Intel CEO Announces Incoming Flood of Touchscreen Ultrabooks, Still Expects Sales To Spike

Brad Chacos

The Ultrabooks are coming, the Ultrabooks are coming! Wait, aren't they already here? Sure they are, but during a recent quarterly earnings call, Intel CEO announced that a flood of new Ivy Bridge-packing ultraportable laptops is heading our way, and a big chunk of them are shipping with touchscreens -- just in time for the release of the touchscreen-friendly Windows 8.

According to eWeek , Paul Otellini said that Intel is keeping tabs on a whopping 140 Ivy Bridge-based Ultrabooks currently being designed by various OEMs. Of that number, 40 should ship with a touchscreen to make swiping charms as second-nature as pinching and zooming. Fudzilla says the company is also aware of 20 Windows 8 tablets being developed around the upcoming dual-core 32nm Atom "Clover Trail" chip. (Is that enough adjectives for you?)

Additionally, Otellini said that Ultrabook sales were on target with Intel's projections and he still expects the ultraportable notebook PCs to account for 40 percent of the overall laptop market by the end of the year. That seems a bit… optimistic.

While recent headlines ( our own included ) heralded an NPD report that said Ultrabooks were taking off wonderfully, actually digging into the numbers showed that Ultrabooks accounted for just 11 percent of all sales of $700-plus notebooks… and $700-plus notebooks only comprise 14 percent of the overall notebook market.  In fact, Acer -- a strong Ultrabook supporter -- recently downgraded its Ultrabook sales forecasts and its European head flat-out said that "Overall the Ultrabook segment is developing much slower than projected by Intel."

However, Otellini also said he expects sub-$700 Ultrabooks to start popping up later in the year, and by that, we mean $699 Ultrabooks. That's in line with a March prediction by Acer CEO Jianren Weng , in which he said he expects $500 Ultrabooks to start popping up by the 2013 CeBIT exhibition.

Would you be in the market for a touchscreen Ultrabook with Windows 8 looming?

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