El Segundo, Calif. - Intel's ultrabook concept is catching
IHS iSuppli is projecting that 43 percent of all notebooks
shipping by 2015 will be based on the thin and light ultrabook concept.
Ultrabooks, which have just started hitting retail, are expected to comprise 2
percent of the category in 2011, 13 percent in 2012, and 28 percent in 2014.
Matthew Wilkins, IHS's computer platforms principal analyst,
said this level of growth and acceptance by consumers is necessary for the
laptop category to survive in the face of the onslaught of tablet PCs.
"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," he
said, "Enter the ultrabook, which borrows some of the form-factor and
user-interface advantages of the media tablet to enhance the allure of the
Ultrabooks, as defined by Intel, are light and thin with
fast boot and restart times that emulate the capabilities of a tablet PC. They
are pricier than notebooks, usually $799 and more, and feature solid-state
drives but not optical drives. The processor giant first introduced the concept
earlier this year at Computex in Taiwan and in a series of press events.
IHS is waiting to see if vendors can quickly bring down the
price, making ultrabooks more accessible to the masses. If this happens, said Len
Jelinek, semiconductor manufacturing research director and analyst at IHS, the processor
and flash-memory industries will experience a rapid change and expansion to
meet this demand.