Notebook makers find themselves in a bit of a pickle regarding Intel's Ultrabook initiative. On one hand, lower prices are what will truly drive Ultrabook sales, which is something Intel recognized on Day 1 when it advised notebook makers to stay under a $1,000 ceiling. That's well and good for the consumer, but high manufacturing costs cut into profits when you start dipping below a grand. It might be another year before Ultrabook pricing starts to look truly enticing.
DigiTimes spoke with several sources in the notebook industry, and the general consensus is that the average selling price of Ultrabooks won't fall to $600 to $700 until 2013. That doesn't mean you won't see any lower priced Ultrabooks between now and then, especially ones that are marked on sale, but on average, consumers will end up paying more, is what they believe.
Solid state drives (SSDs) are a double-edged sword for Ultrabooks. They're faster than mechanical hard drives and are part of what makes an Ultrabook attractive (as a whole), but they're also around 10 times more expensive than traditional HDDs, notebook vendors say. Those ultra-thin panels, which are another staple of Intel's Ultrabook form factor, also drive up manufacturing costs.
While $600 and $700 Ultrabooks might not be the norm until 2013, notebook vendors says the ASP could drop to $800 in the second quarter of 2012.