Ultrabook market tipped for take-off by 2016

Analyst house GBI Research claims fall in component prices should bolster long-term appeal of lighter laptops.

Ultrabook

GBI Research has become the latest IT market watcher to tip the Ultrabook market for take-off, despite its sluggish start.

The firm is predicts the popularity of Ultrabooks will soar over the next five years and, by 2016, will account for 47 per cent of notebook sales.

Its research suggests 1.3 million Ultrabooks were sold last year, but a decline in average selling prices should ensure annual sales of around 149 million units by 2016.

"The price reduction of microprocessors and flash memory, combined with an increase in production capacity for screens and casings will [result in] a sizeable drop in the average selling price of Ultrabooks, from $1050 last year to $510 by the end of 2016," said GBI Research in a statement.

Ultrabooks are presently most popular in the Americas, where consumers are expected to purchase 1.55 million units this year.

GBI expects the APAC region to become the biggest consumer of Ultrabooks by 2016, with projected sales of 55 million units, closely followed by the Americas (54 million) and EMEA (40 million).

GBI Research's findings are broadly in line with predictions made by analyst house Context last month, who claimed Ultrabooks sales could surpass those of notebook PCs by the middle of next year.

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