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IHS Isuppli slashes Intel 2012 ultrabook shipments forecast by 50 percent

$400m investment has yet to pay dividends
Tue Oct 02 2012, 13:06

CHIPMAKER Intel was dealt a blow in its ultrabook marketing efforts as industry watcher IHS Isuppli slashed its 2012 shipment forecast for the super slim and lightweight laptops.

Intel has put considerable marketing promotion behind ultrabooks and invested $400m in subsiding the use of high-quality displays and solid state storage drives, however the millions have simply failed to yield breakthrough products from any of the OEMs. Now IHS Isuppli has slashed its 2012 ultrabook shipment figures by over 50 percent to 10.3 million from 22 million, highlighting just how big a failure ultrabooks have been for Intel.

IHS Isuppli couldn't summon up anything positive to say about Intel's ultrabook efforts, saying the average $1,000 price tag on ultrabooks is "unappealing" and calling Intel's specifications for what makes an ultrabook too stringent. Effectively the firm is advising Intel and its partners to slash prices if they want to have any chance of competing against tablets and low-cost laptops.

Craig Stice, senior principal analyst for compute platforms at IHS Isuppli said, "There once was a time when everyone knew the 'Dude you're getting a Dell' slogan. Nowadays no one can remember a tag line for a new PC product, including for any single ultrabook.

"So far, the PC industry has failed to create the kind of buzz and excitement among consumers that is required to propel ultrabooks into the mainstream. This is especially a problem amid all the hype surrounding media tablets and smartphones.

"When combined with other factors, including prohibitively high pricing, this means that ultrabook sales will not meet expectations in 2012."

IHS Isuppli does see ultrabook shipments rising 300 percent in 2013, but only if prices are cut. Intel told The INQUIRER that had not given up on ultrabooks in 2012, nevertheless it is clear that the firm is pinning its hopes on future designs based around Haswell chips to recover its ultrabook investment. µ


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