Acer bigwig sees gloomy future for Ultrabooks in Europe
These people just aren't ready to take a 13-incher
Acer has downgraded sales forecasts for Ultrabooks as the relatively hefty price tag and smaller screen size continues to limit adoption in Europe.
The PC maker had expected the super skinny platform to comprise between 25 and 35 per cent of total notebook sales globally by the end of this year.
The "price issue" is potentially the main sticking point for buyers, with the €900 to €1,100 price band accounting for roughly 0.4 per cent of the total available European market for laptop sales.
"As you imagine we cannot boost this to 30 per cent rapidly, we expect that by the end of this year Ultrabooks will be maybe 10 per cent of the market, maybe a bit more than 10 per cent," he said.
Gartner previously claimed PC vendors needed to hack about one-quarter from price before hard-pressed shoppers would be willing to cough for one.
Ahrens said another sticking point was the 13.3-inch form factor. "[This screen size] was never as popular in Europe as in Asia," he told The Channel. ®
it's the 'ultra' that's the problem for me
For ages I had a lovely little 11.6" Acer netbook-plus thingy, which I picked up for something in the region of £300. It wasn't massively powerful, or stupidly high resolution but seeing as the vast majority of what it got used for was light web browsing and heavy SSH - it was perfect for me. That died over the weekend and I was forced to buy a hefty great 15.6" machine because nobody makes super-netbooks which don't cost too many hundreds of pounds.
I don't care about slim, or power, or ssds, or resolution or any of the other apparently 'ultra' features - but I'd love a small(er) screened machine which is simply one or two steps up from an Atom.
problem is not the screen size
The problem is that none of the ultrabooks have a complete set of specs that justify the pricetag. The Asus is the only one with a decent resolution screen but it's let down by a poor touchpad and a screen with low contrast and limited viewing angles. All the rest have 768 pixels vertically which, on a laptop costing around £1000 is a joke.
The new Sony vaio Z is close to what ultrabooks should be (I know it's not technically an ultrabook) I almost bought one before I discovered that the if you want 8GB of RAM (should be standard in a machine of this cost) you have to get the 256GB SSD which costs an extra £400 over the 128GB model this at a time when you can buy a 256GB Samsung 830 for £150. The RAM is soldered onto the board so upgrading yourself isn't an option.
There is a market for these machines but the people that are prepared to pay £1000 for a laptop want one that is worth £1000 rather than a £500 laptop in a thin case.
Super-expensive laptops, clearly the way to lift notebook sales out of the doldrums during a GLOBAL RECESSION.
Apple sell a fair few macbook airs, but you can't extrapolate from that to the conclusion that an intel-branded equivalent is going to magically generate a whole new market segment to save the likes of Acer etc. You have to wonder about their market analysts at times, are they living in some kind of dreamworld?
Re: thus proving
Maybe the only thing being proved is that if you're the kind of person who is prepared to spunk a thousand quid or so on a teeny little computer which is worth nothing near that, you're possibly also the kind of person who buys Macs...
Re: thus proving
The user experience of a Windows machine is pretty dire though. You walk into a rather crummy store like PC World or Comet. Deal with some person who doesn't know shit about the product and then try to get sold insurance or something else you don't want.
Once you get the thing home you have all the activation to do, wonder how on earth to remove all the crapware or stickers that remove the paint from the casing.