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Intel Portables Businesses Hardware Technology

Why Ultrabooks Are Falling Well Short of Intel's Targets 513

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-leveraging-enough-synergies dept.
nk497 writes "When Paul Otellini announced Ultrabooks last year, he predicted they would grab 40% of the laptop market by this year. One analyst firm has said Ultrabooks will only make up 5% of the market this year, slashing its own sales predictions from 22m this year to 10.3m. However, IHS iSuppli said that Ultrabooks have a chance at success if manufacturers get prices down between $600 to $700 — a discount of as much as $400 on the average selling price of the devices — and they could still grab a third of the laptop market by 2016."
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Why Ultrabooks Are Falling Well Short of Intel's Targets

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  • by Bilestoad (60385) on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @07:59PM (#41532591)

    Funny that Apple sell so many retina MacBook Pros, MacBook Airs when they're the most expensive machines you can buy in those form factors. Could it be that a race to the bottom, cutting corners to reduce costs, ISN'T what people want? What happened with Netbooks again?

  • by AvitarX (172628) <me AT brandywinehundred DOT org> on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @08:05PM (#41532641) Journal

    I'd go as far as to say MacBook Air.

    If the price is the same, I'm going with the easy purchase, even if it's just to run Windows/Linux (though I suppose after-market Windows license messes the price some).

    They really need good screens though, as someone that wants to actually do work, I want higher res screens, I'm perfectly content to move my face closer to see the details, I want to read full pages in the height of a monitor, I really need at least 900px of height.

  • by MrEricSir (398214) on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @08:10PM (#41532679) Homepage

    only apple can massivly overprice there hardware and get away with it

    Great, so you can't read or spell. Thanks for adding such valuable insight to the discussion.

  • by Doctor_Jest (688315) on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @08:17PM (#41532737)
    I wouldn't say they "sell so many" MacBook Pros... Apple is, after all, about 12% of the market in PCs sold (and they have iMacs, Minis, etc.) They did enjoy a bump this year while everyone else declined... (not much of one, but a bump nonetheless.)

    http://techcrunch.com/2012/07/24/apple-reports-disappointing-mac-sales-despite-retina-macbook-release-4-million-units-sold-in-q3-2012/ [techcrunch.com]

    It seems everyone's facing a crunch. Apple's margins are so high, I doubt they notice. But, this brings up a question... why is the decline in their Mac lineup continuing when it peaked a few years back? I don't know the answer to that. As for netbooks... I like my netbook, but then again, I put Linux on it and upped the RAM (and got a nicer, larger battery)... it works like a champ. Microsoft really poisoned the netbook realm with their artificial restrictions on XP equipped netbooks (only 1 MB of RAM, etc.) I also think the "bandwangoneers" of netbook makers really just saturated the market. Before the netbook, companies were claiming you couldn't make a cheap laptop... Of course Larry Ellison (when he was trying to sell thin clients) famously quipped that there was no way a PC would break the $500 price point. :)

    Ultrabooks are a solution looking for a problem. The demographic who will pay that much for a laptop already bleed Apple grey. The rest of us think it's overpriced hype. :)
  • by Goaway (82658) on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @08:47PM (#41532939) Homepage

    It's what happens when marketing people want to say "MacBook Air clone".

  • by XaXXon (202882) <xaxxon@ g m ail.com> on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @08:53PM (#41532979) Homepage

    I don't understand how the crappy pc manufacturers still haven't learned that just because Apple can do it doesn't mean they can try and make a shitty copy and actually sell it.

    They've keep trying.. tablets that flop, ultrabooks that flop, all-in-ones that flop..

    Over and over they make shitty copies of apple products, price them the same, and then are bewildered when they don't sell.

  • by atlasdropperofworlds (888683) on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @08:56PM (#41533007)
    I'd say probably the Tablet. The MacBook air is typically considered an ultrabook, and they've been out for a long time. My understanding from talking to quite a few people is that they understand ultrabooks to be basically low-powered laptops for quite a bit more money, much like a more powerful netbook. I imagine those who really want to reduce weight that much just opt for a tablet. Laptops can be had that are more powerful and are reasonably light ( 6 or 7lbs) for a lot less money.
  • by atlasdropperofworlds (888683) on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @08:59PM (#41533043)
    VirtualBox, while I love the open source concept, isn't quite as generally stable as something like VMWare. Aside from that, what would be the point of having a OSX/Linux combo? Macports works well enough on OSX. Why not just save a bundle and get a standard laptop to put linux on if you don't need to run OSX software?
  • by Annorax (242484) * on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @09:11PM (#41533135) Homepage

    You are completely correct.

    PC manufacturers are in a constant race to the bottom. They don't value their products, so neither do consumers.

  • by fafaforza (248976) on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @09:11PM (#41533137)

    > sure its not as slim or as light

    Well, umm, there you go. Small and light costs money. This has been the case for the past 15 years with laptops.

  • by mjwx (966435) on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @09:21PM (#41533251)

    I'd go as far as to say MacBook Air.

