Report: Ultrabook sales are lower than expected

Given all the hype that's surrounded ultrabooks these past few months, I was a little surprised to run into this story at DigiTimes. According to it (or, at least, the unnamed channel sources quoted within), word is that Asus' and Acer's ultrabook shipments won't meet expectations for the year.

Shipments for the two companies were expected to total 200,000-300,000 units in 2011, but they may only reach 100,000, DigiTimes claims. The site attributes the lowered forecast to "unclear market demand" and the "relatively high prices" of the systems.

It's true that Asus didn't quite meet Intel's sub-$1,000 target with its first 13" ultrabook, which costs $1,099. That said, Asus also offers an 11.6" ultrabook with a $999 price tag, and Acer's 13" Aspire S3 can be nabbed for as little as $855.45. I wouldn't call that exorbitant—not when Apple's 13" MacBook Air retails for $1,299. Besides, the base Zenbook UX31 model is out of stock at both Amazon and Newegg right now; surely that means demand is outstripping supply.

In any case, DigiTimes' sources sound more hopeful about second-generation ultrabooks. Those will arrive next spring featuring Intel's 22-nm Ivy Bridge processors, and they'll reportedly make up 10% of the laptop market in the March-April 2012 time frame. The site adds that ultrabooks will "likely" grow to represent 20-30% of the laptop market at large by the end of 2012.

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