Macbook Air - here come the clones

  • Posted: 03 September 2011 06:26 AM

    The Acer Aspire S3 ultrabook is very similar to the 13 inch Macbook.  As is Lenovo U300S and Toshiba Z830. Glass trackpads, all aluminium cases, no Intel stickers.

    Apparently they simply don’t have the quality feel of Macbook Air. But a couple of years back, who’d have predicted that the real killer weakness is that they run Microsoft Windows.

    It’s not just iPhone and iPad everyone is cloning. Just as Google pushed cellphone OEMs into cloning iPhone, with Ultrabook, Intel has pushed its OEMs into cloning Apple’s product. Does this mean that the ARM Mac and merged IOS/OS X are much closer than we think; a done deal 6-9 months ago as far as Intel is concerned?

    [ Edited: 03 September 2011 02:32 PM by sleepygeek ]      
  • Posted: 04 September 2011 01:05 AM #1

    I know this is a little bit of an aside, but Apple has the hottest, most popular products in every category they sell. 70% market share in iPods. 99% share in Ipod Touches. 20 some percent in smart phones and the iPhone outsells every other smartphone by a mile. In fact, the two year old iPhone 3GS outsells every other smartphone - save the iPhone 4. 90% (or more?) market share in tablets. And now the Mac (and specifically the MacBook Air) has reached 13% in the U.S. and just over 5% world wide.

    And this lineup is all about to be tied together with iCloud.

    I’ve always wondered whether there was a tipping point where, if the Mac could get sufficient market share, the tide might turn against Windows. I think we’re well past that tipping point, but it was the iPad, not the Mac, that made it happen.

    Windows still has an impressive and incredible 92% share worldwide. But let’s see how quickly that share starts to erode. My pet theory is that once the upcoming Windows 8 tablet fails, then everyone - including IT professionals - will see that Windows is stranded on notebooks and desktops and the flight from Windows will begin in earnest.

    Only time will tell for sure.

         
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    Posted: 04 September 2011 01:25 AM #2

    FalKirk - 04 September 2011 04:05 AM

    .

    Windows still has an impressive and incredible 92% share worldwide. But let’s see how quickly that share starts to erode. My pet theory is that once the upcoming Windows 8 tablet fails, then everyone - including IT professionals - will see that Windows is stranded on notebooks and desktops and the flight from Windows will begin in earnest.

    Only time will tell for sure.

    The corporate world will continue to be Windows.  There is just something about MS Office running on Windows that clicks and works great.  I have tried using both Mail and Outlook/Office for Mac and just doesn’t work all that well for corporate use.

    Btw, I have 3 macs, several iPod, iPad and iPhones, and Apple TV at home. So, if anything I am biased in favour of Apple.

         
  • Posted: 04 September 2011 02:05 AM #3

    Nevyn - 04 September 2011 04:25 AM

    The corporate world will continue to be Windows.  There is just something about MS Office running on Windows that clicks and works great.  I have tried using both Mail and Outlook/Office for Mac and just doesn’t work all that well for corporate use.

    I think you’re right and you’re wrong, Nevyn. Windows used to (and still does) have an IMPOSSIBLE to break lock on all computers, but business computers in particular. But two things are happening. The first is that the tablet is soon (sooner than people think) going to outnumber the notebook/desktop, even in business environments. The second is that Word, Excel, etc. will simply not run the same on tablets as they do on notebooks/desktops. Microsoft Office may continue to reign supreme on desktops for many years to come, but once their tablet version enter the market, they’re on an even footing with everyone else.

    Now Microsoft is desperate to see that this doesn’t happen. This is why they insist that tablets are simply another PC and this is why they insist on putting both a tablet specific and the traditional Windows OS on their upcoming tablet. I think their tablet is doomed to failure because Microsoft is continuing in their decade long mistake of thinking that people want a full desktop OS on their tablets. To be fair, this isn’t so much a mistake on Microsoft’s part as it is wishful thinking. Microsoft simply cannot afford to consider the possibility that their OS will only successfully run on notebooks and desktops. Accordingly, Microsoft is willfully ignoring any evidence to the contrary.

