Apple continues to dominate the slim notebook market with the MacBook Air and now the MacBook Pro with Retina Display. However, shipments of Windows Ultrabooks haven’t yet hit the levels expected with Windows 8 yet-to-be shipped.
According to a DigiTimes report, Apple’s MacBook Air is set to take 39% of the slim notebook market in 2012, but will slip to 28% in 2013 as ultrabook sales rise.
DigiTimes claims its contacts in the laptop supply chain said that shipments of Apple’s MacBooks increased to 1.4-1.5 million units in September. It is estimated that another 1.5 million MacBooks will ship in October. A separate DigiTimes report claims Apple’s total notebook shipments are expected to reach 15 million units in 2012, and the shipment volume is expected to continue to grow by 15-20% in 2013.
While Apple is enjoying some success in this market, PC Ultrabooks are dragging down the category. Analyst firm IHS iSuppli has halved its expectations for Ultrabook sales in 2012 from 22 million shipments to 10.3 million – and it sees more than half of these shipping in the fourth quarter following the launch of Windows 8.
The news suggests that Intel’s prediction that Ultrabooks would grab 40% marketshare this year was off. There is some speculation that Intel’s predicted price fall in this category hasn’t materialised yet. Intel predicted that prices would fall to US$699.
2013 looks more positive for the Ultrabook industry with shipments picking up. However, while IHS sees shipments of 44m Ultrabooks next year, this is still down from its initial prediction of 61m.
During his keynote announcing the iPhone 5, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that Apple’s MacBook series was the number one in market share for the last three months.
Apple has plans afoot to keep the MacBook Air in a prominent position in the Ultrabook market, with the company said to be planning to make the MacBook even thinner.
DigiTimes claims Apple’s is hoping to shave 0.15 mm from the thickness of the light guide used in the keyboard of its laptops. It claims that the change will see a reduction from “0.4mm currently to 0.25mm”.