Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Notebook forecast to grow 8.8 percent in 2012; Ultrabook to play key role

TAIWAN: According to the survey conducted by DRAMeXchange, a research division of TrendForce, affected by the economy downturn, the Japan Earthquake and the Thailand Flood, the notebook industry sees a mere 1 percent YoY growth in 2011. However, Ultrabook and the launch of Windows 8 in 2012 are expected to spur an 8.8 percent YoY growth for the notebook industry in 2012.

Regular notebook is expected to grow by over 10 percent and its shipment volume is estimated to increase from 173.4 million in 2011 to 194.6 million in 2012. On the other hand, compromised by the rising popularity of tablet PC, netbook’s shipment volume is expected to fall from 22.4 million in 2011 to 18.6 million in 2012, representing a 17 percent decrease. Netbook’s weak performance placed a dent in the growth momentum of notebooks, and notebook’s YoY shipment growth rate has reached a plateau, declining from 20 percent over the past few years to 5-10 percent.Source: DRAMeXchange, Taiwan.

In light of the uncertain global economic outlook in 2012, PC-OEMs are seeking new opportunities. The Ultrabook concept, proposed by Intel at Computex 2011, was well-received by major brand vendors in hopes that Ultrabook can revive NB market demand. TrendForce believes that whether or not Ultrabook can become a big hit in 2012 is contingent upon its cost and price.Source: DRAMeXchange, Taiwan.

Ultrabook’s exterior design and performance remind people of CULV notebooks. However, Ultrabook adopts the superior ULV processor, which provide better performance and longer battery life, not to mention that Ultrabook’s instant on technology gives it an edge over the traditional NB. The only thing that holds the consumers back is Ultrabook’s costly price. The Ultrabooks’ prices launched in 2011 average over $1,000, much higher than the prices of NB ($550-650) and making it difficult for the Ultrabook to obtain large market share.

For that reason, Intel aims to lower the price of Ultrabook from $1,000 to $699 by 2H12. It is expected to help increase Ultrabook’s market share if Intel’s effort turns out successful. At present, the NB supply chain is striving to lower the cost. In terms of Ultrabook’s key components, CPU and chipset account for 25-30 of the total cost, SSD for 25 percent, LCD for 10-15 percent. Lowering the cost of key components will be the key to a higher market share for Ultrabook in 2012.Source: DRAMeXchange, Taiwan.

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