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GBI Research expects to see 148.7 million ultrabook sales by 2016

Ultrabook sales ‘will explode in the next 5 years’

GBI Research has predicted that ultrabooks will make up 47 per cent of annual notebook sales by 2016.

Although currently viewed as prohibitively expensive, GBI said ultrabook sales will explode in the next five years.

According to the 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 per cent.

The Americas are currently the biggest consumer of ultrabooks and are expected to purchase 1.55 million units this year alone, accounting for 42 per cent of 2012’s global market.

“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,” said GBI.

“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.”

Although this sounds like good news for firms like Intel, who has put considerable marketing promotion behind ultrabooks, it contradicts a prediction made last week by IHS iSuppli.

After previously predicting that 22 million ultrabooks would ship by the end of 2012, the analysts recently cut this forecast by over 50 per cent.

iSuppli’s estimates for next year have fallen from 61 to 44 million units.

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