watcher which tracks sales of this kind of kit, Ultrabooks and other such machines - Apple's MacBook Air most notably, but it's not the only non-Ultrabook ultra-slim laptop out there - are experiencing positive growth.

But, says GfK analyst Manish Goenka, their sales haven't yet expanded sufficiently to turn around the broader decline in the £800-plus notebook segment.

That section of the notebook market has only experienced positive growth in January 2011 and, later, in December 2011, and it has been rapidly declining since then. The rate of decline is rising.

That doesn't bode well for Intel's hope that the Ultrabook will this season become a mainstream product. To that end, Intel is now demanding that Ultrabook makers - those of them who want to use its Ultrabook trademark, at least - build even more technology into their offerings, specifically its anti-theft and identity protection tech, plus either USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt.

All nice-to-have features to be sure, but adding more kit is not a strategy geared toward reducing the cost to the consumer.

Goenka notes that the notebook market as a whole is "struggling" to achieve positive growth. Ultrabooks may be being widely promoted by Intel, but persuading punters to upgrade to an £899 machine rather than a £499 notebook will be, as Goenka says, "a major challenge".

Will consumers make the move? Goenka is noncommittal: we'll have to wait and see, he says. While Ultrabooks are having a job pushing up notebook demand, tablet sales have been showing 200 per cent plus year-on-year growth for the last few months and there's no sign of that trend slowing.

Folk will want to take tablets on holiday with them this summer. Come the autumn, Windows 8 will launch, and that looks set to drive tablet demand further.

The arrival of Windows 8 will help Ultrabook sales too. But if they stay priced above £800, in the UK at least, buyers are more likely to eye tablets at half the price or less. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Top Gun display for your CAR: Heads-up fighter pilot tech
Sadly Navdy kit doesn't include Sidewinder missile to blast traffic
FEAST YOUR EYES: Samsung's Galaxy Alpha has an 'entirely new appearance'
Wow, it looks like nothing else on the market, for sure
iPhone 6 flip tip slips in Aussie's clip: Apple's 'reversible USB' leaks
New plug not compatible with official Type-C, according to fresh rumors
YES YES YES! Apple patents mousy, pressure-sensing iVibrator
Fanbois prepare to experience the great Cupertin-O
Apple takes blade to 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
Shaves price, not screen on mid-2014 model
TV transport tech, part 1: From server to sofa at the touch of a button
You won't believe how much goes into today's telly tech
NVIDIA claims first 64-bit ARMv8 SoC for Androids
Mile-High 'Denver' Tegra K1 successor said to rival PC performance
XBOX One will learn to play media from USB and DLNA sources
Hang on? Aren't those file formats you hardly ever see outside torrents?
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.