Non-Mac Ultrabook Production Numbers Limited to 50,000 Units; Apple MacBook Air Makes Them Test the Waters

September 6, 2011, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Looks like non-Mac ultrabooks want to go on a wait-and-watch mode. The reduction of production numbers by companies of the likes of Acer, Lenovo and Toshiba points to a scenario where Apple’s MacBook Air poses a great threat.

We hear ultrabook devices such as the Acer Aspire S3, Lenovo IdeaPad U300s, and Toshiba Portege Z830 could see early production numbers hit sub-50,000 levels. Folks at DigiTimes feel that the move could be seen as the companies’ attempts to “test the waters” so as to know whether their devices would be competitive with the MacBook Air.

The cautious approach stems from bad experiences some of these companies had to go through last year. If you would remember, last year saw CULV (Consumer Ultra Low Voltage) notebooks arriving in the market, but they couldn’t do much in terms of sales.

Acer had brought forth their TimelineX CULV systems but failed to find a position between netbooks and full-size notebooks. Adding to the woes were aspects such as slow processors. Though the devices boasted larger screens and affordability in pricing, they didn’t go too far.

The lower number of production units is almost a confirmed strategy. The companies – Acer, Toshiba, Lenovo and Asus – will start shipping their new Ultrabook devices this month itself and will hit the retail market next month.

With that decided, the companies will now look at offering affordability in pricing and good technologies to lure customers. They wouldn’t want the CULV mistake to happen to them.

Meanwhile, in a bid to inject some amount of confidence to notebook brand partners, chip maker Intel plans to host an Ultrabook meet on September 14. The main agenda will be to resolve technology issues and convince more notebook makers to go in for Ultrabook manufacture.

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