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By 7 December 2012 | Categories: news

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According to market analytics company ABI Research, higher than expected device prices, a sluggish global economy and the wait for Windows 8, have all contributed to low ultrabook sales during the first half of 2012.

However, following the release of Microsoft’s new desktop and tablet operating system, along with a host of enticing new ultrabook models, the market research firm expects shipments to increase to around 21 million devices by the end of this year.

The US is currently the biggest market for ultrabooks, snagging up half the world’s shipments. Western Europe and Asia-Pacific are the second and third largest ultrabook markets respectively.

Not corporate, but personal

Interestingly, the majority of ultrabook purchases are not the result of bulk buys by the big corporates, but individuals obtaining these devices for personal use.

According to ABI Research, this is not that surprising considering that the majority of ultrabook advertisements and marketing campaigns punt the style and convenience benefits (portability and added battery life) of this new notebook segment. The company projects a more equal split between consumer and business purchases of about 60% to 40% by 2017.

“One of the biggest factors hindering ultrabook sales has been the awaited launch of Windows 8,” said senior analyst Josh Flood. “However, with the launch of Windows 8, we may see a double whammy effect. A number of consumers have held off from computer purchases so they could purchase an ultrabook with Windows 8 during the year. Furthermore, with the abundance of new ultrabook model releases, older systems’ prices will reduce and this will entice purchases from the low to mid-range price segment.”

In related news, ABI Research also recently revealed that the African cellular market will move past the 80% cellular penetration milestone during Q1 2013.

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