Ultrabooks may not be up for the stellar start many were expecting, with two of the big manufacturers backing the format, Acer and Asus, expecting to ship (not sell) just 100,000 units of the posher version of the netbook each, compared to estimates of 200 to 300 thousand units.
Monica and Steve Shen from Digitimes say that the price appears to be the main factor behind the slow start for the Ultrabook, according to unnamed sources in the Taiwanese component channel.
The price of the Asustek Zenbook in Taiwan is still well above the $1000 that it sells for in the US, indicating a possible issue with component sourcing. The price of the Acer Aspire S3 is also significantly higher than the comparable MacBook Air, despite the fact that Acer uses a hybrid storage solution compared to Apple's 128 GB SSD.
The Digitimes' source claims that there's an "unclear market demand for new notebooks" but didn't pinpoint the exact cause of the collapse in demand.
It is estimated that ultrabooks may account for just 10 percent of the entire notebook market by April 2012 with that proportion potentially tripling by the end of 2012, far from Intel's public goal of reaching 40 per cent of the laptop consumer market by then.