Ultrabook shipments aren't exactly what Intel and its partner ecosystem might have hoped them to be by now, but it turns out some members of the supply chain don't have as much reason to worry.
Specifically, market intelligence firm IHS iSuppli reported on Thursday that the solid state drive industry, in particular, won't be threatened by lower-than-expected shipments -- at least not this year.
So far, 12.9 million SSD units shipped during the first half of 2012 with another 10.5 million in the third quarter. Analysts are predicting that number to jump to 17.5 million units in Q4 for a total of 28.0 million units shipped worldwide during the second half of 2012.
While these estimates are down from previous forecasts of 13 million and 20 million in Q3 and Q4 respectively, IHS asserted in its report that this is really only a slight decrease in the growth outlook.
Ryan Chien, an analyst covering memory and storage at IHS, explained the firm's outlook further in the report:
Intel Corp. has not matched its ambitious goals for ultrabooks with the marketing needed to propel the platforms as a desirable, affordable alternative to conventional notebooks and tablets. This has prompted IHS to lower its cache SSD shipment projection. However, pricing for SSDs has fallen well below the $1-per-gigabyte threshold, making their value proposition more attractive than ever. Because of this, SSDs are finding uses in other products, helping to compensate for the shortfall in ultrabooks.
Earlier this month, IHS projected that Ultrabook shipments will fall short for 2012. Previously, IHS analysts predicted that 22 million units of Ultrabooks would ship by the end of 2012. That forecast has now been revised down to just 10.3 million Ultrabooks shipped worldwide this year.
However, while the SSD market might not be derailed by the Ultrabook segment, the same might not be true for the hard disk drive industry.
While IHS announced in September that the flailing HDD industry is set to make a full recovery before the end of the year, one of the contributing factors is supposed to be a rise in Ultrabook shipments during Q4 2012.