Acer, the company that saw the iPad devour its Netbook market, is whistling past the graveyard again. This time, the Taiwan-based PC maker forecasts consumers will turn from tablets to Ultrabooks in 2012. Such talk could go into the same category of the Mayan calendar foreshadowing the end of the world.
Ultrabooks, a fledgling category of PCs pushed by Intel designed to compete with the $999 lightweight MacBook Air, will comprise 30 percent of global notebook sales by the end of 2012, according to Acer vice president Scott Lin. Tablets – dominated by the iPad – will be the netbooks’, er, Ultrabooks’, first victim, he tells industry publication DigiTimes.
According to Lin, when notebooks can offer the same features, “while still maintaining battery longevity, consumer’s purchasing behavior will reverse as consumers would rather choose a machine that can satisfy their demand for both entertainment and work, instead of carrying a tablet PC and notebook around,” the publication writes.
Hands up for everyone who carries both their iPad and MacBook around? Not many. The idea of tablets isn’t to replicate the functionality of notebooks, only in a slimmer footprint, but a recognition that consumers have two modes: work and play. Study and study finds people tend to use their iPad in the evening and weekends, times when we are off the clock. This notion that a personal computer needs to be all things to everyone is outdated. Hence, the reason PC makers are scrambling for a reason to exist.
As for Ultrabooks “achieving the same features, while maintaining battery longevity,” this might be a long wait for consumers, as well as Intel, Acer and others. Again, this is why consumers have a phone for communication, a tablet for games and a PC for work. Like everywhere else, this is the age of specialization.
What seals the deal on the DigiTimes article is its reference to a JPMorgan analyst note surmising a 25 percent fall-off in iPad orders is linked to less demand for tablets. A slew of analysts punched hole after hole in this theory..