updated 11:00 am EDT, Mon September 26, 2011
Acer and ASUS may be timid on ultrabook numbers
Acer and ASUS may both be relatively cautious about committing to ultrabooks, even for their size, part suppliers claimed Monday. Each would make about 200,000 of the MacBook Air alternatives in the fall, Digitimes said. The moves would supposedly been signs it was moving "aggressively" marketing the systems, which are already on sale in a handful of areas.
The shipment numbers are unlikely to be confirmed by either part but would be shipping in large numbers only relative to other Windows-based contributors. Separate leaks have hinted that most other ultrabook creators are shipping just 50,000 systems as a test of whether or not the market is interested.
Estimates in the meantime have had Apple shipping 1.5 million MacBook Air systems in the summer. Apple has been helped by its virtual invention of the category and by making the Air its new entry-level system, driving sales that would have otherwise gone to the discontinued plastic MacBook.
Although hesitation to commit to the category has been a factor, some of it has also been costs. Windows PC builders have been complaining that they can't go under $1,000 while meeting ultrabook requirements, such as faster low-voltage processors and very thin aluminum or fiberglass shells. Most of these firms have traditionally undercut Apple by using slower or lower-quality parts but haven't had the option of doing that so far in the ultrabook field.