back to article Ultrabooks will devour notebook biz by 2016 - report

All notebooks will look like Ultrabooks in five years' time as vendors find cheaper ways of offering the shiny Intel-based machines, according to a new report. The report's author also speculated that this move could force Apple to ditch its MacBook Air and look for a new form factor to invent. A new Juniper Research forecast …


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  1. Wibble

    Apple must be bricking themselves...

    Suddenly all manufacturers are going to be making lovely quality metal ultrabooks with high performance...

    What's that Skippy: you think they'll all be pig ugly plastic pieces of cheapo crap running Windos?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      i just think

      That a laptop with full functionality,

      dvd player lots of usb sockets and space for upgrades including replacement batteries is better than a more expensive cut down ultra book costing ultra prices.

      So it is a little heavier but we are talking grams not kgs.

  2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    The elephant in the room

    Is possibly the Asus Transformer. What if it grows a 12" brother? That or something like it would be an Ipad-Pro or MacPad or something with premium components and design at premium price.

    Sounds like Juniper trailing for the next report whenever Apple release an ARM-based device with keyboard.

  3. Jeff 11

    Why would Apple throw away an investment in engineering just because other manufacturers are copying the Air? They didn't change the form factor of the iPhone because Samsung et al copied aspects of the iPhone.

    It's more likely to be the other way around - other manufacturers will avoid designing Air clones because they're likely to be branded as cheap Apple knockoffs and face horrendous assaults of litigation like Samsung.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      in 1996

      I bought an ATI computer, win 95, 1 GB hard drive, mmx technology for...... £2000! A business purchase I might add.

      Compared to what I paid then anything Apple looks good value, anything Windows looks a bargain.

      I still think ultra books are overpriced though as they lack features I would expect for those prices.

  4. Quxy
    Thumb Up


    I've played with nearly every one of the Ultrabooks listed on Intel's site, and (to my disappointment) none of them comes close to matching the build quality or solid feel of the MacBook Air. I don't think that Apple's industrial design team is worried.

  5. Gordon 10

    In other news

    Some laptops will be getting thinner.

    Some thin laptops will be getting cheaper (and even nastier)

    Also the bog standard entry level laptop that sells the most will be completely unchanged.

    That is all.

    Remind me how you get paid for stating the bleeding obvious again?

    1. chr0m4t1c

      >Remind me how you get paid for stating the bleeding obvious again?

      1. Change your name to G10 Research.

      2. Stick this behind a paywall.

      3. Profit!

  6. Azzy

    To see how Apple will respond to a large number of competitors offering PC ultrabooks to compete with the Macbook Air, just look at what they did with the MacBook Pro to compete with laptops.

    They'll keep the form factor, and the premium price, and rely on their premium brand image,and the popularity of OS-X (ask most mac users why they use a mac, and that's what their answer boils down to). The MacBook Pro certainly seems to be pretty popular, despite there being oodles of much cheaper comparable PC laptops to choose from.

    And, on a different note - the death of the old style 1+ inch thick plastic-cased laptops can't come soon enough (literally - I already have 4 of the damned things!).

    I have an Air and an Asus Zenbook - The build quality on the Air definitely feels a bit better, but the Zenbook comes pretty close. I'm quite happy with my Zenbook so far.

    1. Wibble

      The premium price is for a premium product

      Compare like for like and Apple's products are very competitive and very often cheaper than their rivals. At this point I could go off to Sony and find an equivalent to the MacBook Air, but I'll pass as there won't be one made from a single piece of metal nor have I ever found Sony to beat Apple on price on a like-for-like basis.

      And Sony laptops feel like cheap tat in comparison.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        What rot

        Comparing "like for like", Apple notebooks are made from the same components as other major manufacturers'. The only "premium" thing about them is the brand.

        I've had a half-dozen Thinkpads (of both IBM and Lenovo branding), and they all functioned perfectly for years - not a single problem, despite being hauled about, dropped, and subjected to other indignities. In that time I've had to either repair myself, pay to have repaired, or replace about as many Apple laptops.

