Gartner, a leading market research company, predicted this week that Ultrabook and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) MacBook Air shipments may increase by about 7 million units next year, or an increase of about 5 percent. This would translate to a total of 17 million units in 2013, as compared to the 10.5 million units forecasted for this year.
According to Gartner’s Mikako Kitagawa, the MacBook Air may take up a large part of next year’s notebook shipments. She did not specify the device’s potential market share in 2013, but admitted that this large percentage of shipments would not necessarily be a number above 50 percent.
A new version of another MacBook, the MacBook Pro with Retina Display, was recently released by Apple, and is currently one of the leading notebooks in the market. The current MacBook Air does not have Retina Display, which is Apple’s proprietary high-definition display technology also used on the iPhone and iPad.
Apple has yet to confirm its plans for a next-generation MacBook Air featuring this technology.
Gartner’s complete term for Ultrabooks, including the MacBook Air is “ultramobile notebooks” – this would cover any notebook weighing less than 3.5 pounds and measuring less than 0.8 inches in thickness.
Other analysts have divergent views on the number of Ultrabooks that would be sold in the current year. Last week, IDC forecasted a rather modest number, about 1 million ultra book units sold in 2012.
They did, however, admit eventually that there was not enough data to support that forecast.