Ultrathin notebooks to skyrocket in 2013, Gartner says
Research firm Gartner predicts the market for ultrathin notebook computers -- including the Ultrabook™ and the MacBook Air® -- will see a significant jump next year, reaching about 17 million units shipped, CNET reports.
Gartner analyst Mikako Kitagawa tells the news provider that Gartner expects approximately 10.7 million units to ship in 2012. That figure is likely to jump as the devices become more recognizable and users continue to shift to computers that offer greater portability without sacrificing functionality.
According to CNET, Kitagawa says the MacBook Air will represent a "big portion" of the ultrathin notebook market, though the analyst didn't specify what Apple's market share is likely to look like in 2013. Intel®, for its part, has said more than 100 Ultrabook models are currently in the works.
It is unclear whether Gartner's predictions also account for the ultrathin notebooks slated to be released by Intel's competitors. Both Qualcomm® and AMD have revealed plans to get in the ultrathin game, hoping to steal a piece of the market share from Intel and Apple®. In May, AMD announced its new family of A-Series accelerated processing units (APUs) designed for both traditional and ultrathin notebooks. Around the same time, Qualcomm's Tim McDonough revealed that his company is also looking to make a play in the market, noting that Qualcomm's experience in the mobile space could give it an edge over its competitors.
Regardless of competitors, several industry analysts have pointed to the significant potential of the Ultrabook and other ultrathin notebooks. Research firm IHS iSuppli, for example, predicts the Ultrabook will account for 13 percent of notebook sales in 2012, before jumping to nearly 40 percent in 2014.