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By 11 October 2012 | Categories: news

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After the hype associated with ultrabooks, sales have not been there to back it up. But 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.

This according to business intelligence provider GBI Research, with the firm’s latest research stating that although only 1.3 million ultrabooks were sold in 2011, 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%.

GBI Research believes ultrabooks (defined by thinner, lighter bodies, Intel processors and 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 (R9 200) last year to $510 (R4 500) 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 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.

For more on ultrabooks in South Africa, have a look at our round-up here

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