Ultrabooks and tablets to dominate CES says Canalys
Up to 50 ultrabook launches expected, tablet refreshes also to feature at show
Ultrabook and pad launches are likely to dominate this year's International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), according to Canalys.
The analyst company says up to 50 new ultrabook devices are expected to be announced at the show, which starts tomorrow in Las Vegas.
The Ultrabook specification, based on consumer ultra-low voltage processors from Intel, is hoped to provide a boost to sales in the notebook sector, with many vendors launching or ready to launch products in this category.
Tim Coulling, analyst with Canalys commented: "Ultrabooks show some much needed, and long overdue, innovation in the notebook market and will pose a new threat to premium pads," said Canalys Analyst Tim Coulling. "With increased battery life and portability, the continued development of the Ultrabook will bring some of the features that consumers love about pads to the notebook space."
Canalys expects to see a number of second generation tablet launches or tablet refresh announcements at CES, despite the fact that the vast majority of tablets announced last year either failed or were not launched at all. Focus for tablets is also likely to shift to interactivity, particularly in the home.
"The two leading pad vendors in the US market in Q4 2011, Apple and Amazon, won't be present, but we expect many refreshes of devices shown last year," said Coulling. "Pad sales are currently concentrated in mature markets, where many consumers will continue to add pads to their collections of electronics products in 2012. We expect to see plenty of demonstrations of how the pad can interact with other products, especially in the living room - the new pad battleground."
While smartphones continue to outstrip tablet sales, with shipments of smartphones hitting 772m from the start of 2010 to end of October 2011, versus 54m pad devices shipped in the same period, Canalys does not expect to see as many devices at CES, as vendors prefer to wait for the Mobile World Congress event next month.
Canalys believes that smartphone sales will encroach on basic and feature phone shipments in 2012, especially in growth markets such as Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, and more recently in Africa, as smartphones become more affordable. The company also expects to see a growth in cloud solutions to store and organize data held on mobile devices.
"There is an appetite for smart phones among the young connected populations in these potentially massive markets," said Canalys Principal Analyst Pete Cunningham. "Most vendors will wait until Mobile World Congress 2012 in February to reveal new smart phones; CES will therefore give some welcome attention and headlines to Microsoft and Nokia."
"Consumers want their content safe and backed-up, while being able to access it from any device - whatever the platform or operating system - and they want to be able to extend that access to selected other people as well," said Canalys Vice President and Principal Analyst Chris Jones. " At last year's CES, we saw the trend towards content distribution and content access across multiple screens - phone, pad, notebook/desktop, TV, car, etc. - start to build. We not only expect much more development in these areas at this year's show, but also an increase in multiple mobile and personal cloud solutions from traditional and new players to help consumers organize and secure their content."