2012 Ultrabook forecast slashed in half due to anemic sales

“One year ago, skinny, sleek ultrabooks were being hailed as the great savior of the struggling PC business. The white knight hasn’t arrived yet,” Julianne Pepitone reports for CNNMoney. “Ultrabook sales so far have sorely disappointed, and one research firm is slashing its 2012 forecast by more than half.”

“IHS iSuppli laid out a stark view of the field in a report it cheekily titled ‘Dude, You’re Not Getting an Ultrabook,'” Pepitone reports. “The research firm now expects about 10.3 million ultrabooks to ship worldwide in 2012. Earlier this year, its prediction was 22 million.”

Pepitone reports, “There are two key reasons for lackluster sales of the super-thin and super-fast notebooks, according to IHS iSuppli: ‘nebulous marketing and unappealing price.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Here’s a third reason: “Crappy, limited operating system.”

Only Apple’s strong-selling MacBook Air – the computer that all UltraBooks are modeled upon – can run all of the world’s software natively or via fast, seamless virtualization.

The fourth reason, and most important reason is, of course: iPad.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Joe Architect” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Apple’s iPad, MacBook Air kneecapping so-called ‘Ultrabooks’ – August 7, 2012
IDC analyst: Apple MacBook wins, Windows ultrabook fails – July 12, 2012
U.S. Windows PC shipments drop 7%, Apple Mac up 4.3% YOY – July 12, 2012
The PC market’s last, best hope: Apple MacBook Air wannabes – May 14, 2012
JP Morgan: Windows PC ‘ultrabooks’ just Apple MacBook Air wannabes – February 14, 2012
U.S. Windows PC shipments drop 6% in holiday quarter as Apple Macs surge 21% – January 11, 2012


  1. it is really amazing how therese “market research” companies hold any clout in the media after they are so constantly wrong with their forecasts most of the time. it is really unbelievable. imagine someone you know talks bs all the time yet you constantly turn to him for advise and his opinion. sounds insane in the real world, seems to be normal in the media chamber.

    1. you are right, it is insane.

      any negative apple articles gets page hits or headlines so the press sucks up these ‘analysts’ comments whenever they have anti apple news (“ultrabooks will destroy Macbook Air” ) so they survive regardless of how stupid they have been revealed to be over and over again.

      look at their new crazy ‘Windows tablets will overtake iPad in 2 years’ etc predictions .

    2. Ultabooks have been dead for more than two years. They were dying before the first ipad. The iPad just nailed the coffin.

      Ultrabooks were sort of cool – back in 2009.

  2. It seems that the “analysis” of most analysts and commentators consists of no analysis at all — and is merely a statement of their personal prejudices and what they WANT to be true.

  3. Let me understand the logic. Windows-based PCs have an inferior OS, sales drop, companies lose value. MDN acknowledges that this is the way things are supposed to work. Apple releases an inferior maps app, consumers complain, Apple loses value. MDN complains that people are overreacting.

    1. The apparent contradiction is probably due to the fact that MDN hasn’t had any problems with the new Maps app. I live in the SF Bay Area and it’s been my experience that the new Maps app is better than the Google based version. I think one’s experience with Maps varies greatly depending on location, but it’s quite possible that a very small (but very vocal) group is experiencing problems.

    2. Ah yes, because one app on a device (where there are many alternatives readily available) is equivalent to an actual operating system being riddled with problems and security vulnerabilities that go all the way to the core of its architecture.

      Nice try.

    3. There’s a big difference between an entire OS being inferior and one particular app being sub-par. If you don’t know the difference between and app and an OS, put your helmet on, the bunny slope is over that way —>

  4. Forth reason: the trackpad. PC makers simply cannot make great working trackpads. They just not work. If you once tried it on a PC after working with an MacBook you just laugh.

    Fifth reason: the keyboard.

    And it goes on and on.

    1. Really, they are still as bad as they were in the past? I’m amazed if so. I haven’t had the ugh, “pleasure” of trying out a newish non-Apple laptop for years now so I had no idea…

      That’s like having a car where the wheel doesn’t work properly.

      1. Yes they are garbage.

        On my dell at work it kills me that I can find no equivilent setting for natural scrolling.

        Even if the option was there the feel of performing gestures on the dell is a joke compared to my MacBook pro at home.

      2. I just got a Lenovo x220 for work and the track pad is awful, awful awful. Did I say awful. I should say horribly awful. The trackpad is so bad I travel with a mouse. The unusable area is 1.25″ high by 2.5″ wide (32mm x 64mm) ridiculously small compared to my MBA.

  5. But it all comes down to an MS craptastic OS & the upsurge in mobile computing (plus fewer truck drivers) whic is largely Apple domain. I predict Windows tablets will be the same “mighty” force (err, farce?) their phones have become.

  6. Ultrabooks are not in any problem, just ask apple how well it’s ultrabook is doing.
    The only one with the problem are the cheap copycats windows based makers.
    Remember that Macs also run windows, not that any body in their right mind would care to do that having the best computer OS (Mac OS) in the world already installed.

    1. I care, because Microsoft doesn’t and never will create a version of Visual Studio for OSX, and so I need Windows for asp.net web development for my job. I love having the ability to run Windows software natively, at full speed, without having to settle for inferior, uninspiring PC hardware to do it.

      I can’t imagine why anyone would buy a PC when a Mac can run all OSX and Windows software (including Windows itself) natively, while a PC can only run Windows software. Buying a PC is like buying half a computer.

  7. Here’s the thing: For many years now, at least for the last decade while Microsoft has been on the decline and Apple has been ascending, the “analysts” and tech pundits have very consistently been overly optimistic about Microsoft “coming back” and overly negative about Apple “faltering”. Wasn’t Vista going to kill Leopard? Remember how the Zune and later the Zune HD were going to kill the iPod/iPod Touch? Remember how PlaysForSure was going to be the death of iTunes? And now how Ultrabooks were going to challenge the MacBook Air and how Windows Phone 8 is going to overtake iOS?

    When will they learn? Are they just insane? Talk about living in a reality distortion field.

  8. To be honest, windows 7 is ok. To me it’s that the screens are dull, and the trackpads suck. They try to charge as much as a Mac, or like $100 cheaper…. I rather just pay the extra for a nice screen and trackpad

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