updated 05:25 am EDT, Mon October 31, 2011
ASUS and Acer not likely to meet 2011 sales target
Intel's new ultrabook category may be off to a shaky start on the market, according to Digitimes' sources. Both companies had forecast sales in the order of 200,000 to 300,000 by the end of the year. However, going by current sales figures, both are only on track to achieve around 100,000 sales each in 2011.
The shortfall in expected sales is reportedly due to the relatively high price of entry compared to similarly specified notebooks, which aren't quite as slim and which are made out of cheaper plastic materials. Ultrabooks, a category spawned by Intel, mark themselves by their MacBook Air-like proportions and aluminum design. However, their higher quality finishes and style has thus far failed to generate sufficient consumer interest to date.
To date, the cheapest ultrabooks have had difficulty undercutting the MacBook Air's pricing. At best, the cheapest are $100 to $200 cheaper than the Air equivalent or up $100 more expensive. The Acer Aspire S3 is currently shipping in the US starting from $899.
Manufacturers had complained to Intel that its component pricing did not leave them sufficient margin to undercut the hot-selling MacBook Air line. Despite the poor start, ultrabooks are expected to comprise up to 30 percent of the market when Ivy Bridge processors are joined by Windows 8 in late 2012.