Skip to main content

Ultrabook shipments to rise over 10,000% by 2016, new report claims

What does the future hold for ultrabooks? It depends on who you ask.

GBI Research recently released a report that suggested ultrabook shipments could jump from about 1.3 million last year to 148.7 million by 2016.

The ultra-slim PCs will rise in popularity as more and more people sign on for cloud services like iCloud and Google Drive, which "defy the need for a traditional hard drive."

A drop in price for microprocessors and flash memory, combined with an increase in production capacity for screens and casings, will also help drop the price of the average ultrabook from $1,050 (£655) last year to $510 (£320) by the end of 2016.

North America made up 42 per cent of 2012's global ultrabook market, but GBI expects that to shift to the Asia-Pacific region in the next five years, dropping the Americas to second place in unit sales, while Europe, the Middle East, and Africa combined will place third.

Earlier this month, IHS iSuppli argued that ultrabooks are lacking in market support, estimating that PC makers will ship only about 10.3 million ultrabooks worldwide this year, down from the 22 million the firm predicted earlier this year.

"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," Craig Stice, senior principal analyst for computer platforms at IHS, said in a 1 October statement. "This is especially a problem amid all the hype surrounding media tablets and smartphones."

Still, it's not all doom and gloom for ultrabooks. The slim PCs just need to move past "nebulous marketing and unappealing price," according to IHS, which could help boost sales to 95 million by 2016.

Meanwhile, other reports indicate that ultrabooks will take over the slim notebook category, bumping Apple's MacBook Air out of the top spot - according to estimates from Taiwanese sources, the Apple product will slip from 39 to 28 per cent of 2013's slim notebook market, thanks to increasing sales of ultrabooks.