        Even my Dell laptops have done better than the Apples. (One Dell laptop eventually discarded due to malfunctioning keyboard; had the same problem with two Apple laptops.)

  7. fishman

    By then

    In a couple of years, all hard drives on laptops will be SSDs. Remove the CD/DVD drive, and there is no reason for "thick" laptops. So the "ultrabook" will be the new standard, because there will not be any reason to make them thick.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not likely

    While people do like shiny objects, aka "bling"... most are not willing to pay an excessive price for a POS laptop/netbook when they can have a quality Ultrathin laptop from AMD for hundreds less. Wait and see if AMD's Ultrathin doesn't kill the not so Ultra Ultrabook.

  9. Mark 65


    "All notebooks will look like Ultrabooks in five years' time"

    More like in five years' time all non/lower-performance notebooks will look like Ultrabooks. For those needing ports and power the form doesn't hold.

  10. Anonymous Coward


    Yes, I assume all laptops will morph into a tablet or ultrabook form factor at some point... or more likely a tablet with a keyboard, which none of these Wintel paid analysts seem to consider. "No, it has to be a Windows style PC... it just has to be"

    How about the "Apple doesn't compete on value" quote? What is this guy smoking? Apple is the only PC company that competes on value. Everyone laughed at Apple when they said they were going to make quality systems at a higher price. He means Apple doesn't compete on price with the plastic boxes of used pinball machines parts that HP, Dell and the rest of the swill merchants sell. Value does not equal price.

    The Windows OEMs cannot make an Apple quality PC because their margins are close to zero. If they tried to make an Air quality PC at Windows PC prices, they would lose $200 on each unit sold because of the Microsoft royalties. Now they could raise their prices, which they are trying to do with the absurdly priced ultrabooks, but that will not work because you can get just about the same user experience from a $400 laptop. You can just buy three $400 laptops, instead of a $1,400 ultrabook, so you will have some spares when the first and second Wintel machines inevitably break.

    1. Davidoff

      The Windows OEMs cannot make an Apple quality PC

      "The Windows OEMs cannot make an Apple quality PC because their margins are close to zero."

      That's complete nonsense. Of course they can, and some of them do. You pay as much as you'd have to pay for a comparable Mac but quality is available.

      "If they tried to make an Air quality PC at Windows PC prices, they would lose $200 on each unit sold because of the Microsoft royalties. "

      More nonsense. Big OEMs pay less than $30 per unit for a Windows license, usually just a fraction of that. Just because your local Best Buys charges you laughable $200 for a Windows copy doesn't mean world and dog has to pay the same.

    2. Wibble

      Nope ^ 2

      > "Yes, I assume all laptops will morph into a tablet or ultrabook form factor at some point."

      Including all the larger screen laptops; the higher-resolution laptops; the high-performance laptops; the large storage laptops.... Nah, I doubt it.

      The low end might morph into smaller, lighter, lower powered, lower resolution clones. But not *all* laptops by a very long shot.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reality Check

    Someone better keep making 200 quid laptops cause I'm really not going to spend 600+ quid on an ultrabook for my teen

  12. ge

    Apple is not a sitting duck

    They must be assuming that Apple won't improve their product or come up with something entirely different.

    It's not like Juniper saw the iPhone and iPad coming. Who knows what people will be stand in line for 3-4 years from now.

  13. 2metoo


    Having just read yet another vendor sponsored & steaming work of fiction by a.n.other research company recently how do I apply for a similar role?

    Researchers are never wrong (at least for those with short memories). They are just either ahead of or behind the curve. Occasionally they close the curve to form a circle and you find yourself back where they predicted you would be 10 years ago starting the same set of predictions again.

    Weren't we told all that laptops would be netbooks in 5 years time. That hasn't worked so now meet the netbook with more oomph (i.e. a small laptop). When the laptop hasn't been replaced by a tablet in 5 years time, researchers will say tablets are dead. What you now need is a tablet with a hinge, no touchscreen and a keyboard :-)

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