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Ultrabooks off to a shaky start?

updated 05:25 am EDT, Mon October 31, 2011

ASUS and Acer not likely to meet 2011 sales target

Intel's new ultrabook category may be off to a shaky start on the market, according to Digitimes' sources. Both companies had forecast sales in the order of 200,000 to 300,000 by the end of the year. However, going by current sales figures, both are only on track to achieve around 100,000 sales each in 2011.

The shortfall in expected sales is reportedly due to the relatively high price of entry compared to similarly specified notebooks, which aren't quite as slim and which are made out of cheaper plastic materials. Ultrabooks, a category spawned by Intel, mark themselves by their MacBook Air-like proportions and aluminum design. However, their higher quality finishes and style has thus far failed to generate sufficient consumer interest to date.

To date, the cheapest ultrabooks have had difficulty undercutting the MacBook Air's pricing. At best, the cheapest are $100 to $200 cheaper than the Air equivalent or up $100 more expensive. The Acer Aspire S3 is currently shipping in the US starting from $899.

Manufacturers had complained to Intel that its component pricing did not leave them sufficient margin to undercut the hot-selling MacBook Air line. Despite the poor start, ultrabooks are expected to comprise up to 30 percent of the market when Ivy Bridge processors are joined by Windows 8 in late 2012.

by MacNN Staff



  1. ruel24

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Who didn't see this coming?

    Seriously... For decades, the PC market has been a race to the bottom. When I can buy a cheap Core i5 15" notebook for $600, why would I bother with an Ultrabook? Then there was the whole el-cheapo netbook craze. These things look like Cartier versions of $300 netbooks. Why should the consumer pay $1000+ for them?

    They simply fail to see why Apple has succeeded in the premium market when they can't. It's not just sleek design and materials. It's an entire culture of buying products that aren't junk. It's the top rated customer service. It's the attention to detail in every corner of the entire ecosystem built around a product. It's the fact that Mac products are unique. Simply copying Apple's designs does not equal a winning product. These hardware companies simply don't know how to do anything but build hardware, cheaply. They don't understand the customer.

  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    PC is supposed to be half or 1/3 the price

    Fake handbags are 10% of the genuine article. Why should those knock-offs be any different. The need to leave Egypt.

  1. Eldernorm

    Joined: Dec 1969


    And just who says....

    "Despite the poor start, ultrabooks are expected to comprise up to 30 percent of the market when Ivy Bridge processors are joined by Windows 8 in late 2012."

    I love seeing these, always optimistic, forecasts. Its like .... well....... like....... like just plain BS. :-)


  1. SockRolid

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Bad news for Microsoft

    Back in '09 when netbooks were still popular, Ballmer mentioned that Microsoft wanted a *higher* average selling price for Windows computers. Cheap netbooks forced Microsoft to lower the Windows Tax attached to netbooks. And many netbooks ran Linux instead, to cut manufacturers' costs even further. Microsoft's revenues suffered during the netbook era.

    The Ultrabook initiative was going to give Microsoft what they wished for. Higher average selling price for PCs, which would help hide the Windows Tax. Oh well. They can continue to make their Office bloatware even slower, which will force corporate IT departments to buy faster, more expensive PCs. Mission accomplished.

  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Prozac overdose

    They will eventually be facing a stack of bills for Prozac.

  1. chippie

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The Real Problem Is These

    poorly run companies think that they can instantly match MBA sales figures. They need to stick by their products and give them time to develop a following. This current trend of dropping products in less than a year on the market only cultivates mistrust of the companies!!! They shoot themselves in the @$$.

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