Ultrabooks set for immediate growth, study shows
Ultrabooks™ are just now starting to make their way to market, but analysts are already predicting big things for the ultra-thin, lightweight notebooks. Research firm IHS iSuppli, for example, projects Ultrabooks will account for 43 percent of notebook sales by 2015.
IHS principal analyst Matthew Wilkins notes that the Ultrabook couldn't have arrived soon enough. The unprecedented growth of the tablet computer has posed a challenge to the notebook market, cannibalizing sales and threatening to make the technology all-but obsolete.
"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," Wilkins says. "Enter the Ultrabook, which borrows some of the form-factor and user-interface advantages of the media tablet to enhance the allure of the venerable notebook."
Among the characteristics Ultrabooks are expected to borrow from tablets, IHS notes, are touchscreen displays and convertible form factors. The research firm also states that tablets will see initial success in the consumer market before moving into the enterprise.
While IHS' predictions are fairly lofty, they do not compare to those of Intel®, which expects Ultrabooks to account for 40 percent of consumer notebook sales in 2012. If the chipmaker is correct, this would be a monumental turnaround for the laptop market.