Ultrabook growth to outpace tablets, says report

Staff writer
telecomasia.net

Shipments of ultrabooks will grow at three times the rate of tablets over the next five years, a research firm predicted.

However, tablets volume will remain higher, with 253 million shipped in 2016, compared with 178 million ultrabooks, Juniper Research also said.

Juniper Research reported that while vendors have quickly responded to Apple's launch of the iPad with an array of competing products, the industry has been slow to respond to 2008’s Macbook Air, as leading vendors only launched the first ultrabooks, a new category in mobile computing driven by the world's largest semiconductor manufacturer, Intel in late 2011.

“While Intel's control of the brand ensures that Ultrabooks stand out from traditional notebooks, vendors face a balancing act in terms of product strategy. Meeting Intel’s specification secures brand status and funding, but the step-change from notebooks means many of today's Ultrabooks are too expensive for many consumers,” said report author Daniel Ashdown.

Juniper Research also said flash-based storage provides superior performance, which comes at a price, but vendors will need to augment solid state drives with hard disk drives or cloud storage in the long term.

Windows 8 will play a pivotal role in driving Ultrabook adoption, with extended battery life, always-on-always-connected and other functionalities coming with Microsoft,s next OS, Juniper Research said.

Netbooks shipments will comprise just a third of today's volumes by 2016, as tablets and low-cost, but superior performance notebooks continue to cannibalize this short-lived segment, the research firm said.

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