Ultrabook shipments in 2012 set to fall below expectations

Computer manufacturers may be launching new ultrabooks left and right, but it turns out that consumers may not be all that interested in them. IHS iSuppli has revised predictions from earlier this year, when the company said it expected 22 million ultrabooks to ship during 2012. Now ZDNet says that IHS has brought that prediction down to just 10.3 million shipments, which is pretty significant decrease.

IHS senior principal analyst for compute platforms Craig Stice says part of the reason for the hefty decline is that manufacturers are having a hard time getting people excited about ultrabooks, especially when smartphones and tablets are at the center of the public's attention. Price plays a role too, with some ultrabooks sporting price tags that are far more than the average consumer is willing to spend.

There are a few glimmers of hope for the ultrabook, though. It's important to remember that the holiday shopping season is right around the corner, which should bring in over half of the year's ultrabook sales. IHS also expects 44 million ultrabooks to be shipped in 2013, which is a far cry from this year's new prediction of 10.3 million, but still short of the company's previous 2013 prediction of 66 million shipments. IHS lowering its predictions for 2013 isn't exactly good, but 44 million is still a lot better than the expectations for this year.

Will ultrabooks receive a sales boost once Windows 8 arrives? That's hard to say. On the one hand, we would expect a boost in ultrabook sales simply because people are excited for Winodws 8, but on the other, those consumers could just as easily pick up a less expensive tablet running Windows 8 or Windows RT. It will certainly be interesting to see what happens with the ultrabook market in the coming months and throughout next year, so stay tuned.