Acer's financial troubles are mounting, but its CEO insists that he knows what will return the company to profitability: ultrabooks
"Ultrabooks will become our key growth driver next year as customers want a lighter, thinner notebook with longer battery life," Acer CEO J.T. Wang told Dow Jones Newswires in an interview published yesterday. "Selling more ultrabooks will also help improve our profit margins as they command higher prices."
Don't run out and buy that new ultrabook or MacBook yet. Not until you look at the deets on Next-gen Intel mobile processors, which were just leaked.
Dubbed Ivy Bridge, these chips are due in the April-May time frame and pack Intel's first 3D transistors built on its world-leading 22-nanometer process technology.
By, let's say, the end of 2012 virtually all new MacBooks and ultrabooks will house Ivy Bridge processors. Not to mention the larger Windows (by then, let's hope that's Windows 8) mainstream and gaming laptop varieties.
A couple of model numbers of interest … Read more
Intel will step in to help smaller companies build ultrabooks, as the chipmaker continues its push to make the new supper-skinny laptop category a success, CNET has learned.
With the goal of getting smaller PC makers to supply branded ultrabooks, Intel will hold a meeting Wednesday in Taipei as a "matchmaker" between large device manufacturers--so-called ODMs or original design manufacturers--like Foxconn, Pegatron, Compal, and Quanta and smaller brands, according to an industry source familiar with Intel's plans.
Ultrabooks will become mainstream in the coming years, spurring the sputtering Windows platform, according to a Taipei-based report.
Speaking at a conference in Taipei, Acer Chairman J.T. Wang said specifications that define the emerging category of ultrabooks will become the "mainstream model for tablet PCs and notebooks in the next five years," according to a report from Taipei Times.
Wang added that the release of ultrabooks will stimulate a "stalled" Wintel (Windows-Intel) "framework."
He also said that the line between laptops and tablets will become less distinct. That comment matches up with the … Read more
In the wake of a report this week that Intel is giving PC makers a $100 subsidy on ultrabooks--which Intel promptly denied--I asked longtime chip guru Nathan Brookwood how Intel's co-marketing works.
Brookwood is the principal analyst at Insight 64. Before becoming an analyst, he held marketing management positions at companies such as Micronics, Intergraph, and Digital Equipment Corporation.
Q: How does Intel's Market Development Fund work? Brookwood: When they do these MDF programs, it's not a cash subsidy. It's usually done in the form of some cooperative advertising and other promotions. It's … Read more
Intel is not providing a $100 subsidy on ultrabooks, the company said today, contradicting an Asia-based report.
In that report, Taipei-based Digitimes asserted that Intel is offering a $100 subsidy for ultrabooks, which, in turn, will allow manufacturers to drop prices aggressively on the ultraslim laptops.
"There is no $100 subsidy for ultrabooks," Bill Calder, an Intel spokesman, told CNET. "The report from Digitimes was false," he said.
Intel does offer various marketing incentives as a normal course of business. An example of an Intel co-marketing campaign includes Intel Inside, where Intel provides some advertising dollars … Read more
Ultrabooks have arrived. Yet, for many, 2012 will be the first year they seriously consider buying one. If they're the future of laptops, then they have a long way to go before they become what people want in the present.
From one perspective, ultrabooks and the MacBook Air are the most exciting laptops to come around the pike in a long while. From another perspective, they're the sort of laptops that provide the least amount of computing value for the dollar, and are precisely the sort of fancy gadgets that cash-strapped holiday buyers will skip for better deals. After all, computers are commodity devices, right?
Well, yes and no. The iPad and the Kindle Fire have quickly shown that stylish, fun devices can quickly trump beefy specs, although in both cases they're relatively affordable buys. A friend of mine who recently e-mailed me summarizes the ultrabook situation perfectly:
"From my Luddite perspective, it's completely invigorated the laptop market for consumers just when everyone was beginning to crank out the same old 5-pound, 15.6-inch, DVD/Webcam, dual-core whatever machine."
He argued that the size and weight of these laptops are far more important than performance, gaining a family acceptance factor that trumps an ability, for instance, to play PC games with higher-end graphics.
I've had a hard time recommending ultrabooks for everyone, though. While they're getting awfully close to being the "laptop for everybody" that Apple's MacBook Air is currently gunning to be, a few key improvements still need to happen in 2012. As we look ahead to the Consumer Electronics Show, where new laptop announcements are a common occurrence (stunningly enough, CES is less than six weeks away), this is what I hope happens to make ultrabooks more relevant. … Read more
The latest report on ultrabooks from Asia is the typical mix of odd assertions, gossip, and a smattering of speculation that could be categorized as news.
Tuesday's Digitimes report says, "Acer, Asustek Computer and Toshiba are expected to lower retail prices for ultrabooks to below US$1,000 by the end of 2011."
Let's see, we're well before the end of 2011 and already we have three ultrabooks priced under $1,000. The HP Folio 13 starts at $899, ditto for the Toshiba Portege Z835 (Model: Z835-P330--which was priced briefly at $799), and the Acer Aspire S3 (… Read more
Apple is likely to outshine Hewlett-Packard as the world's top PC maker before the second half of next year, says research firm Canalys, but it'll need some help from the iPad 3.
Currently the world's second-leading PC vendor, Apple has seen its share of the market jump to 15 percent from 9 percent over just the past year. That growth is largely due to heavy demand for the iPad, which Canalys considers a personal computer.
But fourth-quarter iPad shipments in the U.S. may take a hit from Amazon's Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble's … Read more