Aaron Lee, Taipei; Joseph Tsai, DIGITIMES [Thursday 29 September 2011]
With notebook players such as Acer, Asustek Computer as well as Lenovo, Toshiba, Samsung Electronics and Hewlett-Packard (HP) all set launch ultrabooks in the near future, sources from PC players believe ultrabooks will start to have an impact on the tablet PC market.
Acer vice president Scott Lin pointed out that ultrabooks from notebook brand vendors will mostly be released in the fourth quarter and start mass shipping in early 2012; therefore, estimates for ultrabooks to account for 30% of the global consumer notebook shipments by the end of 2012 are reasonable and tablet PCs will be the first products to be impacted by ultrabooks.
Lin pointed out that tablet PCs are mainly emphasizing light and thin features as well as entertainment capabilities, and once notebooks are capable of achieving the same features, while still maintaining battery longevity, consumer's purchasing behavior will reverse as consumers would rather choose a machine that can satisfy their demand for both entertainment and work, instead of carrying a tablet PC and a notebook around.
Lin believes that consumers' purchasing focus will return to notebooks in 2012.
Sources from PC players also pointed out that although tablet PC shipments in 2011 are expected to reach 62.5 million units, with Apple reportedly to cut its iPad 2 orders, while HP and RIM had both suffered from unsatisfactory tablet PC sales, indications are that tablet PC shipment growth is already slowing down.
The sources also noted that tablet PCs are considered data consumption products, unlike PCs which are data creation products. Once consumers purchase a tablet PC, the chance for them to replace the device is rather low; meanwhile, desktops and notebooks need to be replaced after a while. Therefore, ultrabooks with Windows 8 are expected to strongly boost PC sales in the future.
In additional news, Acer announced its Ultrabook Aspire S3 on September 28 in Taiwan.