Ultrabooks will be overshadowed by the MacBook Air

Ultrabooks will be overshadowed by the MacBook Air

Summary: Lack of differentiation in ultrabook market could "overwhelm or confuse potential customers."

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First-generation Windows-based ultrabooks are not going to enjoy the same level of success as Apple's MacBook Air and will not become "meaningful enough" to push notebook PC growth until at least 2013, claims J. P. Morgan analyst Mike Moskowitz.

Moskowitz calls ultrabooks "just more of the same in PCs," and believes that the buyers will much prefer to spend money on Apple's MacBook Air.

"It seems that everyone wants to be like Apple," said Moskowitz. "All of this market emulation of Apple is ironic, in our view, given the initial scepticism that the MacBook Air received."

He went on to state that Intel might be overestimating the market for ultrabooks based on Apple's success with the MacBook Air.

"Given the MacBook Air’s success, this dynamic may be leading to Intel’s somewhat optimistic view of the Ultrabook adoption rate," he said.

Image credit: J. P. Morgan (click for larger image)

Moskowitz also believes that Intel's plan to have around 75 different ultrabooks in the market is a mistake because the lack of differentiation could "overwhelm or confuse potential customers."

Image credit: J. P. Morgan

I agree with this assessment. The problem with ultrabooks is that they're just a re-imagination of notebooks (like netbooks were).

Yes, they're thin and light, but that's essentially here it ends. They're Windows-based devices that do exactly what their fatter, heavier siblings are already capable of. That, combined with the mind-boggling number of models is likely to create fatigue among buyers as it becomes easier for them to choose from four different MacBook Air models than it is to spend hours going through various specs.

Another win for the agile Apple at the expense of lumbering PC OEMs.

Image source: J. P. Morgan.

Topics: Laptops, Apple, Hardware, Mobility

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62 comments
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  • RE: Ultrabooks will be overshadowed by the MacBook Air

    Apple sold 5.2 Macs in the last quarter. What's the breakdown? How well is the Mac book Air doing? HP shipped 15.1 million PC's in the same quarter, if HP, DELL, ASUS, Lenovo and all other PC vendors combined can't sell more Ultrabooks than Mac's then they shouldn't waste their time.
    rwalrond
    • RE: Ultrabooks will be overshadowed by the MacBook Air

      @rwalrond - Ultrabook, as a product category, is less than a year old and we're already seeing some OEM's releasing their 2nd generation devices.<br><br>I think that we'll see a dramatic shift later this year when Ultrabooks start to ship with their core guts(processor, memory, storage, etc) in the screen portion of the device and the keyboard, IO and a nice big battery sit in the "Base". Such devices' screens will then be detachable from the keyboard "Base" and could be used as a tablet. When you need to get some serious work done, you re-dock the screen and, hey-presto, you have a laptop again.<br><br>And, using Adrian's own logic:<br><br><i>The problem with the MacBook Air is is that they're just a re-imagination of MacBooks. Yes, theyre thin and light, but thats essentially here it ends. Theyre standard laptop devices that do exactly what their fatter, heavier siblings are already capable of.</i>
      bitcrazed
      • I like your vision

        @bitcrazed
        Doesn't Asus already have something very much like that but marketed as a tablet that can become a laptop as opposed to the other way around?
        use_what_works_4_U
      • RE: Ultrabooks will be overshadowed by the MacBook Air

        @bitcrazed <br>No. MBA is much more than a lighter, thinner, instant-on MBPro. You are skipping over the 'Air' part. What Apple has done, that the PC crowd has yet to do, is to tightly integrate the laptop with the cloud. It is this tight, seamless integration of the device, the OS, the Applications, the documents, music, movies - the entire user experience *with the cloud* that makes the MBA attractive. <br><br>Who would want a notebook with a tiny SSD that won't hold all your stuff, unless, you have seamless access over the Air. Apple has gone to great lengths to make this 'Air' paradigm a credible reality. And this is where UltraBooks are still pretty much a fail.
        z2217
  • Why? because it isn't windows?

    @owlnet... Facts are that Mac Owners get higher returns on their purchases. Upgrades in OSX are generally less than $50, Pages, Numbers, and Keynote are $20 a piece with great integration with iCloud and iOS devices, plus updates are at no cost. Great photo editing software like iPhoto comes standard, allowing people to enhance their photo's and make them pop to life better than ever. Ability to stream an iTunes library to Apple TV is also a breeze.

    I have only recently bought into the Apple platform, for fifteen years, I was Windows Only, and I am actually glad I made the switch, because instead of fighting with my PC's to get them to talk with each other, now my two Mac's do it with almost no effort. Getting Windows Media Center to talk with an Xbox was a pain. I am in my home, why do I need to run up and down stairs to plug in codes to get devices to talk to each other? With Apple Tv and any iOS device or Mac, I can instant push to which ever Apple TV I want with no effort.

    And many of the streaming features I wanted to make work, I had to end up using expensive third party software on Windows. Personally, I only keep a Windows Partition around to play games that haven't been ported to Mac.

    Windows is not home user friendly, and I am a Tech that supports primarily Windows devices in my job. So keep your loyalty to Windows if you wish, I won't hold it against you, but in my house, I am now all about Mac, and when I get off of work, I don't have to fight with a Windows PC to make it stream something, or get a file share to work, while windows figures out which PC should be the index PC for the network, or nagging me about some code to enter.
    Snooki_smoosh_smoosh
    • RE: Ultrabooks will be overshadowed by the MacBook Air

      @Snooki_smoosh_smoosh <br><br>Same here; I've gone all mac for 2 years now.
      Arm A. Geddon
    • RE: Ultrabooks will be overshadowed by the MacBook Air

      @Snooki_smoosh_smoosh I am calling this one!
      Windows 7's HomeGroups make sharing and Networking a Breeze!!
      jatbains
    • RE: Ultrabooks will be overshadowed by the MacBook Air

      @Snooki_smoosh_smoosh where do YOU get Keynote for $20???