    We’ll know for sure one way or the other shortly after the Windows 8 Tablet makes it’s debut. But in the meantime, I expect to see the Mac’s market share trajectory rise faster and faster while Windows market share first stagnates and then begins to falter. I’m not suggesting that Windows is going to disappear or even that it’s going to lose it’s majority status. But once it’s hardware, software and psychological monopoly position is broken, expect to see a fairly dramatic decrease in Windows overall market share.

         
  • Posted: 04 September 2011 02:50 AM #4

    There is just something about MS Office running on Windows that clicks and works great.

    I recently switched to a Mac laptop (MBA) for the first time. I briefly considered running Windows on it, as well, but the MS Office suite (I’m a heavy user of Excel and PowerPoint) has been trouble free with only one exception, even though we pretty much use all Windows PCs at the office.

    The exception is Outlook, which runs okay but has a number of limitations and glitches that make it a less than faithful replica of the regular Windows version. Nevertheless, it does work sufficiently well that I never loaded Windows on the machine. Also, if I’m not mistaken, Outlook is first generation whereas the other Office programs have been refined over the last few years.

    By the way, the MBA is by far—BY FAR—the best laptop I have owned and the best overall computing experience I have had…and I don’t even have the latest version. (I bought mine a few months back.) I travel frequently and this machine has just been a joy to use—instant on, very light, long battery life, very rare crashing, awesome customer support, etc.—all things I didn’t get from Dell or other Windows-based PCs. I’m actually very surprised that its sales haven’t grown even faster than they have, but I suppose that the limiting factor is the perceived switching cost for current Windows users.

    Frankly I think most people don’t realize that the files created by MS Office for Mac are identical (or at least apparently identical) to those created using a regular Windows machine. For that matter, I think a lot of folks still don’t realize that you can actually buy Office for Mac.

    I can’t believe I used to like my Dell with its extra (heavy) battery slice…

         
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    Posted: 06 September 2011 06:27 PM #5

    Apple To Blame For The Initial Ultrabook Short Supply

    Apple (AAPL) is seemingly sucking all the air out of the PC market. Major players are weary [NB: I think they meant “leery”] of launching an entirely new product type even one with such draw as ultrabooks. Digitimes is reporting that the first round of ultrabook orders are fairly light as companies smartly predict that consumers are still enamored with Apple products.

    The first round of ultrabook (read: MacBook Air clones) were announced by Acer, Lenovo and Toshiba last week at Germany?s IFA trade conference…But OEMs are reportedly timid and expected to artificially limit the amount of Ultrabooks for the rest of the year.

    The Digitimes report indicates that these companies expect to ship less than 50,000 units citing Apple?s current dominance over the space.

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/291923-apple-to-blame-for-the-initial-ultrabook-short-supply?source=yahoo

         
  • Posted: 07 September 2011 12:07 PM #6

    Drew Bear - 06 September 2011 09:27 PM

    Apple To Blame For The Initial Ultrabook Short Supply

    Apple (AAPL) is seemingly sucking all the air out of the PC market. Major players are weary [NB: I think they meant “leery”] of launching an entirely new product type even one with such draw as ultrabooks. Digitimes is reporting that the first round of ultrabook orders are fairly light as companies smartly predict that consumers are still enamored with Apple products.

    The first round of ultrabook (read: MacBook Air clones) were announced by Acer, Lenovo and Toshiba last week at Germany?s IFA trade conference…But OEMs are reportedly timid and expected to artificially limit the amount of Ultrabooks for the rest of the year.

    The Digitimes report indicates that these companies expect to ship less than 50,000 units citing Apple?s current dominance over the space.

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/291923-apple-to-blame-for-the-initial-ultrabook-short-supply?source=yahoo

    What a change in attitude about Apple products. Bless you Jobs/Cook and Company.

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    You can’t do more, make more, be more, than the next guy, if you think like the next guy. Think different.

