Notebook Sales To Tank In Q1 2013, But Ultrabooks Could Save The Day

Notebook sales aren’t off to such a stellar start in 2013, but ultrabooks could spark a comeback later on this year, according to a new market report from IHS. Sales of notebook PCs are expected to hit 35.2 million shipments this in the first quarter of 2013, marking a 15 percent decrease from the 41.4 million figure seen in Q4 2012.

It’s not uncommon to see notebook shipments dip during the first quarter, but this year’s decrease is particularly noticeable.  

“Notebook ODMs in early 2013 are feeling the pain from the combined impacts of uncertain economic conditions and slower-than-expected sales of Ultrabook PCs,” Peter Lin, senior analyst at IHS said in a statement.

Even Taiwan’s top ranked ODM is projected to see a significant fall in early 2013. Quanta, a company that has worked with big-sellers such as Apple, Sony, and Lenovo, could see shipments dwindle by more than 10 percent in Q1 2013.  

Part of this sluggish trend in notebook sales could be attributed to the rising popularity of mobile devices, Lin continued to say.

“More importantly, smartphones and tablets have been outselling notebook computers, and demand for ultrabooks and other ultrathin PCs so far has not taken off as expected,” said Lin.

Still, these ultrabooks are expected to breathe life back into the portable PC market during the second half of 2013. IHS predicts that laptop-tablet hybrids, such as the assortment of Windows 8-based devices that feature detachable keyboards, will revive sales in mid-2013.

“However, an expected increase in demand for Ultrabooks and other ultrathins will help reignite notebook PC shipments from ODMs to their client OEMs in the second half,” said Lin.

Essentially, the term ultrabook describes thin and lightweight personal computers that manage to pack the same hardware specs of  larger, clunkier devices. Some may say that Apple’s MacBook Air popularized the genre, but these days it seems as if manufacturers are popping out sleeker and smaller laptops with each passing day. Some of our favorite Ultrabooks are Asus’ Zenbook Prime UX31A and Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Carbon

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Lisa Eadicicco
Lisa Eadicicco
Lisa has been reporting on all things mobile for Laptopmag.com since early 2013. When she’s not reviewing gadgets, she’s usually browsing patent databases or interviewing experts to track down the hottest tech trends before they even happen. Lisa holds a B.A. in Journalism from SUNY Purchase and has contributed to The International Business Times, The New York Daily News and Guitar World Magazine.
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  1. Namida12 Says:

    Price, Price, Price, when anyone can get a wonderful instant on $200 Chromebook, I believe ultrabooks are going to find it difficult to move inventory off retail the shelves above $400. I can not see many corporations wanting to put $1200, $1500 netbooks renamed ultranooks in many employees hands at this time or in the immediate future.

    The chromebook off business premise should be able to enter company networks and not leave much of their information on the computer hard drive, or if they need far more access add a Linux distro. Using the $1,500 ultra book price that allows 7 employees have on-line comany acess while outside their wired office instead of one employee.

    There are A few employees that need Microsoft office tools in a Laptop system, and ultrabooks provide that, but if management is alive and informed there are few emplyess that need the complex tools of a desktop/laptop outside the office, and it is far to dangerious to take corporate secrets outside the office, and use insecure networks.

    Many of these desired portable devices grow feet to often and walk away. Cost control is important to bottom line effecency, this pentration of the casual or enterprise acceptance of mobile computer wars comes down to fanboys in decision making positions.

    JR

    JR

  2. Jonathan Says:

    How to build an average laptop: Put in the worst LCD screen known to man, a terrible OS called Windows and an iWhatever Intel chip that is vastly overkill for most people. Geez, I wonder why they aren’t selling when the Wintel tax alone of that (guesstimated at $150) is enough to buy an iPad 2 class tablet in China.

    Ultrabooks at 2x the price? Furgetboutit.

  3. Hints Says:

    I won’t mind spending 2k for a new professional notebook if it had the right characteristics.

    1) No 16:9 1366×768 glare screens that would have been good 10 years ago. Apple is the only one left selling a 16:10 1680×1050 matte display like the one I bought in my pc 6 years ago (hp nc8430). It seems they sell well, who knows why… Hopefully somebody will start copying the 3:2 Pixel display.

    2) 8 GB RAM expandable at least to 16 GB

    3) At least an i5 CPU, better if it’s a i7

    4) max 14″/35 cm wide without a number pad

    5) A centered touchpad, best if it comes with 3 buttons (useful with Linux)

    6) 500 GB disk, upgradeable

    7) Not too hot, silent (<= 32 db)

    By the number of Macbooks I see around among web developers I think there is a market for this kind of hardware even if it's not cheap. I don't understand why pc manufacturers are leaving it all to Apple by insisting on subpar specs for a shrinking market of consumer notebooks that will be replaced by tablets in 1 to 2 years.

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