Thursday, October 11th 2012

Disappointing Ultrabook Shipments Won't Derail SSD Market in 2012

Although the near-term prospects for ultrabooks have dimmed significantly, the solid state drives (SSDs) employed by these next-generation notebooks and other products are so diversified in their uses and so compelling in their value proposition that their growth outlook has decreased only slightly.

SSD shipments in the first half of this year amounted to 12.9 million units, according to the IHS iSuppli Memory & Storage Service at information and analytics provider IHS. Shipments reached 10.5 million in the third quarter and will rise to 17.5 million units in the fourth, amounting to a total of 28.0 million units in the second half—more than double the total shipped during the first six months of the year, as shown in the figure below. This is down from the previous forecast of 13.0 million in the third quarter and 20.0 million in the fourth.


The shipment numbers cover pure standalone SSDs—i.e., units with no hard disk drives (HDDs) associated with them—as well as when the drives are used with HDDs as separate cache SSD entities. These numbers cover all applications for SSDs, including the enterprise segment, ultrabooks and other so-called ultrathin computers.

"Intel Corp. has not matched its ambitious goals for ultrabooks with the marketing needed to propel the platforms as a desirable, affordable alternative to conventional notebooks and tablets," said Ryan Chien, analyst for memory and storage at IHS. "This has prompted IHS to lower its cache SSD shipment projection. However, pricing for SSDs has fallen well below the $1-per-gigabyte threshold, making their value proposition more attractive than ever. Because of this, SSDs are finding uses in other products, helping to compensate for the shortfall in ultrabooks."

Aggressive Long-term Outlook
IHS is maintaining an aggressive long-term outlook for SSDs due to NAND die shrinks, increasing utilization of TLC flash, and controllers with more advanced flash management techniques that are accelerating the cost curve.

The second quarter of the year closed with 7.1 million SSDs being shipped for $1.5 billion in revenue.

And although cache SSDs undershot expectations, traditional SSDs—including those for the enterprise market—with their higher prices helped make up the revenue slack. By the second half of this decade, SSDs will be a de facto standard in non-budget notebook and desktop PCs, thanks to a mixture of lower prices, consumer education and an optimized software ecosystem.

IHS projects the SSD industry will finish 2012 with $7.5 billion in revenue and 41.0 million in shipments, with compound annual growth rates of 35 percent and 69 percent, respectively.
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21 Comments on Disappointing Ultrabook Shipments Won't Derail SSD Market in 2012

#1
Deadlyraver
I'm somewhat surprised that in North America Ultrabooks have been barely acceptable in the industry. I like the responsiveness, efficiency, and of course how useful it is with the SSD. I bet that if Ultrabooks were to be more attractive hardware-wise, such as a future APU lineup, perhaps the popularity could lower the SSD prices further?
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#2
xBruce88x
Probably because of price, the fact that there really isn't much ultra to an ultra book aside from battery life, and the fact that you can just put an SSD in any modern computer. The last being why SSD sales wont be affected as much. Oh, and there's still the economy to consider.
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#3
Steevo
I need a lot of storage, I have purchased 1 ultrabook (Toshiba, to replace his macbook air) to date for a user, and while it is amazingly fast and sleek I can play games on my laptop, have more interfaces, 10 key, and currently use 200GB for just work. I paid around $500, and if I drop it and break it it will be replaced by another $500 laptop, which if I drop it and break it will be replaced by another new $500.00 laptop. I will have then spent around the same as his ultrabook, and still have 8X the storage, a blu-ray player, and enough USB ports to do my work.

My impression of ultrabooks is almost the same as Macbook air. If you feel you need it you probably have a job talking and writing a lot of e-mails without numbers in them, so more of a "feel-good" job, and more about "feelings" than sales or actual work. In short your probably are HR, PR or some other spin artist that I despise.
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#4
xBruce88x
that last paragraph made me lol
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#5
LAN_deRf_HA
Has anyone projected where these price drops will stop? I've been under the impression there's a point where they can't die shrink anymore because of the durability loss from shrinking. So there should be a bottom price limit.
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#6
mediasorcerer
Theres a lot of push to adopt touchscreen/tablet, perhaps that plays a part?
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#7
xBruce88x
makes sense... tablets can do pretty much everything most users that would buy a laptop would do... aside from a lot of typing... but there are blutooth keyboards and such for that. would also explain the decline in PC sales.
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#8
Mussels
Moderprator
ultrabooks are a flop. its an expensive item aimed at mainstream users - the exact kind of users who want cheap hardware.
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#9
hardcore_gamer
by: LAN_deRf_HA
Has anyone projected where these price drops will stop? I've been under the impression there's a point where they can't die shrink anymore because of the durability loss from shrinking. So there should be a bottom price limit.
You are right. Scalability of NAND flash is very low. But once it hits a wall, manufacturers can ramp up volume and reduce price since they don't have to upgrade their equipment anymore.
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#10
mediasorcerer
Wasnt acer making one with a dedicated gpu ? They are making them a bit too thin!!! Give me the same height at the front and back [instead of the axe blade ] and cram one good cpu, and one good m-gpu, and,,,a good screen. and im in, the right ingredients are out there.
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#11
micropage7
yeah actually ultrabook doesnt offer something new much and with high price i dont think many people would buy ultrabook and leave normal laptop
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#12
pr0n Inspector
by: Mussels
ultrabooks are a flop. its an expensive item aimed at mainstream users - the exact kind of users who want cheap hardware.
It's a flop because the name is super-diluted. Ultrabooks® could have secured a niche market had they stayed slim, light, clean-looking and long-lasting. But they didn't, because every manufacturer tried to push cheaply made garbage that are no better than "normal" laptop as Ultrabooks®.
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#13
Mussels
Moderprator
by: pr0n Inspector
It's a flop because the name is super-diluted. Ultrabooks® could have secured a niche market had they stayed slim, light, clean-looking and long-lasting. But they didn't, because every manufacturer tried to push cheaply made garbage that are no better than "normal" laptop as Ultrabooks®.
and the reason its diluted, is because it was contradictory.


