The estimates of well-known analyst firm ABI Research are what may constitute a rather rude awakening for Intel, in regard to what the latter had foreseen for the market of ultraportable personal computers.
This year, 2012, was made up to be some great proving period for Ultrabooks, one that would see them rise from a niche market to underdog.
Alas, this has yet to happen, and if the estimates of ABI Research are true, which they usually are, it won't happen by year's end either.
The market watcher has released its latest study of the ultraportable personal computer market. The way things are now, the segment is on its way to account for 20% of the notebook segment.
This is half of the 40% that Intel looked forward to, and goes to show that ultrabooks continue to be underwhelming at best.
The fall of netbooks is not helping things. Consumers barely buy such things at this point, and the models that do ship end up in schools and such.
To add insult to injury, the most popular ultraportable today is not an Intel-powered ultrabook, but the Apple MacBook Air.
The launch of Windows 8 is the only thing that can reignite the life in this particular market, and even that won't be enough for a miracle.
Only in 2013 is the product type expected to reach a decent price-performance ratio. After that, the market should grow by a 53% by 2017.
“This market looks set to be further destabilized with the introduction of Windows 8 ultrabooks and Windows 8/RT-based tablets, continued incorporation of connectivity solutions, and the rapid service and hardware price declines associated with mobile broadband modems,” ABI Research states
Even if Intel's forecast of 40% belatedly comes true in 2013 or 2014, it may not matter, as many of the ultraportables could be ARM-powered by then and, thus, Intel will have fallen short of its goal anyway.