Apple is seemingly sucking all the air out of the PC market. Major players are weary of launching an entirely new product type even one with such draw as ultrabooks. Digitimes is reporting that the first round of ultrabook orders are fairly light as companies smartly predict that consumers are still enamored with Apple products.
The first round of ultrabook (read: MacBook Air clones) were announced by Acer, Lenovo and Toshiba last week at Germany’s IFA trade conference. These svelte notebooks are built around an entirely new platform developed by Intel, which if pushed onto consumer’s properly, could usher in a new golden age for the Windows PC. But OEMs are reportedly timid and expected to artificially limit the amount of Ultrabooks for the rest of the year.
The Digitimes report indicates that these companies expect to ship less than 50,000 units citing Apple’s current dominance over the space. This will of course limit the companys’ losses if the consumer market doesn’t latch onto the slightly more expensive but incredibly thin notebooks. You see, this isn’t the first time Intel has sold computer makers on the idea of thin notebooks. Intel’s previous ultraportable platform, the CULV, also produced ultra-thin notebooks, but also ultra-high prices. This time around though, prices are more in line with consumer expectations with many even first-gen models available for less than $1000 USD.
In a way the Ultrabook platform is the Windows PC last hope. They offer a brand new form factor with similar performance over the current bulky models. They offer all the portability of a MacBook Air but with Windows. If the Ultrabook movement fails, only Steve Jobs himself will be able to build the PC Windows notebook space back to what it was before Apple hit the big time.