- ISIL creates all-female brigade to terrorize women into following Sharia law
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- Obama to Latin leaders: Help with border
- Military bans troops from Baptist church event honoring ‘God’s Rescue Squad’
- ‘Pocket drones’: U.S. Army developing tiny surveillance tools for the next big war
- Belgian cafe posts sign: Dogs allowed, but Jews stay out
- Gen. Dempsey: Pentagon studying Russian readiness plans not viewed ‘for 20 years’
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is ‘torture’
- House GOP ready to move border bill
- Bomb squad called after live WWII artillery washes on Cape Cod beach
Taiwan Computex to showcase laptop-tablet hybrids
Question of the Day
TAIPEI, TAIWAN (AP) - Taiwan’s struggling computer makers will use next week’s Computex show to promote a new generation of ultra-thin laptops that might be their last hope of turning back the seemingly unstoppable momentum of Apple’s iPad and other hot-selling tablets.
The brainchild of Intel Corp., the sleek laptop-tablet hybrid known as Ultrabook is 0.8 inches (20 mm) thick and features instant log on and ultra-sharp visual images.
Taipei’s Computex, the world’s second-largest computer show, will display more than a dozen 12- to 17-inch Ultrabook models powered by Intel’s new generation of “Ivy Bridge” processors, which were unveiled in April.
Ultrabook’s success is crucial for computer makers and others in the industry. World PC sales have stalled since Apple’s 2010 launch of the slickly designed iPad made personal computing and the Internet even more portable for consumers.
The onslaught of the iPad and a host of imitators has cut deeply into the revenues of Taiwan’s top two brands _ Acer and AsusTek Computer Inc.Acer has slipped to the world’s fourth largest PC vendor from No. 2 amid stalled sales, while AsusTek comes in fifth.
“All the companies are pinning their hope on Ultrabook, which in fact may be their last hope,” said Stephen Su, a market analyst at Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute.
“If the current market trend continues, tablet sales may exceed PC sales by 2016, and they hope Ultrabook can reverse the trend,” he said.
The “Ivy Bridge” processors use the 22-nanometer process technology that allows for more powerful and electricity-efficient computing devices than the typical tablet. It will employ Microsoft Corp.’s much ballyhooed Windows 8 software once that debuts later this year. Su said the Ultrabook’s success depends to a large extent on how well Windows 8 is received.
Using Intel chips and Windows software, Taiwanese makers produce more than 90 percent of the laptops sold in the world, for global brands including Apple, Hewlett-Packard and Dell. Almost all the units are assembled in China.
Acer, Taiwan’s largest computer vendor, predicts Ultrabook will account for up to 20 percent of its total PC shipments toward the final quarter this year. But its executives declined to make longer term forecasts, citing the market’s volatility and the sputtering global economy.
“Ultrabook sales are gaining momentum, and with the new Windows software, it will give users a touch screen experience that’s equal to or excels that of tablets currently in the market,” said Henry Wang of Acer.
According to research firm Gartner Inc., global PC shipments are expected to gain a lackluster 4.4 percent to 368 million machines in 2012, after shrinking 1.4 percent in 2011.
In contrast, tablet sales have soared. Shipments totaled 17.6 million in 2011, with iPads taking 85 percent and Samsung’s Galaxy 11 percent, according to Gartner. The research firm puts tablet sales forecast at 60 million in 2012 and 119 million in 2013.
As volumes rise, prices of Ultrabooks could fall from $1,000 to $800 in the second half to become a viable competitor to the light and ultracompact MacBook Air, analysts say. The Apple laptop now starts at $999.
TWT Video Picks
By Mark Davis
The nation founders, the Lone Star State thrives
- 'Pocket drones': U.S. Army developing tiny spies for the next big war
- Rahm Emanuel: Send illegal immigrant shelter kids to Chicago
- Washington Times strikes content and marketing partnership with Redskins
- CURL: Obama, staffers not even pretending any more
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- DCCC raising money on suggestion Obama impeachment is imminent
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- Tactical advantage: Russian military shows off impressive new gear
- Pentagon running out of time to find mass of missing weapons in Afghanistan
- DeSean Jackson working on offensive cohesiveness with Redskins teammates
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq