updated 12:00 am EDT, Thu April 19, 2012
Intel's private goals for ultrabooks maybe leaked
Intel has set ambitious targets for the number of ultrabooks it hopes will sell this year, part suppliers understood late Wednesday. Supposed internal roadmap details passed on to Digitimes had between 20 million to 30 million ultrabooks shipping in 2012. That number would double or triple in 2013, according to the claims, as the supply chain would be truly ready for mainstream adoption, such as reinforced plastic to emulate the rigidity of metal without some of the cost.
As expected, next-wave ultrabooks would arrive after May as low-power Ivy Bridge-era processors arrived. Ultrabooks with touchscreens would still wait until the fall and Windows 8.
The shipments weren't broken down by the manufacturer. To date, category inventor Apple has also been its leader with the MacBook Air accounting for a significant part of its over five million Macs sold in the fall. Acer's Aspire S5, future ASUS Zenbooks, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Hybrid, and other second-generation ultrabooks should intensify competition, however, and help Intel reach a goal of having as many as 40 percent of notebooks fit the ultrabook category by 2013.
Early sluggish adoption has mostly been pinned on Windows PC builders not used to developing with the higher-end components that Apple used to define the ultrabook space, including aluminum, solid-state drives, and low-voltage Core i5 and i7 chips. The discovery of cheaper alternatives, such as fiberglass shells and hybrid SSD/rotating hard drive combos, has helped some of these competitors lower their prices at the expense of some quality and performance.