Ultrabooks will be overshadowed by the MacBook Air

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

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.

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