Should PC Manufactures Abandon Tablets and Focus on Ultrabooks Instead?

Paul Lilly

Apple currently owns the tablet market. Diehard Windows fans know it, Amazon knows it, and anyone with a basic understand of numbers knows it. That doesn't mean the iPad 2 is the best tablet on the market, though it's certainly arguable. It just means that in terms of market share, Apple is to the tablet market as Microsoft is to the browser scene. Should PC manufactures concede defeat and move on to other form factors, like Intel's Ultrabook and AMD's ultra-whatever?

It's a good question and one that PC makers are currently struggling with. In speaking with sources from the upstream supply chain, DigiTimes reports that even though Acer and Asus have both launched quad-core tablet PCs with support for the latest Android system, they're not really paying a ton of attention to tablets, especially now that Amazon is in the game with a $199 Android slate of its own. There's a growing feeling of contentment by both Acer and Asus to let Amazon and Apple duke it out in the tablet space, while the PC makers return to their bread and butter category: notebooks.

The hot ticket subcategory right now is Ultrabooks, and while Asus and Acer are still interested in netbooks, they're mainly focused on promoting them in emerging markets, DigiTimes says. Dell has already decided to ditch the netbook market , and so will most big OEMs as everyone looks to Ultrabooks as the next big thing.

If you're interested in an obituary for non-Apple tablets, don't ask Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang to write it. Even though non-Apple tablets are expected to account for less than a third of the market by the end of 2011, Huang thinks 2012 will be a major turning point, one in which both Android and Windows-based tablets will grow significantly as compatibility between hardware and software platforms is better optimized. Huang does concede that Ultrabooks will cut into tablet sales, but ultimately the platforms are so different with their own advantages, both will thrive.

Image Credit: Asus

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