Intel Reveals More about the Ultrabook Marketing Campaign of 2012

Updated on 07 November 2011 by


Back at IDF in Sept we were told that most of Intel’s marketing spend next year will be on Ultrabooks. It seems hard to believe but what is for sure is that there will be a large sum of money involved. Companies producing Ultrabooks (that qualify) can look forward to marketing and advertising help along with a raft of generic Ultrabook advertising. Expect to see the first of this at CES where Intel is bound to be supporting all the Ivy Bridge partners and a big bunch of journalists.

In an interview to be published in the German Handelsblatt newspaper tomorrow, Tom Kilroy, VP of sales and marketing at Intel gives more information. Although the full article is not yet available, a press release (in German) gives selected details.

“Im kommenden Jahr werden die Ultrabooks im Zentrum unserer größten Marketingkampagne seit Jahren stehen”

“In the coming year the Ultrabooks will be at the center of our biggest marketing campaign for years.”

It sounds promising but Tom goes on to say that this year the sales numbers won’t be very big. No real surprise there considering only 3 of the 5 launched Ultrabook models are available with only 2 months of the year to go.

The campaign will focus on the new Core processors (Ivy Bridge) and with Windows 8, Intel expects Ultrabooks to start their ‘run’ with touchscreens ‘ à la iPad’ but with a keyboard.

Yup, it sounds like marketing to me!

Don’t get too excited about the touchscreens. Intel have previously said that they ‘expect’ manufacturers to ‘experiment’ with touch and convertible designs. It may not be until Haswell arrives in 2013 that the right building blocks are in place for that.

I’ll update this article with a direct link and new information if anything extra appears in the article tomorrow.

[Translation is my own.]


16 Comments For This Post

  1. Michael says:

    Might be true cause Intel and all the other PC manufacturers see how well the MacBook Air is doing,so, why not jump in the bandwagon?

    Since they are not making much on netbooks, what better way to kill netbooks and start aline that actually brings profits.

    The immense success of netbooks backfired on Intel as people realised they did not need the processing power, just a deviceto casually surf the Internet while being on the move.

  2. Peter says:

    Intel isn’t killing off netbooks. The next-gen netbook platform, Cedar Trail, is kicking off in 2012.

  3. Chippy says:

    I agree. Netbook-style (low cost) laptops will continue although the target market will shift quite a bit over the next few years. Intel clearly indicate that emerging markets are the target now.

  4. James says:

    I don’t believe the MBA was the main motivation for Intel to seek to establish the Ultrabook category.

    Rather I believe this has more to do with Intel’s intent on getting serious about the mobile market. Since unlike before they can’t rely on keeping the ATOM specifications limited to separate their mobile efforts with their traditional PC market.

    Netbooks never really effected the traditional laptop market. This is because many people do need more performance than a netbook can provide and also because Intel imposed strict limitations on the specifications and what could and could not be called a netbook.

    In part those limitations helped by making it easier to make netbooks increasingly cheaper to make, but caused netbooks to hardly change in performance for the last few years. Unlike the rest of the market!

    Intel having the ATOM on a 5 year product cycle instead of the normal 2 year cycle they use with the rest of their products didn’t help. Though the idea was that any technology introduced to the ATOM would be thoroughly vetted by the time it gets introduced and so reduce cost by adding bug free updates.

    However, between the need to start competing with ARM, the growing demand for higher performance solutions, and the growing competition from AMD. Intel has little choice but to start providing truly competitive solutions of their own and can no longer hobble the ATOM with specification limitations.

    The Silvermont update in 2013 for example will be the first example of Intel switching the ATOM to the 2 year product cycle and will introduce many of the new technologies being introduced in their high end chips like Tri-Gate Resistors, etc that they are starting to use with their 22nm manufacturing productions.

    So Ultrabooks serve as the new way to separate their low end offerings from their higher end offerings. While also possibly serving as a way to re-invigorate interest in the laptop market versus the rapidly growing mobile market.

    It’s just the combined success of netbooks and the MBA that probably just effected what specifications they decided would fit best for the category.

    While we may just have to wait till Intel comes out with Haswell before Ultrabooks truly becomes the product Intel is trying to pitch to us now.

  5. Adam says:

    Great commentary, James.

    I see ATOM necessarily becoming more competitive with ARM on power consumption AND getting faster in a hurry and becoming a competitor for the ULV parts and forcing their cost down, too if Intel doesn’t really focus on pushing performance forward for the ULV parts.
    -My take is that progress on the ARM front has been slow because they’re afraid of it taking profit away from the ultra high margin ULV parts if it can compete better.

    This competition both from without and within Intel IS going to eat into profit margin and I hope sooner rather than later.


  6. Pete says:

    I heard that the next way might even include ultrabooks with bigger display, e.g. 15.6″. Any info on that? (This is what I am waiting for: device I can use for multimedia at home, yet light enough I can travel with it from time to time.) Thanks for any hint.

  7. Adam says:

    On the ARM front again…

    Look at the specs on a very high-end soon-to-be-released Nvidia Tegra 3 ARM device and compare it to ultrabooks.

    ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime (Could they make the name any longer?):
    263 x 180.8 x 8.3mm (That’s 0.33 inches thick)
    10.1 inch 1280 x 800 IPS screen.
    Weight: 586 grams
    Quad Core (technically 5 core) 1.3GHZ Cortex A9s
    Video: Custom GeForce-based; 7.2 GFLOPS @300mhz (Can support 3D gaming out to a TV over HDMI
    Storage: SATA II

    Cost $499-$599

    THINK ABOUT THIS for a second.

    This thing is HALF the thickness of the thinnest ultrabook, half the weight, comes with a high quality IPS panel touch screen, it’s a convertible so it can be docked with a keyboard and take on the appearance of an ultrabook, quad core CPU, and will be available running Windows 8, all for half the cost of an Ultrabook…

    Intel’s in trouble; Ultrabook is in trouble.

    0.33″ thick
    586 grams
    IPS panel touch screen
    Full keyboard when you want it
    Windows 8

    HALF THE PRICE OF AN ULTRABOOK, half the weight, half the thickness, more functionality. (Sell that Intel stock while you still can.)


  8. Chippy says:

    I ‘ve always been a big fan of the smartbook concept and am excited for Asus that they’ve had success with the Transformer. Asus’ Jonly Shih has stated more than once that he has to place bets in both the X86 and ARM camp and the Transformer and Zenbook represent the two bets.
    For today though, there’s enough difference that someone could buy both and still not have too much of an overlap. The apps on Android are immature and the processing power, while amazing for an ARM based device, is in a different class. The operating system lacks many features too. Multi-user for one.

    The most interesting thing is that the Ultrabook is likely to reach the same production costs as the Transformer because the process, materials, technology is much the same. The Intel CUP is likely to cost $100 more but remember the processing power difference. When you consider that Intel are working in Android and ARM are working on windows, there’s a complete crossover.

    If both ARM and Intel based products look the same at the end of the day and get within 1hour, $100 of each other, and run the same operating system – maybe both in parallel, which one would you take? That’s the decision we’ll have in about 3 years from now.

    BTW I think the weight of both Transformer and docking station is the same as an Ultrabook – about 1kg.

  9. michael says:

    So very true Adam. Fully support your view. Once it starts to run Win 8, ultrabooks are doomed for failure.

    If a transformer type of tablet comes out with a 11.6 screen, then I think ultrabooks can close shop. I think very few people want a 13.3 ultra mobile device as its footprint is huge and “bulky”.

    Of course you got your weirdos who want a 15.6 screen ultrabook but majority just want a smaler footprint like 11.6. I hope the transformer comes up with that ideal size.

  10. James says:

    Weirdos? What’s odd about wanting systems that are easy to carry?

    Laptops of whatever size are meant to be used in a stationary position and larger screens are easier to use than smaller screens.

    Smaller screens are the compromise, not the other way around. Besides, only 7″ and smaller can be considered pocket-able. So anything larger will be carried in a bag or similar anyway.

