The Personal Computing has been undergoing a change in the last 4-5 years with the launch of new products like tablet PCs, smartphones and laptop hybrids. The slim form factors, touchscreens and availability of applications for various tasks have pushed consumers to adopt these products on a massive scale. The desktop PC market is thus on a decline due to this trend and MarketsandMarkets expects this to be more widespread in 2013 with the adoption of ultrathin laptops.
Ultrathin laptops have existed since 2006 with the launch of Apple Macbook and Macbook Air in the following years. However, the decision of Intel to fund and launch new products called ultrabooks with its partners like HP, Lenovo, and Acer etc has confirmed the declining profits in the desktop PC segment. Clearly, Intel which holds more than 80% share in the PC segment understands the paradigm shift and is willing to invest in the ultrathin laptops and tablet PC hybrids or convertibles to diversify its product portfolio. Its Ivybridge processors are being used currently in the ultrabooks.
The high ASP of around $900 for ultrabooks however is a major restraint for this nascent market segment and this has resulted in slow sales of its products. Marketsandmarkets expects this to change in 2013 with the launch of Haswell processors which more power efficient and will be hopefully subsidized by Intel as the processor is the second most costly component after the display in the ultrabooks. Tablet PC hybrids which can be used as a standalone tablet PC or can be attached with a keyboard are also being featured. Microsoft has launched its Surface tablet in October, 2012 which comes with a Magnesium alloy cover that also doubles as a keyboard.
Increasing use of dual core processors with increasing RAM in smartphones has made them powerful enough to do multi-tasking or even execute processors intensive applications like games. This has made them a very attractive proposition for the consumer who would like to make calls, edit presentations, watch movies or play games on the go. MarketsandMarkets expect the year 2013 to feature the rise of ultrabooks from Intel as well as other ultrathin and tablet PC hybrids to increase their market share significantly due to the availability of a form factor comfortable than a smartphone or standalone tablet PC at a low cost.
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