I guess it's because at the price the PC Ultrabooks are going for, I might as well spend the extra 10% and get the Mac. The PCs just aren't cheap enough.
Europeans don't want Ultrabooks - and their lack of interest in the platform will hit Intel's platform market share forecast where it hurts. So reckon Taiwanese notebook component makers, quoted by DigiTimes, some of who have suggested that far from accounting for 40 per cent of the notebook market, as Intel has predicted, …
Price is something that does appear to be an issue.
In most cases, I would say the PC price is roughly the same as the Apple price. When the former are significantly cheaper (and I’m talking over 10%), it’s models that haven’t shifted – for example, the ACER ASPIRE S3 first retailed for £900 (so fifty quid more than the entry level MacBook Air) and although some retailers are charging that much, it can be had for £300 less.
So far, just about every review I’ve read of ultrabooks – and I’ll add a disclaimer that I’ve hardly read *every* single review of *every* model– is that they have been niggles. These vary, but generally these are niggles (e.g. badly-designed keyboard) that aren’t found on Apple’s offerings. However, a lot of punters aren’t going to do a huge amount of research, so I suspect the allure of Apple is playing a big part.
The issue raised by manufacturers was that if Intel wanted ultrabooks under $ 1,000 then it would have to offer discount its processors and subsidise manufacturing marketing. There’s been a lot written about this – e.g. http://www.slashgear.com/ultrabook-oems-demand-intel-chip-price-cuts-marketing-subsidies-12171279/ The entry level MacBook retails for $999, so straight off the bat there looked like issues for rival companies undercutting Apple or even producing comparable competiting products for the same money.
Come down in price to such a degree that a 'good enough' one costs relatively peanuts, I can't see them making massive headway.*
The cheapness of notebooks/desktops, plus the fact you can have a decent sized screen and keyboard is still attractive to a lot of people.
*Ok granted, 20% share is probably nothing to be sniffed at, but I mean beyond that.
I don't want a monstrous 15" notebook.
I don't want a 10" Netbook with barely enough power to render web pages.
I don't want a 12" Ultra book in shiny mental and SSD drive which will set me back close to £1000.
I just want a bog standard cheap laptop with a smaller screen - it doesn't have to be wafer thin - in fact I would prefer if it wasn't. So if they can flog cheap 15" laptops in PC World, why aren't there any cheap 12" laptops on display (that are not under powered netbooks or hugely expensive Ultra-books) ??
I have a portable, because it's, well, portable. For email/surfing/presentations 12" is fine, it fits a docking station with a pair of 1680x1050 monitors on my desk if I need it to and doesn't pull my shoulder off when hanging about in an airport between flights. It's cheap enough that neither I nor my company will be too upset if it dies after a few hard years.
For the big jobs I have a home desktop with lots of slots for additional cards &disks, and no worries about power consumption.
£1000+ for a skinny and unnecessarily powerful system that can't make up its mind what it wants to be? Why?
"So if they can flog cheap 15" laptops in PC World, why aren't there any cheap 12" laptops on display (that are not under powered netbooks or hugely expensive Ultra-books) ??"
Because in laptop land people have traditionally paid more money for light and small devices.
Problem for Intel is that preconception disappeared when the market was flooded with netbooks. People could get a cheap and functional PC in a form factor which served as an excellent machine for holidays, travel etc. So now the value proposition is all screwed up. I can buy a netbook for £200 so what exactly is in an Ultrabook to justify nearly £700 worth of difference in price?
Okay so perhaps ultrathin batteries, SSDs and screens do add a premium but is it £700 of a difference? And even if it were, who can justify spending a premium to get it when an equivalent specced laptop albeit in a thicker form factor costs substantially less.
Dr Xym: "People could get a cheap and functional PC in a form factor which served as an excellent machine for holidays, travel etc."
Here's my take on small format portables - if I have a machine which is light, compact, and has good enough battery life for me to take it anywhere then I will. For me at least this means it also has to cheap enough that (assuming I've been sensible about keeping the important data safe) I'm not going to burst into tears when, as inevitably will happen, I drop it in a swimming pool, leave it on a bus, or it falls out of the tank bag of a motorcycle at 80 MPH or so. A Netbook at £~200 is just about in that bracket - an Ultrabook at £~1000 emphatically is not!
With roughly the same list of requirements, I found an HP DM1 in PC World for £350. Nice small and relatively light package, reasonable performance, decent but not huge screen, HDMI output for when a bigger screen is handy. Also decent battery life, too. And cheap enough that I won't lose too much sleep if it does have an unfortunate accident whilst I'm travelling, although none of my previous laptops have.
I think the thing with Ultrabooks is always going to be that Windows laptops aren't generally items of desire, they are working tools. And as such, getting one that is a little bigger and made of plastic, for 30% of the price of the skinny aluminium version, is always going to be an easy decision.