light weight, high CPU powered laptops with extra battery life.

cheap.

pick one.
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#14
Fourstaff
by: Mussels
ultrabooks are a flop. its an expensive item aimed at mainstream users - the exact kind of users who want cheap hardware.
That's the problem, isn't it? Pushing a niche product to mainstream without a cheap price. They should take a look at how to market iPad, pretty useless but still widespread adoption.
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#15
Aleksander
I would never buy an ultrabook no matter how much money i have
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#16
Fourstaff
by: Aleksander Dishnica
I would never buy an ultrabook no matter how much money i have
I will rephrase that for you: I don't have a need for ultrabook so I will not buy them.

Wait till you have a need for it, and I would like to see you eat your words.
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#17
Steevo
Define need, like ;

I can't carry a laptop that weighs 1 more pound cause I'm a hipster weakling?
I can't fit a laptop in any normal laptop bag due to all my extra sweaters and earmuffs, two pairs of oversized headphones to get attention, glasses cases. That extra half inch of thickness is TOO much.
I can't fit my laptop in my carry on as I can't afford a bag once I buy this ultrabook, so I am only going to be able to take the ultrabook and no accessories, and it has no disk drive, so I will be forced to play minesweeper on the plane.
I can't be seen with anything but a ultrabook, it lets the opposite sex that I am trying to attract know that I am the materialistic asshole self-centered ego manic co-dependent they need.



Pick one.
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#18
Fourstaff
by: Steevo
Define need, like ;

I can't carry a laptop ...

Pick one.
When you travel heavily, you will come to appreciate the lighter weight, especially the powerbrick. Especially with the current airlines policy of baggage.
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#19
Steevo
I fly about 4+ times a year, so far this year I have flown to cali, Myrtle beach, Minnesota twice, and have a trip scheduled for December to Oregon.

You are allowed a carry on item, and one personal item like a laptop bag that will fit under the seat in front of you, mine does, and I know larger bags do. My phone fits in my pocket, and my big headphones are on already.

I call bullshit. Unless you plan on being on a plane at least once a month or more, and have flights that last longer than 8 hours each, and your only job is to send e-mails or watch movies on a ultrabook it is a waste. My phone will do 80% of what a ultrabook does and better.
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#20
Fourstaff
by: Steevo
I fly about 4+ times a year, so far this year I have flown to cali, Myrtle beach, Minnesota twice, and have a trip scheduled for December to Oregon.

You are allowed a carry on item, and one personal item like a laptop bag that will fit under the seat in front of you, mine does, and I know larger bags do. My phone fits in my pocket, and my big headphones are on already.

I call bullshit. Unless you plan on being on a plane at least once a month or more, and have flights that last longer than 8 hours each, and your only job is to send e-mails or watch movies on a ultrabook it is a waste. My phone will do 80% of what a ultrabook does and better.
Lucky you, budget airlines only allow one baggage (no laptop bag, no handbag etc). I fly almost every other month, and most of the time I wouldn't even bother bringing my laptop, but there are times I sorely wish I do. I don't have a smartphone (and very often no phones even), instead I rely on maps. Makes my trips more exciting (and cheaper). And then there is the issue of moving through the less than stellar public transport of London.

Basically ultrabooks only pay themselves off when you carry them everyday on top of other things. Very common (and amusing) to see people lugging their massive gaming laptops to uni's library, piss everyone off with the fans, and then within a month after uni starting you will almost never see any laptops other than small ones in library anymore. I call that relevant data, not sure if you accept them.
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#21
pr0n Inspector
by: Mussels
and the reason its diluted, is because it was contradictory.


light weight, high CPU powered laptops with extra battery life.

cheap.

pick one.
It's only contradictory to PC manufacturers' habit of racing to the bottom. They tried to market everything under the sun as Ultrabooks® instead of making actual Ultrabooks®. Intel obviously don't care as long as you are buying their chips.
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