      While I've not even checked on the prices for Pages and Numbers, the price I found for Keynote was not $20 but rather considerably higher. $90 in fact.

      So while you say a number of things in your post, at the beginning of your post, you've invalidated the rest of it by your silly proclamation.
      MasterE@...
    • RE: Ultrabooks will be overshadowed by the MacBook Air

      @MasterE
      As far as I know, Keynote is only sold separately for the iOS platform. The iTunes store lists it for $9.99. The entire iWork suite is $79, so if you break that down per product it is $26.33 per app in the suite. If anyone is actually selling Keynote for $90 on its own, then they are making bank.

      The downside is, of course that on the Mac you also have to buy Pages (which is really good for a lot of light word processing) and Numbers (which is not such a good product).
      use_what_works_4_U
    • RE: Ultrabooks will be overshadowed by the MacBook Air

      @Snooki_smoosh_smoosh

      Amen Brother - that's been my experience as well.
      itguy10
    • RE: Ultrabooks will be overshadowed by the MacBook Air

      @Snooki_smoosh_smoosh
      You must be talking about XP, but Windows 7 has HomeGroups. Sharing is spectacularly easy.
      x I'm tc
    • RE: Ultrabooks will be overshadowed by the MacBook Air

      @MasterE@... & @use_what_works_4_U

      Keynote for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch...

      http://www.apple.com/ipad/from-the-app-store/apps-by-apple/keynote.html

      Keynote for Mac for $19.99...

      http://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/keynote/id409183694?mt=12
      Arm A. Geddon
    • RE: Ultrabooks will be overshadowed by the MacBook Air

      @Snooki_smoosh_smoosh

      You lost me when you start talking about iTunes, iCloud and iOS devices. That is exactly the reason I won't buy apple products. And to your first statement about higher returns? You are completely lost or don't know what you are doing.
      heathman
    • RE: Ultrabooks will be overshadowed by the MacBook Air

      @Snooki_smoosh_smoosh
      Weird...I thought it was really simple to config my X360 to work with my Windows machines and to setup file sharing between my PC's too. I don't consider a couple of clicks here and there as effort..lol.

      As far as higher returns...my cousin bought a MBP because of what he wanted to do for 2K where I shelled out 1400 for an Alienware M11x and guess which machine has more power and still working like the day it came out of the box and has a better library of software to chose from, but then again you have the "higher returns"
      Those who hunt Trolls
    • RE: Ultrabooks will be overshadowed by the MacBook Air

      @Snooki_smoosh_smoosh

      While you are paying money for more Apple made software, I have a complete PC running on FREE software. There is more free software available for Windows than all of the Mac platform itself. I haven't had to pay for any software in years. Add to the fact that my Windows PC cost less for equivalent specs, I save a boatload of money for other uses.

      Thanks for buying all that Apple equipment- I am a shareholder. I will stick with Windows.
      mstrsfty
    • RE: Ultrabooks will be overshadowed by the MacBook Air

      @MasterE@...
      @use_what_works_4_U

      Keynote is on the Mac App Store for $19.99, the same price as Numbers and Pages.

      Nowhere can I find the iWorks suite for $90.
      msalzberg
    • RE: Ultrabooks will be overshadowed by the MacBook Air

      @Snooki_smoosh_smoosh I'm not sure what kind of a windows Tech support you are but certainly not someone I would look for if I had problems with my pc...not when you have to 'fight' to get file sharing working! I've been through lots of window s pc and it has always been a fairly straight forward process from win xp and up
      denfoo@...
    • Opinions differ

      @Snooki_smoosh_smoosh

      I have both and Win7 is better.
      Home sharing is a snap.
      My opinion.


      btw, I just replaced my HDD with an SSD on a Win7 machine....
      Real easy.....
      rhonin
    • RE: Ultrabooks will be overshadowed by the MacBook Air

      @Snooki_smoosh_smoosh <br>I have been primarily a Mac since 1984. Listening to folks extol the ease of configuring their PC system to setup a network, stream a video, etc. really amuses me. Configure? Doesn't it just work when you plug it in?<br><br>As for the fans of free software compared to something like Pages, that works on my Mac, my iPad, and my iPhone, syncs via iCloud for all up $30 ($20 for the Mac piece plus $10 for the iOS piece), I can only point out that you can get free chewing gum by scraping it up off the sidewalk, but who wants to?
      z2217
    • Keynote pricing and free software

      @everyone
      When i got home and ran the App Store on my Mac I found the $20 versions of the iWork software pieces. At work I just checked store.apple.com. Thanks for setting the record straight.

      As for free software - sure there's more of it for Windows, that doesn't make it better. Most of the software I run on both Windows and Mac is freeware or shareware. Sometimes they are great, sometimes they suck. Anyone who claims they can't find software for one platform or 'not enough' software for one platform just isn't trying very hard, or hasn't looked in the last decade. There are specialty software packages that only exist on one platform, but the vast majority of tasks for the vast majority of people can be performed on the platform of your choice, regardless of what that choice is.
      use_what_works_4_U