Performance is a lot better than I expected - on paper, it should be a bit better than an Atom, in reality it's a lot quicker, and very usable indeed with Windows 7 on, very nicely responsive. Definitely up there with the Acer 2930 running an Intel Core 2 Duo at >2GHz that it replaced.
For 11.6" long document at 133dpI, you need more than 1500 lines.
Widescreen makes 15" screens too poor on vertical. We need 4 x 3 or even square screens.
The obsession with video is really annoying. Besides most cinema is actually NOT 16:9
To replace a 15.5" approx 1600 x 1200 ten year old 4:3 laptop you now need an 18" machine. Crazy.
Ultrabooks/macair/Ultrathin are a pointless luxury format.
What's not to like about a laptop with a 2-3x markup over a functionally equivalent conventional model simply because the case is a bit thinner?
I think that when manufacturers lower the margins and stop using materials like aluminium as an excuse to boost the price that they might just become a bit more popular.
People always say Apple kit is overpriced. But hey, see what happens when someone else - companies known for producing cheap kit - try to match them. They can't get them significantly enough cheaper than the Apple to make it worthwhile for non-Apple-haters to not choose the apple.
So is Apple's stuff really overpriced?
Guess what, when you come to sell the Apple laptop you get a really good price for it. Try that with a generic PC laptop.
When buying cars people talk about depreciation, well just like a desirable car (VW Golf, BMW 3 Series) depreciation is much less with an Apple laptop. That alone is worth paying the extra for IMHO.
Or buy your PC laptop (or Citroen C5) and get nothing for it when you come to sell.
"Guess what, when you come to sell the Apple laptop you get a really good price for it. Try that with a generic PC laptop."
Yes, but the Apple laptop cost a lot more to start off with. A lower depreciation on a higher priced item might still work out as a greater loss than the increased depreciation on a cheaper item i.e. Benz GL v Hyundai Santa Fe. The Benz may depreciate by a lower percentage but it's a fuck-load more expensive to start with.
Because Apple has been charging over the odds for it's stuff for years and due to it's current brand image, the other manufacturers want a slice of the pie and are trying to over charge for their stuff.
As Apple own and control OSX there are no other options to get that on a machine, other than hacking OSX on to a laptop or PC.
However the Ultrabook market faces an uphill struggle as the existing systems do basically the same job for a lot less money, so unless you want the fashion factor of the Ultrabook, they're overpriced!
People wouldn't have bought iPads at £1k a pop. That's a fact. Theya re not essential (not yet anyway) so have been priced accordlingly. If folk are interested in ultra books it will be because if helps them achieve something new, and that comes at a price which many precieve as being too expensive. I would like a portable device with a 15" screen (13.3 is too small for me) for my photography work. I don't need it to have the fastest processor, the most RAM, a 1tb harddrive or SSD for that matter, a wacky graphics chip etc. I just would like it to be well built, have moderate power (i3 is cool), good screen but not silly, of a decent weight (sub 2kg), look nice, come with good tech support and not cost the earth. I think these will sell like hotcakes. I suspect the market will pay more for portability and service but not double the price.
Some of the problems is that people have different requirements for PC's, which often overlap the silly group names.
I don't want a netbook, ultrabook, superbook or thebestestbook, I personally want a laptop, that is:
Powerful enough for: office, internet, watching video's, editing photos and occasionally editing video from snowboarding (games would be nice but I have a PS3).
Battery: I would like it to have 6hours of normal use, though I know it will be a bit heavier (if batteries were cheaper, they could come with a slim 3hr battery and stylish, but heavy 6/8hr one as I have on my work'slenovo T500)
Screensize: Large enough to use, all the grads get the manbag size 11 & 13inch and regret it after a while. I like to have a wide screen 15inch so I can have email and word open, or 2 excel docs, (or a video and firefox :) side by side for multi tasking and making life easier
I would like it to be stylish, sleek and not too heavy (when I think apple I think these, when I think PC, only Sony and some samsung come close, but then they are plasticy and break easy, all my perception of course).
But as said this is just me, I travel a lot in hotels most weeks, watch movies, use the internet, work with multiple docs, tools and screens.
The problem is the marketing, media and pigeon holing of machines. Really people prefer cheaper machines at the moment, possibly due to price or screensize.
Also if I am going to splash out, then might as well splash out on Apple as they make good stuff, that is nice to use, lasts and has good customer service, thus worth the higher price (which can be seen in the tablet and phone markets)
Not when you account unglamorous but very real depreciation factor. Just before Christmas I sold a 15" Macbook Pro from early 2006 for a shade over £400. Cost £1150 new (well, Apple refurb). So cost to me just under £11 a month (no repairs /replacements etc needed). Oh yes and I sold an iPhone 3GS (16GB) for about £200 in July which I'd had for nearly two years.
not to mention the fact that the next version of osx is unlikely to need x3 ram to run as we found in the xp to W7 jump.
Apple have taken the time to balance their configs and the MBA meets one of their market segments. Lack of A/V is probably one reason (just guessing) that the performance of OSX holds up.
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