Tablets Grow, Ultrabooks Rise In Shadow of Apple
Jan 4, 2012
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Tablets continue to be the fastest growing segment of the mobile PC market, and industry watchers believe it will likely not suffer loss of market share with the growth of the Ultrabook configuration in 2012.

Ultrabooks are an emerging mobile PC segment, pioneered by the Apple Macbook Air and now getting an extra boost in the market from a $300 million initiative by Intel to develop Windows-based products. Intel owns the trade name "Ultrabook" and more than 30 of these computers will be exhibited at CES 2012 (Jan. 10-13, 2012) by HP, Toshiba, Dell, Asus, and other PC makers.

Intel has said it expects the Ultrabook segment will make up 40% of the consumer laptop market by the end of 2012. Others are less certain. Several industry watchers have claimed that the premium price tag will slow down adoption of non-Apple versions. Some industry watchers have questioned why Windows Ultrabooks could not be developed by the PC makers independently – that is, without the Intel investment – and what that says about the design of the non-Apple product on the market.

72.7 million tablets shipped in 2011 according to NPD DisplaySearch. Tablets accounted for 25.5% of mobile PC shipments in 2011, and the research firm expects year-on-year shipment growth rate for tablets in 2011 to reach 256%. The firm lowered its notebook PC shipment forecast to 187.5 million units for 2011, up 12% year-in-year. The previous forecast was for 188 million units. The firm expects mini-note PC shipments to be 25.2 million units, up 20% year-on-year. Overall mobile PC shipments are expected to reach 285.4 million units in 2011, up 31%. By 2017, notebook PC shipments are forecast to reach 432 million units, and tablet PC shipments to reach 383.3 million units.

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