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Analyst sees no threat from Ultrabooks until prices drop below $800

The MacBook Air expected to remain king of ultrathin notebooks at least for the next 12 months

New Ultrabooks are beginning to arrive left and right, but at least one analyst isn't seeing the new ultrathin notebooks making a significant dent in the ultrathin category traditionally dominated by Apple.

In general, we think Ultrabooks are highly-discretionary devices, and pricing on competitive offerings must fall below $800 before posing a viable threat to Apple’s MacBook Air,” said analyst Mark Moskowitz of J.P. Morgan in the Apple Insider report. Essentially, Moskowitz believes that the current price differences between Ultrabooks and the MacBook Air are not large enough for consumers to forgo the more expensive Apple notebook. For Ultrabooks to truly take off, they would have to drop below $800, Moskowitz predicts.

As a result, Moskowitz expects MacBook Air notebooks to sell healthily throughout 2012 with sales of about 1.6 million units for the next four quarters. The Air has been selling extremely well this year so far, with an 838.6 percent year-over-year growth and a 43.8 percent sequential growth, says Apple Insider.

Still, a handful of current Ultrabooks are already close to or even below the imposed $800 limit by Moskowitz. The HP Folio 13, for example, launched late last week for $899, as did the Toshiba Ultrabook last month for $699. We expect the price war trend to continue as even more Ultrabooks are lined up for CES 2012 this January.


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Allen Ngo, 2011-12-13 (Update: 2012-05-26)