Ultrabooks to make up nearly half of notebooks by 2015

Intel's new Ultrabook platform will account for nearly half of all notebook PCs shipped globally by 2015, according to a new forecastsfrom market analysts.

A report from IHS iSuppli predicts that in order to fend off competition from Apple's iPad 2 and Google Android tablets, more PC vendors will be turning to the ultra-slim portable computers.

In 2015, ultrabooks will make up 43 percent of all notebook PC shipments worldwide, up from two per cent in 2011 and 13 per cent in 2012.

Intel's Ultrabook platform, launched with the Asus ZenBook UX21 and UX31, sees the PC catching up with Apple's MacBook Air, utilising low-power, high-performance Intel chips and passive cooling to create ultra-slim and stylish portable computers - something that Matthew Wilkins of HIS indicates will be necessary to their continued survival.

"To compete with media tablets, notebook PCs must become sexier and more appealing to consumers," says Wilkins, adding that elements of the tablet's user interface such as touchscreen technology are likely to find their way into the laptop market too - particularly with the launch of the touchscreen-friendly Windows 8 and Intel's Ivy Bridge technology, expected early next year.