http://news.cnet.com/8301-13924_3-20088989-64/apple-cornering-the-market-on-light-laptops/ Apple cornering the market on ultra-thin, ultra-light, ultra-rigid laptops “For now, Apple has a vice-grip on ultraportables like it has on tablets,” Brooke Crothers reports for CNET. “With the company on track to sell well over 10 million Airs this year, it may well see the product ultimately become its bestselling laptop. And the company will only accelerate this trend when it brings out a larger ultraslim model, which, for all intents and purposes, will also be a MacBook Air.” “Call it PC versus Mac, the Ultrabook edition,” Crothers reports. “A possible result: Apple is the only device maker selling large numbers of the new breed of powerful, Sandy Bridge-based, sub-3-pound ultraportables, aka Ultrabooks. As is the case with the current tablet market, consumers will look to Apple for ultraslim post-PC designs but continue to choose–in diminishing proportions relative to Apple–HP and Dell for the traditional computing paradigm.” Gartner's numbers offer a good snapshot of PC market trends. Apple shows a big positive growth number in the U.S. (Credit: Gartner) Which brings us to Dell. For now, the No.2 U.S. supplier of PCs has nothing in the consumer market to compete with the MacBook Air. After abandoning the well-crafted, well-designed MBA challenger, the Adamo, Dell went to a completely different market segment, with the XPS 15z. It's relatively slim, but it's not small and certainly not portable like an Air. That leaves us, for now, with Samsung and the upcoming Asus UX21 and UX31 (not shipping yet) as the most notable challengers to the Air. Will they sell in the tens of million like the Air? I could easily answer that question, but I'll defer to Acer's founder Stan Shih and let him speak for the PC guys. "The fads for Ultrabooks and tablet PCs are both short-term phenomena," according to Shih. That sounds like a concession speech to me. --------------------------------------------------- A couple of interesting things to note here. First, Apple seems to be making the "netbook" paradigm truly viable with the MBA - and is the first to do it - but it's not a netbook at all. These (MBA and its ilk) are the bridge between tablets and notebooks - that is, between the Macbook (Pro?) and the iPad. Ever-increasing amounts of power in smaller and thinner form factors. Further, it seems Apple has everyone beat on price. Second, with Apple expecting to sell oodles of MBAs, they might just be able to squeeze the market in terms of supply, like they have done with tablet components. They certainly have the wherewithal to do it,. It appears, at least from what signs we're seeing now, that ultraportables such as the MBA will be a hot item, and that Apple will end up owning this segment of the market as well.