Are you a betting man? If you are then here’s scenario that’s coming up fast.
Which will end up the biggest winner in mobile computing? Will it be the tablet (read “iPad”), the recently touted ultrabook, or the even more recently touted hybrid?
There is no doubt that tablets, or to be more specific, the iPad, is a big hit. Apple has sold over 60 million of those since its launch in 2010. In the first quarter alone of 2012 it has shipped nearly 12 million of them – much more than the same period last year.
Although it is probably too early to make any bold predictions on the ultrabook, some are already starting to wonder if it will take off at all. CNN-Money reported that less than one million ultrabooks were sold last year and that only 2% of notebooks sold during the peak holiday season were ultrabooks.
Recently, Intel has also launched a massive campaign promoting hybrids, which is what tablets that can be docked into a keyboard which results in an ultrabook are being called. The expected catalyst here is the release of Windows 8 since Microsoft’s previous incarnation of its OS simply didn’t work for tablets.
Early reviews on this new tablet-friendly OS have been quite positive and some believe that it will indeed make a big dent in tablet sales. Will hybrids really gain popularity?
Tim Cook of Apple says it just won’t work. He gave his now famous analogy that you “can’t converge a toaster and a refrigerator”. Of course, Microsoft shot back by saying that a hybrid isn’t a toaster-ref but rather a toaster-oven.
Place your bets.
Although most of us will do so by choosing one of the devices and some will do so by buying stocks of the players, the companies developing these devices have already placed billions in this high-stakes game.
Let’s see how things go by the end of the Christmas season.