Although currently viewed as prohibitively expensive, Ultrabook sales will explode in the next five years, making up 47% of annual notebook sales by just 2016, says business intelligence provider GBI Research.
According to the firm’s latest research*, 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%.
Ultrabooks (defined by thinner, lighter bodies and with a shorter boot-up time than typical notebooks) are expected to explode in popularity in the near future as cloud-based systems, such as Apple’s iCloud and Google’s Cloud Storage, become more prevalent and defy the need for a traditional hard drive.
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 $1050 last year to $510 by the end of 2016.
The Americas are currently the biggest consumer of Ultrabooks and are expected to purchase 1.55 million units this year alone, accounting for 42% of 2012’s global market.
However, GBI Research 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.