    While you’re forgetting ARM still won’t offer the performance of Ultrabooks and Windows 8 won’t support legacy apps on ARM.

    All while ARM is still pricier than netbooks and Ultrabooks will start getting cheaper once Ivy Bridge comes out.

    So while ARM is starting to show they can start competing, let’s not exaggerate. Present ARM solutions are more threats to netbooks than anything else right now but netbooks are still cheaper despite ARM’s lower parts costs.

  11. DavidC1 says:

    Who cares if its a quad core? A single Intel core outperforms two of AMD cores and 1 of those AMD cores outperform 2 of ARM cores.

    Car terms:
    Sure they are all “4-cyclinders”, but one is a 1950’s engine while the other is a 2011 one.

    Integrated HD Graphics 3000 in these Ultrabooks have 115.2GFlops of processing power.

    If you are going to make an argument you may want to make sure they are factually correct.

  12. Lymier says:

    With all the pro’s & con’s of each platform, which there are very many. Without a doubt the absolute #1 differentiator for me is active-standby that ARM provides. It completely changes the entire computing experience & cannot be overstated how important this feature is going forward into the future.

    If you still want to get notifications & such, using my laptop just feels downright old-fashion compared to my tablet. A laptop is like taking your foot off the gas but still leaving the engine in idle, you’re consuming less gas but your engine is still running. A tablet is the equivalent of having a pure electric car.

    Sure when both my laptop & tablet are full on running they get roughly the same battery life (6 vs 8hrs) but in notification-aware idle my laptop will still run out in 6hrs while my tablet will go for several days.

  13. Chippy says:

    Yup. Active idle makes a big difference in usage. Smart connect attempts to fix that (Windows 8 will periodically wake-up from sleep to update applications) but its quite a fudge. Intel know how to achieve this always-on (Medfield with Android, Meego) so hopefully that knowledge gets applied to Windows 8 and Haswell. My feeling is that it is something Intel are working towards with the Ultrabook. For the time being though, turning off the engine is the only solution for long standby.

  14. Orfaii says:

    I have my doubts, MS has implemented various technologies in Windows like sideshow & sensor support but nobody seems interested in utilizing them. But in phones/tablets these kinds technologies are the norm.

    This only goes to support my suspicion that the desktop as a consumer device is dying & within the next decade will become a background creationist device as all consumption needs will be met by phones/tablets. Even alot of my favorite Windows programs are barely updated anymore as they have shifted resources over to mobile.

    Android hasn’t just sucked all of the air out of the room from iOS, but Windows as well. Personally I think W8(x86) will remain a powerful background tool while W8(ARM) & WP7 will ultimately fail. MS will never regain it’s consumer relevance again.

  15. Chippy says:

    Interesting. Metro is the last hope in your opinion? If WP7 works to attract developers, maybe it rubs off on Metro too though. Sensor support is significant. Sideshow, something I had forgotten about. Remember Sideshow bags?

  16. DavidC1 says:

    In fact, Intel has said in Fall IDF that Haswell will reduce platform level idle power by 20x, so it’ll get there.

1 Trackbacks For This Post

  1. Ultrabook Interview with Intel Germany | DailyGadgets says:

    […] Intel Reveals More regarding the Ultrabook Marketing Campaign of 2012 […]

Recommended Reading

Top Ultra Mobile PCs

Dell Latitude E7440
14.0" Intel Core i5-4200U
GPD Pocket 2
7.0" Intel Core m3-8100Y
GPD Win 2
6.0" Intel m3 7Y30
Viliv S5
4.8" Intel Atom (Silverthorne)
Microsoft Surface Go
10.0" Intel Pentium 4415Y
Acer Aspire E11 ES1
11.6" Intel Celeron N2840
Lenovo Ideapad Flex 10
10.1" Intel Celeron N2806
Toshiba Portege Z930
13.3" Intel Core i5 3427U
LG G8X THINQ Dual Screen
6.4" Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
Acer Aspire Switch 10
10.1" Intel Atom Z3745