MacBook Air Set To Attain 39% Of Global Slim Notebook Market In 2012, 28% in 2013, say Taiwan ODMs

Digitimes’ Aaron Lee and Adam Hwang report that Apple’s hot-selling MacBook Air is projected to corner a global market share of 39% for slim notebooks in 2012, but that Taiwan-based notebook supply chain makers are predicting the Air’s market share will slip to (a still more then respectable) 28% in 2013 due to increasing sales of Ultrabooks, which are projected by Taiwan’s Topology Research Institute to account for 14.6% of total notebook globally in 2013, up from 8% in 2012.

That of course doesn’t necessarily mean that MacBook Air sales volume will drop in 2013, but more likely a sales recovery in the recently moribund PC laptop category that has thus far resulted in Ultrabook sales much lower than Intel’s projections. A rising tide should lift all laptop-makers’ boats, including Apple’s.

The article also notes that Taiwan-based Quanta Computer and Foxconn Electronics (Hon Hai Precision Industry) are Apple’s subcontractors for assembly of MacBook Air and MacBook Pro laptops, currently representing 80% and 20%, respectively of the total MacBook shipment volume, but that another Taiwan-based ODM – Pegatron – is negotiating to produce the MacBook Air and has undertaken trial production in 2012, with insider sources specualting that Pegatron may obtain orders for 18% of MacBook production, mostly MacBook Airs, in 2013.

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Array Of $699 Ultrabook Models Coming In 2013 – Report

Lee and Hwang also report that PC vendors are expected to offer an array of entry-level Ultrabook or ultra-like sub-US$699 laptop models for saleas shipment volume generators, alongside high-end Ultrabook models selling for US$1,000-plus in a bid to maintain profitability in 2013, according to sources at Taiwan-based supply chain makers.

Lee and Hwang note that the high-end ultrabooks will feature aluminum unibody or carbon-fiber chassis, SSDs, Lithium polymer batteries and Windows 8 touchscreens, while the lower-end models will use fiberglass-reinforced plastic or metal-plastic hybrid chassis, slim HDDs or HDD/SSD hybrid drives, conventional batteries and non-touch screensin order to minimize production costs to keep retail prices at or below US$699, Digitimes’ sources project.

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