    You'd be wrong.

    Mac's are still making less than 3% global sales. I'll get back to this in a moment, I would like to correct another error you made first.

    If the price is the same,

    They aren't.

    An Asus Zenbook Prime UX31A . [bhphotovideo.com] for US$1049
    A "so called" Retina Macbook Air 13" [bhphotovideo.com] for US$1139

    They both have the same processor, same amount of RAM, same GFX capability, same battery life (7h according to the manufacturer) et al.

    The difference is the "so called" Retina display is 1440x900 and the Zenbook has a 1920x1080, the Zenbook also has better speakers, and SD card port and standardised Micro HDMI ports.

    Now I'll get to why the Ultrabook (and Air) is not going gangbusters

    This is why. [bhphotovideo.com]

    Look at the power of web/email machines under US$500. This is all that most users need. Ultrabooks really aren't for the common users. Businesses don't buy Apple or even Asus, they buy from the likes of HP, Lenovo or Dell because when your ring up Apple and say, "I want 300 computers delivered per week for the next 5 weeks" they'll laugh at you, but when you ring Dell and ask the same question they ask which day you want them delivered. Ultrabooks are twice the price of decent laptops and seeing as they meet the needs of most users, most users will pick the cheaper option.

    I'm probably buying my mum a laptop soon, She just wants to use it for email, internet shopping and farmville so I sure as hell wont be buying a A$2000 Macbook for that. Her eyes aren't so good so "Retina(R)" displays are useless. I'll look for the lightest 15" 1366x768 screen available under A$600.

  • by Buminatrain (1737926) on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @09:34PM (#41533365)
    Yup let's see (you forgot the PC, Power PC processors)... G5 based Macs were discontinued in August of 2006, And Apple ceased supporting them with the release of Snow Leopard in August of 2009. But hey three years of life out of a multiple thousand dollar machine isn't bad!

    Let's also not even bring up the fact that OS X is nearing end of life, and who knows how Apple will handle it's successor. It also happens to be a bit of a clunker compared to many other modern *nix based OS's. Sure Aqua sitting on top of it gives you the impression of riding along in a Ferrari, until you pop the hood and see the small old diesel sitting in the engine compartment.

    But Hey a quick look at the "have useful lives longer" poster's profile reveals a pattern of pro-Apple, anti-MS, posts... including a rather extremely ignorant post about "anyone who has ever shopped at newegg.com", probably means that bringing up any sort of valid point that contradicts his own will probably be pointless.
  • by Nerdfest (867930) on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @09:39PM (#41533397)

    They are nice machine. I would have bought one if I instead on a competing 'ultrabook' if they weren't behaving like they wanted to show Microsoft and Oracle how Evil is *really* done. Giving money to Apple these days is funding the end of open computing.

  • by phantomfive (622387) on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @10:05PM (#41533569) Journal
    You are complaining about high-priced Apple hardware. Apple hardware used to be expensive 10 years ago, when it was still manufactured in the US. In those days, everyone complained about the high price.

    Nowadays, Apple hardware is competitively priced, and people complain that it is made in China, and they would be willing to pay an extra X% if it were built in the US. In general, these people are naive, "Buy Made USA" campaigns have been a failure since the 80s. It doesn't motivate people to buy.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @10:39PM (#41533825)

    Every ThinkPad X1 Carbon has an anti-glare IPS display with a native resoltion of 1600x900. But you know, it's missing the Apple logo on the top cover.

    It's also about 50% more expensive than a comparable Air, at least here in Australia, and that extends to upgrades like increasing RAM from 4 to 8GB or increasing the HDD size. I'd prefer not to buy Apple out of principle but after comparing the latest Zenbooks, the X1 Carbon and the Airs it's the Airs that seem to have the fewest compromises for a 11-13" machine.

  • by Type44Q (1233630) on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @11:51PM (#41534245)
    I wonder how many of the fanboys who modded me down have had to do a reflow on a Macbook logical board... :p
  • by ceoyoyo (59147) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @12:25AM (#41534475)

    There were lots of Windows machines sold right before Vista's launch that couldn't run it. But hey, three months life out of a computer isn't bad!

    Summary: you're cherry picking.

  • by rtfa-troll (1340807) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @03:11AM (#41535167)

    Uhh, Linux ALWAYS takes tweeking to get working 100%, regardless of how standardized your components are.

    Simply not true, but that's the impression people get. Whenever I have bought a system which was dedicated to Linux everything has worked great. If you bought a PC and then complained that the OS/X install was difficult people would think you were crazy. If you bought an Amiga and then complained that getting Windows 7 working was difficult they would laugh in your face. For some reason, however, people continue to recommend running Linux on hardware which wasn't set up for it. That's fine for yourself if you are a hobbyist. It's not fine if you are telling other people what to do. I think this is probably the thing which does the most damage to the reputation of Linux overall.

  • Re:Marketing (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kahlandad (1999936) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @05:16AM (#41535677)

    They would have fixed it completely with a hippopotamus break-dancing on Saturn.

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