Move over tablets; here come the ultrabooks

New research shows that ultrabooks may make up half of all notebook sales by the year 2016.

New York-based GBI Research has released a study that found ultrabook sales will explode in the next five years, making up 47 per cent of annual notebook sales by 2016 despite the marketplace notion that ultrabooks are prohibitively expensive.

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Currently, 1.3 million ultrabooks were sold last year, but thanks to technological advances and a drop in component prices, this number is predicted to reach a massive 148.7 million by 2016, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 109 per cent, GBI research showed.

GBI, known as a business intelligence research provider, defined ultrabooks by its thinner, lighter bodies and with a shorter boot-up time than typical notebooks. Another factor for the popularity of ultrabooks is the rise of cloud-based systems, such as Apple’s iCloud and Google’s Cloud Storage. Both public clouds have become more prevalent and have shown users that they no longer require a traditional hard drive.

GBI also said that the price reduction of microprocessors and flash memory, combined with an increase in production capacity for screens and casings, will also see a sizeable drop in the average selling price of ultrabooks, from $1,050 last year to $510 by the end of 2016.

The Americas are currently the biggest consumer of ultrabooks, according to the study, and Canadians, Americans and Latin Americans are expected to purchase 1.55 million units this year alone, accounting for 42 per cent of 2012’s global market.

However, from their research GBI expects this to change over the next five years as the Asia-Pacific region is expected to become the biggest buyer of ultrabooks in 2016, with an estimated 55 million units.

The Americas are predicted to come second with 54 million unit sales, while Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) will come third with combined sales of around 40 million.

This report was built using data and information sourced from proprietary databases, primary and secondary research, and in-house analysis conducted by GBI Research’s team.

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