updated 03:35 pm EDT, Mon October 1, 2012
Manufacturers said to have difficulty attracting interest
IHS iSuppli has revised down its prediction for ultrabook shipments for this year, and the analyst firm now believes PC manufacturers will ship 53 percent fewer units than it had previously estimated. ZDnet cites a new report from IHS that saw the firm's previous estimate reduced from 22 million ultrabooks shipped for 2012 to just 10.3 million. The revised estimate is said to be due in part to the continuing popularity of smartphones and tablets.
Reportedly, ultrabook manufacturers are having trouble positioning their products at a price point that can generate interest among consumers. IHS also says that the PC industry has not yet managed to build any sort of buzz around ultrabooks, especially when compared to consumer interest surrounding tablets and smartphones.
Actual shipments may surpass IHS' prediction, as the analyst firm expects more than half of all ultrabook shipments for the year to come during the holiday buying season. Still, manufacturers would have to move a sizable number of ultrabooks to make up the 12.3 million unit difference.
IHS still expects that ultrabook shipments will rise in 2013, forecasting 44 million units for the whole year. That figure, though, is down 17 million from IHS' previous estimate.
PC manufacturers have been confident that ultrabooks would help reverse declining sales over the next few years. Intel earlier this year reportedly aimed to ship 20 to 30 million units in 2012. At the beginning of this year, Taiwanese manufacturer Acer said that as much as 35 percent of its notebook lineup would be ultrabooks.
These lofty predictions appear to have been too optimistic in light of actual sales, though. Consumers, it seems, are opting for smartphones and tablets that are increasingly approaching PCs in terms of their overall capabilities. Those two device categories, some firms have estimated, are greatly outpacing overall growth in the consumer electronics sector, accounting for 30 percent of total electronics revenue.