         
  • Posted: 07 September 2011 01:30 PM #7

    I believe that one of the reasons why corporate America is staying with MS is the cost of switching. Consider the fact that, for the most part, they’re paying almost minimum wages to their employees and their hardware is ancient (much of it still using DOS). It seems to work for them so why switch to something that’s going to cost them?

         
  • Posted: 07 September 2011 01:57 PM #8

    Agee - 07 September 2011 04:30 PM

    I believe that one of the reasons why corporate America is staying with MS is the cost of switching. Consider the fact that, for the most part, they’re paying almost minimum wages to their employees and their hardware is ancient (much of it still using DOS). It seems to work for them so why switch to something that’s going to cost them?

    Welcome Agee.

    You’re very right about switching costs. Windows works with most all the hardware and with most all the software in existence. Apple had virtually no chance of gaining penetration into a monopoly so thoroughly leveraged by the Network Effect.

    That is why Apple’s iPad strategy is so brilliant. They flanked Microsoft by creating an entirely new operating system that worked in the fastest growing market sector - mobile. Microsoft missed the boat because they desperately wanted to extend their existing monopoly operating system down into the mobile space.

    As for the future, Windows will continue to dominate the Enterprise so long as IT professionals ask the question: “Is it (hardware and software) compatible with Windows?” However, with the rapid growth of the importance of mobile devices, IT professional are now beginning to ask: “Is it compatible with our tablets and phones?” When that question is asked, Microsoft - and it’s Windows Operating System - is left out in the cold.

         
  • Posted: 29 September 2011 09:14 AM #9

    adamthompson3232 - 29 September 2011 06:56 AM

    http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20110928PD218.html

    With notebook players such as Acer, Asustek Computer as well as Lenovo, Toshiba, Samsung Electronics and Hewlett-Packard (HP) all set launch ultrabooks in the near future, sources from PC players believe ultrabooks will start to have an impact on the tablet PC market.

    Acer vice president Scott Lin pointed out that ultrabooks from notebook brand vendors will mostly be released in the fourth quarter and start mass shipping in early 2012

    Meanwhile, the MacBook Air has already been shipping for about a year and is on it’s second iteration.

    Lin pointed out that tablet PCs are mainly emphasizing light and thin features as well as entertainment capabilities, and once notebooks are capable of achieving the same features, while still maintaining battery longevity, consumer’s purchasing behavior will reverse as consumers would rather choose a machine that can satisfy their demand for both entertainment and work, instead of carrying a tablet PC and a notebook around.

    This is a willful misunderstanding of why consumers are buying tablets. Yes, light, thin and longer battery life are important, but the ability to readily carry and use tablets when standing or when moving from room to room and place to place is a fundamentally different experience from that of a notebook. Further, tablets can be used for work, just not the work that people use notebooks for. Finally,  the touch user interface is not something that customers are trying to escape from. On the contrary, it is one of the tablets’ primary draws.

    Lin believes that consumers’ purchasing focus will return to notebooks in 2012.

    Of course he doe,s since he makes notebooks and not tablets.

    Sources from PC players also pointed out that although tablet PC shipments in 2011 are expected to reach 62.5 million units, with Apple reportedly to cut its iPad 2 orders, while HP and RIM had both suffered from unsatisfactory tablet PC sales, indications are that tablet PC shipment growth is already slowing down.

    The reason HP and RIM failed was not because tablets are failing but because the iPad crushed them both. And relying upon a single report to assert that Apple cut back its iPad 2 orders is putting one’s weight on a slender reed indeed.

    The sources also noted that tablet PCs are considered data consumption products, unlike PCs which are data creation products. Once consumers purchase a tablet PC, the chance for them to replace the device is rather low; meanwhile, desktops and notebooks need to be replaced after a while. Therefore, ultrabooks with Windows 8 are expected to strongly boost PC sales in the future.

    So what you’re saying here is that notebooks are going to have a faster turnover rate than tablets? You’re delusional.

    In additional news, Acer announced its Ultrabook Aspire S3 on September 28 in Taiwan.

    What do you mean “in additional news”? Every word of this article was a press release for the Acer Ultrabook.